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Deep Bass guaranteed: Sony Extra Bass Speaker XB40 Test

A rich, powerful sound that brings the club energy anywhere: This is the promise Sony makes for its Extra Bass Bluetooth speaker XB40. Light effects, a powerful bass, and a wireless pairing are supposed to differentiate from the competitor models. We tested the speaker for you and reveal if they keep their promise.

Table of Content:

The first impression

The XB40 is an absolute eye-catcher. It is available in red, black and dark-blue and leaves a very good, high-quality impression. The speaker is coated with a rubber synthetic that takes care of the water resistance. It is classified with IPX5. There are two built-in 61mm satellite speakers behind the metal grid. In addition, it has a multi-color light bar, speaker lighting and a strobe light that uses the beat of the song. Only the LED lights outshine the devices by JBL or Bose already.

On the backside, there are protective caps for the audio-in port, power socket, and USB port, which can charge an iPhone. The speaker has a weight of 4.2lbs and therefore it is not a lightweight. Although it is only 12.4 x 5.3 x 7.5 inches large, it is not really for the mobile use because of the weight.

Specifications

  • Start date of selling: 01/17
  • System: Stereo
  • 360-degree sound: No
  • Frequency range: 2.4 GHz
  • Battery size: N/A (up to 24h of battery life)
  • Status display: No
  • Audio-in: Yes
  • Dimensions: 5.31 x 12.44 x 7.51 in
  • Protection class: IPX5
  • Shockproof: No
  • Weight: 4.2lbs
  • Material: Coated
  • Power bank: Yes
  • USB power supply: No (battery powered)
  • Connection: Bluetooth 4.2
  • Features: App, speakerphone mode, light effects, NFC, wireless party chain

Controls

The controls of the speaker are very easy and intuitive with the buttons on top. Pressing the power button will turn the speaker on or off. A press and hold of the power button will start the pairing mode.

The other buttons for the volume, playback and call acceptance are self-explanatory. The Extra Bass button controls the bass and light effects.

Sony Music Center app

Compared to the easy speaker controls, the iPhone app is much more complicated and nerve-racking. As soon as you connect the iPhone with the XB40 via Bluetooth, it asks you to download the Sony Music Center app, which is basically unnecessary because you could use the speaker without the app just perfectly.

The application is supposed to help to control and configure all wireless Sony products in one spot. In reality, it looks different because it doesn’t work. The app recognizes the XB40, but then it freezes a few times. It took us at least 20 trials until we got into the advanced settings.

If you can start the app, you can customize the sound according to your music taste. You can use, for example, the Equalizer to adjust bass, trebles, and middle tones. However, the settings are not helpful in case it freezes again or you cannot reconnect to the app because then you cannot change them again.

Sound

Let’s talk about the most important criteria for the speaker: The sound. Bluetooth speakers of this size mostly have a bass problem because they don’t have the space for the deep tones. This doesn’t count for the Sony XB40. The Extra Bass feature of the speaker actually provides a rich and deep sound with power.

Unfortunately, the music gets lost in the powerful bass as soon as you increase the volume. That’s especially uncomfortable if you just use the speaker for the background noise. As soon as you turn the Extra Bass off, the sound becomes better because the bass isn’t as dominant. All in all, the sound quality is good and balanced with potential, though.

Light effects

Sony equipped the XB40 with a nice gimmick: Many LED lights that follow the beat of the songs. This feature can be pretty entertaining especially for parties at night.

If one will like the strobe light or not, depends on the individual taste. However, you can also turn the light off completely to save battery.

Battery life

The battery life depends on the volume and light effects. If you play music on full volume and turn the light effects on, the battery will last for around 7 hours. If you turn the light feature off and listen to music at medium volume or lower, it can last for 24 hours. The charging time is 4 hours.

Conclusion

Sony keeps its promise: The label “Extra Bass” fits. Fans of deep bass will love the speaker. The XB40 is also good for normal music fans, who like to turn up the bass every once in a while. The speaker scores with a modern look, a very good assembly and a long battery life. The catastrophic iPhone app is a huge flaw, though, and adversely affects the music experience with the Sony XB40 significantly because you cannot get the most out of the speaker.

Advantages:

  • High-quality assembly
  • Easy controls
  • IPX5 certified
  • Light effects
  • Power bank for smartphone
  • Speakerphone feature
  • Long battery life

Disadvantages:

  • Heavy weight
  • Catastrophic app
  • Bass could be too dominant for some people
Check the current price of the Sony XB40 (in red) on Amazon.

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