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Customer ratings & reviews
SONY’S MAGICAL MUSIC BOXPosted
SONY SRS-XB41. Have you seen the trick where the magician reaches into a top hat and keeps pulling out things that exceed the size of the hat? When you pull out this half-gallon sized speaker from its package, you'll discover out-sized 3D sound, a colorfully exciting synchronized light show, DJ-sound effects you can control, and a Music Center App to manage all the sound and lighting effects plus your playlists. I'm outta breath now, but you also can add to your phone a Fiesta App for still more light and sound features. The speaker casing is waterproof and dustproof PLUS it adds a set of speaker surface effects sensors, 24 hours of battery life and it's all controlled by Bluetooth or a stereo minijack if you prefer. See, it's a lot like a magic hat. I've also been using SONY's smaller (XB31) version of this speaker and the differences aren't huge with the XB41 but they definitely add to the fun. This speaker will fill a larger space with huge sound. While the App is the same, the XB41's extra feature set is now made accessible in the App, and you can modify the expanded light show, re-configure the full complement of lights (line, speaker, and strobe), exploit the multi band equalizer, further control the bass output, and select the 3D sound or other sound fields. Did I say it will get even louder? Oh, and my wife has claimed this one for her Spa-side entertainment so it's all setup on her iPhone6. Sound quality can be adjusted so it's very natural for more serious listening. Out-of-the-box, the XB41 is set up for a party. Across a broad selection of my music, male voices were not exaggerated: John Legend and Vance Joy sounded great. Female voices like Alicia Keys, or Sade, or Tori Kelly were equally honest sounding. All had exceptional, solid, serious bass with natural, recognizable voicing and nice treble detail. Older 60s music actually got a nicer, solid bass foundation. Go into the Music Center App's setting screens and everything can be modified. You don't need to change anything, but for the imaginative, everything is accessible. These SONY party speakers are the perfect way to liven up a celebration or afternoon by the pool and they aren't fragile. They certainly don't need you to worry about protecting them from the elements at the pool or beach or camping. And, if others at your party bring their own, you can easily link them for still more sound coverage. Highly recommended.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great _Loud_ SoundPosted
The Sony SRS-XB41 is the biggest of the trio of Sony's 2018 lineup of portable waterproof Bluetooth speakers. @@@@@@@@ The SRS-XB31 and SRS-XB21 are the other models, which are smaller in size) The Bluetooth speaker market seems to be booming (pun intended) and I find it sort of amazing the quality of sound you can get from speakers of all sizes now. It seems like not too long ago you had to have large speakers and lots of wattage in order to get enjoyable sound. I'm assuming that improvements in small digital amplifiers, combined with reliable power sources results in the large number of options on the market today. As for the SRS-XB41, all of the basics are here such as: charging using a standard microUSB; the ability to use it as a power bank via a USB port; a standard 3.5mm input jack if you don't want to use a Bluetooth source; different exterior colors; and IPX7 and IPX6X ratings for waterproof and dust proof performance respectively. Besides the standard microUSB port, you can also use the included AC adapter to charge at a faster 5V 3A rate. Also, it is on the larger side of things which enables louder sound output. With that said, it appears that Sony chooses to differentiate this offering with some key features. First, it seems like Sony has used the term EXTRA BASS for decades, which is akin to the Loudness equalization. In practice, I like the sound signature for not being overly boomy, but still adding some equalization curve adjustments. Second, it supports the LDAC, AAC and of course SBC Bluetooth codecs. LDAC is one of the latest codecs that promises high quality and low latency. Thankfully Google was able to add LDAC support starting with Android 8.0 Oreo. The first time, you'll need to use hardware buttons on the speaker itself to allow access to LDAC. Apple devices at this time will have to settle for using AAC, which I found adds a slightly noticeable audio/visual sync delay. Third, the SRS-XB41 has integrated multicolor LED lighting than can be set to different modes to go along with the music. Since it uses LEDs the battery impact should be pretty low, but you can disable it all the same if you want. Fourth, a Party Booster function exists, where the speaker itself can add different sound effects whenever different sides of the speaker are tapped. @@@@@@@@ Okay, more like slapped; a light tap doesn't really activate it. @@@@@@@ And last, but not least, a Wireless Party Chain function allows multiple (supposedly up to 100) compatible Sony speakers to be chained together. While Bluetooth 5.0 allows for multiple synchronized connections, it is not yet found/available in many devices. With WPC, I was able to connec both the SRS-XB41 and a SRS-XB31 to my Google Pixel XL and play music that was perfectly synchronized between the two speakers. The SRS-XB41 does report battery level via spoken voice when powered on, when the battery button is pressed, as well as shown in the Sony Music Center app. It does NOT report battery level to iOS or Android via the native means, which is a little unfortunate. The outer covering has a fabric feel, which is nice to handle and definitely a step up from the typical plastic exterior found on other speakers. I really enjoy the sound quality and output level that the SRS-XB41 is capable of. Due to its size, the output level gets quite loud. The LED lighting and Party Booster might be novelty things to use in certain situations, but will be unused most of the time for me. Since it supports LDAC, I prefer to use it instead of my other speakers that only support SBC or AAC.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great party speaker!Posted
