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Sony Bluetooth Speaker Xb43 Review

In addition to its rugged build and big sound, it features built-in LEDs for a fun light show, and adjustable EQ so you can dial in your audio preferences. It also fills a gap between tiny and massive portable models, earning it an Editors’ Choice for outdoor speakers. The back of the speaker houses a covered compartment with connections for the included power adapter, a wall unit that terminates in USB-C. There’s also a 3.5mm aux input and a USB-A output for charging other devices with the SRS-XB43’s battery. Callahan’s baritone vocals receive some added low-mid richness as well, but benefit from a high-mid and high-frequency presence that keeps things crisp.

If there’s a complaint here, it’s that the scooped-out sound signature favors bass and treble over mids, and will not appeal to those looking for an accurate portrayal of the mix—but the EQ can tame the sculpting somewhat. Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, definitely get more bass depth than purists will be looking for, but the overall result is still a balanced, crisp sound with solid low-frequency anchoring.

Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 8, we understood every word we recorded, and while there was a little bit of Bluetooth distortion around the edges, the mic signal was strong. The SRS-XB43’s excellent waterproof rating and powerful audio output are marks in its favor, and the LED lighting is a fun added bonus. Sony SRS-XB43 4.0 Editors’ Choice See It $248.00 at Amazon MSRP $249.99 Pros Powerful audio performance with strong bass depth and sculpted highs Bulky The Bottom Line The Sony SRS-XB43 is a bass-forward Bluetooth speaker with an outdoor-friendly design, built-in LED lighting, and lots of power for the price.

Sony SRS-XB43 Review

Even with the ‘EXTRA BASS’ and ‘Sony ClearAudio+’ features enabled, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don’t feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy genres.

Sony SRS-XB43 Speaker review: A good performer at soft volumes

Last August, Sony renewed its popular EXTRA-BASS portable speaker lineup with three brand new IP67-rated (waterproof, dust-proof, and washable) devices. Sony promises that its technology provides a “blend of deep, punchy bass and clear, natural vocals” and “powerful sound pressure” for “a richer, deeper listening experience.” In this review, we will break down how it fared at audio playback in a variety of tests and several common use cases. About DXOMARK Wireless Speaker tests: For scoring and analysis in our wireless speaker reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled lab conditions. Thanks to a good tonal balance overall, clear upper midrange frequencies, and good dynamics at quieter volumes, the SRS-XB43 is fairly well-suited for relaxing at home and listening to music or podcasts before going to sleep, but also for use in more complex acoustics, such as a bathroom, where it can safely be listened to thanks to its IP-67 rating. As promised by the Japanese corporation, sound played back through the SRS-XB43 exhibits very few artifacts: no compression is noticeable, and slight bass distortion occurs only at loud volumes. On another note, the speaker is equipped with a 3.5 mm wired input, which allows users to watch latency-free videos. Despite being a front-firing speaker, the SRS-XB43 still manages to get a good score in our outdoor scenario, thanks to its solid timbre and artifacts performance. However, it is not suited for a friendly gathering or a party: besides the fact that sound isn’t evenly distributed at 360°, it also exhibits aggressive high-mids at louder volumes, and slightly lacks high- and low-end extension.

Finally, spatial attributes are only middling, with wideness that could be improved, and quite poor localizability of sound sources. In this section, we will take a closer look at these audio quality sub-scores and explain what they mean for the user, and we will show some comparison data from two of the SRS-XB43’s principal competitors, the LG XBoom PL7 and the JBL Xtreme 3. In timbre testing, the speaker proves well-suited for relaxing at home and listening to music or podcasts at bedtime, but also for outdoor use and for watching movies.

At loud volumes, high-mids become aggressive, which doesn’t make it the best choice for hosting a party or even for a friendly gathering. Our dynamics tests measure how well a device reproduces the energy level of a sound source, taking into account attack, bass precision, and punch. Overall, dynamics are particularly well preserved at quiet volumes, which once again makes the SRS-XB43 a very well-suited speaker for relaxing at home, before sleeping, and in complex acoustical environments such as a bathroom.

Here are a few sound pressure levels (SPL) measured when playing our sample recordings of hip-hop and classical music at maximum volume:

As promised, sound played back through the SRS-XB43 exhibits few artifacts overall, with slight bass distortion occurring only at loud volumes. While the SRS-XB43 is well-suited for quiet use cases (such as relaxing at home and listening to music or podcasts before sleeping), thanks to well-preserved dynamics at low volumes and natural upper midrange frequencies, its spatial and artifacts results do not make it the best choice for a party or for a friendly gathering.

