Sony SRS-XB31: Lights on!
July 30, 2018

Portable wireless speaker with lights? Why not?

Sony’s new line of Extra Bass portable speakers already impressed us with the SRS-XB41 we’ve reviewed last week. It’s little brother, the SRS-XB31 is smaller, but it doesn’t compromise on sound quality – and it still has lights that should turn listening sessions into a party.

The SRS-XB31 is the successor to last year’s SRS-XB30 and its smaller size makes it more portable than its bigger brother, the SRS-XB41. It’s covered in the same fabric that gives it a premium look, with rubberized controls located at the top and ports neatly tucked away at the back.

There are ports for micro USB for charging, 3.5 mm for connecting other audio peripherals, and a standard USB port so you can charge other devices using the built-in battery. There are also buttons for knowing the battery charge and for pairing the SRS-XB31 to other speakers.

Just like the SRS-XB41, the SRS-XB31 includes lights lined around its body. One is lined around the speaker’s body and another two white LED strobe lights are found on each side. The lights automatically sync with the music you’re playing, which can add more fun to your parties.

The lights are programmable using the Sony Music Center app. It’s easy to use them, but only when the app connects to the speaker since there is always a chance that it won’t connect, even when it’s already paired on Bluetooth. The app is a hit and miss, making it the only frustrating part in operating the SRS-XB31.

Other than that, the other features of the SRS-XB31 still make it worthwhile: there’s Party Booster that adds sound effects to your music based on where you tap on the speaker. This could be a cowbell or a drum and the harder you tap, the louder the sound gets. There’s also the IP67 certification that makes this rustproof, dustproof and of course, waterproof.

But with all that hoopla, the SRS-XB31’s main selling point is still sound quality and I’m happy to say it doesn’t disappoint. Bass is incredible on this small speaker, and it produces it nicely without overpowering highs and mids. I’ve mostly streamed music from Spotify and it sounded awesome on the SRS-XB31.

The 24-hour battery life is also one of our favorite features on the SRS-XB31, though that value lessens if you listen with the lights on. Still, the SRS-XB31 has more features than your average wireless speaker, making its 599 AED price even more desirable.

We Love:

+ Sound output is decent

+ Small and portable

+ Lights are programmable

We Hate:

– Buggy app

Final Rating: 4/5

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Passionate for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays on his Xbox.
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