Sony SRS XB21 Review
With the Sony SRS XB21, Sony is launching a successor to the Sony XB20, which has a very good sound. Like the larger new models Sony XB31 and Sony XB41, the Sony XB21 is also packed with new features. But whether it can also convince in terms of sound and maybe even trumps its great predecessor, that’s up to you—the following test show.
- Good bass to medium volume
- Great outdoor companion
- Many features
- Not suitable for audiophile demands
- Not as good in sound as the predecessor
Specifications of the Sony XB21
- Weight: about 530g
- Bluetooth version:2
- Battery life: up to 12 hours with lights off in standard mode and moderate volume (manufacturer information)
- Driver: 2x broadband (42mm), 2x passive membrane
- Dimension: 193 x 72 x 65 mm (W x H x D)
- Waterproof: IP67
- Hands-free function: yes
Packaging, features, and first impression of the Sony SRS XB21
Packaging, functions, and the first impression of the Sony XB21 are comparable to the larger models, which is why we can confidently test the Sony XB31 at this point can be referred. The SRS XB21 is smaller and lighter than the two larger models. Apart from that, the only differences from the XB31 are the lower battery life and the reduced light bar (only two single-color LEDs, one on the top and one on the bottom).
Functions such as Party Booster (tap sounds), the IP67 certification, Music Center app including an equalizer and the sound modes Standard, Xtra Bass, and Live Sound, as well as a hands-free option are also available on the small XB21. The small Sony Bluetooth speaker is charged via micro USB. The processing is impeccable, and due to its low weight and compact dimensions, the Sony XB21 is the most portable of the three new Sonys.
Sound of the Sony XB21
The Sony XB21 is not a bad Bluetooth speaker in terms of sound. As can be seen, when measuring the frequency response, the small XB21 does not play particularly linearly. It is, therefore, like the larger models, not suitable for people who want to enjoy music seriously. However, it plays a little clearer than the larger Sonys. For example, the live sound mode doesn’t sound as bad as the Sony XB41. In addition, the low and high-frequency ranges are boosted if you switch on the XtraBass mode.
However, what the Sony XB21 has to put up with is the comparison with its predecessor. And here, the XB21, unfortunately, has a slight disadvantage. The older Sony XB20sounds are stronger with activated Xtra Bass at low to medium volume, and the highs come through a little better.
Overall, concerning the sound of the Sony XB21, it can be said that due to its robust design and IP67 certification, it is a very good compact outdoor speaker. It is particularly suitable for party music but is just slightly beaten by its predecessor in terms of sound if it doesn’t have the great outdoor qualities of the XB21.
The small Sony XB21 is a good, compact outdoor speaker. The price-performance ratio is good, but it has to admit defeat to its predecessor in terms of sound. But the new XB21 boasts many new features that the older Sony XB20 doesn’t have. So you have to think about what is important to you and then make the appropriate decision.