Sony GTK-XB60 Review

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Sony didn’t just drop their 1000XM2 headphones last week, they also released two new portable Extra Bass speakers. THIS is the Sony GTK-XB60, if you’ve ever thought hmm…. Like the XB40 but I wish it was larger and much louder then the XB60 is your answer. So, how does this new speaker preform? We’re about to find out. Don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and you can watch some of my other videos here after you’re done watching this video. And there will be a sound test at the end of this video too. 

Like most Sony speakers, the Sony GTK-XB60 come in multiple color ways. You can either get it in black or blue. The Sony XB60 currently retails for $349.99 and its just $100 more than the XB40. But unlike the XB30 and XB40 which also have a hundred dollar price difference between them but only slightly minor performance differences… the jump from the XB40 to the XB60 is much bigger. If you want to pick this speaker up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get the best deal possible. Sony speakers routinely go on sale so you might get lucky. 

The Sony XB60 uses the same materials as the Sony XB7. The majority of the body is made out of textured hard plastic and on the back theres some wood paneling. There are rubber pads on the bottom and on it side so you can stand the speaker up right or lay it flat. And there are handles on either side that really make transporting this speaker much easier. Just like all other Sony Extra Bass speakers the XB60 has a metal grill on the front, and a built in light feature. The XB60 has a hight of 21.73 inches a width of 10.39 inches and a depth of 10.71 inches and weighs in at 17.64 pounds. Or for my international peoples this speaker is .55 meters by .26 meters by .27 meters respectively. And it weighs 8 kilos. And a good chunk of that weight is due to the rechargeable battery. But for those wondering, NO this speaker is not water proof. So don’t get it wet. 

Concerning speaker set up, the Sony XB60 has dual 50 millimeter or 2 inch tweeters in the center… and dual 130 millimeter or 5 inch woofers. You have a ring of full color LEDS, strobe lights on the top and bottom and there are single color lights that illuminate the woofers themselves. 

On the top of the speaker you’ll see theres your power button, volume control buttons, and thankfully they added a play/pause button. And this is a big deal because on the Sony XB5 and XB7 there was no play/pause button so if your phone or the included remote wasn’t near by you couldn’t control your music playback. And for those wondering… the XB60 does not have an included controller. But honestly I don’t care. And you’ll also find other buttons like the Function button to cycle between your audio sources, and the Add and Party chain button. You can also use the party chain button to turn off the light feature by pressing and holding. If you have two Sony XB60’s you can pair them together and have them play in stereo mode or if you have other XB speakers like the XB30, XB40, or the larger XB90 you can pair up to 10 speakers together and have them all play in sync. And thankfully Sony streamlined the pairing process on the XB60 and XB90. All you have to do is press the Party chain button on each speaker and you’re done. Just like JBL Speakers. A little further up you’ll also see a slit where you can rest your phone or tablet and a even more up you’ll find an NFC touch point. On the back of the speaker you’ll find RCA ports so you can daisy chain more speakers together, a USB port and a mic input. But Sony did not include a 3.5 millimeter audio jack which is a bummer. Through the USB port you can charge your own phone and play MP3, WMA, and WAV files on most devices. But you cant play music through the USB port when using Apple devices so you’re stuck with only a bluetooth connection. But like I’ve said in the past, Sony does a really good job of having a really clear wireless Audio Connection on both their speakers and headphones. So personally I don’t really need an Audio jack on the XB60 but I know for some certain users it might be a must have. 

