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Sony SRS-XB41 Bluetooth Speaker Critique

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Sony not long ago refreshed its audio lineup in India with three new Bluetooth speakers and six pairs of wireless headphones. We have previously reviewed the Sony WI-C300, which is the company’s most cost-effective pair of Bluetooth earphones to day. Now, we have the SRS-XB41 in for overview, which is IP67 dust- and drinking water-resistant and loaded with functions made to breathe everyday living into parties.

The Sony SRS-XB41 is priced at Rs. 16,990 but can be uncovered for about Rs. 14,500 online. We were really impressed with the SRS-XB40’s highly effective audio and battery existence. Does the XB41 strengthen on its predecessor? Let’s discover out.

Sony SRS-XB41 style and features

The XB41 is quite cumbersome and significant for a portable Bluetooth speaker. The full unit has a cloth finish which not only appears to be like high quality but helps prevent the accumulation of dust. The build high-quality is best-notch and the SRS-XB41 feels perfectly worth its Rs. 16,990 cost tag. The front is clean and devoid of any buttons. There is an LED strip that operates alongside the leading and bottom and wraps all-around the sides.

On the top rated of the unit, you will uncover the power button, Bluetooth pairing button, and playback and volume controls. There is also a button that triggers “Stay mode”, which artificially raises the soundstage. These membrane buttons are really hard to press and have minor to no journey.

As the speaker is rated IP67 for dust and drinking water resistance, the inputs are safeguarded by a flap at the again with a rubber gasket. There is a Micro-USB port and a DC input, both of which can be utilised to charge the speaker, whilst the latter possibility is much quicker. In addition, there is a 3.5mm socket and a USB port via which you can use the speaker to charge your smartphone.

SRS XB41 Inline2 Sony SRS-XB41

 

The flap also handles a few added buttons a person to look at the battery status and trigger the lights, a single to website link an additional SRS-XB41 so you can listen to tunes in stereo, and one particular labelled ‘WPC’ which lets you to daisy-chain up to 99 of these speakers jointly. Sadly, we did not have several units on hand to take a look at this function.

The Sony SRS-XB41 supports Bluetooth 4.2 as well as NFC for speedy pairing with a appropriate gadget. Just faucet a appropriate telephone on the NFC symbol at the top and you are very good to go.

Right before we study the audio good quality in element, we have to discuss about the multitude of ‘party-friendly’ options that Sony has crammed inside of this product. The LED lights can pulse in tune with your songs, and in addition, the two 58mm drivers inside of the enclosure also light up.

All people who observed the lights consequences was enthralled at first, but bought drained of them quickly enough. We can picture this becoming a large hit at parties and evenings out, but they are much too interest-grabbing for day-to-working day use. For those who want their speakers to preserve a small profile, the lights can be disabled by lengthy-pressing the battery button at the again. We found it odd for these a popular aspect to not be much easier to regulate. The lights can also be managed by means of the Sony Audio Centre application, which is really hard to use and has a clunky interface.

The Get together Booster perform is also fascinating. When turned on, you can tap the speaker to insert a audio influence to whichever audio you are listening. Hit it from the entrance, sides, top rated or bottom, and it makes unique sound results. When this characteristic is exciting and makes it possible for you to grow to be a make-think DJ, it does arrives across as gimmicky.

Then there is the Live Mode. This adds a 3D result to new music and artificially widens the soundstage. To give credit history where by it is due, the feature does audibly spread the seem throughout the room. On the other hand, it adds a substantial volume of echo and in essence kicks the mids out of the seem combine. As a end result, music appears completely dreadful.

Sony SRS-XB41 functionality and battery existence

Seem-intelligent, the SRS-XB41 is respectable but there isn’t really a good deal to produce household about. The bass is restricted and punchy, and does not hijack the sound combine completely, but critical listeners will continue to locate it a bit too much. The soundstage (with Are living Method off) is also extensive and open up and the utmost volume is plenty of to fill even massive rooms with seem. The mids are repressed and the level of depth you get is inadequate.

SRS Xb41 Inline1 Sony SRS-XB41

 

This absence of clarity becomes obvious in densely layered tracks this kind of as Radiohead’s Paranoid Android and John Mayer’s Gravity (Live), in which all the guitars just merge into a single a different. The highs are a bit of a mixed bag as effectively. Though not as repressed as the mids, the highs do have a tendency to get screechy and sibilant at high volumes. You can get far better sounding speakers without having any of the aforementioned frills these types of as the JBL Flip 4 and Best Ears Growth 2 for a lot less dollars.

The SRS-XB41 supports the large-top quality LDAC codec, which is now commonly accessible in a number of Android smartphones with 8. Oreo. This implies you can stream tunes at the greatest little bit-price at the moment available. This does aid clarity to an extent and boosts the mids (find out a lot more about Bluetooth streaming codecs like SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Hd and LDAC). Call excellent is average with the standard caveats that Bluetooth speakers entail – hollow seem and a slight echo on the receiver’s conclude.

Battery everyday living is stellar. Sony claims 24 several hours with the lights and all celebration-concentrated capabilities disabled. We got all over 18 hrs of use on a one charge with the lights enabled for all-around 30 minutes in whole, and with songs enjoying at all-around the 60-70 percent quantity stage. We also demoed the Reside Method and Social gathering Booster capabilities for all over 10 to 15 minutes.

A comprehensive charge employing the included DC adapter took about 4 hrs. The speaker can also be billed using a conventional Micro-USB charger, but it would get substantially more time.

Verdict
The Sony SRS-XB41 is waterproof and has great battery lifestyle. The LED lights and several celebration modes can be deemed gimmicky, but support the speaker stand out from the group. On the other hand, the sound excellent is a very little bit underwhelming. When the bass is punchy and crisp and the highs are above average, the mids are repressed, and the sound that this speaker makes lacks clarity and element.

The SRS-XB41 is a terrific solution for bash animals and people who benefit extravagance and volume over audio high quality. It does not sound lousy for each se, but equally priced options such as the JBL Flip 4 and Bose Soundlink Mini 2 produce superior depth and clarity.

Value: Rs. 16,999 (MRP)

Professionals

  • Punchy bass
  • Water-resistant
  • Good battery existence
  • Light-weight consequences are cheesy but fun

Drawbacks

  • Repressed mids
  • Sound lacks clarity
  • ‘Live sound’ is a gimmick

Scores (out of 5):

  • Layout: 4
  • Performance: 3
  • Price for income: 3.5
  • Over-all: 3.5

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