Sony SRS-XG300 review: An incredible midsized boombox for the beach or backyard parties

Sony SRS-XG300 review: An incredible midsized boombox for the beach or backyard parties

MSRP $350.00

“Big sound, fun extras, in a conveyable, expandable party speaker.”

Pros

  • Nice and rugged construct
  • Great sound quality
  • LEDs are cool
  • Easy pairing and app support
  • Party Connect works well
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Just one custom EQ setting allowed
  • Phone calls may very well be higher

If you consider the perfect headphones or wireless earbuds, Sony is often somewhere at the highest of the heap. The corporate’s portable Bluetooth speakers don’t all the time include the identical cachet, however the pedigree stays, and the secret is to pack big sound into smaller packages.

The $350 SRS-XG300 isn’t a “small” speaker, it’s somewhere in the center, acting as a more mobile alternative to Sony’s XG500 boombox. But are you able to really reduce the box, yet keep enough boom to please a celebration? We decided to search out out.

What’s within the box

It’s a sizeable box manufactured from all recyclable material to suit the XG300, together with an influence adapter and quick start guide. The cable portion of the adapter is USB-C, and the ability adapter provides the additional output obligatory to charge this thing faster. You should use one other USB-C cable if you’ve one handy, but unless the wall outlet can do higher wattage, it won’t charge as fast. While the speaker does have a 3.5mm Aux-In port, Sony doesn’t include a cable for it within the box.

Design

Overhead view of Sony SRS-XG300 Bluetooth speaker.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

What stands out initially isn’t a lot the XG300’s size, it’s the burden. At 6.6 kilos, it’s not what I’d call especially light for a Bluetooth speaker you’ll be carrying with you. Even so, in the event you’ve ever lugged across the larger XG500 at 12.34 kilos, this one should feel feathery by comparison. Not to say nimbler and easier to move. With dimensions like 12.52 x 5.43 x 5.35-inches it can slot in a backpack or duffel bag, or you possibly can take it on a flight where it could stand alone as a carry-on personal item.

The rubberized handle at the highest has a nifty retracting mechanism to slip it flush with the remaining of the speaker if you don’t need it. A pleasant fabric finish envelops almost all the speaker. The XG300 sits on two feet below to maintain the speaker upright and stop it from rolling over. Controls fall under two separate sections, with the ability, Bluetooth, and Mega Bass buttons on one side, and play/pause/call and volume on the opposite.

Behind a protective flap within the rear is where you’ll find the three.5mm Aux-In port and a USB-A port to charge other mobile devices, effectively turning the XG300 into an influence bank. Together with the USB-C charging port for the speaker itself, you get dedicated buttons for the battery and lights. Press the battery button and a voice chimes in telling you ways much juice is left within the tank. Press and hold it and also you toggle the Battery Care mode on/off (I’ll get to that feature later). The sunshine button turns the LEDs ringing the 2 passive radiators on each ends on or off, though you’ve broader control over that through Sony’s app.

Side view of Sony SRS-XG300 Bluetooth speaker with LED light on.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

Despite the material skin, Sony tried to mold this speaker into a tricky player. It sports an IP67 rating, making it greater than at home by the pool or the beach. It will possibly withstand splashes and get fully wet, though I’d advise against dunking it in salt water, as sand and salt could get lodged into the perforations inside the fabric. By all means, take it to the beach and have a good time with it, but make certain to rinse it clean with fresh water after. One major point to notice is the XG300 lacks the shockproof construct Sony’s other two latest Bluetooth speakers, the XE300 and XE200, already offer. Try to not drop this one or roll it over to an premature demise.

On the within, Sony plays up its proprietary X-Balanced technology that moves away from traditional circular diaphragms to something more expansive and rectangular. Sony says it increases the sound pressure for thicker bass, higher mids, and fewer distortion at higher volumes. You get two X-Balanced drivers and two traditional tweeters to assist with the highs to round out the general audio experience.

It’s virtually similar to the setup present in the larger XG500, but with smaller, less powerful drivers so the XG300 can’t get as loud. One other difference: Sony added a microphone to the XG300, enabling phone calls and access to voice assistants, something its greater brother doesn’t have.

