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Big and Powerful but with Serious ShortcomingsPosted
Sony’s new GTK-XB72 Wireless Speaker System is certainly powerful, very flashy (literally!) and with make its presence known at every party. But I was disappointed by some elements which Sony could have executed far better. The Sony GTK-XB72 system is designed to provide both room-filling sound and visual excitement to parties. It is primarily designed as a Bluetooth speaker but it can also support other sources via stereo RCA connections, a built-in FM radio and a microphone input. Here are the key features: • Powerful home audio system with multiple inputs • Two 160 mm (6.3”) woofers • Three 50 mm (2”) cone tweeters (only two active at any time) • Vertical or horizontal placement (position activates appropriate tweeters) • 30 watts per channel RMS power • Total Harmonic Distortion less than 0.7% • Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity with 33 foot range, supports up to three source devices simultaneously • NFC for easy connections • Multicolor LED line lighting on front, top, sides and speakers • Two strobe lights at the top and bottom of the main speaker pair • FM tuner: 87.5 MHz – 108.0 MHz (100 kHz steps), telescoping rod antenna, 20 preset stations available via Sony Music Center app • Extra Bass: enhances bass level • Live Sound: DSP enhances 3D spacial effect • Sony Music Center app may be used to control most speaker functions • Sony Fiestable app controls lighting effects and DJ sound effects • Party chain connectivity (to other Sony speakers) • Add speaker function to create L/R stereo speaker pair • R/L RCA analog inputs for other sources • R/L RCA analog outputs • 6.35 mm (1/4”) stereo microphone input with volume control, supports karaoke mode • USB-A 2.1 Amp input and charging power output • Built-in microphone for speakerphone function • Voice guidance system • Up/down volume buttons • Up/down FM tuning • 120v AC power only, 60 watt consumption • Dimensions: 13.6” wide x 14.9” deep x 25.8” tall • Weight: 27 pounds • Two carrying handles • One year warranty Included in the box are the speaker, AC power cord, quick start guide and instructions. Setup is very easy. Just plug in the speaker, turn on the power and press the Bluetooth button to connect to your source. You can also listen to FM radio by selecting that input. Once you plug it in, the light show begins (even before you turn it on.) LED line lights which frame the speakers cycle through various colors. The two main speakers also light up and have their own color patterns. In addition, two strobe lights begin flashing near the two handles of the unit (at the top and bottom or left and right, depending upon how you have the speaker oriented.) Sony certainly put some effort into the design of the lighting effects. They do add to the party atmosphere. Also my young niece and her friends loved them so they would be a hit for children’s rooms. For normal use of the speaker you can turn off the lighting effects. The Sony Fiestable app can provide further control over the lighting (and create DJ sound effects.) However, there does not seem to be any way to turn off the strobe light separately from the LED colored lights. That is a design flaw. Using just the LED lights the effect can be soothing but the strobe negates that benefit. Using both (LED and strobe) is fine for a party but most of the time this speaker is going to be used in calmer settings where a strobe is inappropriate. How good is the sound reproduction? Unfortunately, it is only acceptable for loud, bass-heavy music that you might play at parties. For all other music the speaker just doesn’t do justice to vocals or instrumentals. I set up a small Sony Bluetooth speaker (the new XB-22) next to the big XB72 and alternated music output between the two. (See photo.) While the little XB22 could not match the bass of the XB72 its rendition of mid-range and high notes was far superior. This is really sad because I know that Sony can create great speakers. The XB72 should have been designed with a good three-way speaker set (bass, mid-range and tweeter) rather than the two woofers and bizarre set of three tweeters. Really, Sony, what did you save? $30? I cannot imagine why Sony went to the trouble to put in three cheap paper cone tweeters and a switching arrangement to direct output to only two at a time. The resulting stereo effect is just not worth the wiring. Why not just put in four decent small speakers at the corners, two of which would be true tweeters and two could be mid-range speakers? The XB72 has most of its controls on the top (the exception is the volume control for the microphone which is hidden on the back, just above where the mic would plug in.) All controls on the top are pressure sensitive buttons. (See photo.) I am definitely not a fan of these controls. First, none are lighted and in a typically dark party setting you would need to hold a light over them to tell them apart. Even in normal room lighting the identifying text is faint and not easy to read. The volume buttons (up/down) are really marginal. You have to press hard multiple times to change the volume level. If you had the speaker cranked up to a high volume the last time you used it (say at a party last night) and the next morning you want to listen to some music, the volume will resume at that extreme level and you have to scramble to reduce it before your neighbors pounds on your door with complaints. Why didn’t Sony just put a volume knob on the unit? It would be easier to use and you could find it in the dark. Similarly, the FM tuner uses up/down tuning buttons. Using them, it takes forever to get to your favorite station. You can use the Sony Music Center to preset 20 stations but that is a complicated solution to an easy problem. Again, why not just put an FM tuning knob on the XB72? And, while I am whining about shortcomings, I should mention that an AM tuner would make sense on this speaker system. I could see using it to tune into a sports event (which are usually on the AM bands) and broadcasting the game to a yard full of friends while you grill the food. Another solution to the control shortcomings would be to have a lighted LCD panel on the top with all controls accessible from it. It might cost a bit more but it would work and look very cool. There were a few other minor issues I had with the speaker, none of which are deal-breakers but all added to the frustrations I had with the design decisions made by Sony. • First, the power cord included is very short. It really should be at least twice as long (10+ feet, rather than the roughly 4 foot length provided.) • The FM radio uses a cheap chrome-plated telescoping antenna rather building a good FM antenna into the body. This antenna will likely be an early casualty at a party. • Given that the speaker will probably be used in large rooms there should be some way to mount it on a wall or some other support. You really should be able to get the speaker off the floo, particularly since it has no water resistance of any kind. Bottom line - the Sony GTK-XB72 audio system may be appropriate for a fairly narrow range of uses (e.g., blasting dance music at big parties) and for those who need that functionality I can certainly recommend it. But the severe flaws I noted above force me to give it no more than three stars. Sony, you could resolve every one of my issues with just a few changes – I hope you read this and incorporate the needed improvements in the next generation of this potentially outstanding product.
