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|Sony SRS-XB40 Pros||Sony SRS-XB40 Cons|
|Very Well Built||Battery Life Not As Advertised|
|Sounds Good And Bass Is Clean||Could Be Louder|
|Very Strong And Clear Wireless Connection||Sony's Apps Are A Mess|
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Sony might be working on a come back, a few weeks ago I reviewed the Sony XB950N1 and i fell in love with them. They are now my go to noise canceling earphones. And back at CES 2017 sony announced their New SRS-XB40 wireless speaker. And since Sony is on the Up and Up I thought I’d give the SRS-XB40 a try. So lets see if this guy is worth the money. And please don't forget to hit that like button!
So, the Sony SRS-XB40 currently comes in 3 color ways over at amazon… Black, Blue, and Red. Could the SRS-XB40 get new color ways in the future? maybe. Personally I prefer the black version cause it allows the speaker to disappear when not in use, and i feel it enhances the light show feature. comment below and let me know which color way you like best. The Sony SRS-XB40 currently retails for $248 over at amazon. And knowing amazon they’ll put this speaker on sale from time to time. If you want to pick this speaker up I’ll have a link in the description below and I’ll keep it updated so you can get the best deal possible.
The Sony SRS-XB40 is your wireless mid sized speaker that features a reachable battery, sony’s Extra Bass feature, its water resistant and has built in lights that flash according to your music. Inside the box you really only get the speaker it self, its charger, and a whole bunch documentation. The Speaker it self has a tapered design and has soft touch plastic all around its body. its actually quit nice to touch and hold. and for its size its not too heavy. this particular speaker isn't as dense as other speakers on the market right now. And when you place it on a table you can either lay it flat or stand it on one of its sides. And it actually does a pretty good job of staying up right if you lightly tap it by accident. But just to be safe i advice you lay it flat if you can.
Concerning buttons and ports the Sony SRS-XB40 has your standard power button, volume up, volume down, an add button to chain other sony speakers together, a play pause button, a phone button to accept calls with and that extra bass button. all of which have great tactile feed back to them, which is very important. and theres an NFC touch point as well if you use android. if you double press the play button you'll skip a track and if you triple press the play button you'll go back a track. if you're using an iPhone and you press the phone button you’ll awaken siri from his or her slumber. And If you press and hold the phone button the speaker will tell you its current battery state. and if you press and hold the Extra Bass Button you can turn off the strobe lights as well. On the back of this speaker you'll find an auxiliary port, a reset button, a DC IN port for charging, and a usb port so you can use the SRS-XB40 as a power bank to charge your other devices. The Sony SRS-XB40 is a bro.
This speaker is using bluetooth 4.2 and can connect to up to 3 devices at the same time. and if you have an NFC enabled phone then pairing is just much easier. But connection range is a little short at 50 feet compared to other devices I’ve reviewed. But this speaker has no problem connecting through multiple walls. Concerning battery life, the box advertises 24 hours but I'm assuming thats at medium volume with the strobe lights turned off and with a wired connection. Cause I’ve only managed to get about a 15 hour battery life using blue tooth, at a higher volume, and with the strobe lights turned on. Like i said earlier you can pair other sony speakers together to play music simultaneously… 10 to be exact. Or you can have two speakers paired together and have them create a stereo effect.
Concerning sound quality, Sony did a good job of cleaning up the Extra Bass Feature on the SRS-XB40 like they did with their XB950N1… side note, sony needs to work on their naming structure. First you need to understand the Sony SRS-XB40 is a bass focused speaker. its going to preform its best when you play techno, EDM, R&B, Rap and Hip Hop. But for the most part theres no raspiness, tinning, or clashing any where in the volume spectrum of this speaker. With extra bass turned on the over all sound does get a little shallow, but as you'd expect the bass is accentuated. But with extra bass turned off every thing is brought forward. So you might want to toggle the extra bass feature on and off depending on which song you're listening to. Like songs that already have a lot of bass to them don't need more bass. And like i said earlier, this speaker does have an Aux jack on the back and as you'd expect, if you have a wired connection the sound quality does improve. But the difference in sound quality between a wired connection and wireless connection on the SRS-XB40 is so small it very hard to tell apart. really, if you use a wired a connection on this speaker its because you want to save on battery life. And when it comes to streaming videos the lag between the video and audio is so small theres hardly any syncing issues if any. cause other wireless speakers and head phones on the market do have a significant lag to them which lead to words and lips not syncing. and in my opinion reducing the over all experience. But in general the Sony SRS-XB40 does sound really good. I just wish it was a little louder. I feel that for its size it should be able to pump out a little more noise. But perhaps sony did that for sound quality.
Although in general i do really like this speaker it still has its issues. the biggest issue this speaker has right now is sony’s mobile app. Sony insists that you use the SRS-XB40 with their Music Center App and Fiestable app so you can do things like adjust the EQ, chain other speakers together, control your speaker from your phone and play with the light show settings. But after trying and damn near pulling my hair out i couldn't get either one of these apps to work. And its no surprise Sony’s Music center app has a 2 star rating with bad reviews from users and Fiestable isn't doing to well either. But luckily you can still use the speaker without any issues if you cant connect to either Apps.
Actually, while i was recording the videos for this review both apps decided to work. Music center allows you control the speaker from your phone, play around with the EQ a little and you can adjust the illumination settings. It technically works… Fiestable on the other hand is a whole other disaster. You can do things like play sound bites adjust the lighting colors, and distort the audio and pretend to be an amateur DJ. Honestly, don't even bother down loading the apps… save yourselves the 100 megabytes of storage on your phone. take a few selfies of yourself listening to music on the SRS-XB40 instead.
Another quirk i want to point is that when the speaker tell you the battery is low it'll automatically set the volume to low. And if you try to raise the volume on your phone the speaker wont get louder even if the phone says its at max volume. So you're forced to go and turn off your speaker and turn it back on. Hopefully these quirks can be fixed through some firmware and app updates in the near future.
But with all that being said, i like this speaker. the light show looks good, but personally i could have done without the strobe lights on either side. I just feel those are a little too harsh. But in general the Sony SRS-XB40 is a good mid sized bass focused speaker that will look great in your bed room or living room but is still light weight and small enough to take with you from time to time. Its IPX5 water resistant which means a little water wont do it any harm. Just don't submerge it or else you're out $250. The real world battery life of 15 hours is plenty and you can use the speaker as a power bank to charge your phone. The strong and clear wireless connection this speaker offers is pretty impressive. Sony is pretty laser focused on capturing the bass head demo graphics with its products. And even with or with out its app functionality the speaker still performs well. But a part of me still wants to go in a play around with the EQ to bring the best out of this speaker. But yeah, the Sony SRS-XB40 is a pretty solid buy.
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