Sony SRS-XB32 Bluetooth Speaker Review

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Sony SRS-XB32 Bluetooth Speaker Review
Every time Sony launches a Bluetooth speaker, I’m simply usually extra excited than most individuals right here. That’s partly as a result of I completely love listening to music on audio system, and principally as a result of I’ve discovered Sony’s Bluetooth audio system to supply higher sound high quality when in comparison with what different manufacturers have out there. So naturally, when the great individuals over at Sony despatched us the SRS-XB32 for a evaluation, I used to be hyped. After all, I’ve been a fan of the SRS-XB20 that I bought round a yr or so in the past, and I cherished the SRS-XB12 that I reviewed some time again, and I anticipated the XB32 to do exactly that — and it did. All of that, and far more. So for those who’re questioning what the brand new Sony SRS-XB32 is like, and if it’s well worth the asking value of Rs. 10,990, right here’s my evaluation:

Sony SRS-XB32: Specifications

Before we soar into the evaluation, let’s check out the specs of the Sony SRS-XB32.

Dimensions 238 x 84 x 83 mm
Weight ~900g
Speaker Size 2x 48mm items
Connectivity Bluetooth v4.2;
NFC
Supported Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC
Frequency Range 20Hz – 20kHz
Battery ~24 hrs in normal mode with mild off;
~14 hrs with lights and Extra Bass on
Ports microUSB;
AUX-in;
USB-A
Price Rs. 9,990

Design and Build

Sony’s Bluetooth audio system have at all times had superb construct high quality, and the XB32 is not any completely different. It is available in a rubberised end that provides to the grip, it incorporates a design that makes the speaker useful, regardless that it’s a fairly large Bluetooth speaker, and likewise, at round 900 grams, a heavy one.

Still, Sony has managed to design it virtually to perfection. Like I mentioned, it’s very easy to carry this speaker, and that actually stunned me in all the very best methods. Also, Sony appears to grasp {that a} get together speaker will almost certainly be utilized in pool events, and that somebody will inevitably drop it contained in the pool ( it’s true), which might be why there’s an IP67 score right here, and Sony explicitly mentions that the speaker could be washed with water if you wish to — you may wager I did simply that, and I’m glad to report, it’s working fantastic and dandy.

It’s additionally shock proof, and apparently conforms to the MIL-STD 801 F Method 516.5-Shock exams, so you may most likely drop it from 1.22 m peak on plywood of 5cm thickness, however I didn’t. Jokes aside although, it’s good that the speaker will be capable to tolerate random bumps and the occasional drop.

Coming to the aesthetics and materials selections made right here, the speaker, like I discussed above has a rubberised end on most of its physique, and the buttons really feel like they’re in actual fact, made out of rubber. The LED mild strip that goes across the whole face of the speaker is roofed in a transparent plastic as nicely, and shines brightly via it, which is nice for setting a celebration temper.

There’s a mesh design on the again for the passive bass radiator to thump the beats out of; in spite of everything, this is an XB branded speaker and meaning Extra Bass. Plus, sitting proper beside the bass radiator grill are the ports and buttons, coated with a rubber flap to stop water and mud from getting contained in the ports.

I’m fairly impressed by the design and construct of those audio system, and I want extra manufacturers would go this route with their designs. You know, give me IP rated, bass radiating audio system that are massive however simple to carry and with rubberised finishes for higher grip. I really like this.

Audio Quality

Speaking of issues I would like extra manufacturers to do — the Sony SRS-XB32 have superb sound high quality. Just lifeless on-point, particularly contemplating the worth they’re coming in at. Now I do know, at Rs. 10,990 these aren’t precisely ‘budget’ Bluetooth audio system, however they aren’t that costly, both, and the sound high quality that these will convey alongside can justify the worth tag fairly nicely. That, and the options, however we’ll speak extra about them in a unique part.

Sound from the XB32 hits all the proper spots. It’s loud, and might get extraordinarily loud at max quantity and nonetheless not distort audio. True to its identify, the speaker brings loud, thumping bass, with out being obnoxiously bass-heavy and drowning out the mids and highs. Basically, the XB32 is a nicely balanced speaker relating to audio. Plus, you may at all times flip off the Extra Bass setting in order for you a extra pure sound.

Speaking of turning off the Extra Bass setting by the best way, there’s no Extra Bass button on this speaker. Instead, there’s a button known as “LIVE” which switches the audio modes between Extra Bass and Live Audio, after which there’s a 3rd audio mode known as “Standard” audio mode, and to allow that you just’ll must depend on a mix of buttons, LED indicators, and endurance.

If you’re confused proper now concerning the sheer variety of sound modes on this speaker, don’t fear, I used to be too. Sony is providing simply manner an excessive amount of on this tiny bundle, not that I’m complaining. However, to make it simpler so that you can perceive the completely different sound modes you get right here, let me break it down:

  • Live Audio: With this mode, the speaker tries to create a live performance like really feel with a wider soundstage so that you get a extra pure sound. When this mode is on, the Live button LED can also be on.
  • Extra Bass: This mode is supposed for use while you want the thumping bass in your EDM playlist. When this mode is on, the Live button LED is off, and the facility button LED is white.
  • Standard Mode: In normal mode, you mainly get neither the additional bass, nor the broader soundstage, however you do get an enormous bump in battery life, which is nice. When this mode is on, the Live button LED is off, and the facility button LED is inexperienced.

