Sony SRS-XG300 review – Smaller Size, Same Great Sound

Sony SRS-XG300 review - Smaller Size, Same Great Sound
Sony SRS-XG300 review - Smaller Size, Same Great Sound

Sony’s X-series Bluetooth speaker is a cool option for partygoers Ah, Sony. The maker of the original Walkman is back with another X-Series Bluetooth speaker called the Sony XG300, so named by the company because all of its speakers with the X prefix are equipped with Sony’s non-circular and party-friendly X-Balanced speaker. There’s also the new XG500, which is slightly larger, but today we’ll focus on the XG300.

The potential problem for the Sony XG300 is that while Sony, Ultimate Ears, JBL and Bose have been leading our rankings of the best Bluetooth speakers for several years, a few newcomers and newcomers have won gold lately — names like Tribit and Earfun are gaining momentum.

Sony SRS-XG300 review – Smaller Size, Same Great Sound

So, is Sony guilty of resting on its laurels? Has the Tokyo-based tech giant become intoxicated with its own successes and failed to notice that others are winning? Well, the answer is no, this speaker is categorically superior to the others in every way, but its offerings now stand out like sore thumbs for another reason, and the XG300 is no exception. The Sony X-Series SRS-XG300 looks particularly expensive, given the abundance of talented new modest, more economical, better party speakers.
At a Sony stoic price of $348 / £259 / AU$479, you can buy at least two cheap wireless Bluetooth speakers of similar size for that money. So, the question is, should you do it? Or does the smart money stay right there with Sony?

What we can tell you is that this is a talented speaker, replete with extra features you may or may not need, and it somehow manages to play the holiday card one moment and still look humble in your living room the next, thanks to a few simple taps into Sony’s exhaustive music. Central App.

Sony SRS-XG300 review - Smaller Size, Same Great Sound
Sony SRS-XG300 review – Smaller Size, Same Great Sound

First on the specs is undoubtedly support for LDAC, Sony’s proprietary hi-res codec. Why so? LDAC allows for better-than-CD-quality audio, up to 32 bits/96 kHz over Bluetooth at up to 990 kbps. According to Sony, it also allows about three times as much data to be transmitted over Bluetooth by using more efficient coding and “optimized packetization” of the data. To put those numbers in perspective, SBC (the standard “vanilla” Bluetooth codec) provides a maximum data rate of just 328 kbps, while Qualcomm’s aptX HD can only transmit 576 kbps. Impressive, then.

How does all this translate into audio performance per pound? It actually translates very well. The tight, tenacious, agile and exciting bass you get from this thing has to be heard to be believed, and the vocals are superbly textured and centered in the vast mix.

Overall, the performance of the Sony XG300 leaves us no choice but to conclude that this is a very, very good sounding and feature-rich Bluetooth speaker. So, if that’s what you want and you have the money, splash it out with our blessing. However, if all that sounds too much and you just want something cheap and fun for the kids to play tunes in the garden, you might consider the JBL Flip 6 or Tribit Stormbox Micro 2. But don’t get us wrong, that doesn’t mean the Sony XG300 will fail. Not at all…

Sony SRS-XG300 on a yellow table

  • $348 / £259 / AU$479
  • Released July 2022.

The Sony XG300 was released in July 2022 and is available in black and light gray, both of which will cost you two dollars less than $350 in the US, or nine pounds more than £250 if you live in the UK. So, this isn’t the frivolous “Yeah, why don’t you add this to your cart?” type of purchase you may have been looking for here.

Offers and discounts? Not likely. And while there’s something we wish we could say or do to mitigate the situation and make it better, we can tell you that if you’re willing to shell out that amount of money, Sony’s offer is definitely worth it.

For reference, the recently reviewed five-star Tribit Stormbox Blast costs more and is only $199 (about £163, $290). But it’s no better – it’s cheaper and represents excellent value for money at the level, but the Sony beats it in sound.

It’s tempting to think that what you’re actually paying for is the noun put on the rubberized top plate (which actually turns into a knob), but that would be wrong. So, let’s figure out the why and how, shall we?

  • Stylish assembly and finish.
  • Exhaustive features – some of which you may never need
  • LDAC support for higher quality streaming

The Sony XG300 weighs just over 6 pounds, or about 3 kilograms, which seems pretty heavy compared to other models of similar size – in this case it’s about the size of a wine bottle, but thicker; the circular enclosures that house the passive bass drivers and light show at both ends is almost the same. the same size as the CDs. Yes, we checked.

However, carrying it with a nifty retractable rubber handle helps lighten the load, and underneath you’ll find small and pleasant tactile buttons on both sides for power, pairing and mega-bass on the left, and play, volume and call controls on the right.

On the back of the speaker, a rubber cap protects your electrical ports: a USB-C charging port, a USB-A 5V output that you can use to charge other devices, and a 3.5mm input for wired listening. There are also two buttons, one to turn off external lights (more on that later) and a battery on button. This is a particularly nice addition you can press once to get a quick voice message about the percentage of battery power left in your XG300, or long presses to start battery care mode.

You know how people always advise you not to leave your phone or desktop on for long periods of time because it causes battery damage? It’s all about this – it stops the speaker charging above 90% and thus helps extend the life of your device. Considering its price, it’s nice to know that this portable speaker should at least run at full power for a long time thanks to features like this one.