Setup and app controls

Playback controls on the Sony SRS-XG300 Bluetooth speaker.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

With Google Fast Pair, Android devices will lock in with the XG300 very quickly. Pairing is similarly fast with iOS devices, with only the additional (first) step of pairing within the Bluetooth menu under settings. Sony’s Music Center app is your conduit to pick features and controls, though they aren’t abundant. You get shortcuts to music and audio streaming services apps you’ve installed in your phone, plus access to any audio files you’ve stored locally in your phone.

Under settings, the Sound menu permits you to adjust the profile to what you would like. By default, Mega Bass is on, though you may also decide to create a custom EQ setting for yourself by moving the bass, middle, and treble sliders to wherever you want. It’s a standalone situation, meaning you may’t save various presets, you could adjust the custom EQ every time you must make a change.

I believe a part of the explanation for it’s because Sony is convinced its own ClearAudio+ sound engineering is the approach to go. The issue is, you may only hearken to it with Mega Bass. It doesn’t apply to the custom EQ or Live Sound modes. That latter mode tries to create more reverb and concave-style effects to emulate concert performances. It’s not bad in the event you’re at a distance from the speaker, whereas I discovered it less discernible in closer proximity.

The DJ Effect setting is interesting in the event you like messing with tracks while they’re playing. It’s hardly a full-on mixer, though you do get isolator and flanger effects. Isolator affects a number of of the lows, mids, or highs, depending on where you go on the slider inside the app. Even in the event you don’t know anything about DJing, you’d recognize the effect in the event you’ve been to a nightclub before. Flanger doubles the sound to create a modulating swooping effect that gets more aggressive as you progress up the slider. These effects are really more about timing than anything, and more of a toy to play with while listening to tunes on the XG300.

It’s an awesome mix that left me impressed with the clarity and resonance.

The Illumination section controls the LEDs on the perimeters, with nine modes to pick from. Some can have a static light, whereas others will shift and alter in a pattern and even to the beat of the music. One other app, Fiestable (Android/iOS), can tie into that. It’s free to download, and permits you to apply party-like effects to the lights. Again, something price fooling around with to see in the event you prefer it for certain situations.

The power to group speakers together can take things even further. You may stereo pair two XG300s for separate left and right channels, something I wasn’t capable of test, unfortunately. Party Connect permits you to group together compatible speakers to play music in sync. It’s a reasonably seamless process, and it worked for me with the XE300 and XE200 as well. Sony says it can work with any of its speakers that support Party Connect, so there may be some utility here. You could possibly spread the speakers out, including placement in several rooms for a quasi-multiroom setup, though the speakers must play the identical content, and Bluetooth range will ultimately limit how far apart they might be from each other.

Sound quality

The Sony SRS-XG300 on a table outside.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

The XG300 supports the SBC, AAC, and Sony’s own LDAC codec for hi-res content. You might not care as much in regards to the codecs in the event you’re just seeking to entertain yourself and others with the boom inside this thing. Sony actually brought the bass, but I’d argue the remaining of the audio spectrum stands out, too. Even with Mega Bass off, the sound does skew somewhat to the lows, though if you leave it on, it’s still an awesome mix that left me impressed with the clarity and resonance.

It’s a level of clarity you just don’t get with competing products just like the Monster Blaster 3.0, which, admittedly, has more oomph on the bass courtesy of its larger size. While Monster isn’t going to beat Sony on fidelity, it was a telling contrast because it might lend some credibility to Sony’s claims that its non-circular diaphragm is doing something different. Mind you, in the event you just want good sound, you most likely won’t care how they do it.

Not that I used to be all that surprised this speaker would turn into a crowd pleaser.

It was equally impressive to see how the clarity and resonance got here through at different angles. Every speaker has a sweet spot, typically dead center in front of it, and that’s true here as well, only you won’t feel like there’s a giant drop-off in the event you veer away from it. I’m unsure how much that might improve when stereo pairing two XG300s together, but I can imagine it could only get well from there.

There are some nuances to notice involving volume. As with all speakers, there are tipping points. With the XG300, the vibrancy and clarity goes up a notch from 50-60% and from 60-70%. These are noticeable changes, and the easiest way I can describe it’s the audio gets a “kick” that brings out the perfect in what the speaker can do. Push it as much as 90% and distortion still doesn’t roar in to break things, though I’d say the sweetest spots are between 60-80%. At full blast, the sound is wonderful, though inconceivable to remove all distortion, which is much easier to listen to the closer you’re to the speaker.