Concerning Tech specs, the Sony XB60 is using bluetooth 4.2 and can be paired up to 3 devices at the same time. And you’ve got a wireless range of around 40 feet with direct line of sight. And it also does a really good job of keeping a solid connection through multiple walls. When it comes to battery life the Box says its good for 14 hours with an Asterisk. You can get 14 hours of playback with the lights turned off and at a low volume. But real world use with the light feature turned on and the speaker at a moderate volume I’ve averaged about 7 hours. But when the volume is at max and with the light on I’ve averaged 4 hours of playback. So if you plan on taking this somewhere remember to pack the charging cable. New to the XB60 and XB90 is stamina mode and basically what it does is that it reduces the output of the speakers. So there wont be as much bass, it wont get as loud, and the sound isn’t as crisp. but you’ll be able to squeeze out about to more hours of playback time. And thankfully Sony got rid of the please charge feature that was on the XB40 and XB30. When the battery on the XB60 gets below 20% it’ll simply say please charge and flash a few times and thats it. BUT It will no longer nag you to put it back on the charger or limit the volume like the XB40 or the XB30. And for those wondering, if you press and hold the stamina button the speaker will tell you its current battery percentage. 

Concerning sound quality, this speaker is all about bass and loudness. At max volume this thing averages about 82 decibels. But its also a very directional speaker, if you stand off to the side or behind it all you’re going to get is sub bass. So placement is very important with this speaker.

For the most part, I like how this speaker sounds. But I think theres still room for improvement concerning instrument separation and the highs. It just sounds like everything is too close together and it hard to pick instruments apart and the highs like to resonate a bit. But this speaker has almost zero distortion at max volume which was a problem with the XB7. 

But through Sony’s Music center app you can either select from a few pre made EQ’s, make your own or you can just use Sony’s ClearAudio+ setting. And what ClearAudio+ does is that it automatically adjust’s the speakers settings depending on what you’re listening to. There are also some DJ Effects but all those do is distort the sound so I never touch those. Through Music center you can also adjust the light mode on the Sony XB60. You can choose from Rave, Chill, a rave mode without the strobe lights, Hot where only reds and oranges will flash, cool where only blues and greens will flash, theres strobe, and there are a few calm options as well.  

But I dont know whats going on with Sony’s App development teams. Sony’s headphones App is solid… it works most the time, the UI is good enough and its easy to toggle the settings of the 1000XM2’s. Sony’s Music center app only works half the time, and from a UI standpoint it takes to many steps to get the the EQ, or get to the light settings or even just check the battery life. I don’t know why the app layout for the XB60 isn’t like the 1000XM2. And then theres fiestable which is just an eye sore but you can adjust the color of the light feature on the XB60 after you’ve selected one of the previously mentioned light modes. So if you want blue strobe lights fiestable can make it happen. But regardless, Sony needs to step up their app game. 

The biggest pet peeve I have with the Sony XB30 and XB40 is that when the battery on either of those speakers get below 20% the speakers will abruptly lower the volume, repeatedly say please charge and wont let the volume go above 20% so you have no other option than to put the speaker back on the charger even though you still had 20% battery. Thankfully the XB60 dosnt do that, but it still has a weird quirk. Everytime you plug the XB60 to charge after you’ve used it even though the speaker is off the speaker will go into demo mode and continuously cycle through the light modes. So every time you plug it in to charge you have to wait a few seconds and then press and hold the party chain button to turn off the light feature even though the speaker is off to begin with. Its just annoying, if I have the speaker off I want it completely off. I don’t know why Sony does things like this, its like they actively sabotage their own products. 

So whats the verdict on the Sony XB60, if you’re all about bass and loudness then for its size its pretty good. But like I said the Highs and instrument separation could be better. Its pretty versatile, if you want to take it with you on the go or hook it up to your tv you can do either of those things. Even though there is a built in battery, don’t for get the power cord. For a $350 portable blue tooth speaker the XB60 is all about sound and looks. Its not as durable as lets say the JBL Extreme and it is teetering on the edge of “is this thing too big to lug around” But its small enough that it will fit in most places and the carrying handles make lugging this 18 pound brick easy enough. Personally I think this speaker is perfect for campus life if you’re in college. 

And heres the sound test. I’m going to cycle through some speakers of the same size. As always the all of the speakers will be playing at the same decibel level streaming from the same device and the same distance away from the same mic so hopefully the only difference is sound quality.