· Battery Care Avoids overcharging to preserve the battery
· IP rating Protected against ingress of dust and water
· X-Balanced speaker Non-circular drive unit for higher-quality performance
The Sony SRS XG300 is a wireless party speaker that is a member of Sony’s X-Series and is designed to be used indoors and outdoors. It boasts the sound that gets a party going and is available from Sony.
Its adaptability puts it in competition with a wide variety of other wireless speakers, yet the price tag is not as exorbitant as you might anticipate, given its features. Does Sony’s plus-size portable speaker have what it takes to become a game-changer?
The Sony SRS XG300 is the largest of the new X-Series portable speakers by a country mile. Its model number is XG300 (well, not literally). It resembles a small boombox speaker and has a width of 318 millimetres. The speaker is large and difficult to transport, as it was not intended for vertical playback.
Therefore, the XG300’s retractable handle proves to be beneficial, which is especially important considering that the speaker weighs 3 kilograms, which places it in the upper end of the range for portable units. It is comparable to speakers such as the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20, the Harman Kardon Citation 200, and the Sonos Move. However, out of the Sonos and B&O speakers, I would say that the XG300 is the heaviest one to move around.
Compared to its dimensions, the XG300 is a party speaker with a sophisticated appearance. It is wrapped in a knitted fabric that comes in stylish varieties that are either dark grey or black and has a bit of an hourglass shape to it, with a middle section that is narrower than the ends and wider in the middle. It is protected from the entry of dust and water thanks to its IP rating of IP67, which is the same as that of the Wonderboom 3 and Emberton II, which are both smaller.
Below the carry handle on either side of the unit are a pair of button controls. The controls for playback/calls and volume are on the right, while the power button, Bluetooth, and Mega Bass buttons are on the left. The button presses don’t require much effort, and you’ll hear a click to let you know they’ve been registered after each one.
A flap that wraps over the back of the device hides the connections and a few more buttons. A USB-C port is available for charging another device, a USB-A port is available for assessing the speaker itself (with a plug adaptor provided), and a stereo mini-jack is available (along with a cable) for connecting to an external device (such as a portable music player). The Battery Care function (on which more will be elaborated later) and the Light feature are both accessible via the buttons.
The Light feature, which Sony refers to as the Ambient Illumination feature, causes a halo of light to be emitted at either end of the speaker, immediately behind the woofer. It shifts and pulses in time with the rhythm, although it isn’t the most apparent aspect of the performance in its default configuration. You wouldn’t be able to tell that there was a light display going on unless you were looking at it from the side or in a room that wasn’t very bright.
According to the manufacturer, the XG300 has a battery life of 25 hours, which is a respectable amount for a speaker of its size. Compared to the 8 and 11 hours offered by the Beolit 20 and Move, the figure provided by the SRS-XG300 puts those speakers in the shade.
Battery Care, as I described previously, is a feature that helps extend the battery’s life. It does not conserve energy or lengthen the battery’s life, although there is a feature that accomplishes both of those things.
Instead, it prevents the speaker from being overcharged, allowing the battery unit to live longer. There is also the capability for rapid charging, which means that 10 minutes of charging will result in an additional 70 minutes of playback time.
To quickly pair with Android devices, Google Fast Pair has been included; however, iOS does not give this capability. Considering that it is billed as a “party” speaker, the fact that it can also function as a speaker phone for calls lends an unexpected versatility to the product. During phone conversations, the onboard technology known as Echo Cancelling works to eliminate any echoes or delays that may occur.
No voice assistance is available on this device; Google and Alexa control are not commonly found on portable Bluetooth speakers. The B&O Beosound A1 2nd Gen is the only portable speaker I’ve come across that offers voice assistance.
The SRS-XG300 does provide support for applications, specifically from two different applications. The application known as Sony’s Music Centre is used to manage software updates, battery life, sound quality, and illumination function.
The app provides EQ sound options (Mega Bass, Live Sound, and Custom), Sony’s ClearAudio+ (which seems to enable Mega Bass anyway), DJ effects (Isolator and Flanger for some fun), and Bluetooth connection quality – allow priority on Sound Quality, and the XG300 will play in LDAC Bluetooth if a mobile device supports it.
iOS does not support LDAC Bluetooth. In that case, there exist Bluetooth codecs known as SBC and AAC. The wireless signal can go a reasonable distance, as evidenced by the absence of signal degradation when the listener moves from the speaker to the opposite end of a big yard.
In the Power menu, you’ll find a feature called Stamina that reduces the amount of power the speaker uses.
This feature helps prolong the life of the speaker’s battery in situations where there is no way to charge the device. Even if the Illumination section features more obvious light effects like Rave, I’d argue that you still need to be in a dark location to get the full impact of it.
The Fiestable app is more geared toward parties and offers broader control over DJ effects, light effects (with Party Flash, you can change colors on the fly), and Motion Control, which is excellent when it works. However, the software is only party-oriented when it actually works.
