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Amazing Speaker, Cumbersome SetupPosted
---SETUP--- The setup of the Sony SRS-XB41 portable bluetooth speaker is a little cumbersome. You have to download an app called Sony Music Center and it will guide you through connecting the bluetooth speaker. However, the app got stuck after the part where the phone connected via bluetooth on multiple attempts. After that, though, it worked as intended. ---FEATURES--- The key feature of this speaker is that it can connect to other compatible speakers for a fuller sound. I also own the Sony SRS-XB31 (the smaller version of this one, white). I opened the Sony Music Center and tried grouping the speakers together. This was also a cumbersome process partly because it of the aforementioned setup process mentioned above. In my experience, the app kept getting confused telling me that one speaker or the other needed to be set up in the app, but both had previously been set up already. Again, once I got the app to work, I could hear sound coming from both speakers using only one source (my phone). ---SOUND PERFORMANCE--- The performance of this speaker is astounding. The box says "extra bass" and the speaker isn't kidding around. At medium volume level, the speaker was loud enough to fill out my classroom. As a teacher with brutally honest students, they told me that they could hear the speaker very well. I could tell they weren't lying when my next-door co-worker knocked on my door to tell me that the volume was too loud and asked if I could lower it. A button called "live" allows you to turn on a feature that makes your music sound fuller, almost as if you were present the day it was being recorded. Turning it on and off makes a difference, and I personally enjoyed the sound better with "live" on. ---ADDITIONAL FREE APP FEATURES--- The product exceeds my expectations. However, a real standout that I didn't expect to enjoy as much was the optional free downloadable app called Fiestable. It takes the speaker's party mode to a whole other level. With the Fiestable app, you can pretend to be a DJ and control several aspects of the speaker live while playing your music. I chose Sandstorm by DaRude (1999) and let the song ride out. Meanwhile, I used the Fiestable app to change the lights to my liking (illumination control works great), DJ the Sandstorm song by messing with the equalizer (DJ control, also works amazing), and added my own beats like a cowbell, a snare drum, or a bass drum sound effect with the motion of my phone (Motion Control, didn't work as great). Overall, this app is worth the download if you plan to be using your speaker as the main source of music for parties. More so when you connect multiple speakers via Music Center. ---VALUE--- The price for the bluetooth speaker in terms of value is well worth it. The speaker fills most large sized room and larger rooms can be filled with with multiple connected speakers. ---APPROVAL--- I highly recommend this product for people who want to have continuous audio while changing rooms in their homes (multiple speakers required, not necessarily of the same model). People who host parties often should also seek this speaker. The cumbersome setup is worth dealing with for an otherwise amazing device.
I would recommend this to a friend
Nifty speaker with great sound.Posted
This is a great speaker that is very easy to take with you. I have the X31 model as well and I love that a lot and I love this one even MORE. The sound is simply incredible when you turn up the bass using the Sony Music Center app, standard audio isn't that impressive though. I am not sure how Sony makes the bass but it seems like pure magic. Pairing my phone with this was a breeze using the NFC option and I also tried with bluetooth and that was simple as well. You can daisy chain up to 100 of these for even bigger sound, but linking them up is a little cumbersome it seems. I had to try a few times to finally get it to work. Hopefully they will improve the app a little more to walk you through the process more than they do. Once I did get the X41 linked up with the X31, it was great. Sounded even better with both of them going. The lights sync up as well which really adds to the party scene. I previously had a gripe with an older version of the app when it came to changing the lighting, now it seems that Sony has improved it. You can select the Lighting option and just tap on the scheme you would like to try and it does it right away. You can easily go back and test another one and its a lot more intuitive to use this way. You can also set up the speaker to respond when you hit it with your hand. It will make different sounds (drum kit, percussion, etc) depending on where you hit it and which sound you assign that area. Pretty cool if you ask me, though not very useful besides just showing it off. I also like that the app will tell you the battery percentage and speaking of battery life, it will easily get you through a long party with all of the lights on and full sound. It's rated to last 24 hours, but if you turn on lights and use all of the features you will see that life go down. This speaker also averaged about 18 hours of playtime before I charged it up again, so yea, battery life is NOT an issue with this model either.
