Sony SRS-XB22 Review Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Sony SRS-XB22 Review

The summer is just around the corner, so having a waterproof Bluetooth speaker to use by the pool is an excellent idea. Sony SRS-XB22 is also dustproof, so you can easily take it to the beach without any worries.

The sound is decent for the speaker’s size, and the LED bands that encircle the drivers bring even more fun to the party.

Sony SRS-XB22 has an ergonomic shape, fits well in hand, and can stand horizontally and vertically, so there is always room for the speaker.

PROS:

  • Thoroughly water, dust, and shockproof
  • Decent audio for the size

CONS:

  • Not accurate and powerful audio
  • Distorts on deep bass at higher volume levels

Design

The speaker’s dimensions are 2.9 x 8.0 x 2.8 inches (HWD), and the weight is 1.2 pounds. It is available in black, gray, or teal color.

The Sony SRS-XB22 is entirely water and dustproof – it has an IP67 rating, meaning it can be submerged in water up to a meter. So poolside splashes or use in the shower is not a problem at all. The dustproof means dry sands and specks of desert dust, and the wet sands of the beach won’t create any problems for the speaker. Sony SRS-XB22 is also shockproof, so if it falls, it can survive the damage. The production material is durable, no scruffs if it drops, and looks hydrophobic when it gets in contact with water. If the speaker accidentally drops into a pool, you can easily retrieve it as it floats.

The speaker has a built-in LED light show, thin LED bands around the speaker’s grille, and internal lights that flash from behind the grille in sync with the music. You can turn them on or off at any time. Too bad the color is always white, and you can’t make it change colors.

The grille is made of cloth, while the rest of the speaker’s cabinet is made of matte rubber material. Under the grille, there is mesh protecting the drivers, consisting of dual 1.65-inch drivers supported by a central passive bass radiator. The frequency range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

On the speaker’s bottom, there are rubberized feet for sitting on flat surfaces.

The control panel is pretty straightforward. The playback button doubles as a track forward/backward and calls answer/end button, depending on how many times you tap it. You can go back and forth on a track, which is rare among portable speakers. Usually, you can go from one track to another, but not within a track.

The +/-is for the volume, and there is a button for power/pairing. The button labeled as Live acts as the control for the Extra Bass mode.

For more efficient air movement, there is another grille on the back panel. Next to it is the connection panel, covered with a snap-shut lid, housing the micro USB and a 3.5 mm aux. A micro USB charging cable comes with the speaker, but there is no cable for the aux.

On this same panel, there are three buttons. The Add button is for adding a second speaker and assigning right/left channels to make a stereo pair. The WPC button is for linking multiple speakers to the same sound source. The batt button displays battery life (it gives verbal response), but it also serves as an on/off switch for the LED.

The free Sony Music app for iOS and Android is easy to use and has adjustable EQ so that you can dial in the preferred bass levels and the high-frequency presence.

The Bluetooth is 4.2, which is fine for the average user, and pairing is easy with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The speaker is compatible with older models in the series to pair it with an older device such as Sony XB.

The battery life is about 12 hours, and if you activate the Extra Bass mode, it reduces to 10 hours. But as with any other portable speaker, the battery life depends on the volume levels you listen to your speaker.

Sound quality

Sony SRS-XB22 is completely capable of filling up small rooms or medium-sized open areas with sound.

The mid-range it provides is clean, and the instruments sound clear. There could be more detail to the higher frequencies, especially with higher volume levels, but it is not disappointing this way either.

The bass has decent depth at moderate volumes, but the speaker starts to distort and rattle slightly when maxed out on tracks with powerful sub-bass content.

Usually, small portable speakers don’t offer any sound stage, which is not the case with Sony SRS-XB22. This small speaker has a soundstage with audio separation through the left and right channels.

Sony’s live feature allows the SRS series to be able to project a greater surround angle (about 270 degrees), which helps so you don’t have to turn the speaker towards you when you move around.

Verdict

Sony SRS-XB22 is a speaker where most of the budget went into the IP67 rating and LED lights, and less focus was on the speaker’s audio. There is nothing wrong with SRS-XB22, but there are better options out there if you are looking for solid audio. But if you need an affordable Bluetooth speaker for personal entertainment, take it with you when hiking or picnics, then Sony SRS-XB22 is a great choice.

Sony SRS-XB22 Review Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Sony SRS-XB22 Review Portable Bluetooth Speaker

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