I would recommend this to a friend
Good for game rooms, sleep-overs, back porch BBQsPosted
PROs: - Huge, room-filling/back-yard filling sound--EXTRA BASS function/dedicated button gives a nice, full-bodied sound without just adding in gobs of super-sloppy bass that completely overpowers the music - Multitude of connection options and sound sources (Bluetooth, USB, stereo line-in, built-in radio, even a microphone jack) give you a great deal of flexibility for use--in a small space, you could easily set this up to a be a room-dominating Bluetooth speaker, hook up a USB DAP, and even a TV, game console or disc player via the analog inputs; and it's got the capability to form a stereo pair (or "stacked mode" where both speakers play the same signal) if you have a second compatible Sony speaker - Helpful/integrated "device perch" at the back with a slotted opening in the middle of the shelf makes it easy to stand up a phone or tablet (for album art/screen color display, playback controls, karaoke lyrics, etc.) and even have a USB cable dangle out of the bottom for charging or USB playback - Very easy to reach/access dedicated playback controls (play/pause, FFW/REW skip) and you can even answer the phone or make a call from the speaker...mic quality was certainly passable in close proximity (according to feedback from the caller), but it was definitely a kick to have a group phone call with grandma via this massive speaker during our last movie night - Offers potentially higher quality Bluetooth connection via LDAC codec than regular BT if your source supports it...still works as a regular BT and NFC pairing speaker even if you don't have LDAC on board, but it's a nice inclusion for those of you with a phone or DAP that has LDAC under the hood - Sony Music Center and Fiestable apps really do allow for some fun interactions...Fesiable especially will turn your own phone into a color-changing/flashing extension of the music; and while in the app, you can use gestures and draw on the screen to further change the speaker's colors and strobes and add a multitude of effects like scratch, phasers, drums, DJ catch phrases (seriously!), music isolation...the range of effects is quite extensive and certainly a lot of fun (at least for a while) - In the dark, the LED lighting is quite striking with long strips around the edges, white strobes at either end, and color changing LEDs casting across the speaker drivers...even in the daylight, the LEDs provide a fun effect with a multitude of adjustment options to match your mood/locale - Mounting feet on the bottom and side allow you to orient the speaker either horizontally or vertically to match the available space/intended use without having to set the speaker down directly on the cabinet's finish...and side or vertical mounting automatically changes which tweeters are used for stereo effect - A microphone input...how many speakers these days have dedicated microphone inputs? Probably not the most practical inclusion per se, but definitely amps up the party factor and makes it a viable options for use at a block/back-yard party or in a REALLY loud indoor setting - Integrated carrying handles at both ends make for relatively easy transport (it clocks in around 25+ lbs) either dangling from one hand or moving-box style with both hands occupied CONs: - Similar to my experience with other Sony speakers with the 'Live' button, the "Live" sound signature was situational in application/suitability. When activated, it did create a slightly greater sense of spaciousness, but it also made the sound somewhat hollow and tinny...honestly, as this is already a party-inspired speaker, I'm not sure when you'd want your music to sound even "more lively," and when you did, wouldn't you already have pretty loud music & raucous party sounds going anyway? YMMV... - Sound quality is good, possibly even really good...but you can arguably get the same good, or really good, sound from other units (even from Sony itself) that produce some remarkably wonderful, detailed, or bass-crunching music from something that doesn't eat up quite so much real estate - Unlike some of Sony's other portable/BT speakers, this one gives up some points on the usability scale with its controls--the LED light control button, which you'd arguably want to use more often on an LED-enabled party speaker, is actually just a secondary function (written in near-impossible-to-read lettering) to the wireless party chain button which you'd arguably only use once in a blue moon for system setup, and then only if you happened to have dropped the coin on another compatible Sony speaker. Similarly, there's a large dedicated ADD button on top that is only useful if you sprung for a second compatible Sony speaker to form a stereo pair; and again, I argue would only be used sparingly during setup anyway. And yet the volume control for the microphone, which you'd arguably want to use more frequently during a single event for PA or karaoke functions (this is marketed as a PARTY speaker, after all), is actually a very tiny rotary control buried in the middle of the rear connectors under a top lip and is difficult to reach and adjust in the blind (unlike the much larger playback and main volume controls) - Radio tuning/navigation is an unnecessary pain in the posterior, especially in the Sony Music app where, despite fine frequency control down to 1/10th of frequency hop, you cannot directly enter the radio frequency you want (via number pad) which means waiting for what feels like FOREVER to navigate button-push-after-button-push to a local station in the middle of the FM band before you can lock in one of the presets. Oh, and speaking of the radio--I found performance spotty with even nearby stations sounding a bit noisy/grainy...and