Sony Speaker SRS-XB43 Review

By John Panoryios Review Source





The Sony SRS-XB43 is a well-built, portable speaker that you can use either horizontally or vertically. It has customizable lighting and an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. Like many Sony speakers we've tested, it supports ClearAudio+, which is advertised to adjust your speaker's sound field to your audio. There's a graphic EQ featured in its Sony Music Center companion app, which you can use to customize its sound to your liking.


Controls


The Sony XB43's controls are impressive. On top of the speaker, there are physical buttons that let you power it on/off, activate Bluetooth pairing, play/pause your audio, adjust the volume, and enter 'LIVE' or 'STAMINA' modes. The 'LIVE' mode is advertised to create a more immersive, 3D audio experience, and the 'STAMINA' mode can help save battery life. You can press the Play button twice to skip to the next track and three times to skip to the previous track. The buttons are easy to press, and there are mini display lights on some of the buttons that show their status. On the back of the XB43, you can find the buttons for stereo pairing, Party Mode, and a Battery button that lets you activate the lights and hear the battery level of your speaker.


Sound


The Sony SRS-XB43's frequency response accuracy is okay. Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. That said, due to the recessed treble, some higher-pitched voices and instruments can sound dark or dull. It also lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM, even with its EXTRA BASS feature enabled. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound to better suit your preferences, thanks to the graphic EQ featured in its companion app.


Active Features


The Sony SRS-XB43 has an impressive battery performance. In our testing, it lasted for 15 hours off of a single charge, which is outstanding. The manufacturer advertises that it can last 24 hours off a single charge if you set the volume to 31, turn off the lights, and activate STAMINA mode. That said, battery life can vary according to usage and whether you have EXTRA BASS or STAMINA MODE activated, meaning your experience may differ. The speaker also shuts off after 15 minutes without audio, which can help conserve its battery life. You can turn this power-saving feature off, too.


Build Quality


The Sony SRS-XB43 has a very good build quality. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. Overall, it has a durable feel, and the thick netting wrapping around most of the speaker doesn't seem like it could rip easily. There's also a rubber flap in the rear that protects the opening for the inputs.



Portability


The Sony SRS-XB43 has excellent portability. This small speaker is fairly lightweight and can be held in one hand, making it easy to bring along with you when you're on the move. It's also battery-powered, so you don't have to worry about needing to plug it into an outlet for it to work when taking it outdoors with you.


Dynamics


The Sony SRS-XB43's dynamics are alright. It can get fairly loud, so its sound can fill a large room. That said, there's compression present at max volume that may affect the quality of your audio during louder listening sessions.