Alright, in order that’s a variety of sound modes. However, from utilizing this speaker for some time, I’ve come to grasp that the Extra Bass setting is the place this speaker is essentially the most enjoyable, so I’d suggest holding it set to that, until you’re tenting out and want longer battery life, wherein case, change to the Standard mode as a substitute.

Whatever mode you select, although, this speaker sounds nice, and I don’t have any complaints with the sound high quality right here. It’s superb.

Features

I often don’t have a devoted part for ‘features’ in a Bluetooth speaker evaluation, however the SRS-XB32 comes with a completely insane quantity of options to be ignored. Honestly, it took me the higher a part of a day to make use of and work out all of the options Sony has baked in right here. Let’s check out the options supplied by the SRS-XB32, all of that are supplied by way of the Sony Music Center app (Android, iOS) and the Fiestable app (Android, iOS):

Sony Music Center Features

1. ClearAudio+

Inside the Sony Music Center app, throughout the settings for the XB32, you’ll discover a part for ‘Sound’ and inside that, is ClearAudio+, and the outline for this merely states “Sony’s recommended sound settings for music listening with one simple operation.”

With this turned on, your speaker is ready to the preset for ‘Extra Bass’, and the equaliser is ready to fully balanced, as you may see from the screenshots under.

2. Sound Mode

Within the Sound Mode, you’ll discover the settings for the Preset Mode on the speaker, and the equaliser. The Preset Mode could be switched between ‘Live Sound’, ‘Extra Bass’, and ‘Standard’, whereas the equaliser could be adjusted to regulate the bass, mids, and treble output from the speaker.

3. Power Option

There’s additionally the Power Option class whereby you may alter issues just like the auto standby for the speaker, which, when enabled turns the speaker off if its not in use for about 15 minutes. There’s additionally an choice for Bluetooth Standby, and turning the battery degree voice on or off.

4. Illumination

Inside this class, there’s just one setting — Lighting Mode. However, when you faucet on Lighting Mode, the app surfaces so many lighting modes that it’s type of overwhelming. However, it’s a variety of enjoyable enjoying round with these, and I’d positively suggest you go forward and try this.

5. Party Booster

Party Booster is a enjoyable little factor baked into the SRS-XB32. This could be enabled with a double faucet on the again of the speaker, after which… nicely, then you may slap the speaker on any of its faces to play drums on it, amongst different issues. The screenshot under can most likely do a greater job explaining this than I can.

To be trustworthy, after I first learn ‘Party Booster’ I don’t know what I anticipated, however I didn’t count on this. However, this can be a lot of enjoyable, and it’s much more enjoyable to abruptly blast a bass drum close to somebody who’s not anticipating it — like Rupesh.

Fiestable App

The Fiestable app is, nicely, type of enjoyable, relying on how a lot you want enjoying with the lights on the SRS-XB32.

Within the Fiestable app you’ll get settings for illumination management, which isn’t the identical factor that it meant contained in the Sony Music Center app. Confusing, I do know, however bear with me.

With Illumination management within the Fiestable app you may play with the lighting results on the speaker in actual time. Drag your finger across the color-circle and the speaker’s LEDs mirror the change. This, Sony apparently thinks, is one thing you’d need to do in events… I positively didn’t, however hey, it’s good to have the characteristic simply in case, .

Other than that, the app brings movement management, the place you may carry out gestures together with your telephone to regulate issues like skipping tracks, the brightness of the speaker’s LEDs, and extra. That sounds cool in idea, but it surely’s tough to make use of, and I don’t assume you’ll use it after the one time while you’re simply making an attempt it out — I didn’t.

Buttons and Ports

Anyway, transferring on from the options, let’s check out the assorted buttons and ports supplied on the XB32. On the highest panel, you’ll discover 5 buttons, a few of which carry out twin capabilities, and a few of which could be pressed together with others to carry out a very completely different operate. I wouldn’t have discovered this out with out studying the guide that Sony doesn’t give with the speaker, however mentions as a hyperlink you could head over to (SRS XB-32 manual). To prevent the difficulty, I’ll be explaining all of that as nicely.

Buttons

1. Live

First up, there’s the Live button. You can press this to modify between the Live Mode, and the Extra Bass (or Standard) mode. When Live mode is turned on, the Live button LED is on, and the Power button LED is on, and white.

2. Play/Pause

This is fairly easy. It controls music playback, and will also be used to reply calls via the speaker, if that’s one thing you’re inclined to do. Personally, I favor answering calls via my telephone’s earpiece, however once more, it’s good to have the characteristic, simply in case.

This button will also be pressed together with the quantity down button for 3 seconds to modify between Standard Mode and Extra Bass Mode if the Live mode will not be enabled.