get ready to carefully unfurl or retract one of those old-school, boombox-style telescoping silver antennas at the back when you want to use the radio at all...it's a shame as it breaks the lines and "cheeses up" an otherwise great looking speaker to have ugly silver rod angling out of the back--at least it could have been anodized black to look a bit classier - The price point seems to have been driven by size alone--there are no integrated digital assistants (Alexa, Google Home), yet the physical design would suggest this speaker is primarily intended for indoor (or at most, just outside the back door) use where a wireless network signal would be likely...surprising given that some of Sony's own smaller offerings include some capable digital assistant integration - Speaking of the physical design; this speaker is not really suited to outdoor use (despite having the horsepower to pump out the jams across the yard) as well as some of Sony's other lighted BT speakers--there's a laughably short AC cord, no built-in battery (though maybe that's a good thing given how heavy it already is), and no water resistance/water proofing means even indoor party-goers need to be careful with their drinks - Not boxy, but trapezoidal in shape...the speaker is angled on all sides so that it's always pointing slightly upwards when sitting on a flat surface--meaning you can't easily stack them, or you risk aiming the drivers slightly above ear level depending on the shelf/table-top upon which it's used. There are also no wall-mount slots or tripod attachment points anywhere...a total let-down, especially for something that begs to be perched up high/on a tripod for a party or outdoor event Summary review: This speaker was going to be a step up for me from another Sony LED speaker...the XB501G. I was impressed with how well the 501 performed, especially given its size. I hoped the XB72 would blow me away given that it's easily 5x the size of the XB501. If nothing else, I expected a noticeable uptick in sound quality given the massive drivers and cabinet design...in practice though, I feel like the smaller XB501 was actually a better value for the money. Don't get me wrong, the XB72 is a great multi-function Bluetooth/LED party speaker--and for bragging rights alone, those of you with the gumption and spare change to add it to your household will likely have the biggest Bluetooth speaker on the block. It's certainly got a lot going for it with quite a few party-friendly features--the amount of stuff you can do in the Music Center app definitely has the potential to liven things up, and my daughter and her friends had a great time playing with all those functions during her last sleep-over. I just don't know how often I see someone coming back to using all the DJ, lighting and sound-morphing effects on their phone's app before ultimately they tire of the effort involved and just leave it to stream music and let the LEDs strobe out unattended. Given my impressions, and that of my family during use, I ended up putting this unit through its paces more as a "regular" LED-enabled speaker than I did as the musical and interactive centerpiece of some basement rave or block-party blow out (despite the fact that it certainly has the potential and functionality to support the latter). As a speaker, then, the XB72 is certainly a cable unit, if a bit over-engineered for what it delivers. I mean, this speaker will play loud--sure, and it does sound...GOOD...I don't know as I was as blown away as I hoped I would be by the sound quality, especially given how big it is--and it falls short in some key areas that were unexpected for a speaker of this size/price-point. In particular, the lack of mounting options and even basic water resistance make this party speaker a tough sell for those of you with visions of using it in any but the most tame/captive (i.e. near an outlet) of outdoor party settings (beach, pool, etc.). If you desperately need a BIG speaker that is first and foremost for party use, this is probably a good choice; but if you want a really good, well-designed/appointed speaker that also has some party-friendly features on board, there might be better options out there.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Monstrous Size, Sound, & ValuePosted
At first glance, the $350 launch price seemed a bit daunting to me, but I quickly realized that this speaker is a much better value than a lot of the smaller counter-top Bluetooth speakers offered by companies such as Bose or Marshall. This speaker is a true beast! Not only does it offer monstrous sound and thumping bass, but it is truly versatile. The speaker looks great standing next to an entertainment center and also works very well as a party speaker. The speaker is easy to set up and simple to use. While Sony tries to force the use of their Music Center App, it seems at least some of the time the typical Bluetooth pairing will get you up and running. But, if you are having trouble pairing - you will want to connect specifically through the Sony app (which does work quite well). The app is also the easiest way to control the various lights - providing color & flash/strobe options. It is worth noting that this speaker is not made for mounting. If you are a DJ, or are purchasing this speaker for use at events, there is no easy way to mount to a pole or hang on a wall. This speaker will either be standing vertically, or laying horizontally (having rubber feet for both options). Multiple speakers can synch via Bluetooth, but the shape of the speaker tilts upwards and is not a perfect box - meaning that speakers are not easy to stack (vertically or horizontally). Outdoor use can be cumbersome as the speaker is not water resistant and as the cord is only 5 feet