If you are looking for a solid bluetooth speakers, you might want to check the Sony SRS-XB30. It outputs good sound, has an outstanding rugged build, a decent battery life and neat extra features.
SRS-XB30 produces flat sound, period. If that is your thing when listening to your favorite songs, you will love this speaker. If not, you can always fine tune how it sounds using the equalizer in the Sony Music Center (SongPal) app that is compatible with any Sony bluetooth speaker including this one. One of the biggest selling points of the SRS-XB30 is the EXTRA BASS feature. By turning this on, bass will be boosted making it more prominent and giving the bass more power. This speaker is also very loud. It is capable of filling my 15 square meter room with music at half the volume level.
Sony SRS-XB30 has a solid build with very fine finish. The entire exterior is made from quality smooth rubbery material making it look very elegant. The smooth finish is also non-slippery and feels good on my hands.
The front facing speakers are covered by an adequately placed metal grill that provides great protection.
There is another small metal grill at the back part to protect which I believe is the a tiny subwoofer. There is also a small cap at the back to protect important ports such as the AUDIO IN, DC IN, USB and Reset Button.
The bottom portion has a nice embedded SONY logo and four rubber pads to keep it in place on flat surface.
SONY boasts the SRS-XB30 to have a battery life that could last up to 24 hours when fully charged. However, this is only achieved when music is played through wired connection with all light effects turned off. With normal bluetooth connection and continuous light effects switched on, I was only able to get a maximum of around 5 hours before it switched itself to low power mode which limits the volume to a certain level.
Sony SRS-XB30 is packed with extra features and some are exclusive to SONY products, LDAC is one of these features. LDAC is a technology from Sony that transmit audio over bluetooth 3x than normal. Sony claims that LDAC is capable of transmitting up to 990 kbps of data as opposed to the normal 328 kbps of SBC codec. In other words, compression during playback wirelessly will be minimized resulting music to sound better or close to Hi-Res. However, this is only noticeable when playing Hi-Res audio contents or lossless music such as FLAC.
The Sony SRS-XB30 also has some neat light effects that add up enjoyment to your listening experience. These lights are found at the front of the unit surrounding the metal grill that protects the speakers. There are lights capable of producing warm to cold colors and two white LED lights that flicker with every beat. And how these lights react and function could be set according to your mood using the SongPal app.
Another great feature of the Sony SRS-XB30 is its water resistant body. It not designed to be submerged in water but could withstand a few splashes and rain. Moreover, the built-in microphone allows you to make and receive phone calls right from the unit.
There are only two things I don’t like about the Sony SRS-XB30 and one is about its weight. This speaker is heavy for a portable speakers weighing almost 1-kilo or 980-grams to be exact. So I’m not sure if bringing this while traveling would be a wise decision given that I am already fine with my 300-gram UE MINI BOOM. Second is the proprietary charger that came with it, I was hoping that I could use any charger I have for my smart phones but it looks like I have to bring another charger just to juice-up this beast.
Aside from sounding good and the illuminated buttons which help during nighttime use, the extra features of the Sony SRS-XB30 such as LDAC, EXTRA BASS and the light effects are definitely the easiest things to love about this speaker. The clarity of LDAC while playing Hi-Fi audio is really noticeable. The EXTRA BASS feature also provides additional bass power that most bluetooth speakers lack and the neat light effects can really lighten up any dull moment.