Over the last few years, India has seen a revolutionary shift the way music is heard and realising the increasing number of bass lovers, Sony has launched several products to satisfy the growing demand of audiophiles.
The latest in the race is SRS-XB40, a compact Bluetooth speaker. Priced at Rs 16,990, SRS-XB40 comes with LED light across the front grille that dances to the tunes and the speaker offers up to 24 hours of battery life.
Oblong shaped design
The Sony SRS-XB40 wireless speaker sports an oblong shaped design with front firing drivers.
Unlike, Harman Kardonn Aura or Bose Revolve, you won’t get 360-degree sound, but with party chaining the speaker can be paired with up to 10 Sony Bluetooth speakers to deliver a wider stereo sound.
Measuring 279 x 100 x 105mm (W x H x D) and weighing 1.5kgs, the Sony SRS-XB40 looks big but is portable and can be easily carried in a ruck sack. All the tactile controls -- power, answering/rejecting calls, playback/volume controls, a pairing button to sync up other Sony speakers and a toggle for the Extra Bass feature -- are housed on the top of the speaker. The speaker also supports Near Field Communication to get the beats going with just one touch.
At the back, you will find the bass port and a flap that opens up to a 3.5mm analog jack, a reset button, charging port and also comes with a USB-A port that acts as a charging station for your smartphones.
The speaker can only be charged via a supplied USB, so we recommend you not to lose it if you do not want to purchase a new one.
The SRS XB-40 is IPX5 certified, meaning it can survive rain drops or water splashes but is not a pool party speaker. For me, this is a turn down as even the cheaper speakers UE Roll and JBL Charge 3 are waterproof and shockproof too.
The main USP of the device is the lights that are housed inside the front grille. With it, the Sony SRS-XB40 converts itself to a light show that dances to your music. Even with booming bass, you will be able to feel the effect.
Similar to Sony’s other speakers, I had reviewed and tested, the SRS-XB40 produces deep bass with both depth and impact. The speaker has a balanced audio signature and sounds booming even at unsafe volume levels.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like DJ Magic Mike’s “Feel The Bass,” the speaker delivered pounding bass and even the mid and treble ranges were well-defined. When the Extra Bass feature is turned on, bass becomes overwhelming and the mids and highs are not as crisp as they should be. For EDM and rap lovers, the Sony SRS-XB40 is a wonderful speaker. But for other music lovers, the Extra Bass functionality could be a turn off as it muffled things up. However, the Extra Bass feature can be turned off.
We have also seen that most of the speakers are tuned to perform better at lower and mid ranges, but when you crank things up, the speaker distorts at certain frequencies and the bass is destroyed. But, the SRS XB40 frees you from that issue and does not feel like it’s restricting itself at higher volumes. Audiophiles looking for more pristine sound reproduction will want to buy the Bose SoundLink Mini II or Bose SoundLink Revolve instead.
The Sony SRS-XB40 offers a good sound signature with appreciate amount of oomph and detail and will appeal to bass heads and to most listeners.