The Sony SRS-XB41 is a party animal! I've a much larger XB90, and it offers many of the same features, in a much smaller more portable package. It's hallmarked by a few similarities and issues IMHO. Here are a couple highlights: 1. Party lights are fun! My kids love them, my wife hates, them. Dance music is what this guy was made for. 2. Battery life is amazing, just like its bigger brother. After over an hour of use on relatively high volume, it still reporting full. Several hours later, still quite high. 3. Compatible with the Sony Fiestable, and Music Center apps. These make it easy to group, adjust settings, lighting, sound and other settings. 4. IP67 rating - I didn't test this as I used it in doors. Perhaps later this summer I'll be playing with it outdoors. Now, let's talk about sound. Out of the box Sony's ClearAudio+ setup is enabled. This enables the Extra Bass preset, which at lower listening volumes is unfortunately overly bass heavy. That said, at medium loud volume it allows the speaker to hit above it weight bass wise, which otherwise would have thinned out. If you're listening indoors in a smaller room, disabling Extra Bass and moving to Standard mode is recommended. If all you want is bass, then you'll be quite happy with how it's tuned out of the box. If you want flat true sound, this speaker will disappoint - and its hard to get it to give pure flat sound. Of course if you're an audiophile, you probably aren't checking out a speaker that features a sound bar, speaker lights, and strobe lights. The minimum you should download is the Sony Music Center app. It lets you access all the features, and makes pairing with groups/etc easier. You can adjust the aforementioned sound mode, adjust a three-band equalizer, and even use the 'DJ Effect' which lets you adjust several preamp output effects on the signal (Isolater, Notch, Jet, Noise). It also allows you to adjust the lighting mode, which is on 'Rave' by default. You can choose to tone it down a notch or essentially change the color to a different'temperature' if you'll. There are other settings here to check out, including power settings, Bluetooth codec, and party booster. Now Party Booster. Let's talk about gimmicky features. Essentially you can program the speaker to make noise when you slap it on one of 6 sides. This feature is disabled by default, but you can use the app to figure out how to use it. There are 'Drum Kit', 'Percussion' and 'Custom' settings - where the custom lets you choose each sides synthesis from 15 sound effects. I'm not sure who the target is for this setting, but from the marketing pictures, this speaker could be used as an instrument in a group of young people, who are having a party. For most of us, the speaker will just sit there, and we'll let the professionals handle the percussion. To me, this is a corny feature. Just like the Fiestable app, which offers many different ways to interact with the music. While I applaud the feature inclusions, I've skeptical on the use cases. I didn't get to use the NFC, as I'm on iOS at the moment, but I know if you have an Android device that supports it, it makes pairing easy. I found the Bluetooth quality to be excellent, and range to be super solid. I've been quite impressed by the quality of Sony's radios, offering some of the best range I've experienced. Physically the device build quality is super solid. While it boasts both IP67 and 4ft drop tests, I wouldn't tempt fate. The device is solid, and Sony feels comfortable marketing it as resistant to water, sand, salt, etc - which is good enough for me (as my primary use case is indoors, with some outdoor occasional use). The rubberized buttons on the top allow for play/pause, volume adjust, live equalizer/effect (offers a wider 3d sound), Bluetooth and power. There is a hidden door on the back that is water sealed. Inside you find the charging ports (which allow for the 5v 3a barrel adapter, or microusb charging, which is super convenient), line in, USB charging out (if you need to charge your phone from the large internal battery). In addition to the ports, there are 3 buttons: battery/lights, WPC, ADD. The first will have a voice tell you what battery percentage you're at. If you hold down the button for longer than 3 seconds, it will disable the lights (and also incidentally increase you're battery life, if you read the footnote for the 24 hour rating). The WPC stands for Wireless Party Chain - allowing you to chain multiple speakers together easily. The add allows you to add another speaker to the chain as well. Obviously Sony wants to sell you a bunch of these. All in all, the XB41 is a feature-full speaker. With an excellent light show, good sound at medium-high volume, and solid fundamentals, it's hard not to recommend it. This speaker however is not well suited for low volume listening, and will sound muddy when compared to other Bluetooth speakers. The over-emphasis on bass means that the sound does lend itself certain types of music, so be forewarned. However if you're looking at this light show speaker, you're probably not listening to classical or jazz, so it caters to its audience well.
I would recommend this to a friend