Sony XB40 Vs Sony XB30 - Should You Pay More For Minor Improvements?

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If you got the sony XB40 and reduced it by 25% you've got yourself the Sony XB30. They're identical in almost every way aside from speaker size and the price tag. So does having slightly larger speakers than the Sony XB30 justify paying almost double for the Sony XB40 in some circumstances? 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 theres going to be a sound comparison between these two speakers at the end of this video. 

I kind of wish i made this video sooner, for the last couple of weeks the Sony XB40 was selling for $198 over at amazon and most other retailers. But now the price is back up to $248. Click the link in the description below because depending on when you're watching this the price might have gone back down. The smaller XB30 usually retails for $148 but right now you can get it for $118. Both of these speakers come in a few color ways… black, blue, and red and the XB30 has an additional gray color way. 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. 

Like i said, the XB30 is just slightly smaller than the XB40. they both have the same soft touch rubber outer body, they both have painted metal grills on the front, they both have the same button lay outs on the top, and they both have an NFC touchpoint. You can control your music play, answer and end calls, active siri and even pair up to 10 sony speakers together. On the back theres a stiff plastic grommet that houses an audio jack, a DC in for charging, and a USB out so you can charge your own devices. Build quality on these speakers is identical and its very good. They also both have light features on the front that flash to the beat of your music. Except on the XB40 theres an additional set of lights that illuminate the speakers. 

Concerning technical specifications, both of these speakers are using bluetooth 4.2 and they both have a range of around 40 feet with direct line of sight to your device. And they both can be connected up to 3 devices at the same time. And both of these devices are also IPX 5 certified, which means they can get wet but they should not be submerged under water. Both of these speakers even have the same advertised battery life of 24 hours, but thats with the light feature turned off and the volume set relatively low. Real world battery life on these speakers with the volume set at 50% and the light feature turned on is around 18 hours. Still not bad. But heres the first major difference… Both of these speakers have passive radiators and dual full range speakers on the front. But The speakers on the XB40 have a diameter of 2.4 inches or 61 millimeters and the speakers on the XB30 have a diameter of 1.89 inches or 48 millimeters. and as you’d expect the passive radiator on the XB40 is slightly larger than the one on the XB30. The XB40 weighs in at 3.31 pounds or 1.5 kilos and the XB30 weighs in 2.16 pounds or .98 kilos. 

The larger size of the Sony XB40 means it does get a louder and theres a tiny bit more bass than the XB30. Set at max volume the XB40’s average decibel range is in the high 70’s where as when the XB30 is set at max volume its average decibel range is in the Low 70’s. But if you were to listen to these speakers at the same decibel level they sound almost identical. 

And the overall sound quality for both of these speakers is that they have a wide soundstage, a good amount of depth and a lot of bass. Theres no raspiness or tinning of the mid and highs and Sony does a really good job of not distorting the sound when the volume is cranked all the way up. But Vocalists do sound a little pushed back at times. The biggest difference i noticed between the XB40 and XB30 was that the XB30 does rattle a bit when the bass really gets going. 

Both of these speakers also connect to Sony’s Music center app, and from there you can adjust both of these speaker’s light settings. You can choose from Rave, chill, strobe, a rave mode without the strobe lights on the side,  and there are a few calm options as well. But for some odd reason, only the XB40 can be used with Sony’s fiestable app. Although Sony’s fiestable app isn't that good I just think Sony is lacking in the customization option department for these speakers. 

Paring these speakers together is relatively simple. All you have to do is press and hold the Add button and the Plus button together for a few seconds on one speaker until the speaker beeps. And then you do the same thing on the other speaker. You can either have the speakers play music simultaneously or have them play left and right stereo audio. When pairing these two speakers together they are able to reach an average decibel reading of 82 decibels at max volume. But I feel Sony’s pairing protocol isn't as good as JBL’s JBL Connect Plus. And its not because with sony you can only pair 10 speakers together and with JBL you can pair up to 100 speakers together. With sony, if you're playing music on multiple devices and you lower the volume on your phone, only the volume of the main speaker will change. So lets say the main speaker in this example is the XB40 and the added speaker is the XB30. If they're chained together and playing music, if I lower the volume on my phone only the volume of the XB40 will change. You would then have to go and manually change the volume on the XB30. Where as with JBL adjusting the volume on your phone will affect the volume of all of the speakers that are chained together. And not to mention pairing multiple JBL speakers is a lot easier, you legitimately just press one button on each speaker and thats it. 

A few minor things before wrapping this review up… if the battery on the Sony XB40 or XB30 gets below 20% It’ll abruptly stop the music, say please charge and you'll have no other option than too put the speaker back on the charger cause the volume wont go past 30%. this is a feature I'm still trying to figure out how to turn off. I hate it. And speaking of the charger both of these speakers charge via a DC converter and they're both difference sizes… the XB40 takes 9.5 volts while the XB30 takes 5 volts. So you can't even charge these two almost identical speakers with the same power cord. And since these speakers don't charge via a micro USB like most other speakers on the market you have to remember to take their respective power cables with you if you plan on taking these speakers with you on the go. 

So, is it worth paying almost double for the XB40 if you’re trying to choose between the XB40 and the XB30. Unless you need a slightly louder speaker I don't think so. These speakers sound almost identical at the same decibel level aside from the slight rattling in the XB30 from time to time. And for comparison’s sake, the JBL Extreme at max volume has an average decibel reading of 81 decibels and the charge 3 at max volume has an average decibel reading in the low 70’s. So the loudness difference between the JBL Extreme and the JBL Charge 3 is much more pronounced. And aside from their size difference all of the other technical specifications are the same between the XB40 and the XB30. If you do decide to go with the XB30 over the XB40 you're not going to be missing out on much. 

And heres the sound comparison, both of these speakers are playing at the same decibel level in the same room streaming from the same device. Comment below with which one you prefer.