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Did Sony just make the best portable speakers for the summer? Here’s a first look


Sony

Sony Electronics is debuting two new speakers: the SRS-XB100 and the SRS-XV800. They’re two wireless speakers, each with a long battery life, that Sony suggests can go anywhere with you this summer. 

Planning to host a backyard BBQ? Let the SRS-XV800 party speaker’s room-filling sound take over the entertainment for you. Headed to the beach? That’s cool, the SRS-XB100 gets loud enough for outdoor listening and can take a splash, too.

Also: Best Bluetooth speakers you can buy right now

Here’s everything you need to know about the company’s latest speakers, including the key new features and how much they cost.

Sony SRS-XB100: Tiny but mighty

The compact SRS-XB100 may be small, but Sony packed a good amount of features into the speaker to warrant your attention. For example, it casts widespread audio thanks to the sound diffusion processor within. And a loudspeaker driver enhances the bass response of the system.

Sony SRS-XB100

The Sony SRS-XB100 comes in four colors.

Sony

With portability in mind, the Sony SRS-XB100 only weighs about half a pound and is less than four inches tall and three inches wide. It also features a built-in microphone, enabling it to be used for hands-free calling. This makes it easy to transition from music playing to calls when you’re out and about, or even be used as the centerpiece in a conference room.

Also: The best stereo speakers you can buy

Sony is giving you the option to pair multiple speakers together to create a stereo listening experience or connect to a standalone SRS-XB100 via USB-C port, Bluetooth, or Fast Pair for Android.

Sony SRS-XB100 in orange

The SRS-XB100’s neon colors make it easy to spot, even for its small form factor.

Sony

Sony says the SRS-XB100 can go just about anywhere, including wet environments. This is because the speaker is IP67-rated, making it waterproof and dust-proof. While I wouldn’t recommend testing these limits, Sony claims the speaker can withstand being submersed in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, provided that all ports are closed. 

Also: The best speakers under $50

The SRS-XB100 touts a 16-hour battery life, which is technically better than most of the best portable speakers on the market. We’ll have to test those endurance claims before making any judgment, though.

The speaker costs $59 and is now available for pre-order in select retailers. You can expect orders to start shipping out in late May. 

Sony SRS-XV800: The party animal

The larger of the two new Sony systems, the SRS-XB100, is a powerful party speaker designed to be durable and portable. 

Sony designed the SRS-XV800 with omnidirectional sound, with two rear tweeters that work best at large parties and against a wall when connected to a television. There are also three front tweeters for enhanced vocal clarity and realistic high frequencies. We’ll have to listen to the speaker ourselves to determine if this it’s truly a party favorite.

Sony SRS-XV800

Built-in handle and wheels make the SRS-XV800 easy to lug around.

Sony

The SRS-XV800 also houses two X-Balanced speaker units, each with a rectangular diaphragm to achieve high sound pressure with little to no distortion and strong, powerful bass, according to Sony. And to bring a little color and life to the party, the speaker comes with an illuminated touch panel at the top and supports indirect illumination that syncs to its music playback.

For input/output, the SRS-VX800 can be paired with Bluetooth, Fast Pair for Android, karaoke and guitar input, or optical cable, and is compatible with the Sony Music Center and Fiestable apps. 

Also: The best wireless speakers

As far as durability goes, the SRS-XV800 is splash-resistant. So while it’s not waterproof, it is IPX4-rated to withstand splashes of water, like at a pool party. 

Sony SRS-XV800 splashed with water

Sony

To power the speaker, forget pitching in with your friends to replace type D batteries (unlocked a memory, huh?), the SRS-XV800 has a built-in battery that Sony says can give you up to 25 hours of listening time. And you’ll be able to unlock three hours of playback with only 10 minutes of charging.

The Sony SRS-XV800 is now available for pre-order for the price of $649, with orders shipping out in late May.



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