I would recommend this to a friend
Sounds Great and Fun to Play With!Posted
The Sony SRS-XB41is built for fun and parties. It has excellent audio quality, phenomenally deep bass, a long lasting battery, and terrific build quality. This speaker is also great for entertaining. With a colorful array of led light patterns, strobes, and dj style controls in 'fiestable' mode, this speaker is guaranteed to keep the fun going. On top of that, the Sony SRS-XB41 is meant to be played with like an instrument. Tapping different parts of the speakers will produce various sounds such as percussions and drums. Here's what I liked and disliked about the speaker. LIKES +Deep, powerful bass. If you're looking for bass, you can end your search here. Sony markets this speaker as 'extra bass' and they're not kidding. Bass punches strong. I could feel the bass vibrations on my tabletop. +Loud. This thing easily fills the space in a medium to large size room. If you're outdoors, you'll have no problem hearing the speaker over party conversations. +Wireless Party Chain Mode. If the speaker isn't loud enough for you, Sony has wireless party chain mode to connect up to 100 compatible speakers together. @@@@@@@@ Compatible devices are as follows: SRS-XB21, SRS-XB31, SRS-XB41, SRS-XB20, SRS-XB30, SRS-XB40, GTK-XB60, GTK-XB90). Great to know that some of the older model Sony Extra Bass speakers hasn't been neglected by Sony and can be connected in wireless party chain mode. +Left/Right Stereo Speaker Separation. Pair two SRS-XB41's together for left and right channel separation. Totally awesome and no complaints here! +Excellent Audio Performance: There are three listening modes - Standard, Extra Bass, and Live. For me, standard and extra bass modes sound great. In extra bass mode, the entire audio spectrum gets lowered, not just the bass frequencies. The bass has very good kick and punch. In standard mode, you'll get the best audio balance with clear highs and mids. In standard mode, bass is still strong, but doesn't punch as deep. I didn't care for Live sound mode. You'll read it in my dislikes below. It's great that Sony includes an in-app three band audio equalizer to adjust bass, mids, and trebles to allow you to fine tune the sound to your liking. So, if the extra bass mode brings down the mids and trebles too much to your liking in its default setting, you can simply recover some of that vocal clarity and crispness by adjusting the mids and trebles up on the equalizer band. You'll need to download the Sony Music Center app to access all the features of the speaker. +Excellent Build Quality. The speaker has an IP67 rating for dust and waterproofing, meaning that it can be immersed in water and washed. Sony claims that it's also rust resistant. +Has a 3.5mm audio input. The 3.5mm audio input is near extinction, but Sony decided to keep it. I applaud them for doing so since there are still some situations that I need to run a hard wire to the speaker. +Long battery life. Sony claims up to 24 hours of music playback. That is of course with the led lights powered off. On top of that, the battery pack in the speaker can double as a portable cellphone charger. It has a usb charging port included. Once fully discharged, the SRS-XB41 will take up to 5 hours to fully recharge. It charges though a standard micro usb port. +Entertainment value. You can keep guests entertained with the led lights and strobe on the speaker. The lights are customizable and change according to the music and beat. The kids really get a kick out of it. Plus, when you set up the speaker in 'Party Booster' mode, the speaker essentially becomes an instrument as you can tap five different areas of the speaker to make different percussion, drums, and other sounds. If that isn't enough for you, you can download Sony's Fiestable app to control the light patterns and add sounds directly from your smartphone. Plus, you can make DJ style audio adjustments simply with the flicking movements on your smartphone by taking advantage of the gyroscopic oscillator in the phone. DISLIKES: I think this is a great speaker. It's hard to find anything bad about it really, but here are some minor dislikes. -Heavy and bulky. The speaker weighs 3 lb 5oz. It definitely feels heavy in your hands and you'll feel it in your backpack. Plus, it's bulky. It has dimensions measuring 11.5" x 4.125" x 4.25", so it'll take up a good amount of space in your bag. And if you're thinking about throwing this thing in your purse, you'd better have a large purse. -Live Sound mode. Of the three audio modes (Standard, Extra Bass, Live), I simply didn't like the audio quality of the Live Sound mode. Yes, it has a more three dimensional immersive sound to it and plays louder, but it just sounded hollow, muddy, and lacked any detail and clarity as if I was listening to the audio through a hollow cylinder. Summary: The bluetooth speaker market is crowded, but I think Sony offers enough fun features that the SRS-XB41 is worth a look and listen. I definitely recommend the Sony SRS-XB41 speaker. It offers great audio quality and is fun to play with it's led light pattern, strobes, and party booster mode.
