Great value for price/performance!
I had been researching bluetooth speakers for a little bit. Then one day I went down to JB HIFI and a few other stores to have a listen to the speakers they had on display. I was initially leaning towards the JBL Charge 3 as that was receiving great reviews. The JB HIFI stores had the best displays for demos because all the speakers were lined up next to each other.
So I listened to the Charge 3 and JBL FLip4, then the UE WonderBoom, Boom, Megaboom, Blast, and Megablast speakers. Finally, I said, "what the heck" and tried the Sony XB31 and then the XB41.
To me there was a significant difference in that the XB31 and WonderBoom sounded so much more lively, less distorted, and oozed personality from the music they were playing; the JBL's sounded flat to me; the other UE devices, while sounding great too, were too much for less pizzazz. (I also don't like the designs of them)
The XB31 was on sale for 1/2 price and only a few dollars more than the WonderBoom.
The lighting features are a nice touch, not over the top. Unfortunately, they don't always play in sync with the music depending on the music and the lighting style you have selected (there are several different modes).
The Sony speaker can lay flat or stand on its side, the bluetooth connection is amazingly simple. However, it's not intuitive as you have to hold the power button for 3 seconds to enable the connection mode.
I use this speaker to play music, watching videos on my phone, for phone calls where I need a speaker phone, and augmenting my laptop's speakers too. My favorite is laying in bed, watching a youtube video, and having the speaker on over on my dresser -- it's like the sound is live and right in front of me.
The extra bass is quite noticeable, but not overpowering.
The big disappointment, and I almost think is false advertising, is the "24 hour battery life". Absolutely no way. 8-16 hours tops for regular joe-schmoe usage. It might be rated for 24 hours, but there's no way anyone listening with the speaker on any kind of realistic volume could get that length of play.
Still, 16 hours is enough time between charges to keep anyone happy.
Sony has a great app for Android too in order to control the speaker. The best thing is, unlike other speakers (including the Ultimate Ears), you can control almost every aspect of the XB31 WITHOUT the app. That is, there's a button for 90% of the speaker's features. So if you don't have your phone or the app - no problem. Just make sure you keep the instruction booklet handy. :-)
This speaker isn't as powerful as the XB41. In all honesty, I thought the size of the XB41 for what I wanted a speaker for is overkill. The XB31's size is great for portability, doesn't stick out in any setting, sounds great, and has a good battery life overall.
If you're not convinced, go to YouTube and listen to sound comparisons between it and other speakers with headphones on. You'll hear the difference on YouTube if you don't go down to any stores and listen to it in person.
This speaker is definitely big enough to handle a room the size of a master bedroom or living room. If you need one for a bigger space, and if you can find them on sale for half price, it probably would be better to get 2 and sync them together instead of buying the larger XB41 model.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
Best advice: do your own research too, go to a store to both see, hold and listen to them in person.
This speaker was the definite winner for me. :-)
What an awesome speaker for its size.
What an awesome speaker for its size. Looks great, sounds amazing and the LED light effects are a great bonus. All these type of speakers are"waterproof" to some degree so a short time in the water (not too much) and it keeps on pumping. I haven't tested this to the limit though. The bluetooth is a simple one button pairing and was easy to change connections. The sound is surprisingly good (and loud) for such a small unit. I paid about half the RRP which is easy to find and completed the bargain this is. I have had it for only a couple of weeks so far so longevity is not known yet.
Questions & Answers
Sorry, there are no questions yet.
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.