long. The volume is loud enough to set the speaker anywhere, but because this speaker puts on a light show - you actually want it to be seen. I suggest having an extension cord handy. Interestingly, while the cabinet appears to have a tweeter in all 4 corners, there are actually only 3 (each 2 inches in size). The 4th tweeter is non-functioning and simply makes the speaker look balanced visually. When the speaker is standing vertically, only the top two tweeters play audio. When the speaker is laid down horizontally, the speaker automatically adjusts moving the audio to what then becomes the top two tweeters. I tested the speaker outdoors - as I intend to use it for summer BBQs and block parties. The speaker had absolutely no trouble filling our entire cul-de-sac with clear audio and decent bass. I truly am impressed by how well this speaker works both indoors and out. (Just keep in mind that it is not waterproof.) It functions well at both low & high volumes. The live music function is a noticeable change, but can leave the vocals sounding hollow & distant. I appreciate that it is an option, but I would assume that most people will want to leave the audio unaltered. While the Bluetooth is generally convenient, the connection quickly cuts out if it does not have direct line of sight. 30 feet of wireless range may seem like plenty of space, but at a block party, on a dance floor, or even inside the house - this is fairly limited. Keep in mind that you will not be able to wander away from the speaker - the phone will need to stay near by. And, this model does not have any slot to hold your phone/tablet. The speaker also does not have a standard 3.5mm audio input. Instead, it has the red & white component input (and output). You may be able to use the 1/4" microphone input (if you have an adapter), but that is probably not the best option as your main audio input. …If you don’t want to worry about wireless range (or worry about your phone ringing through the speaker in the middle of a party), using the radio is also an option that works well. The colored LED lights work well and look quite nice. I appreciate that the LED strips are no longer located behind the wire mesh. They are now unobstructed & nicely frame the speaker. By default, the lights continue to cycle even when the audio is not playing, but the lights can be controlled with both a physical button and also within the app. The white strobe lights are less impressive as they are really not all that bright. I do wish the speaker could be powered by an internal battery – even if it was only a couple of hours, but overall I think this speaker is a great value and is conveniently versatile. If its physical bulk does not bother you, it is worth purchasing. And, if you want to save some money, previous models are still sold for a lot less. Pros: + Works well both indoors and out + Audio remains crisp & clear even at high volumes + Noticeably rich bass boost + NFC (Near Field Communication) feature makes pairing (via Bluetooth 4.2) very easy + Speaker automatically adjusts which two tweeters are used to play audio (depending on if the speaker is standing vertically, or lying horizontally) + 1/4" inch Microphone Input allows the speaker to be used for karaoke, or to make announcements at an event + Microphone has its own volume knob + Built in pin-hole microphone works decently for answering phone calls + Two built in Handles (top & bottom) aid in carrying + Lights are easily controlled via Sony Connect App (both color & flashing options) + Multiple speakers can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth + Light colors sync up when multiple speakers are linked + Can play via Bluetooth or from files on a USB memory stick + Multiple audio sources (phones/tablets) can be linked simultaneously Cons: - No optical input - No battery - No bracket or attachment to aid in mounting - Heavy (about 26 lbs) - No slot for holding phone, or tablet - No Remote Control (which was included in previous models) - Not water resistant or water proof - White Strobe Lights are not very bright - Speaker's shape does not allow them to be easily stacked - Cord is only 5 feet long (which can make it difficult to use outdoors) - Bluetooth range is problematic. 30 feet is only with perfect line of sight. - Live Music mode (at times) leaves music sounding hollow and vocals sounding distant & muted - Fiestable App is slow, unimpressive, and not worth using
I would recommend this to a friend
With great speaker comes great technologyPosted
Lately Sony has built great speakers, last year I have got the SRS-XB31, which everything is awesome, performance, sound quality, Power, and at the same level, the capabilities that the app Sony Music Center offers, it is definitely a whole new and big world. So, lets clarify first, that this is not a simple speaker, this is a speaker system, it provides stereo music as well as great bass. With the Sony GTK-XB72, you have it all, great sound, stylish design, clever details like handles so you can carry and move it easily, even if it is not heavy, lights, several ports so you can have many connectivity options in case you need them, like rca audio in/out, usb, NFC, Bluetooth, mic, etc. There is so much you can do with this unit, the Music center app, and the Fiestable app, that I think a whole book can be written. One of the things that really capture my attention was the Vertical and horizontal setting . So It looks like it has four little speakers, one on each corner, but actually there are only 3, only the top ones are active when you have the unit in vertical position and they act as the right and left speaker, so you have for sure Stereo responsiveness, this I am 100% sure because I tested with an audio stereo test signal that