Sony SRS-XB33: A Bluetooth Speaker Worth The Money? (Answered!)

It is easy to see why Sony is one of the most recognized technology companies in the world. Sony is known for its high-quality gadgets and original designs. Smart speakers, noise reduction technology, and a wealth of other features set the benchmark for many innovations.

As one of the global leaders of audio technology, Sony ranks alongside other major brands such as Bose or B&O. 

A portable wireless speaker from Sony, the SRS-XB33 Extra Bass is designed to provide premium sound on the go. However, is this speaker the savior we have been waiting for?

Not in my opinion.

The following are the reasons this speaker is good and the reason you can do better. 

Sony SRS-XB33

In spite of its unassuming exterior, the Sony SRS-XB33 packs a powerful Bluetooth speaker with fancy LED lighting and loads of power to play continuous music.

Its surprisingly low frequency can disappoint at times, but it’s no big deal for a portable Bluetooth speaker that costs around $150. Despite this, audiophiles may be disappointed in the sound. 


  • Release date: May 11, 2020
  • Price: $148
  • ASIN: B086D4JNGM 
  • Weight: 2.42 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes


  • Portable
  • Robust and Sturdy
  • Waterproof, dustproof, rustproof, and shockproof

Even though the Sony SRS-XB33 weighs more than 2.2lbs, its clever design makes it a breeze to transport. The speaker looks good in the house, but perhaps more importantly, it’s durable enough to throw around next to the pool or at a party. 

The best part is that it’s waterproof, dustproof, rustproof, and can even resist saltwater! Even in the worst conditions, the wireless speaker is shockproof up to 3.9ft/1.2m.

Thanks to its robust design, the Sony SRS-XB33 seems indestructible. Despite the fact that it looks and feels like any other portable speaker, it feels sturdy enough. 

You can control a lot of things with the power button, Bluetooth, volume buttons, and Live Sound. 

Even though it drains the battery faster, Live Sound gives your music that extra boost. 

During my late-night walk, I had trouble finding the buttons, but the embossed symbols made it easier to use the controls in the dark. 

This wouldn’t matter if the Sony SRS-XB33 had great audio quality. That doesn’t mean it can’t do the job; it just doesn’t do it as well as some of the less expensive ones.

To skip the track backward, you’ll have to press the play/pause/call button three times, while you’ll need to press the same button twice to play/pause/call. 

Although it’s a bit hands-on, I like that there’s a USB port for charging your phone while you’re listening to your audio. 

That’s pretty handy when you’re out in the great outdoors and your battery’s low. The SRS-XB33 also has a USB-C port for charging, along with buttons for monitoring your batteries. Black, cream, red, and blue are the colors available for the Sony SRS-XB33.


Music lovers who like a symmetrical design may find the SRS-XB33 off-center in its shape. Sony, however, claims that this design effectively distributes the weight and contributes to a wider soundstage along with improved clarity.


  • Bluetooth speakers compatible with up to 100 
  • iOS and Android apps

It’s most impressive when used as a party piece, but doesn’t have the nuanced features that make it an essential home accessory. 

I don’t have a problem with it since Sony’s aim is to be the life of the party. The SRS-XB33 has extensive support, and you’ll need to download two separate apps to maximize its performance. 

With the first app, you can play with the LED lights and sync them to the music tempo, while the other app handles basic functions like volume and connectivity. 

You don’t need either app for it to work, and you can still listen to your music without them. I like playing with the sound, and Sony lets me tweak the EQ to my heart’s content.

In-app support also gets top marks from Sony. You can update your speaker by downloading the Sony Music Center. 

It covers not only the music playing options, but also Fiestable, a feisty feature that controls the lighting and gives the effect of a DJ, which is only found in clubs.

With the two eye-like circles in the speaker and vertical lines flashing in time to the beat, the lights are certainly impressive, especially considering the device’s size. 

Battery Life

  • Playback for up to 24 hours

According to Sony, the XB33 has a 24-hour battery life. That’s not a guarantee. With the light display or volume on, the battery dropped rapidly when I used it continuously. 

A good 12 hours of battery life can be expected depending on the situation. It’s best to charge the speaker or better yet have it plugged in for parties, however, it’ll still work well when you go camping for a few days and set the volume low.

Sound Quality

  • Big Bold Bass
  • An excellent Party accessory
  • Treble could be clearer

Due to the dual passive radiators, the bass is deep and powerful, as you would expect from a party speaker. Digital signal processing (DSP) is used by Live Sound for reproducing 3-D surround sound. 

Even at higher volume, the Sony SRS-XB33 gives me clear sounds, but I’d like a little more oomph in the trebles.

When playing classical music or other quieter instrumentals, especially with the volume up, it almost feels strange to listen to the bass. 

It also comes with the X-Balanced Speaker Unit, which reduces distortion while delivering a punchier bass.

The Extra Bass feature amplifies low-frequency sound, while Stamina Mode conserves your battery by limiting the volume input.

Despite being able to do the job, the Sony SRS-XBR33 doesn’t stand out from the competition. Despite its ability to energize a party, the speaker lacks the subtle refinement and clarity lovers of authentic sound crave.

Pros and Cons SRS-XB33


  • Loud noises
  • Long-lasting
  • Battery-powered
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Weatherproof design with IP67 rating
  • Amazing lighting controls
  • App-controlled EQ
  • SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth 5.0


  • The AptX codec is unavailable
  • Due to Smart Assistant issues
  • With high distortion 
  • And poor sound quality


Ultra Ears Hyperboom

There is no comparison between the quality of the UE Hyperboom and the Sony SRS-XB33. Although the UE Hyperboom may cost more, it is no match for the Sony SRS-XB33. 

Hyperboom is equipped with precision subwoofers that produce deep bass that the XB33 can’t match.

JBL Charge 4

Alternatively, the JBL Charge 4 is a far superior option in terms of price, quality, and sound. It provides more dynamic sound and pristine clarity for a lower price point. The Charge 4 is my preferred model.

Sonos Move

Sonos entered the home audio market several years ago and has steadily redefined the audio experience with its multi-room system. With a battery life of over 10 hours, the Sonos Move is one of the best standalone speakers available. 

With a weight of six pounds, it is the lightest and loudest speaker on the list. Whether on a camping trip or at a poolside party, this is the closest thing to perfection.  


Wireless speakers rarely live up to their names, but the SRS-XB33 might be one exception. The XB33 gives you what you would expect, but it lacks the power to match its looks. 

Despite being deep and resonant, the bass gets distorted and fuzzy at high volumes. 

Despite its well-built and durable design, the XB33 doesn’t have the same dynamic sound you’d find in Bose, Sonos, or JBL products of the same price range. 

Despite the fact that Sony’s SRS-XB33 comes with a feature called ClearAudio+ that adjusts the soundstage to the music, however, the speaker’s sound quality outside seems inconsistent. The best word to describe this product would be “underwhelming.”


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