3. Volume Down/Up

The Volume Down and Volume Up buttons are pretty easy too — they allow you to management the quantity of the speaker. However, you may press the quantity down button together with the Play/Pause button for 3 seconds to modify between Standard Mode and Extra Bass Mode, if the Live mode will not be enabled.

4. Power Button

Then there’s the facility button, which, with a single press can flip the speaker on or off. However, lengthy urgent the facility button activates pairing mode on the speaker so you may join it to gadgets.

5. Battery Button

On the again, contained in the rubber flap, you’ll see a button labelled ‘Batt’. Pressing this makes the XB32 announce the battery left within the speaker, which is useful. Also, you may lengthy press this button to show the speaker’s mild on/off.

6. WPC

The Wireless Party Chain button is the way you’ll hyperlink up (as much as 100) appropriate Sony audio system with the XB32 with a view to play music via all of the audio system for an epic get together expertise. Compatible audio system embrace the SRS-XB22, SRS-XB32, SRS-XB21, SRS-XB31, SRS-XB41, SRS-XB20, SRS-XB30, SRS-XB40, GTK-XB60, and GTK-XB90. You can discover detailed directions on learn how to use Wireless Party Chain contained in the user manual.

7. Add

The Add button allows you to join two audio system to one another to both play sound from each of them, or use them as a stereo pair for a extra immersive expertise. This can solely be executed between two XB32 audio system, although.

Ports

Those had been the buttons, now let’s check out the ports on the SRS-XB32. There are a complete of 3 ports on the speaker:

1. microUSB port

This is the place you’ll cost your speaker from. Sony features a microUSB charging cable with the speaker, so even for those who’ve made the change to USB-C every little thing, you gained’t must go to the difficulty of discovering a microUSB cable mendacity round to cost the speaker.

2. AUX-in 

This is nice for while you need to rapidly play music via your iPod, or your smartphone (supplied it nonetheless has a 3.5mm jack). You can simply join your telephone/music participant to the speaker by way of an AUX cable and begin enjoying music.

3. USB-A Port

The USB-A port is one other welcome addition right here. Since this speaker has a reasonably good battery, it solely is sensible that in emergencies, you may cost your iPod or your telephone with the speaker utilizing this USB-A port, and hold the get together going with out having to fret about working out of battery.

Connectivity

In phrases of connectivity, the Sony SRS-XB32 comes with Bluetooth 4.2, and I nonetheless don’t perceive why we’re not getting Bluetooth 5.0 on these items but, however that’s fantastic. There’s NFC right here, which is nice for rapidly connecting your telephone with the speaker, and the speaker helps a bunch of codecs. There’s no aptX assist right here, however the speaker does include LDAC assist which is nice, and might optimise connection precedence to supply the very best audio expertise together with your telephone, supplied your smartphone additionally helps LDAC.

In actual world utilization, I noticed that the speaker maintained a robust reference to my telephone nicely over 8-10 metres, and solely began distorting and breaking apart a bit as soon as I crossed that threshold, however that’s true for nearly each Bluetooth speaker on the market. Other than that, the connectivity and connection high quality listed here are fairly superb and I’ve no complaints on this regard in any respect.

Battery

Moving on, Sony’s audio system have at all times had fairly spectacular battery life. In reality, even the tiny SRS-XB12, I acquired a battery lifetime of round 14-15 hours commonly, and the SRS-XB32 aren’t any completely different. Sony has rated these for 24 hours of playback time, and that holds true. I took these audio system on a current journey to Neemrana and so they held up extraordinarily nicely. I’ve simply gotten round 20 to 22 hours of battery life from these audio system with a wide range of settings (Extra Bass, full quantity, and different issues).

Clearly, the battery life right here won’t disappoint you, and the one factor that I’ve to complain about, is the truth that they cost with microUSB. I imply, significantly, Sony, these are Bluetooth audio system priced at over Rs. 10,000, put a rattling USB-C port. It’s excessive time.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent sound high quality
  • Amazing battery life
  • IP67 score
  • Shock proof
  • USB-A port for charging your telephone
  • Absolutely loaded with enjoyable options

Cons:

  • No USB-C port
  • Using the button-combinations could be complicated
  • No Bluetooth 5.0
  • No aptX assist

Sony SRS-XB32 Bluetooth Speaker: Worth The Price?

At the tip of the day, the query we have to reply is that this — is the Sony SRS-XB32 value its asking value of Rs. 10,990? The reply to that, in my view is a loud and resounding “Yes, it is.” The SRS-XB32 affords every little thing you’d need from a speaker, and a few belongings you most likely didn’t know you wished. It has wonderful sound high quality, superb construct that’s shock proof and IP rated, it affords a extremely good battery life together with assist for charging your telephone for those who want it, it affords lighting results which might be controllable with the smartphone app, and it affords a bunch of quirky options like Party Booster. Really, the one complaints I’ve are the shortage of a USB-C port, and Bluetooth 5.0.

So yeah, for those who’re searching for a Bluetooth speaker round Rs. 10,000, go for the Sony SRS-XB32, you gained’t remorse it.

Buy the Sony SRS-XB32 from Amazon (Rs. 10,990)

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