Holding the Sony SRS-XG300 Bluetooth speaker.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

Not that you’ve to blast music on a regular basis. I actually enjoyed using the XG300 to relax out on a deck listening to jazz or a podcast at a lower volume, carrying it back into the home with me after I desired to keep listening. Despite the emphasis on bass response, I discovered all genres sounded great, and others who took a listen with different tastes agreed. Not that I used to be all that surprised this speaker would turn into a crowd pleaser.

I also used the XG300 to look at shows and flicks, particularly through the Aux-In port with a small projector. It worked wonderful, but it’s possible you’ll find the general volume level to be lower if you use it this manner. Via Bluetooth on a Pixelbook Go, I noticed a slight lag that didn’t make content unwatchable, but I also didn’t love the audio/video syncing, either. I got similar results with an Android phone and an iPhone. The dearth of aptX Adaptive codec support stings in scenarios like that, as its low-latency chops would’ve bridged any syncing gaps.

I also wasn’t as taken with it for phone calls. It’s nice to have the power to take a call and chat with someone, except the experience isn’t consistently good. I could hear callers just wonderful, however the onboard mic doesn’t do an exceptional job picking up voices farther away. I had to sit down or stand much closer to it to be audible and ensure callers could make out what I used to be saying. I tested the effect myself, and it’s akin to how someone sounds once they’re talking through their phone’s speaker from a distance.

Battery life

The ports in the rear of the Sony SRS-XG300 Bluetooth speaker.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

Sony says the XG300 can play as much as 25 hours per charge, but there’s wonderful print affecting that number. The 25-hour mark is in the event you’re playing at default volume with Mega Bass on and LED lights off. Due to variables involved, like if the lights were just static or pulsing, and changes to volume and sound modes, it was hard for me to nail down exact battery life. If I were to approximate, I discovered the battery lasted for about 17 hours with lights all the time on, volume at 60-70%, and Mega Bass toggled on throughout. Those numbers aren’t bad, considering the ability you get in exchange.

In a pinch, you may plug in for 10 minutes and rise up to 70 minutes of playback. You too can go into the app within the settings under Power Option and take a look at the choices there. Stamina mode shuts off the lights and radically reduces the bass response to avoid wasting power. Battery Care is on by default, suppressing the charging level to 90% to preserve and extend the battery’s lifespan. Auto Standby, also on by default, shuts the speaker down if it’s not doing anything for quarter-hour.

Our Take

It’s really easy to enjoy a speaker that just plays well without requiring an entire lot of tinkering, and I feel that’s a giant a part of the appeal here. True, it doesn’t come low cost at $350, however it holds up against all comers in that price range, so you’re getting your money’s price. A tad heavy, yet not huge in size, it’s also portable enough to hold around in the event you are so inclined.

Is there a greater alternative?

It’s vital to have a look at the XG300 as a Bluetooth speaker and examine comparisons from that vantage point because there are stationary speakers on the market that you’ve to maintain plugged in that also sound great. So, with that in mind, the $300 JBL Xtreme 3 is analogous in size and concept, except you’ve to connect a shoulder strap to hold it, as there isn’t a handle. It does weigh less, has the identical IP67 protection, and allows for matching up compatible speakers under JBL’s PartyBoost feature. Still, you get less battery life and the speaker won’t match the XG300’s clarity at higher volumes.

The $180 Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is a cheaper boombox offering excellent app support to go along with its 80 watts of power. Aesthetically and sonically, it won’t match what Sony’s done, and while a pound lighter, it is larger and won’t manage the identical sound quality and battery life the XG300 can offer.

How long will it last?

Sony made this speaker to last, however it’s as much as you to make certain it does. The IP67 protection is great for water and mud resistance, though you’ll want to rinse it clean if it’s been involved with sand or dirt. Sony’s one-year warranty doesn’t cover water damage, only functional issues, so be nice to the XG300 to maintain it playing for a very long time.

Do you have to buy it?

Yes. For those who’re searching for a speaker roughly this size and the value is true, you won’t be upset in what your money buys you here. The XG300 is arguably the speaker to beat at its size and weight immediately.

Editors’ Recommendations



We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Elgin Shopping Mall
Logo
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Shopping cart