Are you looking for a Bluetooth speaker that will fulfill all of your desires? While they won’t do the laundry or cook you a nice dinner, these wireless speakers are improving every year and now have more functions than you can shake a stick at. So, which one should you choose?
JBL is known as a leader in the small, portable Bluetooth speaker game, but other brands are coming in hard, vying for that top spot. And Sony is one of them. This electronics giant has been crushing it since 1946, making players and speakers of all sorts.
Their SRS-XE300 speaker is one in a long line of development. So, in my in-depth Sony SRS-XE300 review, I’ll take a look into all its features to see if this is the speaker for you.
Sony SRS-XE300 – Product Overview
Let’s start with a basic description of what this speaker is since the model number doesn’t help us much. The SRS-XE300 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that is no shrinking violet. It’s about as big and heavy as you want a “small” portable speaker to be. It weighs 2.86 pounds (about 1.3 kg) and measures over 4.65 inches (119mm) in diameter and 9.37 inches (238mm) in length.
Well, not diameter, exactly. That’s because this speaker, unlike so many out there, isn’t round. It’s not even square. Sony has gone crazy here and given us a pentagonal speaker to play with.
That’s 5-sided, my friend!
The XE300 is part of the SRS line that includes the smaller XE200 and the bigger, boomier XG300. All of these speakers can be linked to create a stereo sound or up to 100-speaker networks using Party Mode on the Sony Music Center App. The XE300 has a great battery and a huge volume for its size.
The battery can carry a full charge of – get this! – 24 hours of playback! That’s one of the best battery life Bluetooth speakers you can buy. You can also do a quick-as-you-like speedy recharge of just ten minutes to get yourself 70 minutes of usage in case you forgot to plug it in. The speaker charges through a standard USB-C cable which comes in the box along with it.
As I said, this is a Bluetooth speaker. Furthermore, it has no AUX input at all. I know this will be a disappointment to some, but that’s just the way the world is going.
Get used to it…
The speaker uses the next-to-latest version of Bluetooth, v5.2, which provides excellent connection speed and stability. The SBS, AAC, and LDAC codecs are all supported here. You get a range of about 100 feet (about 30m) and a high sampling rate of 44.1 kHz.
This means that if you’re in range, this speaker will stay connected and lag-free. As a result, it’s one of the most reliable wireless Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Finally, Sony has provided a whole lot of “proofs” here…
The speaker has an IP rating of IP67, meaning it is essentially dust-proof and waterproof. You won’t want to bring it scuba diving, but it can resist splashes from all directions and even be submerged in up to three feet of water.
In addition, Sony claims that this speaker is “shock-proof”; however, no real rating is given. They claim that bangs and bumps won’t damage the internal workings of this speaker, at least within reason.
The SRS-X300 retails for about $170, which makes it a mid-priced speaker. Sure, you can go crazy and get a $1000 unit dipped in gold. Or, you can cheap out and grab a speaker that, well, probably works, for $25. But, at this price, you should expect great connections, great sound, and great durability. Let’s zoom in to see if this Sony speaker delivers.
Top Features of the Sony SRS-XE300 Bluetooth Speaker
Here are some of the Sony SRS-XE300 Bluetooth speaker’s top features.
If your speaker looks great, is durable, and has a great battery, but the sound sucks, then what’s the point? So, does this speaker have a sound quality that’s commensurate with its price tag? I think it does. The sound here is produced by two drivers and two passive radiators. In simpler terms, there are two speaker cones inside and two caps on the ends that help to enlarge the bass sound.
First, the drivers…
Sony has put a lot of work into the design of these speaker cones, which are not conical. Instead of being your standard round cones, these drivers have sort of egg-shaped diaphragms.
This is Sony’s X-Balanced speaker design and what it does is increase the area of the diaphragm that you can fit into a tight space. This gives you more volume and also less distortion at high volumes because of the unusual shape.
The passive radiators are the caps at the two ends of the speaker unit…
These caps vibrate on springy rubber to pick up and amplify the bass frequencies. This gives you a decent amount of boom, but, of course, it’s not even close to what you’d get out of a much larger speaker or a stereo subwoofer. The radiators also cause some bass distortion at max volume.
Sony heavily promotes the “line-shape diffuser” that they’ve introduced into this speaker. Essentially, this means that instead of having a wide-open grille over the two internal speaker cones, they’ve intentionally blocked some of this area off. They have left open a rectangular slot that’s only about an inch wide, and that’s where all the sound has to come from.
Why would they do that?