I have in a pen drive, and if you decide to change it in horizontal position, the third speaker become active, and disable the one that it will be in the down position, you don’t have to do anything because it has a built-in sensor that optimizes how sound is processed into stereo, whichever setup you choose, so all you have to do is wait a couple of seconds, you will hear a pause in the music, and then return back with the new setting, this is really cool. You will hear verbal instructions, like “Bluetooth connected, or disconnected”, etc. The lights and the various light settings is an awesome feature too, a built-in multi-colored LED line lights on the front, sides and top, pulsing speaker lights within the main body, and a flashing strobe light. The bass, is loud, consistent, and harmonious. I tested in my living room and fill entirely with clear audio and strong bass. It performs really well at low or high volumes, clear and precise. The speakers are 2”x 3 tweeters and 6 3/8”x 2 woofers, it weighs about 27 pounds, includes two handles so carrying it is pretty easy. It is 26” tall, 14” wide and 15” deep. You can place is Vertical or Horizontal depending on your space needs. There USB port can be used to connect USB devices with audio files which can be played. It supports MP3 and WMA formats. And can be used to charge my phone, while playing audio as well. The built-in microphone is very useful for hands-free calls. It will automatically move the call from the phone to speaker using Bluetooth, and the RCA audio input allows you to connect any audio out players. Now, lets talk about the Fiestable app. You will have colors on your smartphone that correspond to the Sony XB72. It is a cool feature for parties, and there are many more options, like making sounds tapping the screen of you phone, changing lights, etc… The Sony XB72 is a great speaker for party. The 2 apps make it fun as well. The Bluetooth range is about 40 feet, but keep in mind that, the better the cell phone, the better the connectivity and responsiveness. By default, the lights continue even when the audio is not playing, but you can turn them off by pressing for 3 seconds the Party Chain bottom that is on top With The Sony Music Center App you can control several Sony audio devices which are compatible with “Sony Music Center” using your smartphone, either iPhone, Samsung etc. I have a Samsung Phone, once I paired the GTK-XB72 Speaker using the Bluetooth connection, it should show as GTK-XB72 device, then you can download and install the Music Center app from the play store, for the android os, and the rest is pretty intuitive. The unit can be paired using NFC, if you have an android OS based smartphone, just tap your phone on the NFC symbol that is located on the left side on top of the speaker, and that is it, the connection is done. From This app you can do any single setting you want on the speaker, The Music Center will show you an EQ 4 band plus bass band to let you set the music to your sound preference. You even have the option to control the level of the treble, mid and bass, which is something that I have always like about a sound system, and a lot of different settings that you can adjust for your own convenience, like for example, the lights, you can enjoy different combinations, if you are in the mood for classical or piano music, or Rock. Other Settings available is the Bluetooth, which you can adjust the type of compression you want or power saving mode connection. One of my favorite settings is the “add speaker” option, with this setting you can have 2 options, you can add a second GTK-XB72 as an extension of the first one, and even setup them up as an stereo pair with another GTK-XB72, or you can use the “Wireless Party Chain” (WPC) Function. With this one you can connect multiple devices (up to 50 devices) compatible with the Wireless Party Chain function with a list of different Sony Bluetooth Speakers compatible devices. In this case I connected the SRS-XB31 and the GTK-XB72, creating a Group. So, basically, once you are in the Music center app, and proceed to add the speakers to the app, or “register them” then once you go to the speaker, you will see the option to group them, you select which ones you want to group, and then a new “Speaker” shows up, but that is the group you just created, and from there you can adjust all the settings you need as an speaker group. It was really cool to see the lights setting was synchronized on both speakers (the XB31 has lights too), but something I also noticed, is that if you want to have a control of the volume level, because on a small speaker you cannot have the same level as the big one, so I found out that it is better to create the group from the small one, and not from the big one, and in my Samsung phone, disable the option “Use Volume Keys for media”. Doing all of this, I was able to set up independently the volume of the small one in a higher level, but when I control it from my phone both speakers were increasing and decreasing accordingly. So, for those big family reunion in my home, I could keep the small one (SRS-XB31) in the living room, the big one (GTK-XB72) in the backyard, and control both of them with the volume setting I need them for each. This speaker also includes a microphone in jack, with a control level, but you can also use your phone as the mic while it is Bluetooth connected. It also has a FM radio and antenna, you can set the FM stations easily with the Music Center App. This speaker meets my expectations, comparing to the cost of other smaller and lack of technology of other “famous brands” this speaker has it all, powerful and quality sound, loud and consistent bass, and great technology behind, for a reasonable and affordable price.
