Sony GTK-XB90 Review

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Sony’s newest and largest extra bass speaker is the Sony GTK-XB90. This is perhaps the largest portable bluetooth speaker on the market right now. The XB90 even dwarfs its little brother the Sony XB60. So what does the size difference between these too speakers mean? We’re about to find out. Don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and if you want to learn more about the Sony XB60 tap here after you’re done watching this video. And there will be a sound test at the end of this video too. 

Personally  I like to group the Sony Xb60 and the XB90 together like I do with the Sony XB30 and the XB40. They share very similar designs and only have slight performance differences between them. The Sony XB90 currently retails for $449.99 and the smaller XB60 retails for $349.99. Thats a hundred dollar difference. If you want to pick either of these speakers 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 XB90 uses the same materials as the Sony XB60 and the older 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 make transporting this behemoth of a speaker a little easier. Just like all other Sony Extra Bass speakers the XB90 has a metal grill on the front, and a built in light feature. The XB90 has a hight of 29.1 inches a width of 15.9 inches and a depth of 16.3 inches and weighs in at 36.5 pounds. Or for my international peoples this speaker is .74 meters by .4 meters by .41 meters respectively. And it weighs 16.56 kilos. And a good chunk of that weight is due to the rechargeable battery. It takes a big battery to power this hulk of a speaker. Over all the XB90 is 3 times as big and weighs twice as much as the XB60. And for those wondering, NO neither of these speakers are water proof. 

Speaker set up on the Sony XB90 is slightly bigger and different than the XB60. The Sony XB90 has dual 180 millimeter or 7 inch woofers and 3 60 millimeter or 2.36 inch tweeters. But at any given moment you’re only using 2 of those 3 tweeters. When the speaker is up right you’re using the top 2 tweeters and when the speaker is laid flat you’re using the 2 tweeters on the side. 

The light features on the Sony XB90 is also a little different than the one on the Xb60. You still get the same full color ring around the speaker and strobe lights on the top and bottom. But the XB90 also has multicolor lights that illuminate the woofers in different colors. Where as on the XB60 the woofers only light up white. And the theres also infinity mirrors built in on the top and bottom. Overall the light feature on the XB90 is a little more intricate than the one on the Xb60. 

On the top of the speakers 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 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 or the XB90 don’t have an included controller. And 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 XB90’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 slightly smaller XB60 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 both speakers 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 off of 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 XB90 but I know for some certain users it might be a must have. 

When it comes Tech specs, both the Sony XB90 and Xb60 are 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 on either of them. And they also do a really good job of keeping a solid connection through multiple walls. Concerning battery life, Sony claims the XB90 is good for 16 hours of play back time. And technically that is true if you use the speaker at a low volume and with the light feature turned off. But real world battery life on the Sony XB90 with the volume at a moderate volume and with the light feature turned on I’ve averaged about 9 hours of play back time. Which is 2 hours more than the real world battery life on the XB60 under the same circumstances. But if you play music on the XB90 at full volume you’ll get about 4 hours of play back time which is the same as the Xb60 at full volume. So if you take these speakers some where remember to pack your power cord. 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, they wont get as loud, and the sound isn’t as crisp. but you’ll be able to squeeze out about two 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 or XB90 get 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. 

Just like the XB60, the XB90 is all about loudness and bass. Theres a lot of sub bass and you’re going to feel it in your chest. I love it. And concerning sound quality, both the XB60 and XB90 sound the same. As in the XB90 dosnt have the widest sound stage, instrument separation isn’t the best and vocals do tend to get lost at times. But I would still recommend it for hip hop or edm and thats what sony is going for with this speaker. 

But the biggest sound difference between the Xb90 and the Xb60 is obviously going to be loudness. At max volume the Xb60 likes to hover in the mid 80 decibel range while at max volume the XB90 likes to hover around the low to mid 90’s range. And although it might not seem like much in person the loudness difference is very noticeable. And at max volume neither of these speakers suffer from much sound distortion at all. 

Both the Sony Xb90 and XB60 connect to Sony’s music center app. And like I’ve said in the past… it only works properly half the time. Through the app you can adjust the EQ of either of these speakers. You can either select from a few pre made EQ’s or you can even make your own. Or You also just use Sony’s ClearAudio+ setting which will automatically adjust the EQ of the speakers depending on what you’re listening to. And through the music center app you can also pick from a few different illumination settings. 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.  You can also use Sony’s fiestable app to customize the light feature after you’ve selected a light mode. So if you want to have the speaker flash red in strobe mode fiestable can make that happen. But like ive said before, I feel Sony’s app for the XB60 and XB90 should look more like the 1000XM2. Its cleaner and its easier to get to each setting quicker.  

although the XB60 and XB90 don’t have the annoying “please charge" feature like the XB30 and XB40… both the XB60 and XB90 have a quirk that I hate. When ever you plug either of these speakers to charge even though they are turned off the speakers will go into demo mode and cycle through the light modes. So then you have to wait a few seconds, then press and hold the party chain button to turn off demo mode. If I have the speaker off I want it completely turned off. I don’t know why sony does things like this. 

So to wrap things up, the Sony XB90 is a good option if you regularly host parties. Although it does have a built in battery don’t expect it to last the whole length of your get together especially if you’ve got it set at max volume. If you’re considering either of these speakers for personal use I recommend you go with the Sony XB60. Its big enough that it gets pretty loud and theres enough wall shacking bass to keep a bass head happy but its still small enough that transporting it to other places isn’t as much of a hassle as the Sony XB90. I think the XB90 is over kill for personal use but I think sony hit gold with the XB60. Personally I just really like the Sony XB60.