Engineers are pretty clever, after all. And what they’ve found is that normal open speakers produce a lot of sound, but it gets sent mostly out the front of the speaker, and that causes the sound to be quieter and lower quality from listening from the sides of the speaker. Pushing all the sound through a smaller slot does two things.
It builds up the sound pressure for more volume, and it releases the sound equally in a wider array. This means that you get a louder, better listening experience over a wider area. I know – it sounds backward.
Sony recommends you use this speaker standing up vertically. I think that when you do, the sound is clear and very well-balanced. The bass is OK but not fantastic, and at high volumes, there is some distortion. But overall, the sound quality is good, making this one of the best value for the money Bluetooth speakers out there.
Battery and Power
The battery is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is standard for these types of speakers. It consumes 7.5 Watts of power in play mode; however, this drops to just 0.3 Watts in eco or standby modes. The battery can give you playback at moderate volume levels of up to 24 hours, which is a whole day, in case you were wondering. This is an incredible battery life.
And that’s not all the XE-300 offers…
It takes about 3.5 hours to fully charge up the speaker. But, if you forgot to plug it in and need to use it pronto, you can do a quick charge of just ten minutes to get 70 minutes worth of playback. The speaker also has two other features to help get the most out of the battery.
First, it uses ambient noise detection when the speaker is outside and automatically reduces its energy consumption. That can save you about an hour’s worth of playback. The battery also has a “Battery Care” feature which detects when the battery is 99.9% full and shuts off charging. This helps to increase the longevity of the battery’s use. It’s all pretty impressive.
As I mentioned earlier, this speaker does not have an AUX port. That means you can only connect to the speaker with Bluetooth. But that’s probably what you wanted to do anyway, right?
The SRS-XE300 supports Bluetooth v5.2, the next-to-latest version. This powerful signal at 2.4GHz lets you stay connected up to a range of about 100 feet (30m), though not through walls or around obstacles. You can, of course, connect to the speaker directly through Bluetooth on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Want more features?
Well, you can also download the Sony Music Center app (for Android or iOs). This lets you connect quickly, adjust your playback EQ, select playlists, and more. You can also use the Stereo Pair feature to link two speakers together for a true stereo experience.
Or, you can use Party Connect, which can link up to 100 speakers (in the same series) to get the party pumping in every room in the house (who has 100 rooms!?). Any way you look at it, this is a highly versatile and affordable Bluetooth speaker.
This speaker is one tough piece of engineering. It holds an IP67 (ingress protection) rating. It gets a 6 for dust proofing, meaning it passed a test of being stirred in a pile of dust for eight hours without any getting inside. And the 7 for waterproofing means it can resist jets of water from all angles and can withstand being submerged in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes with no damage.
Finally, it’s shock-resistant, surviving drops from a height of four feet without any internal damage. So, breaking this speaker out at a party, even a pool party, leaves you with nothing to worry about. OK, well, maybe it getting stolen! But as long as that doesn’t happen, you’re left with one of the most durable Bluetooth speakers you could hope to own.
Sony SRS-XE300 Review – Pros and Cons
- Highly water, dust, and shock resistant.
- Loud for its size, with a nicely dispersed sound.
- Up-to-date Bluetooth v5.2 supported.
- Excellent 24-hour battery power.
- Good control and features through the app.
- No AUX port.
- Bass is not huge and can be slightly distorted at high volumes.
- Can only be turned on physically, not with the app.
- A bit heavy for a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Searching for the Perfect Bluetooth Speaker?
We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers, the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Bluetooth Speakers With Radio, the Best Waterproof Speakers, the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Light Show, and the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Alarm Clocks you can buy in 2023.
And don’t miss our comprehensive Sony SRS-XB41 Review, our Sony SRS-XB01 Review, our OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Review, our JBL Xtreme 2 Review, and our Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Review for more high-quality portable Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Sony SRS-XE300 Review – Summary
So, what’s the verdict for the Sony SRS-XE300 portable Bluetooth speaker? It’s priced at under $200, keeping it in the mid-range for this kind of gadget. Impressive battery power and durability give this product a boost and make it feel like it’s worth the money. The sound is fairly loud and very clear, with only a bit of bass distortion when cranked to full blast, and only with some types of music.
Overall, I’d say you’re looking at a very good speaker here and one that’s great for use around the house or taking out with you. 24 hours on a full charge is extreme, making this speaker very portable. And the ability to pair it up with another one or more speakers makes it all the more versatile as a home stereo product. All in all, I think it’s well worth the money.
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