Sony has for the most part updated their portable speaker line up for summer 2019. We have the new Sony XB12, the Sony XB22 and the Sony XB32. But weirdly enough, sony hasn’t released an updated Sony XB42… instead the year old XB41 is still Sony’s largest portable bluetooth speaker that doesn’t have a built in voice assistant like the XB501G or the XB402M. So if you’re think about picking one of these speakers up for this summer, lets see which ones right for you.
This year at CES 2019, Sony announced their new Sony XB32 and XB22 speakers… But weirdly enough, they haven’t announced a new Sony XB42… instead they announced their new Sony XB12. Its a small single transducer speaker that has a new built in strap that’s small enough to take with you anywhere. But for 60 bucks… I think its a hard sell.
If you’re in the market for a mid sized speaker, you’re probably being over whelmed with options cause there are countless small or no name speaker brands out there. But today we’re going to be looking into 2 mid sized speakers from perhaps the 2 biggest names in this space… and that’s the Sony XB32 and the JBL Charge 4. Even though they’re just speakers, they do have some major differences between them to take into consideration.
Just like the new Sony XB32, the new sony XB22 has gone through a design refresh for summer 2019. But unfortunately, just like the sony XB32… not much has really changed on the Sony XB22 that would want to make you upgrade from the previous XB21. Now personally I do think the XB22 looks better than the XB21… but other than that, Sony we wish you would have done more.
Sony has been killing it recently with their headphones. They currently have what are arguably the best premium ANC headphones on the market right now, and their redesigned Extra bass headphones are looking very promising. But their speakers on the other hand… that’s a different story. Technically, the new Sony XB32 does have some improvements over the Sony XB31… but I feel they should have done more.
While everyone waits for Bose to announce their new QC45 ANC headphones, bose has been pretty busy lately releasing some out of the box products. Theres the noise masking sleep buds, Bose’s new frames which are sunglasses with built in speakers that are supposed to deliver a first of its kind AR experience and this… The Bose Home speaker 500. And im going to be honest, I didn’t expect to like this Smart speaker as much as I did and it sounds very impressive for its small size.
Im a really big fan of JBL’s portable speaker line up… they sound great and you can take them anywhere cause they’re pretty durable and they have long lasting batteries. But a portable speaker means you’re paying extra for that added durability and built in battery. And if you just want a speaker for at home use all you’re really concerned about is sound. So thats where something like the Marshall Stanmore 2 comes in. its a little bigger than the Xtreme 2 but gives the boombox a run its money when it comes to sound quality and bass.
Even though I expected more, for the last few months the JBL Xtreme 2 has been one of my favorite speakers period. Its not too big, it has a decent battery life, I can take it anywhere, and more importantly it sounds really good. And the Xtreme 2 has done a good job of out performing similar speakers that were released after it. But today we’re going to put the Xtreme 2 up against 2 more large portable speakers. Lets see if the Sony XB501G or Marshall Kilburn 2 can finally dethrone the JBL Xtreme 2.