The playback and volume can be controlled by moving the smartphone, albeit different movements will register better on the device in different situations. My efforts to adjust the volume gave the impression that I was attempting to get my Rave on. I take that’s the point being made it.
Back in the Music Centre app, there is support for other music apps, including Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, Tidal, Spotify, and YouTube Music; however, this just means that you will be taken directly to the respective app when you tap on the icon (any app already on a mobile device can be added to the list).
The Voice Command is not voice control because it involves searching for something (a performer, a song, etc.) and then being taken to an app (Spotify or YouTube) that gives results connected to what you searched for.
It only seems to bring up results with the first word that you say; hence, if you are looking for Lady Gaga, you should say “Gaga” rather than “Lady”; otherwise, the end result will be a list of muddled results that contain the word “Lady.”
The SRS-XG300, much like practically every other party speaker, can be linked to an absurdly high number of other speakers, which is not at all practical unless you are attempting to set some kind of record for the Guinness Book of World Records (100). Additionally, stereo pairing with an additional speaker is supported.
In terms of its presentation, the SRS-XG300 is consistent with Sony’s more recent headphones, namely the WH-1000XM5 and the WF-1000XM4, which are rich and smooth while focusing on bass.
If you are someone who values neutrality and precision, you won’t receive as much of that from this speaker as you would from the Sonos Move; but, keeping in mind that this is a “party” speaker, you shouldn’t expect to get as much as you would from the Sonos Move.
The XG300 is a highly directional speaker due to the lack of a 360-degree sound dispersion, even though it has a large soundstage made possible by the speaker’s design. Because the speaker does not send its sound out to the sides, the position I found most advantageous was either standing or sitting toward the speaker. When seated in this position, I can hear music; nevertheless, it is somewhat muffled.
When listening to 112’s “Peaches & Cream,” Nas’ “If I Ruled the World,” and Katy B’s “Katy On a Mission,” the Mega Bass function does provide a little more flesh to the bassline; nevertheless, I would not describe the Mega Bass effect as having an overt impact on the mid-range or treble performance.
The X-Balanced speaker driver arrangement keeps a strong balance across the frequency spectrum, which leads me to believe that the use of Mega Bass is more subtle and understated than dominant and annoying. When turned up loud, I did not notice any evident distortion while listening to Hey Jude by The Beatles; nevertheless, the more minor JBL Charge 5 can hit more substantial volumes, which may surprise some.
The benefits of the speaker’s rich character make them likeable. Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater” demonstrates a more powerful low-frequency performance with more energy and drive than the Move can muster.
However, the Beolit 20’s bass is more significant than both speakers, so I should add that it is more textured than the bass on more expensive speakers such as the Move.
The fluidity of its playback is also appealing, particularly when combined with voices like Isabella Manfredi’s in The Preatures’s rendition of “Is This How You Feel?”
Its reproduction of voices is natural enough; they are satisfyingly big in their description, even though they register with a touch more bass and weight than you’ll find on other portable speakers of the XG300’s ilk. The XG300 is an excellent choice for those who want a high-quality portable speaker at an affordable price. If you like how smoother and more packed the presentation is, then the XG300 will have a lot of appeal for you.
The Sony’s retrieval of information isn’t as good as the Move’s; it lacks that extra ounce of sharpness and definition that would give it an even higher clarity. This richness does, however, offer certain flaws, one of which is that these flaws are presented by the richness itself.
Another region of the frequency spectrum in which its rich presentation can be heard to its most significant advantage is the high-frequency range. There isn’t the same sharpness or tonal variation of treble notes as on the Move with Gogo Penguin’s Raven and Gerald Clayton’s Rejuvenation Agenda; the SRS-warmer XG300’s presentation isn’t as precise or as clear as the Move’s sharper, neutral tone. There isn’t the same sharpness or tonal variation of treble notes.
However, this does not significantly affect the sound quality of Sony.
It delivers a warm, rich, and smooth performance, making it an excellent choice for use in party settings and outside; in addition, the price is far lower than that of Sonos, B&O, or Harman Karman.
· Fun audio effects/customisations
· Long battery life
· Rich, likable sound
· Solid portability
· Not the most detailed presentation
· A little heavy to carry
A wireless speaker with long battery life and high sound quality can be taken anywhere. The SRS-XG300 is made for social gatherings and the great outdoors, and it does it at a highly reasonable price.
If you look at the SRS-XG300 objectively, you’ll find that it’s an excellent Bluetooth speaker. The speaker’s design is thoughtful, with a retractable handle and a high IP certification (just think of all the dropped drinks at a party), the battery life is better than that of more expensive speakers, and the music quality is more enjoyable.
Even if not utilized in a party situation, it would be an excellent option for usage on an expedition to a park, beach, or garden because of the party functions with the many compatible apps.
Sony’s XE200 and XE300 are great options if a more compact design is desired. But the SRS-XG300 is ready to help people who want a large, welcoming sound that will complement outdoor and indoor situations.