I would recommend this to a friend
Really is a good looking speaker!Posted
It might be odd to summarize a sound speaker review by immediately pointing out that it's good looking. But, I'm sorry, it really is. Especially, the blue model, which is the one being reviewed. It is brilliant, like a peacock or Caribbean blue. The material covering the speaker gives the color a neat added texture the way the light hits it. It really is a good looking speaker. To setup, I first did a charge of 5 hours right out of the box. No problems there. The connector/component door nicely seals off and covers ports and buttons when not in use. When I turned it on the speaker entered pairing mode immediately looking for a device to pair with. Which was first my iPad, then later an iPhone, and finally an Android phone. The prompts were easy to follow. You will need to hold your device in close proximity to the speaker at one point during setup as part of pairing. The speaker's sound quality is very clear, volume is responsive, and the increments are appropriately proportioned. Through the Music Center app, sound is adjustable, but with limitations. Three presets exist: standard, extra bass, and live sound. Standard is good for normal play levels, extra bass is Sony's signature that allows for more lower end, and live sound is marketed as a way to utilize the physics of the speaker and create a 3D effect, allowing sound to be heard beyond just straight in front of the speaker. The extra bass feature doesn't disappoint and really shines with music that is heavy on the low end. Standard is very nice, especially when used with the 3 band equalizer. The live sound option needs a lot of tweaking to get it to not sound like either a flat EQ or high mid sweep EQ. There is a toggle for ClearAudio+ which allows the app to automatically adjust the sound settings to what music is playing. This is a nice option if the user doesn't want to fool with manual settings. The speaker's lights are a nice feature. The line lights are customizable RGB by using the Fiestable app. The speaker lights and the strobes are only white. The lighting mode is changed via the Music Center app. The best way I found to experience lighting modes is to have music playing because the lights flicker with the music depending on the lighting mode. It would be nice to be able to isolate lights. I would like to be able to turn off the strobes and speakers and only use the line light. This is not an option, however. The Party Booster is a feature that utilizes the speaker as a sort of percussion trigger, as in one could smack the speaker in a certain spot and make a sound like snare, bass, cymbal, or cowbell, for instance. Honestly, who wants to be smacking their speaker? Probably not going to be anyone's favorite feature. Motion Control allows the user to use their mobile device's gyroscope to control certain features such as the Party Booster options, light effects, playback options (skip, pause, volume, etc.), and DJ features. Motion Control feels cumbersome to use and doesn't seem to be something adding anymore value to the product. Waterproof is my personal favorite feature. Yes, this speaker is indeed waterproof! It was tested in the shower under normal shower conditions (warm water, soap suds, at least 15 min exposure, etc.). Sound quality did not diminish, the speaker got soaked by splash and spray (it was not immersed), and it did not compromise the electronics. The rear door covering the ports stayed sealed. At last! A speaker to take INTO the shower instead of just hanging OUTSIDE on the counter or shelf. Overall, this speaker is worth the price. It has a lot of pretty cool features, the sound quality and build quality is very high, and it's truly waterproof. Very easy to use, with the exception of having to use two different apps to get the most out of the speaker. At this price point, however, it may be challenging to utilize the Party Chain feature (allows the speaker to link with other speakers and play off one device), which was not tested in this review. Still, cost aside, Party Chain sounds like a very promising option for a unique listening experience. I can highly recommend this Sony speaker to anyone for any use!
I would recommend this to a friend