Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Intro

The Sony SRS-XB3 is a smallish portable bluetooth speaker which has been superseded by the SRS-XB30. I went for the SRS-XB3 because it does not have all of the gimmicks that the SRS-XB30 has. If you want flashing lights and "demo modes" and all of the that annoying faff that gets in the way of listening to music then go for the XB30.

Understated - Satsuma for Scale

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Size

The  SRS-XB3 is about 20cm long and 8cm tall. Approximately the size of a battenberg cake. Or three rubix cubes in a row. It can be stood on end to fit in the narrow space on a book shelf or laid longways.

Sensible Size - Fits in Bag or Glove Box

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Battery Life

The battery lasts a long time. Specs say about 8 hours, so for me it will go over a week between charges. Of course as with all lithium batteries it is best to keep the battery topped up. Discharging the battery a lot will shorten its lifespan.

I have not used the speaker for charging USB devices, but this will shorten battery life. It is however a handy feature.

Charging, USB Port and Line In - Open Rear Flap

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Connectivity

Music via bluetooth or via 3.5mm auxiliary port. The bluetooth is quick to connect and the connection is steady when used within the same room. The aux port takes a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. So you will need a male to male connector lead to use this, which is not supplied, but can be had for £2 / $4 on ebay.

The SRS-XB3 remembers which device it is paired with after it has been switched back on. This is handy as you do not have to re-pair the speaker to the audio source (such as phone). However, if you are switching to another phone or player then you just hold down the pairing button on the top of the unit until you hear a beep, and then connect . pair through the settings on you phone / player.

Clearly Labelled Button - Very Easy Setup

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Sound

The most important bit. The speaker is small, but the tone is very rich. This richness can be enhanced by turning on the "extra bass" feature, which I seldom switch off! The rich bass is very noticeable at low to moderate volumes, however when using the Sony SRS-XB3 at higher volumes the bass is reduced, with treble and midrange becoming more predominant.

The sound is produced by a two small speakers and 2 passive radiators. These are wobbly bits of rubber that wobble in and out in time with the speakers and act as extra speakers. One of these passive radiators is front facing the other rear facing. This is good, as you can place you Sony SRS-XB3 in the corner of room perhaps 30cm for a wall, and the rear facing passive radiator causes reverberation from the walls = extra extra bass!

When listening to EDM I find it helps to place the speaker in the corner. You get a free power boost this way.

Specs - 15V x 2.5A = 30W approx RMS Music Power

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Conclusion

This is a good little speaker. The depth of bass for its size is most impressive, although it lacks very deep bass you may get with larger speaker systems. For day to day listening and radio listening it is perfectly adequate, and if you wanted to crank up the volume at the weekends then it can be quite loud.

Interestingly this speaker can be linked with a 2nd Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker, to form a stereo listening experience, which would double the volume and create a more dynamic sound

Environmental Permit Applications

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