I would recommend this to a friend
The Go To Party SpeakerPosted
Whether you are starting a study jam session or would like to kick off a party with family and friends, the Sony GTK XB72 is a great choice for your audio system. The flashy LED color and strobe lights make a great addition to the speaker to help a party get going. With a little more to be expected, this speaker still makes it the go to decision for your next party. Connecting to the XB72 was a breeze; my devices were able to immediately find and connect to it. It also supports NFC for the Android tech savvy people. One tap and my phone was connected with Bluetooth audio functionality. Upon connecting the power cord, I was greeted by beautiful LED lights. I discovered leaving the cord connected while the speaker is on standby keeps the lights on. It's great ambience lighting! Sony baked their ClearAudio+ and Extra Bass technology into the speaker and even without it, music sounds crisp and boomy. With both enabled (enabling one enables the other), you can really feel the punch of the bass to hip hop and r&b genre music. Sony also added a "Live" button to add a soundstage effect to music you listen to. I felt it too trebly for my taste but I can see where others would prefer to listen to some music with the option enabled. Speaking of soundstage, the speaker also has a mic input for those karaoke nights! The small knob to control the sound level of the mic audio was located on the rear (for those looking for it). Sometimes the music needs to be louder than the one singing during karaoke! The speaker also supports FM radio, the ability to connect a USB drive or smartphone via the USB input, and has RCA inputs. As an added bonus Sony, through their Music Center app, allows for more control of your speaker lights and audio. Via the app you can change the lighting effect to something more subtle or even choose to turn them off. The app also gives you the options for EQ effects and even a few DJ effects. These were all cool options to play with and made me enjoy the speaker's features even more. If you are looking to amp the party up even more, there is also an option to chain Sony compatible speakers to your XB72. Now I can see this starting a neighborhood block party! Now for some of the cons. For a large party speaker I would've wanted for there to be some type of rechargable battery incorporated into the design. The power cable included is long enough to place into a nearby power outlet but if you would like this bad baby at the center of a crowd, an extension cord is needed. Another tiny addition I would've liked to see was a Bluetooth wake option. (Some speakers support powering it on from connecting to it via Bluetooth but after attempting to do so, the speaker remained off). All in all, these still do not take away from the impressive features the XB72 brings to the table. Overall I would recommend this speaker to those who love to listen to music outside for a barbecue or gathering, or for those who like to entertain when family and friends are over. With the added light effects and app control, this speaker really is one to get a party going. Although there is not an option to take the speaker on the go, the loudness compensates for it and thus I give it 5 stars.
I would recommend this to a friend
Sony XB72 is Vision of How Music Will be PlayedPosted
The future is here with portable/home audio. The Sony GTK-XB72 high power home system with Bluetooth Tech is that future, right now. The Sony XB72 is a mighty sounding speaker system with various ways to connect to your smartphone, CPU, USB, 3.5mm jack, wireless TV, RCAs and just about anything with Bluetooth/NFC (Near Field Communication). A couple of Sony smartphone apps help to control the sound and lighting. The Sony XB72 can also be connected wirelessly with other XB72 models for an even more impressive house filling sound. Well, that is the short of it, now I will get more in depth with the details that makes this Sony XB72 so special. • Once I unboxed the Sony XB72, which only took a couple of minutes, I hooked it to my Bluetooth on my CPU. It literally took 10 seconds for the Sony XB72 to play music once the two were paired. A voice comes from the speaker and lets you know you are connected, them paired. This is one of the coolest features. The Sony XB72 has Bluetooth connections that allow you to pair with smartphones, tablets and music streaming like Spotify. I have my Sony XB72 hooked up with my Bluetooth on my CPU and smartphone. I play the music from the CPU and smartphone with no wires and brilliant sound. • The sound is clear and precise from the speakers inside the unit. The speakers are 2”x 3 tweeters and 6 3/8”x 2 woofers and really provide soaring highs and punchy, tight sounding bass. Talk about bass! When the Extra Bass button is pushed, the sound goes deep and is omni directional. It instantly fills the area with amazing sound. When the Extra Bass is off, the Sony XB72 still sounds great, but you will miss the extra bass!! • There is a LIVE button on the top of the unit. It puts out a live sound that covers more area with music and a wider gamat of space. I personally didn’t care for the LIVE sound. To my ears it made the music sound hollow. • Use the Sony Music Center app to adjust the EQ and other options that you can use to make the sound better based on what device the music comes from. The EQ is a 4 band plus bass band to help set the music to your liking. I really like the sound without any adjustments on the EQ, so I left that option alone. • Do you karaoke? There is a mic plug in where sing through the speakers of the XB72 till your heart’s content. This is always a great option for parties. • The lights on the unit are very vibrant. They appear in different colors that sync in time with the music. There’s also 2 strobe lights along with the others lights that really get your attention in a cool display of color. The lights are a nice feature for a party or just hanging out with friends. You can hook up the lights on your smartphone with the fiestable app. Colors appear on your smartphone that correspond to the Sony XB72. It is a unique feature, but watch your battery life on the colors, it drains the battery. • Plug your favorite USB with songs to play them on the Sony XB72. You can also plug in your smartphone or tablet as another option to play music on the Sony XB72. And you can charge your smartphone or USB device directly connected the Sony sound system. • You can hook up to 50 compatible Sony speakers to get some wild and amazing sound! No cable or wires, it is done with a touch of a button to sync the speakers. If you use just 2 units you can actually make the stereo sound. One unit is the right and the other unit is the left. A cool reason to get another one of the XB72. • There is also a radio antenna. Just pull it up from the back and listen in to your favorite station. I don’t listen to the radio hardly ever, but it is nice to use if that is your thing. • You can also stand