A speaker made for party people.
You’d probably seen thousands of Bluetooth speakers out there that range from the inexpensive, entry-level devices up to the high-end ones. But to make itself stand out, Sony’s range of portable Bluetooth speakers feature funky designs and lights – yes lights.
The SRS-XB41 is part of the Extra Bass line of speakers from Sony is the successor to the SRS-XB40. As mentioned, the speaker features LED lights that make it ideal for parties. What’s more, the Bluetooth connection on it lets you daisy-chain up to 100 speakers – we’re not kidding.
Build quality is excellent, and the weight gives it a more premium feel. It’s covered in a special fabric that’s similar to other portable speakers. It contains dual 58 mm drivers which are surrounded by LED strips that offer customizable lighting using an app. The LED lights surrounding the SRS-XB41 move in sync to the music that’s playing and you can even customize it to any way that you want.
It’s IP67-rated, so it’s basically water and dust-proof, making it a good outdoor speaker that you can take to the beach or an outside picnic.
Most of the playback controls are located at the top and the back part of the SRS-XB41 is a small rubber flap that houses the connectivity ports. There’s a DC input for charging the speaker, 3.5 mm audio input, a standard USB port so you can charge your other devices using the SRS-XB41’s internal battery.
A button labeled ‘WPC’ will let you daisy chain the SRS-XB41 to another compatible speaker while another button tells you how much battery is left and lastly a third button will let you turn two speakers in stereo mode by assigning L and R to each one.
The Bluetooth 4.2 chip inside the SRS-XB41 supports AAC an LDAC compatibility. There’s NFC for easier pairing, though pairing it the standard way works equally well.
You would need to download the Sony Music Center and Fesitable apps take full advantage of the features but the problem is that these apps felt half-baked and I keep getting errors when I use it. Music Center, for example, would at times fail to detect an already connected SRS-XB41 to my smartphone, making it frustrating to customize the lights. In the end, I ended up removing the app from my smartphone and simply stream my music using Bluetooth.
The SRS-XB41 is clearly made for bass lovers since that will be the first thing you’d notice when you start playing music through it. Low-end frequencies are properly reproduced without overpowering the voice and other instruments in the mids. It managed to fill a whole room with music, and the lights instantly made our house parties more enjoyable.
The SRS-XB41 is clearly made for party people. The lights and the sound output easily make it a top favorite feature. Despite the companion apps being mediocre, the Sony SRS-XB41 still gets our recommendation.
+ Excellent build quality
+ Great battery life
+ Decent sound output
+ Lights make it awesome
– Live mode is meh
– App keeps on disconnecting
Final Rating: 4/5