The Sony XG300 supports Bluetooth 5.2 and Google fast-pair, so if you have an Android device, setup is quick and easy. But it’s also easy for iPhone owners, we pair easily – and you also get multipoint connectivity, so if you’re throwing a party, two of you can play tracks from two simultaneously paired devices.

Battery life is up to 25 hours on a full charge, which is ideal (though keep in mind that if you regularly turn the device on to listen at maximum volume, you’ll notice a noticeable drop in stamina), and fast charging means that a 10-minute juice will give you 70 minutes of playback. It’s also IP67 dust- and waterproof, so it’s great for the pool or beach. There’s a microphone with echo-canceling technology for hands-free communication, and in case we didn’t mention it enough, there are customizable external light sources on either side of the speaker, emitted by these passive bass radiators.

Beneath the premium fabric hood is a two-way system consisting of one 20mm tweeter and a 61 x 68mm bass driver on the left and right channels. Non-circular diaphragms, are you crying? Yes, and that’s what Sony calls its X-Balanced driver, a non-circular driver that delivers more sound pressure to boast high-quality sound. JBL has called its non-rounded methods “raceway-shaped drivers” before, and we like it both ways.

The Sony Music Center app is probably the most full-featured offering we’ve ever seen. To start with, it lives up to its name in the sense that it actually goes through a list of any streaming apps you have installed on your phone for much easier access.

Honestly, there are so many useful, weird and totally bizarre ways to boost or change the speakerphone that it puts other options on hold. There’s a short list of EQ presets you can try, or there’s a three-band EQ if you prefer to do it yourself. There are also word choices (including “EXCELLENT” and “Cute”) to choose from in terms of light show – but that’s far from the end of the story.

Purchase this speaker, and you’re also encouraged to download the Fiestable app, which opens the door to several “DJ Control” options, such as the isolator and flanger, which, while fun at first, most of us will pretty soon forget about them after hearing their heavy vocoder-style music at least once.

What’s quite useful about the Fiestable app (which can be accessed from the Sony Music Center) is the ability to select the color of the backlight you might want to see and the motion control. This allows you to change the playback with different movements of your phone. For example, make your phone “nod” to you so you can pause playback. Swivel it left or right (as if you were making it shake its head) and you can turn the volume down or up, and make it move like a car windshield wiper to skip tracks forward or backward.

You can also make your phone a color-matching light source to enhance the party in the Party Light tab, or use the voice control section (no Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri required) to turn off the lights – or even say “Let’s party!” and Sony will give you its best effort at whatever you play.

Again, some of these features you may never use, but it’s all supported by Sony’s proprietary LDAC codec, so if you have the files, you can actually stream higher-resolution audio better than a CD, up to 32-bit / 96 kHz over Bluetooth at up to 990 kbps.

  • Design and Performance Rating: 5/5
  • Sonys SRS-XG300 Detail on Yellow Table
  • Gives a sonic masterclass to cheaper Bluetooth speakers
  • Trained, nimble and tenacious thanks to the bass
  • Hard to muddy or distort – even at high volumes

Often we advise listeners to leave the “bass-boost” or “X-Bass” buttons alone, but here you are free to use Mega Bass or not, and know that the extra weirdness of the bass sound will almost never get bloated, distorted, laggy or muddy. Simply put, this speaker sounds great in a lot of material.

Streaming snappy STAY Kid LAROI is a pleasure in terms of musicality, as Sony marks every fleeting burst, sample or vocal with care and seemingly undivided attention, in a detailed and cohesive mix. As the playlist continues WITHOUT YOU, Sony tells us how good it is with textured, emotional vocals that are served with fervor and indomitable energy.

The treble is clean, distinct and high in tracks like Getta’s “Mozambique,” but never at the expense of a neutral and enjoyable mix. The motorcycle at the beginning of Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” feels three-dimensional and realistic (a relatively good litmus test when testing the upper midrange in this design), and Gordon McRae’s beautiful high baritone in the monologue from the original “Music Carousel” movie is engaging and appealing. well weighted, even as the song comes to its raucous conclusion.

Any flaws? If we’re really picky, and we mean really picky, this speaker is the epitome of energy and room-filling precision, but sometimes it can offer a little more delicacy — those ups and downs in dynamics that bring your music to life. We don’t want to exaggerate this because it’s such a small problem in a top-of-the-line Bluetooth speaker; but it’s our job to notice-and when Billy whispers, he still sounds a little further into the mix than we might expect.

  • Sound quality rating: 4.5/5
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Expensive – but worth it

Recommended if you’re on a budget-As we hopefully said in this review, the Sony XG300 is a relatively expensive Bluetooth speaker. It won’t make our list of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like it. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Its closest size counterpart is probably the JBL Xtreme 2, but that product was released at £199/$220 – albeit in 2019 and with a much more stripped-down feature set.

The thing is, this speaker offers so much more. Like JBL’s PartyBoost, you can connect up to a hundred other compatible Sony speakers to the XG300 to really liven up a party, or create a stereo pair with two XG300s, but with the Sony Music Center app it’s much easier. And while we’re on the subject, this app is one of the most comprehensive options on the market, yet the most intuitive and helpful.

Also, the Sony XG300 somehow looks like a party speaker and something for your Sunday morning lounge at the same time, and the sound is energetic, really enjoyable and appropriate either way.

If you don’t want to spend that much on something interesting that doesn’t bother with a little rain, check out our guide to the best waterproof speakers. But if you have the money, the Sony is still an unbeatable value.

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