Sony SRS XB23
Sony is a big player in the Bluetooth Portable speaker industry, and their Sony SRS XB23 is a beautiful addition to the compact line-up of speakers.
Launching in May of 2020, this speaker is a highly portable, inexpensive, premium speaker, and the Sony SRS XB23 packs it all in a slim-trim compact design.
Pricing in at just over the hundred dollar mark, this is a portable speaker I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with.
Join me in reviewing the Sony SRS XB23 Bluetooth Speaker!
Overview & Specs
Built for portability, this water bottle shaped Sony SRS XB23 is completely dust proof, shock proof, rust proof and water proof, coming in at an IP67 rating for durability and element deflection.
No matter where you may be with this device, you really don’t have to worry about a thing.
Featuring Bluetooth 5.0, its easy to connect with your device to quick playback of your music.
The XB23 has a 12-hour battery life, and takes approximately 2.5 hours to charge via the USB-C charging cable included. Within 15-minutes of inactivity the device will power down to conserve battery life. You can also save some battery by turning off EXTRA BASS, or keeping the volume at a suggested 50% level.
It features a built-in microphone for hands-free control, and smart assistant capabilities.
You can pair the Sony SRS XB23 up with multiple Sony speakers with the built-in Party mode, or switch it between stereo mode and mono mode with the Sony Music Centre companion app.
The great thing with Sony is their companion app is one of the best on the market right now, offering loads of different options for your devices. It features a dynamic EQ setting, giving you a lot of freedom with your music customization, as well as options to turn off features such as EXTRA BASS and battery conserving functions.
The Sony SRS XB23 is a cylindrical long and tall shaped speaker covered in a premium fabric mesh, that covers the 360-degree speaker face. It comes in several colors such as black, coral, red, light blue, olive green, and toupe.
The 360-degree design is broken up by a small rubberized panel on what can be considered the “back” panel. Down the panel are the power button, Bluetooth button, playback buttons, volume up and down, battery indicator, party mode, stamina indicator (when held down will turn off EXTRA BASS), and stereo pair.
Below the rubber panel for the playback buttons is a rubber flap covering the USB-C charging port. The speaker comes with a single USB-C charging cord for a 2.5 hour charge time.
This Sony portable speaker comes with a strap for easy carrying and attaching to your backpack, person or even beach umbrella. Although on a flat surface, this device can be stood up, or laid down depending on what you’re looking for.
The XB23 is just under a pound and a half, so its extremely lightweight, and with the ability to carry it with one hand, its easy to say this device is one of their most portable. Think of a water bottle, because its not much different! It measures 4.06 x 4.06 x 9.09 inches, pushing height more than width.
This truly is a slim-trim device.
With compact devices you always have to wonder how great the sound will be. Luckily, Sony has experience fitting great sound into small packages, and although it has limitations, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Sony SRS XB23.
The XB23 features dual passive radiators of each end of the device, as well as Sony’s omnidirectional X-Balanced speakers at the front. The speakers at the front are shaped in classic Sony fashion, with an oblong look for maximizing the speaker diaphragm and increasing sound pressure for a more punchy bass.
Because of the shape, it also reduces driver exertion and maintains the sound pressure, which allows for less distortion at higher volumes.
With the speaker center being off set, it allows sound to travel wider and farther, creating a bigger sound. This speaker does have impressive capabilities the louder it gets. However, it can’t help but lose the bass a little bit at top volumes.
The Sony SRS XB23 has a frequency response of 20HX to 20 kHz.
Cons and Other Considerations
What I LOVE!
The price and portability of this device is what I love the most!
It’s priced just over the $100 mark, which is inexpensive for a premium Sony speaker.
It’s very light weight, compact, and virtually damage resistant from any ailment or element.
You can strap it anywhere, to your belt, to your backpack, to a hanger in your back yard when you have people over. It can literally go anywhere.
What could be better…
It’s a small speaker, and you can only get so much sound. The great thing about this speaker is it’s Sony made, and you will get the best of what Sony can produce in this compact speaker.
The battery life also drains incrementally faster when you start using the EXTRA BASS feature, or you go anywhere near over and above the 50% volume mark. Unfortunately, the 50% mark really isn’t loud enough, so you can almost guarantee you’re only getting about 6 – 9 hours of battery life from this device.
The microphone isn’t worth talking about either. If you’re looking to utilize the mic, this speaker isn’t for you. The voice pick-up is lackluster, and unfortunately enough, with you pick up a call, the sound quality isn’t great.
My Verdict: Tall and mighty, for a fraction of the cost
All in all, the Sony SRS XB23 isn’t a terrible speaker. It doesn’t shine in every aspect, but what speaker does?
If you’re looking for portable speakers, this is definitely your speaker. And for the low cost, I think it’s worth investing in.
Don’t invest in this product if you’re looking to produce a huge, impactful sound, or you’re looking for a long battery life. These are the two areas that it misses on and will only disappoint.
If you’re looking for something different, check out some of my other reviews!
Until next time!