Customer Reviews: Sony SRS-XB43 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Taupe SRSXB43/C

This speaker is full of great capabilities not to mention the powerful, steady, clear sound, and punchy bass. From my point of view, this speaker is design to keep a steady and powerful sound even in open spaces, where you can enjoy and appreciate the details and clarity of your favorite music, even at a loud level. By saying “heavy speaker’ it means, big magnets, solid internal structure, that will guarantee the quality of the sound.

Checking the specs I can see why, it is a 2 way speaker with tweeters and dual side passive radiators that performs a resonant bass sound with low end tones.

“6” stands for protected against solid objects from entering the unit, including dust, while the “7” indicates the speaker can be completely submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes before the moisture penetrates the housing. Then we have the functions that are included with the SRS Speakers Sony Series, like “Party Connect” “ST Pair”, both of them can be set up from the Music Center App or the by the control buttons located in the covered compartment, and will allow you to chain, or work in conjunction with other SRS Sony Series Speaker, a USB-C charging port for the included power adapter, a USB-A output port for charging devices with the XB43 Batt which I have found extremely useful, a 3.5mm aux port, which is another great feature that helps me a lot to chain the XB43 with my big Sony GTK-XB72 wired, and I will explain later, another great addition, a switch for speaker and tweeter lightning and works as well for the Battery life indicator. For more features you can download and install the Music Center app from the play store in the android OS. It uses Bluetooth Version 5.0 and LDAC to achieve a frequency transmission range of 20 Hz–20,000 Hz (44.1 kHz sampling) which is way higher than the human ear is capable to perceive. When you hold the Play/Pause button down for a while you will activate Google Assistant on your phone (android based, I have a Samsung Galaxy) or played the audio through the XB43 speaker. So I was kind of sad at the beginning because I wasn’t able to add the XB43, however with the Audio out that the XB72 includes, so the aux port in my XB43 was perfect to connect them with along RCA/Stereo mini jack cable, and chain together the 3 of them.

Every product that Sony delivers has a technology surprise, and this speaker is not the exception, I am really happy with the XB43, quality sound and powerful performance, I give it 5 stars!

Sony SRS-XB43 portable speaker review: Plug-in disco

It’s got big and bold sound, is relatively portable, dust- and weather-sealed, and if you can get it for the right price it’ll give the competition more than a run for its money. USB-C recharging – the port is hidden behind the panel to the rear – makes it easy to plug in for top-ups. There’s also a full-size USB port if you want to plug your phone in to draw from the speaker’s battery, and a 3.5mm socket if you’d rather use a wired connection instead of Bluetooth. The ports aren’t exposed to assure the speaker’s IP67 rating, meaning it’s fully dust sealed and water resistant – as in properly submersible down to a metre’s depth for up to half an hour, should it slip into your party pool by accident.

Well, you can *if they’re all up to date – so if you have an older XB product then don’t bank on it being able to pair, which is a bit of a potential sting. Our review unit is finished in black, but there’s a blue model available too if you want some extra eye-catching goodness to go along with the light show.

Never one to go shy on the party speaker sell, that’s for sure, it’ll pound out pop hits with gusto, those twin passive radiators vibrating all the while to ensure its Extra Bass name is affirmed. The arrangement of two speakers adding ammunition to the passive radiators, paired with two tweeters, isn’t a hyper complex setup and, therefore, there can be the slightest of disconnect to the listening experience – it’s just not quite as fully cohesive as you can find elsewhere.

This can add more dynamism, as if it’s lifting the track and helping to segregate the elements, but sometimes the speaker’s ability to discerningly handle high-end audio can actually highlight lower-end content – some of our Spotify streams have made it highlight distorted artefacts to some degree, as the tweeters can be a little sharp.

If its built-in lights put you off initially then know that you can switch them off – and in doing so you’ll extend the battery life, which lasts for up to a very respectable 24 hours.

Sony SRS-XB43 Speaker Review

It’s definitely larger in size than the XB41 which makes it less portable and it weighs in at 6.5 pounds which means you’re going to have a tough time trying to fit this thing in a bag.

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