Music stands out with this blue Sony XB Bluetooth speaker. Its LDAC technology processes three times more data than Bluetooth audio to let you enjoy the full quality of high-resolution music formats. The single-colored line light of this IPX5 water-resistant Sony XB Bluetooth speaker adds visual style to your music.
Sony Audio Bliss!!!
Posted by: Dragonhunter281 from: on
The Sony SRS-XB20 wireless portable speaker has been a real treat to use. As someone who usually prefers wired headphones and speakers, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and feel of the speaker. At its price point, it definitely packs a punch in terms of both sound and aesthetics and could easily cost more than it does.
Physically, the speaker is fairly compact, roughly six inches in length and it has a decent amount of weight to it considering its small size, though not obtrusively so. Furthermore, it has a slight smooth texture and although what looks like plastic, it almost has a slight rubber feel to it. It is definitely a beauty to hold and is in no way cheap at all. Given this, I was quite impressed. On the top you will note your standard buttons such as power, volume control, play/pause, as well as a phone button for voice recognition. In addition, there is also an extra bass toggle as well as an add button for adding another speaker in a daisy chain. There is also a Bluetooth LED light that will remain solid when it is connected to a device and it will blink when it is not paired with anything. Furthermore, on the back there is a micro USB plug for charging, a 3.5mm audio in jack as an alternative to Bluetooth. Lastly, there is a reset button in between the USB and audio jack. One slight inconvenience was the documentation that came with it. Instructions are mostly pictures, which might annoy some people. For me though setup was straightforward so this wasn't too much of an issue.
The first thing I noticed when I paired this with my Sony Xperia Z3+ was the sheer loudness of the speaker. This thing is LOUD and it completely took me by surprise! At about half volume, this thing fills the room with sound! Naturally, for other Bluetooth accessories, such as in my car, you have to max out the volume on my phone, then adjust the actual volume knob on the car stereo. This is not the case at all with the XB20; it really moves at low volume settings. However, I will mention that when the battery gets extremely low, you will need to increase the volume on your device. This is not a con at all but worth to note. Another impressive aspect of the XB20 was the bass. The bass is actually really impressive; on loud bass oriented tracks, it really rumbled quite well. With the Extra Bass button enabled, I could at least tell a slight difference than before. Given its size, it is insane that it reproduced what it did and you could actually feel some of the bass. The lights are also a nice added touch, and can be disabled by holding the extra bass button down.
Another thing I would like to mention is that if you pair this with a Sony Xperia phone (excluding XA and XA Ultra), the phone will automatically detect this speaker as LDAC compatible. You will be given a choice on how it connects either by preferring sound quality or focusing on maintaining the connection. Essentially, LDAC enables the phone to stream the audio data at a higher bit rate over the Bluetooth connection (990 Kbps according to their website). Everything worked flawlessly, however, keep in mind here that if your music is not lossless (FLAC/WAVE/ALAC/AIFF), it would be best to leave the setting to maintaining the connection as you will not benefit since your music is missing sound that this was intended to reproduce. Granted, I am still bit of a skeptic even with my lossless audio collection since I do not have a way to fully verify that it is reproducing every nuance sound. Regardless, I will say it is still a feature definitely worth having; my classical and jazz collection at 96 KHZ/24 Bit sounded wonderful. Nonetheless, I am excited that Sony pays attention to the Hi-Res aspect of music both in their speakers and phones. I was able to pair my Z4 tablet, our X Compact as well as the Xperia X that we have in our household. All worked flawlessly and sounded amazing.
Lastly, I would like to mention their application that pairs with this speaker, Sony Music Center (Songpal). I would like to mention that this provided some extra control over the speaker, allowing you pair it with a device or add an additional speaker, adjust the light modes, and lastly help manage the speaker when an audio cable is connected. You can also manage sleep settings as well as monitor battery level of the speaker (you can also hold down the phone button). In addition, it allows you to play your music on it. It is a bit redundant in this regard as you probably have another application to play your music but it does indeed work in case you do not. While I was fiddling with the application, I discovered that when you plug in an audio cable in, regardless if it is connected to Bluetooth, it will automatically switch to the audio cable. At this point, you can then increase audio in volume. Also, when I switch to the default music player and increased the volume on the side of my phone, I did not have to turn it up very loud. The speaker is really amazing volume wise. One last note I would like to mention. If you connected your audio cable while Bluetooth was on, and then connect your device via the cable and then disable Bluetooth afterwards, you will receive an error telling you that it does not have access to the device any more. This wasn't too much of a problem; however, I just removed the cable from my phone and enabled it. You might have to clear the application from your phone's memory if it hangs up. This was just a minor issue, and I was able to fix it.
Overall, I would strongly recommend the SRS-XB20 for anyone who needs a high quality wireless speaker that is compact and portable enough to carry around. Physically, it is sturdy enough and weighs just right. Sound quality is top notch as well, providing loud sound at very low volume settings including punchy bass given its size. Sony has a winner on its hands, and I have no doubt everyone will be quite satisfied with this speaker.
22 out of 27 found this review helpful.
Great hardware ... subpar software.
Posted by: YourMainDude from: on
The packing is small and avoids unnecessary waste.
The unit is diminutive and feels solid in the hand, with great balance, form and fit. The controlling buttons along the top of the speaker are solid in action and everything you would need to take control is present. The SRS-XB20 has a nice grippy feel to it and addition of the internal lighting (with controls) is a nice bonus.
Sony doesn’t provide a charging adapter, just a short cable – so be forewarned.
The problems start with the SongPal App after the initial setup.
This app does assist you in managing the establishment of a wireless link between your phone and the speaker. That part anyone can usually do without the assistance of a third party app.
This app does give you control over the lighting and the bass enhancement as well but as far as music playback is concerned – this is where it fails.
No universal codec set is implemented to facilitate playback directly from the app. What a complete cost cutting measure … and complete oversight in my mind.
Putting aside the atrocious SongPal app, this speaker sounds amazing – with and without the extra bass enabled. For such a small device, the sound field dispersion is surprisingly good for such a tiny footprint. I can only image that the model 30 and model 40 are even better performers.
The built in lighting is total eye candy and I disable it. I own the black version and the lighting looks like an afterthought. Perhaps is appears more appealing on the various fun colored alternates.
Price vs. performance is average at best … for this model.
Too many players in this retail space with equal or better offerings … in styles many will find more attractive and with more complimentary features to their liking.
Great sound reproduction for its size.
Quality feel and look to the build.
Extra Bass is solid and not boomy.
Rated battery life of 12 hours only achievable with Extra Bass off and at low playback volumes..
The SongPal app is crippled and feels unfinished with inadequate built in codec support.
I recommend that you go to Best Buy and try one out, with your own phone or tablet. Sound Quality is an area that is too subjective as a subject matter to rely solely on reviews posted by others online. If you like that ‘Sony Style’ and the sound truly grabs you … buy one.
9 out of 11 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Loren from: on
Such an Amazing speaker for such a small item! The sound fills up my entire room, and I can even hear it outside of my house on the loudest volume. Worth every penny!
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Better than SRSXB10 little brother.
Posted by: HappyJoe from: on
I accidentally bought the little member of the new XtraBass Sony line, thinking that I had the right product i tested the SRSXB10 and was told that I should have gotten the next model which is the SRSXB20, return to the store and got the XB20, I must,confess that the difference is clear between both, The XB20 has the advertised mega bass, and its quality surpasses the XB10, but it does not mean the XB10 is bad, but compared the two and in my opinion the extra 40 dollars are worth it. Also I can use my cellphone to set some of the functions and it is immediately recognized. I like to use it at work, so it is water resistant, the plastic is coated with a rubber finish, and at night the power button and the bass are always illuminated, in case I don't use the extra bass, power button it is always illuminated. The lights have three settings or modes but I prefer to switch them off, and last, the sound is better than my JBL flip 3. I recommend it to anyone looking for acoustic sound and solid bass.
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Posted by: VijayG from: on
Way way better than my sons' JBL for sure.Perfect party piece.
4 out of 5 found this review helpful.
Compact and powerful but not too bass-y
Posted by: DarR from: on
I know it's all about the bass-- but not for this product. It lacks that low that jiggles you. I am used to some of those bigger bluetooth speakers that get you in that bass, and if you are expecting that for this product, you may get frustrated. However, though, it is so lightweight and portable. And for its size, it is LOUD. It really is. Since I got it, and I've used a good 6 hours of it, I still have not recharged this device so battery life is good. The only thing that bothers me, is the bass that is promised-- it is just not there for me, thus the 4 stars.It does not have enough bass for the high power it delivers. But hey, just as a Bluetooth speaker though, it has pretty crisp sound and it doesn't give up on you on higher volume. The build is good and it's waterproof-- just haven't tried it get wet. For what it's worth though, I can bring it as an easy companion to the beach.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Has a good range
Posted by: 2061 from: on
Good wireless speaker. Takes a little while to fully charge.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Gotta Love It
Posted by: Cipher469 from: St Petersburg, FL on
My purpose for a compact Bluetooth speaker was to partner it with my Echo and wirelessly have music out on my deck. After trying other brands without success, I tried the SRS-XB20 (water resistant). It has been a "wow" experience.
First, I charged it up, then starting the pairing process, which took no time at all. Next, I tested the connectivity by carrying the speaker throughout my house (2 story), then out to the deck, and even out into my yard. The XB20 never lost connection! Sound quality rivals a more costly HK that I own; and, in some areas, sounds better ...especially with the Extra Bass feature on.
Sony says it should play up to 12 hours on a full charge. I didn't play it that long, but I did let it go for 8 hours straight, without it ever faltering.
The front oval edge of the speaker lights up (white) and pulsates somewhat with the music. If you don't want the light on and/or to conserve power, it can be easily turned off.
There are a couple of minor negatives: 1.The charging cord is very short, so you have to be very close to the power source. 2. Getting a full charge takes a very long time. (The tradeoff, I suppose it the very long operating time after it is charged.) Neither of these points are troubling enough to diminish the outstanding quality of the XB20 overall.
Reasonable price, good looks, durable, very quick Bluetooth connection, portability with excellent range of operation,very long operating time on full charge, and, importantly, great sound!
I love it and definitely recommend it!
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Amazing bluetooth speaker for the price
Posted by: TheITGuy from: on
The sound quality of this bluetooth speaker is simply amazing, especially for its size and price. The amount of bass this little speaker can produce with the 'extra bass' feature enabled is also really impressive. Overall, you can't go wrong with this speaker, especially for the price!
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Sony - XB20 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Posted by: Reelfun from: on
Sony - XB20 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Love these speakers so much I bought 2 Love em!