A lot of hype surrounds Sony’s waterproof Bluetooth speaker, the SRS-XB43 model – does it have the same high-quality sound that Sony’s known for, and is it worth the money?
The Sony SRS-XB43 Bluetooth speaker is reviewed here from its basic features to its pros and cons.
This Bluetooth speaker is categorized as a wireless waterproof speaker, and some of its more prominent features include LED lights, Party Connect, and speakerphone functionality.
We will take a closer look at the speaker’s specifications and design as well as the advantages of those additional features when shopping for a Bluetooth speaker.
- Playback via Bluetooth with NFC
- costs $249.99
- Its ASIN is B086CYQ22F
- It weighs 6.5 pounds
- Waterproof: Yes, IP67-rated
- Available in black, blue, and taupe
- Features power, Bluetooth pairing, volume control, and call management buttons
- Bulkier, rugged design
The Sony SRS-XB43 Bluetooth speaker weighs slightly over six pounds, so it isn’t the lightest on the market, but it is functional. There are LED bands that light up on the left and right ends of the speaker, as well as more pale LEDs behind the grille.
The control strip, located at the top of the model, is probably the most important feature of the design.
There are all the controls you need to control the speaker’s performance in this area – including power, Bluetooth pairing, volume control, play and pause buttons, as well as call management.
There is also a Live button that adds a three-dimensional sound to your audio, but I will discuss those in more detail below.
The speaker features dual woofers (2.54 by 2.8.8 inches) and 0.8 tweeters behind the grille that cover a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz.
With an IP67 waterproof rating, this speaker is quite durable and shouldn’t be affected by accidental water damage if you keep the cover closed. Its waterproof design means that most accidental water damage can be avoided, but dropping it several feet into the water will cause damage.
Salt water is not an issue in the XB43, so you can use it on the beach if needed. You don’t have to worry about regular dirt or dust affecting the speaker’s sound, as it is equally resistant to both.
Let’s take a look at the best features of the XB43 now that we’ve covered how it works.
Modes of LED light
If you are using those two LED lights on the speaker’s edges, you can change their colours or even let them change colours while the music is playing.
This is not a show-stopper, but it can be handy at parties or events – especially in low lighting where those flashing and changing colours really make an impact. It is possible to change the colour of the lights or the light mode by manipulating the controls on the speaker.
The XB43 is a Bluetooth speaker that connects to your phone and allows you to make and receive calls hands-free thanks to its Bluetooth technology. Although hands-free calling isn’t an essential feature for parties, it is still useful when you are on your own, or if you need the extra volume.
The XB43 features “Live Sound,” which provides a three-dimensional quality to the audio. The system is intended to be used for parties and events.
There are many benefits to live sound at events or festivals – however, it is not one of the features I appreciate most in the XB43, so you may not need it.
You can connect up to one hundred different wireless speakers via Bluetooth using the Party Connect feature if you have more than one speaker. It is incredibly useful for parties and events of larger scale since the sound (and lights) sync perfectly.
There is no doubt that the XB43 is a portable speaker. There are no wires or cables to deal with since it’s wireless (unless you plan to charge it), and the shape makes it easy to hold in one hand.
It should be noted that it is quite a bit heavier than most wireless speakers at over six pounds, however, the extra weight will not make it difficult to transport.
Any wireless speaker requires a good amount of battery life, especially if you plan to take it with you on the go or to an event.
While Sony boasts that the XB43 can last a full 24 hours on a single charge, it’s likely that the XB43 will last around 15 hours (with the lights on) before requiring a refill.
You may notice that some things like STAMINA mode or EXTRA BASS have an adverse impact on how long your battery lasts as well as your entire listening experience.
You will need to turn off the lights and activate STAMINA mode in order to achieve that full battery life.
The speaker also features a handy feature to conserve power when the speaker is not in use. The speaker will automatically shut down after 15 minutes of inactivity. You can, however, disable this feature if you do not wish to use it.
It is true that the XB43 offers good sound quality for a wireless speaker, but it may fall short in some areas, particularly when it comes to high-frequency tones.
If your music has a higher frequency, it may sound duller than it should, since most mid-range and balanced audio features crisp, clear sound.
Despite the fact that the product boasts EXTRA BASS, it does not deliver low-bass frequencies as sharply as you might expect from a top-of-the-line model.
You may be able to obtain clearer bass if you use the Sony app to control the settings and sound dynamics – however, making small adjustments is necessary.
You should use the XB43 at a volume between medium and low. You may experience some audio compression if you use the speaker at maximum volume – so the speaker is better suited to personal use than large gatherings and events.
It was still a surprise to see how average this Sony model’s performance was – especially as a new speaker.
The XB43 is a great party speaker to use near the pool or for camping, but its sound quality is lacking as a larger event speaker.
Pros and Cons SRS-XB43
Let’s go over the general pros and cons that come with considering the XB43 now that I’ve reviewed its features and design.
- Battery life is long
- And the device is dust- and water-proof
- The device performs well and has good audio quality at low and mid-volumes
- LED lights and modes to play with
- Make it more portable
- Hands-free calling is included
- You can connect up to a hundred speakers to the same sound with Party Connect
- Live Sound fails to impress
- when volume is increased, possibly because of sound compression
- It doesn’t reproduce low-bass sounds as well as it should
There is a lot to love about the Sony SRS-XB43 as a wireless, portable, and waterproof speaker, but I was surprised by just how average it was during my evaluation.
It contains the EXTRA BASS feature, but those very low bass sounds and high frequencies did not sound as clear as one would expect from a Sony product.
The XB43 is still a fine device for personal use, even if it lacks in a few areas. This is especially true if you are always on the move. If it gets a little wet, you do not have to worry about water damage since it is light enough to store in a bag.
The XB43 is a great Bluetooth speaker for personal use and better durability. However, if you are seeking top-notch performance, you may wish to consider another model.