Speakers

Sony XB40 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom.  I reviewed Sony’s Extra Bass Bluetooth speakers last year and although they were decent, the audio quality was a bit raspy and droning because of that extra bass…  This time, Sony makes a return and with the new generation, we get a refined audio signature, which I’ll test for you, but also some sick new LED lights.  I personally paid for this at the retail price of $200.  As always, I’ll leave my Affiliate links down in the video description below.  Click on my links, and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time…

So sit back, relax, and hopefully my videos can help you make that purchase decision.  Welcome everyone… to JimsReviewRoom.

Going over the physical build, this thing is quite hefty and if you’re looking for portability, this is not what you should be looking at.  There’s many other others out there. On the flip side, you get extra bass, you get a huge battery, and again, you get those led lights that not many other speakers on the market offers.  If size is not an issue, the XB40 looks and feels good with rubberized plastic all around, the front metal grill is tough enough to protect your speaker, and the same water resistance is back (Show “IPX5” rating in editing), protecting it from splashes and spills.  Unfortunately, you can’t submerge this under water.  One thing I do wish for, although it has great build quality, having drop resistance, making this more rugged would have been great.

Looking at the tactile buttons up top, you have the standard pause, play, on and off, etcetera.  But unique features include Google Assistant and Siri activation with one quick press of the Speakerphone button.  (< Demo)  I tested the speakerphone and it sounded very good with no echos, and standing further away, for a speakerphone, it was still very much audio… here’s a quick sample.  Going back to the buttons, with the “Add” feature, you can pair another compatible Sony speaker and have Left and Right audio separation for true stereo sound… OR, you can sync upto 10 compatible speakers and enable what Sony calls Party Chain, and have all of those speakers play at the same time.  UE and JBL on the other hand allows you to sync 100 speakers or more if you’d like, but giving Sony credit, I don’t think most people would pair more than 100 speakers, let alone 10.

NFC or Near Field Communication makes a return, and last to the left is the Extra Bass option which I’ll demonstrate later in this video.

One thing I wish Sony would include is some sort of visual battery indicator.  You do have the ability to walk up to the speaker and hold the call button for a prompt, but something more intuitive, again, something more visual,  would have worked much better.  (Audio Demo)

Rotating the speaker to it’s rear, you have some additional bass being pushed when against the wall, on the right, the flap is water resistant, which I felt could have been a bit heftier for peace of mind, but it does work blocking out liquids.  Behind here, we have a 3.5mm audio input, the power port which is NOT a micro-USB connection, you have to carry Sony’s Power Brick if you’re going on extended vacations.  And to the far right is Charge out, which allows the speaker to work as a Power Bank, and it’s able to charge your phones or other random devices with a USB cord.

Talking about all of this battery life, Sony is claiming an impressive upto 24hrs of use.  Like all my bluetooth speakers, I left this at 50% volume, let it play over night…  I’m averaging 15hrs and 5 minutes worth of use after several attempts.

Bluetooth 4.2 is offered and although it’s not the latest Bluetooth 5.0, range is still phenomenal.  I tested on both my Samsung S8+ and Pixel XL, got 50 linear feet with no issues.

So, right before I demo the audio test, the newest and coolest feature are of course the lights.  If you don’t like them, you can always turn them off with the compatible Sony app.  You get rave like, club scene hues of color, in addition, you get pulsating strobe lights, and all of this responds to your music.  Have slow music, the lights fade in and out, with fast music, you might actually give some folks seizures  (demo slow, and hard cut to fast blinking song/lights)  , but all seriousness, they are bright, but the strobes are not to the point it’s blinding people to death.  Within the app, unlike the JBL Pulse products where it offers you tons of customization options, you are stuck with some of Sony’s presets.  The colors do look great nonetheless and as an example, switching to “Calm Magenta” gives a nice lounge effect, while “Hot” gives a warmth to the room.  Overall, if you’re in the dorm room, like to have a quote fun speaker, even value accent lighting for your place, the Sony XB40 won’t disappoint.

So, to the moment you have been waiting for, I’ll pay several songs for your guys, and then I’ll give you my verdict afterwards.  One thing I would NEED to ask from you, my awesome viewers out there, comment down below and tell me, what other speaker you want me to compare this to, I might make a dedicated versus video if I have enough responses.  Thanks.

And there you have it folks.  Hands down, this is a great improvement over last years.  Even with Extra Bass on, that droning and raspiness is gone.  The quality of bass has improved and I very much enjoyed the listening experience for a bass focused bluetooth speaker.  Because of it’s lower bass levels plus the lighting, this speaker hits its target audience right on the head.  I personally like EDM, hippop and pop music myself, and the speaker accentuates the beat, and those colors again, makes the room pop.  The speaker really gets you in the mood to jam.

As for the mid-range, it stands out and it’s not recessed whatsoever, it’s not muddy… it actually compliments the bass very well.  It’s clear, detailed, but I think something I was shocked to notice, the soundstage is very apparent.  You can hear vocalists in the mid-range standout in the forefront while music is slightly recessed in the back.  We’re still limited on left and right audio channels, but for a Bluetooth speaker, the XB40 does it better than most.  As for the highs, no raspiness, no tinging, no listening fatigue whatsoever.  If you were to get this speaker, it’s perfect for small to medium sized rooms.  It does push large room territory, I’m talking about 40 linear feet of open space, but I would get two of these speakers and have them play in sync for an audio filled room.

Overall, considering how balanced the XB40 is, for a bass focused speaker, I can confidently say this speaker will be enjoyable for most people.  Even if you don’t like the extra bass, you can always turn it off. In the end, I highly recommend this speaker, I think it nails quality all around.  I am certain this will be in my Best Bluetooth Speaker Roundup coming down the road.

So that’s it for this review.  Be sure to like and subscribe to help support my work.  Be sure to follow me on my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  You guys take care, and I will see YOU on the next one.  Bye.

 

 

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