Review in two minutes
Although the Sony SRS-XB33 may not look very special when it is opened from its box, it can actually be quite impressive. This Bluetooth speaker has a fairly ordinary exterior. However, it is equipped with LED lighting and plenty of power for music playback.
You might be concerned that the speaker sounds a bit too low at times due to its powerful low frequencies. But it is a minor issue considering that it costs only $150 / PS150 / AU$229, and is also available at lower prices at third-party retailers. The sound quality may disappoint audiophiles, but those who want to create a party atmosphere with the Sony SRS-XB33 will love it.
Although the Sony SRS-XB33 is just over 1kg / 2.2lbs in weight, its size and design make it easy to carry around and place anywhere. It will look great on a bookshelf in your home. But, perhaps most importantly, it is strong enough to be placed outdoors on the ground or near the pool. It’s IP67 waterproof, rustproof, dustproof, and saltwater-resistant. It is shockproof up to 1.2m/3.9ft so it can handle anything you throw at it.
The Sony SRS-XB33 is primarily a party speaker. It lacks some of the more advanced features that a more home-focused speaker has, such as a microphone and voice assistant support. But, it doesn’t feel like an obstacle because Sony has remained focused on the one goal for the device – to be the main attraction at the party.
To get the best out of the Sony SRSXB33, you will need two apps. The first covers the basics of the speaker while the second lets you unleash your DJ skills, with the ability to adjust the LED lights or set them to beat. While neither is essential, we appreciate the fact that you can adjust the EQ. This is useful if you need to tweak the sound profile.
The Sony SRS-XB33’s design is centered on durability. Although it looks great, the portable speaker doesn’t really stand out from other speakers on market. It does the job.
Sunken buttons at the top of the speaker allow you to control volume, power, Bluetooth pairing, and Live Sound. This is Sony’s marketing speak for increasing your sound quality to an even higher level. Even though it can affect battery life, it makes sense to keep the device on. Although buttons can be difficult to see in dim lighting, you can still ‘feel’ them and know what they are doing.
It doesn’t matter how good the sound quality is, and the Sony SRSXB33 does a great job here. The speaker’s dual passive radiators provide powerful bass and Sony’s Extra Bass, which is essentially more bass. Live Sound is a sound effect that creates a three-dimensional sound effect. It works very well.
This music is loud and bold, which is exactly what you need to create a party atmosphere. It does have one drawback: orchestral pieces can sometimes feel a bit distorted at high volumes, with the trebles and middles not having the clarity we want. This problem will disappear if you turn it down.
Sony claims that the SRS-XB33 can last up to 24 hours, but this is highly subjective. The Sony SRS-XB33 is versatile. As with all speakers, if you turn the volume up, the battery life will decrease. Similarly, if there is a constant light show, the battery life will drop. Although it will take some practice to figure out what the Sony SRSXB33 does best, there are many ways to modify its performance.
The Sony SRS-XB33 is a great party-focused speaker that can produce a lot of basses. It sounds great and can withstand some damage so you don’t need to worry about the speaker failing to keep up with your party. The only thing we really want is better looks.
Black Friday 2020: What’s the deal? ( Cyber Monday Deals will be available immediately after the big day on November 30. Models from Ultimate Ears and JBL will be on sale, so keep your eyes open for them. You can expect some price drops on premium models such as the Sonos Move, but not huge discounts.
Sony SRS-XB33 release date and price
- Prices starting at $150/PS150/AU$229
Although the Sony SRS-XB33 was just launched, there have been price drops. It’s normally priced at $150 / PSP150 / AU$229.
You have the choice of four colors, including Black, Red, and Blue. Prices may drop over time, so it is possible that certain colors will see price drops. Discounts are becoming more common with Black Friday, and Cyber Tuesday increasing in popularity.
- Robust design
- Easy to transport
The Sony SRSXB33 is exactly what you would expect a waterproof speaker to look like. It’s practical, but not stylish. It weighs just over 1kg/2.2lbs and is easy to carry around in one hand while you move it from room to room or on your trips. You will not be disconcerted by its presence.
The Sony SRS-XB33 is extremely rugged for its price. It’s waterproof (IP67), rustproof and dustproof, saltwater resistance, shockproof up to 1.2m / 3.9ft, and shockproof. This should ensure that it is not susceptible to being damaged (unless you try to break it which we don’t recommend). This is especially important when you consider that you might want to take the portable speaker to the beach.
The Sony SRS-XB33 can be used easily. Although the buttons are easily recognizable in low light conditions, the slightly recessed plastic symbols on the top of the speaker make it easy to feel. They control volume, Bluetooth pairing, and play/pause. It’s simple stuff.
The device’s back has a plastic cover. This covers the USB-C charging port as well as a USB A that allows you to plug in your smartphone to charge it directly from the speaker. It is convenient for when you are out and about with a low battery.
Sony SRS-XB33 audio performance
- Bold basse
- Great for parties
- Trebles could use a little more clarity
We can’t fault the Sony SRS-XB33 for its powerful sound, punchy bass, and decent clarity. The SRS-XB33 boasts dual passive radiators, and Sony’s Extra Bass promises that the lowest frequencies will be the focus of attention.
This means that you don’t need to crank the volume up to hear powerful bass, which can feel quite thrilling depending on what track you choose. This was evident when we listened to Muse’s discography. It made Kasabian’s Ill Ray(The King) and Childish Gambino’s Feels Like Summer feel more alive than usual, which is perfect for creating a party atmosphere.
It does a good job of maintaining clarity and clarity at higher volumes. We enjoyed it, but we would like to hear more detail about the highs. The bass tone is not ideal for calmer instrumental pieces at high volumes. These speakers aren’t designed for analytical listening, so you might listen to them at lower volumes.
This is a device that’s made for gatherings. You can’t help but be excited about the next song on your playlist. It could be Blinding Light by The Weeknd or an old favorite like David Bowie’s Life on Mars.
Sony claims that the Sony SRS33 can be connected to up to 100 compatible wireless speakers if desired. It can also be paired with another XB33 in order to create stereo sound.
Battery life and connectivity for the Sony SRS-XB33
- Promised battery life of up to 24 hours
- Compatible with up to 100 wireless speakers
- App support
Sony claims that the Sony SRSXB33 can last for up to 24 hours without a battery charge. We aren’t convinced. We found that the battery life estimate drops if you play around with the light show too much or turn up the volume. It’s an estimate of battery life depending on the situation, but this is to be expected with any wireless device.
We recommend that you keep the speaker fully charged during a party or ideally plugged into. However, it should still be suitable if you take it hiking for a few days as you don’t want to scare off wildlife by loud volume.
The app support is where the Sony SRS-XB33 shines. Sony Music Center allows you to download music and update your speaker. Fiestable, which controls lighting effects and allows DJ-style audio, is also available. You can even add scratch effects to your favorite songs. We admit that some of these effects can be a bit gimmicky, but we’re not against you trying them out after a few drinks.
Should I purchase the Sony SRSXB33?
A subtle speaker is what you want
The Sony SRS-XB33 doesn’t make subtleties when it comes down to playback. This would be steak if the music could be meaty. Make sure to plan accordingly.
Smart speakers are what you want
The Sony SRSXB33 Bluetooth speaker is a simple, portable Bluetooth speaker. The SRS-XB33 does not have any smart speaker functionality. You can rely on your smartphone to provide that functionality if necessary. The Sonos Motion is a portable smart speaker.