up the Sony unit or lay it on its side. The XB72 knows how it is arranged and can adapt the music to fit the setting. When standing up, the unit actually has tilt upward. It will not lay flat against a wall, but with the tilt the music isn’t eaten up by the floor/carpet. This Sony XB72 is the first music unit to address this problem by providing an angle. • There is even more ways to enjoy the music coming out of the XB72. The DJ mode lets you modify the music with a Flanger, WAH and Pan. The Flanger sounds like the “roar of a plane.” The WAH sound is that of the frequency going up and down. The last type of DJ sound you can hear is the Pan. The Pan represents music that sweeps across the unit. These setting are really cool. They add a different distinctive sound that is at the very least interesting. I can’t say if I have a favorite, but you might when listening to the DJ mode! • Want to answer your phone on the XB72? You sure can through Bluetooth and a built in mic. This way you don’t have to on your phone, you can just answer it conveniently through the unit. The overall weight of the unit is about 27 lbs, but the XB72 has two handles that make carrying it pretty easy. It is about 26” tall, 14” wide and 15” deep. If you are short on space you can stand it up or lay it down according to your preference. The Sony XB72 is a great way to party with music. It has numerous ways to connect, change or edit the sound. The 2 apps make it fun as well. To be honest I am not sure of the wattage, but I can tell you it can easily fill house with music and your party goers a lot of enjoyment. The Sony XB72 is the future of boom boxes and micro systems a like. The Sony XB72 combines them all in a neat carrying unit with music synced lights and sound that will blow you away!
I would recommend this to a friend
Nice sound with good potentialPosted
First off, I will say that this speaker does put out a high quality sound at pretty high levels, although for the size of the device I expected a little bit more. When compared to another high end speaker I have , that takes up 1/4th the size, the XB72 falls a little bit short in audio richness and volume. Don't get me wrong, the XB72 sounds great, but doesn't reach the same level of bass, and distinct sounds as the other speaker I have. But, to be fair, the XB72 is advertised as a party speaker. with extra bass. The extra bass button does just as it implies by adding some extra boom to the room. With The volume jacked up to about 3/4 max, the vibrations could be felt in the floor of neighboring rooms in my house. So overall, the sound and bass, is pretty good, and should be fine for most people. Sony has really gone out of their way to try to fit a ton of party features into this line of speakers. The XB72 has a very cool light set up, with multicolored LEDs and a strobe light. The lights can be turned on or off directly from the device. A lot of features can be activated from the top of the unit, which houses the buttons. There are a few tiny lights for some of the buttons, but not all of them, and none of the words or functions are lit up, so in a dark room, you really need another light source to see what you are doing. there is no screen on the device either making it extremely difficult to use some features, like the radio. Having the radio tuner is a huge plus, however navigating to your favorite stations is a pain, when using the buttons on the unit, there is no dial, so it's impossible to move quickly through the channel options, as you have to wait for the speaker to announce what channel is currently tuned in, before you press the button to search the next channel. There is also NO preset buttons on the device, so once you find a channel, there is no way to easily get back to it from the speaker. So while, it is difficult to access some of the features directly from the speaker, all the control you could want is in the Sony Music Center, and Fiestable apps. Here you can save 20 radio channel presets, and navigate the full features of the speaker with ease. However, I must admit that for some reason, I had a very difficult time trying to get Sony's app to "register" with the speaker. It was very easy to connect to my Bluetooth and with NFC, but the app will not work without effectively pairing with a speaker. I could see the XB72 in the app, but every time I clicked on it, the app would tell me I needed to "register" the speaker to use the features. This part took forever. (I have an unmodified Samsung Galaxy Note 8), and finally after about a dozen attempts of uninstalling the app, and unpairing the speaker, I was able to get it working. It was very unclear as to what the issue was, as I had the similar issue with one of my other phones as well. I had followed the instructions that came with the speaker, but those were kind of limited, as well as anything more detailed on the internet. Anyway, after getting the apps to work, most everything worked as Sony had advertised. The app has a very cool "DJ" feature where you can effect the current song playing with most of the usual live DJ effects, ie. scratch,drums,audience,voice,phaser,reggaehorn,rhythm, with flanger, isolator WAH and custom EQ controls as well. (all very cool, and fun to use) you can even change the light up features from the app, including custom colors, and flash patterns. (which is great also, but I personally would have liked to see a light pattern that actually responded and synced with the beat of the music) The app even has a motion control feature, which lets you control some sound effects as you shake your phone around. I did eventually try controlling the speaker with 2 different phones, 3 is the max. I was able to play any song of either phone, as I hit the song, but was unable to figure out how to place songs from different phones into the same playlist. Every playlist, and queued song I selected would only play from the current active phone. It would not automatically jump back and forth between phones. (Although, this could be a feature that I was unable to get to work, not sure?) Like I said earlier Sony really went out of their way to make this a party speaker. You can even daisy chain multiple compatible Sony speakers wirelessly over Bluetooth, or have them direct wired via RCA cables. I used the RCA cables to connect a few different types of speakers, and it worked pretty good. There is even a MIC input with volume dial on the back of the speaker for some Karaoke or special announcements. I especially appreciate the 2.1amp USB port on the back of the speaker that can be used to keep your phone charged. The USB can also use flash drives to play additional music. Sorry this post was so long, but there is just too much to mention, like the fact that it even has a built in MIC for calls and accessing google through your phone. Overall I think this is a very good speaker with some great features! Hopefully Sony will improve on the app to make it easier to connect to, because all the features are pretty awesome!
