Sony Announces New XB Speakers
Sony's Extra Bass range has had a spritz thanks to a trio of new portable Bluetooth speakers: the XB43, XB33 and XB23.
The Sony XB43, XB33, and XB23 come in to relieve the current crop of Extra Bass (XB) Bluetooth speakers and bring with them customisable light shows, the ability to be daisy-chained and the option for them to make percussion noises when hit them. So, perfect for al-fresco parties when we're able to hang out together once more.
The new Sony XB speaker line-up comes in a wide range of colours and a fresh design. The smallest, the XB23 (£100), fits into a backpack pocket or the cupholder of your camping chair. It also features a convenient strap to hang it from a tent or tree - should you want.
Sony has fitted the new crew with a snazzy X-Balanced speaker unit. Sony tells us that its non-circular shape maximises the area of the speaker diaphragm. The result of which is increased sound pressure and so punchier bass. Additionally, you also get reduced driver excursion, which means less distortion. Apparently, the sound pressure level of the XB33 (£150) has increased by approximately 30% compared to its predecessor. However, the distortion rate is reduced by about 25%.
The XB43 (£200) gets an almost rectangular X-Balanced diaphragm—the 2-way speaker system sports a woofer and dedicated tweeter. Whereas, the X-Balanced speaker unit in the XB33 and XB23 features both that newly developed non-circular diaphragm and an off-centre design, which Sony says also offers big sound while keeping the speakers compact.
Earning the new speakers their Extra Bass moniker is the freshly optimised side passive radiators which, says Sony, reproduces a clear bass sound.
The XB43 and XB33 speakers feature a Live Sound setting, as seen on the previous range, which is said to suit outdoor gatherings.
Also, as it's not officially a party until the first spilt drink, the new models have an IP67 rating enabling them to shrug off dust and spillages. Furthermore, they can even take a dunk in the sea thanks to them being salt water-resistant.
The two larger Extra Bass speakers even pack their own light show. There's a multi-colour LED line, with the XB43 adding extra tweeter lighting. Control and customisation of the light show are via the free Sony Fiestable app.
Finally, Party Connect hands you the option to connect up to 100 compatible wireless speakers over Bluetooth. That's right, one hundred! Doing so not only syncs the music, but also the lights on the new speakers, which is pretty neat.
The new Sony XBs charge via USB-C and boast a battery life of up to 24 hours for the XB43/33. The XB23 has a 12-hour battery life as it's only wee! You also get NFC quick Bluetooth pairing on the larger two as well as being able to charge your phone from the speaker's USB Type-A port.
All three new speaker models are available from August 2020.
- The SRS-XB43 will be priced at approximately £200 / €240 (IE) in black and blue.
- The SRS-XB33 will be priced at approximately £150 / €180 (IE) in black, blue, red, taupe.
- The SRS-XB23 will be priced at approximately £100 / €120 (IE) in black, blue, red, taupe, green.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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