I would recommend this to a friend
OK, but not the best audio quality.Posted
I had high hopes for this speaker system. After purchasing Sony's excellent WH1000 headphones and my prior Sony TV's and audio gear (CD Players, Tape Decks, etc), I thought this would be a home run. SET-UP If you use this product with an Apple product, you will love the ease of set-up. After pairing the device via Bluetooth, your Apple product will automatically (with permission) open the App Store and display the 2 apps that you use to adjust its many parameters (Music Center & Fiestable). The Music Center iOS app allowed me to add my music subscription services without issue and I could either use the Music Center app to access these services within the app. A total breeze and a true delight. AWESOME! I was less successful with my Android phone. I tried to pair the speaker with my S7 via NFC. I had several unsuccessful attempts to pair with NFC and eventually just paired it manually via Bluetooth. The Android Music Center app worked very well & also allowed me to add my music services. Oddly, when you select add app (for your music services), the Sony Music Center app doesn't just display the music apps on your Android device, it displays every single app, regardless of its purpose installed on your phone. The Fiestable app didn't work so well either. The motion effects of the phone didn't work correctly and the whole Party Light function was a battery hog. PERFORMANCE These were my biggest disappointments. Sony uses 3 x 2" tweeters that are not high quality. Anyone that has had a good set of home stereo or car speakers will realize how important a good soft dome or titanium tweeter can be. Sony's appear to be a paper material (like what you would find in a cheap set of factory car speakers) and do not lend themselves to high quality music reproduction. Sony also touts XTRA BASS for this system, and that is good. If you unselect XTRA BASS (enabled by default), you literally get no bass. Even with XTRA BASS enabled, these are not high excursion, deep bass producing woofers. Second - The item has a built in FM tuner. It is entirely software based and you set the presets via your iOS or Android device. The tuner received all major broadcast stations in my area without issue, but suffers from a definite noise problem. It is not static, it is just digital noise that is always present in the background & cannot be fixed (it reminds me of analog tape hiss). The louder your music, the more noticeable it is, especially during the quiet passages. Third - Sony uses LDAC as opposed to the far more common Apt-X for Bluetooth streaming. LDAC offers up to 3 times the bandwidth of normal Bluetooth for superior sound quality. My S7 picked it up (iOS was out of the question) and I enabled it. Unfortunately, even under ideal conditions (less than 18 inches) from the speaker, my phone could not provide sufficient bandwidth (Prioritize Audio) to maintain a stream. Once I selected Prioritize Connection (this utilizes a far lower bitrate), it played without issue. But I feel it offered little, if any, discernible improvement over standard Bluetooth streaming. With all this long winded information, the speaker is fun. It has a good selection of input options, such as Bluetooth, NFC, a mic input for karaoke & the speaker even allows you to charge a phone and/or play files via USB. The Fiestable app allows you to play amateur DJ and adjust things like LED flash rate and color, create sound effects like scratching, audience applause, drums, cymbals, etc. If you throw large parties, it may be fun to play DJ and it is always fun to listen to how bad your buddies sing karaoke. With the ability to pair multiple devices via Bluetooth to the speaker, others can share their music with everyone. However, I quickly saw little value after the newness wore off. The speaker is link-able to other GTK-XB72's to expand the sound and the coverage. However, with the deficiencies noted above, there are better choices for streaming & sharing your music. Furthermore, these other major players offer similarly priced speakers with better, more detailed music reproduction. Some even account for your room acoustics. If you don't specifically need the karaoke function, the portability or the limited DJ enhancements, you are better served elsewhere.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend