Home Reviews First-Look Review of the Sony SRS-XB40 Bluetooth Speaker. Sony srs xb 40

First-Look Review of the Sony SRS-XB40 Bluetooth Speaker. Sony srs xb 40

First-Look Review of the Sony SRS-XB40 Bluetooth Speaker

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With so many competing Bluetooth speakers on the market, it can be challenging to find the one that best suits your needs. For us, audio equipment has always been one of our favorite things to review. Manufacturers have been working hard to find ways to separate themselves from the crowd. Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that Bluetooth speakers seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. The latest generation products seem to be stuck in a cycle of boosting the bass, slapping it in a cool looking case, and calling it revolutionary.

It’s been a while since we’ve come across something that offers truly unique functionality. Sure, there are lots of ways to improve on a Bluetooth speaker, but there aren’t many features that can truly change the way you enjoy your music.

Sony is one of the most well-respected brands in the audiosphere, and they’ve consistently been our go-to when we’re looking for tried and true products. But there SRS-XB40 isn’t just another Bluetooth speaker. It’s got some unique features that are designed not just to let you hear your music, but to experience it.

As we all know, marketing can only go so far. There is a lot of hype surrounding the SRS-XB40s, but we had the opportunity to go hands-on and see how this unique Bluetooth speaker performs in the real world.

First Look

The SRS XB40 is the latest addition to Sony’s XB line, which stands for eXtra Bass. The XB40 is the big brother to Sony’s baby brother, the single-speaker XB10. But when you compare the features, the XB40 is the clear winner. It comes in an incredibly stylish case, which is both durable and portable. But the real power of the speaker comes from the app. This app allows you to pair multiple speakers to a single output, so you can quickly convert a couple speakers into a whole-home stereo system.


The XB40 is a bit like Jekyll and Hyde. During the day, it’s a stylish Bluetooth speaker that strikes a fine balance between durability and visual appeal. But at night, it’s transformed into a lightshow in a box.

Before we get into too much detail, it’s important to understand how the LED lighting works with the physical appearance of the speaker. All versions come with a rubberized coating on the exterior, and a smooth metal grill on the front. But that’s where the differences end. The external housing is available in red, blue, white, green, and black. Each color option is bright and stylish, so there is sure to be something in there for everyone.

Now, the LED Band that surrounds the speakers contains RGB LEDs. This means that they can adjust the intensity of each LED to create thousands of different colors. But the speakers come pre-programmed with a color scheme that matches the color of speaker you choose. This is incredibly striking, making it one of the more attractive Bluetooth speakers on the market.

There are also two additional LEDs located directly over top of the speaker cones themselves. This illuminates the speaker, highlighting their curves. The effect is far from subtle, and one of the most visually appealing parts of this platform.

All of this combines to create a lighting system that is far from simple. If you’re just using the speaker on it’s own, the large LEDs will fade and breathe while the LEDs above the speakers will pulse in tune with the music. But when you fire up the app, you’re given the ability to create your own custom light show however you like. You can set specific colors, choose how response the lights are to the music, and assign specific designs to specific parts of the speaker. Even if you only have one, the customizability options make this a portable EDM party in a box.


These speakers use Bluetooth 4.1 EDR. This allows for lossless audio, streamed with virtually no loss from your phone. If you need a backup, you can always connect to the speaker through the 3.5mm audio jack. Personally, we don’t feel it necessary to be physically tethered to our speakers anymore. But this is a good option for anyone using older devices that doesn’t support lossless audio over Bluetooth.

The above two options are pretty standard. Where the XB40 impressed us is the additional functionality added through the mobile app. What the app does is allow you to daisy chain speakers together. You can connect up to 10 speakers at the same time, creating a whole-home stereo system.

There are a few reasons why this is important. First, it allows you to upgrade to a stereo setup. Despite the dual drivers, this is a Mono speaker. It’s very rare to find a truly stereo Bluetooth speaker. But when you pair two of them together, the app automatically sends the left channel audio to one, and the right channel audio to another.

Adding additional speakers to the system is easy to do. Just tap the large plus icon in the corner, wait a moment while the app searches for all available Bluetooth speakers, and allows you to quickly add them.

This is much simpler because the app doesn’t require that the speaker be in pairing mode. If it’s nearby, it can be paired. This is great for parties, as all your friends can bring their speakers and fill the house with music.

Sound Quality

As the XB line implies, the speakers are very bassy. We haven’t been this impressed with the output from a speaker since we first tried out the Bose Color Soundlink. Even though it’s a fraction of the size of other Bluetooth speakers, the sound seems as if it’s coming from a speaker many times its size.

One of the reasons it’s so ‘bass-intensive’ is the inclusion of a passive radiator. From the front, you’ll see what looks to be a third squared-off speaker in the center. It’s actually not hooked up to anything, but moves the same way as a standard speaker cone. This allows the drivers to have more movement than a standard speaker, as the passive radiator allows for air to move within the enclosure, creating a deep powerful sound.

Fortunately, Sony didn’t just FOCUS on the bass. Sound is still very clear, undistorted, and harmonic. The sound didn’t blow us away, so if you’re looking for the best of the best you’ll have to get a full size speaker. But it’s as good as any Bluetooth speaker we’ve heard before.


Having a speaker that is portable enough to take anywhere is only useful if you can use it anywhere. Worrying about damaging you brand new purchase is a good reason to leave your speaker at home, but another option is to buy a speaker that you don’t have to worry about. The XB40 is one of these speakers. The external housing is protected with a rubbery material. It feels quite firm to the touch, but is actually capable of withstanding quite a lot of impact.

By absorbing the immediate forces and distributing them across the case, the delicate internal components are protected. You also don’t have to worry about the speaker cones themselves, as the metal grill protects those quite nicely. But the most important feature is the water resistance. Although you can’t fully submerge these speakers, they can handle a little splash, or some unexpected rain.


One of our favorite features is the fact that the app allows you to pair multiple speakers together to create a whole-home music system. Unfortunately, this feature only works with the Sony XB series speakers. If you’ve got friends bringing over another type, they aren’t able to join in. The XB40 is still a very new speaker, so not many people have it. For now, we’d recommend that you only bank on being able to use as many speakers as you can buy. If you like the idea of having all of your friends speakers tethered together, you’ll have to make sure they buy a compatible model.

Final Verdict

Sony really hit it out of the park with the XB40. We’ve been using stereo sound since the 1960s, so it’s surprising that it’s taken so long for a company to create an easy way to get a stereo speaker system. While they were at it, they made sure that you weren’t restricted to just two speakers. Even though just a single unit sounds almost as good as a full size speaker, it’s extremely easy to build yourself a full size sound system just by connecting these speakers together.

Even though this is the main selling feature, Sony didn’t skimp out in any other areas. It’s very durable, has a nice long battery life, and is fully compatible with the latest audio standards. For now, this is our first choice for a mid-range Bluetooth speaker.

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, you might want to check out the small but mighty SoundPEATS P2. If you’ve got money to burn and want to get the best sound quality possible, the Beoplay M5 would be the next logical step up. But for most consumers, we think that the Sony XB40 is a great option.

Review of the Sony SRS-XB10 and SRS-XB40 portable speakers

I wrote about the build and sound quality of the JBL Clip 2 around this time last year, and I am still using it as my daily driver to watch Netflix and to listen to music on my MacBook Pro. It has not failed me yet, but when Sony asked if I would like to take a look at their portable speakers, I couldn’t say no because the grass is always greener on the other side. So I had Sony delivered two speakers, the SRS-XB10 and the SRS-XB40, for my review.

The reason for choosing these two, in particular, is because the former is the cheapest (S79) of their SRS-XB series and the latter (S329) is the most expensive of its range. I’m also always curious if our naked ear can hear a distinct difference between devices of the same series at a different price point. Hence, the decision.

Sony SRS-XB10

Looking at the specifications and features on paper, the SRS-XB10 is light and small, and the battery can last up to 16 hours. It has an extra bass so we should expect the “boom boom” sound when we test it. Plus, it is water-resistant, which is a must for all portable speakers.

The XB-10 also has the NFC function for users to tap and play their music. As a user of portable speakers, the NFC function certainly adds value, especially at its price point but it’s not a must-have. Like what I always say, “more is more,” which in this case, more functions mean more value.

Sony SRS-XB40

Now to the SRS-XB40. At S329, the higher-end portable speaker by Sony has to live up to its price tag, and it does when it comes to its functionality.

Similar to the XB10, the XB40 is water-resistant and NFC-enabled. The main differences? The XB40 can/has:

  • Connect up to 10 wireless speakers via Bluetooth
  • Add another Sony capable speaker for a broader stereo sound
  • Better Bluetooth connection for better audio experience thanks to LDAC that transmits data faster than regular Bluetooth audio
  • Adjust speaker lights (yes, you will see it in our sound test below.)
  • Up to 24 hours of battery life
  • “Dual passive radiators work together with two full-range speakers to enhance low-end tones, giving the bass a boost.“

Now with the specifications and features out of the way, let us do the sound test.


Based on the sound test, the answer to my earlier question before the review is clear. The more expensive Sony SRS-XB40 did sound a lot better than the SRS-XB10. Although both speakers have extra bass functionality, audio produced by the XV40 sounded deeper and more vibrant than the XB10. However, with the extra bass turned off for the XB40, the audio sounded flat. So, I cannot think of any reason why anyone would turn it off.

At first, I had thought that the colourful lights and the LEDs on the left and right side of the XB40 were gimmicks and that they were added to the speaker to get more monies from you. After reviewing the product and experiencing how it works, I do have a new appreciation for these lights. Like its latest range of Xperia smartphones, Sony wants to enhance product experiences through our external senses. In this case, the Japanese tech giant wants us to see audio than just hearing it, and they did it on the XB40.

Yes. I am full of praises for the XB40. However, it does not mean that the XB10 is not worth taking a look because it does. Given its small and compact size, the XB10’s extra bass is good enough for watching videos on your computer and listening to music in your room. It’s not suitable for a noisy environment for sure. The audio quality is just right for the ears although I wish it could get a little louder and hold its bass even at the maximum volume.


The Sony SRS-XB10 and XB40 have no significant bad points that I need to highlight because these are well-built speakers, and they function like how they are made to do. Any other value-added functions are bonuses, which should not be faulted on because Sony always learns, research and improves.

One thing I need to point out is that these speakers are not for audiophiles because their ears are built to sift out flaws that average consumers won’t notice.

All in all, I do recommend you guys to check out these two speakers and try them out at the Sony stores to experience the audio quality for yourself. If you are always out for gatherings and home parties, get the Sony XB40. If you are a stay-home kind of person and it’s always just you and your laptop or Spotify, get the Sony XB10.

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  • Brand: Sony
  • Model: SRS-XB40
  • Type: Portable Bluetooth Speakers
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Sony SRS-XB40 Bluetooth Speaker Orange Red SRSXB40-RD

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General Features

Make your own night club with the red SRS-XB40 Bluetooth Speaker from Sony. This speaker uses Sony’s EXTRA BASS and ClearAudio technologies to deliver deep low-end tones and clear high-quality sound. The SRS-XB40 also features a multicolored line LED, bright speaker lights, and flashing strobe that creates a flashy light show to go along with Make your own night club with the red SRS-XB40 Bluetooth Speaker from Sony. This speaker uses Sony’s EXTRA BASS and ClearAudio technologies to deliver deep low-end tones and clear high-quality sound. The SRS-XB40 also features a multicolored line LED, bright speaker lights, and flashing strobe that creates a flashy light show to go along with your music. The SRS-XB40 uses Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly stream music from compatible devices and features NFC for quick and easy one-touch pairing. The built-in Bluetooth also lets the SRS-XB40 pair up to 9 additional speakers for more room-filling sound. Compact and portable, the SRS-XB40 is made to be taken with you, and its water-resistant design means you can keep the music going rain or shine. Its long-lasting battery will provide up to 24 hours of playback, and you there’s even a USB port for charging your smartphone.


Dual passive radiators work together with stereo full-range speakers to enhance low-end response, giving the bass a serious boost.

Sony LDAC Support

LDAC transmits approximately three times more data (at the maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps) than conventional Bluetooth audio. When used with a smartphone that supports LDAC, this allows you to stream higher-quality music over Bluetooth.

Flashy Lights

With a built-in multicolored line light, speaker lights, and a flashing strobe, you’ll be able to see and hear the beat.

Water-Resistant Design

Whether you’re listening to tunes indoors or outdoors, relax knowing the wireless speaker is IPX5 water resistant.

Wireless Party Chain

Enjoy the same song with Wireless Party Chain. Connect up to 10 wireless speakers via Bluetooth and synchronize the music and lighting so everyone’s dancing to the same beat.

first-look, review, sony, srs-xb40

SRS-XB40 wireless speaker from Sony

Easy Control with SongPal

Manage your music quickly and easily from your smartphone with SongPal. Simply install the app and take control of music, lights, and more.

Fiestable App

Take charge of playback, speaker lights, and DJ sound effects all from your smartphone with the Fiestable app.

USB Charging

A portable Bluetooth speaker will enable you to listen to your favorite music and songs without using headphones. Experience the comfort of listening music hands free. Such speakers are come in handy while, biking, driving, picnicking, at the beach, pool, or at the desk.

Although the portable speakers are available in both wired and the wireless variants, the non-wired speakers are the preferred choice of music lovers who use Smart phones, tablets or portable media devices.

Portable wireless speakers today are available with a host of features that cater to both outdoor and indoor use. The vast majority of Bluetooth wireless portable speakers from reputed brands offer the highest quality acoustic experience. Once having been paired with a music source or Smart phone of course. The speaker, when switched on, automatically pairs with the phone and amplifies any sound that reaches it.

High-end Bluetooth wireless portable speakers also make use of the Near Field Communication (NFC) feature for seamless, secure connectivity.

Several high-end portable wireless speakers also sport a microphone that can be interfaced with the mobile devices to facilitate Skype conversations, conference calls and other VoIP services, in a totally wireless mode. A mini speaker with NFC can also double up as a speakerphone.

Factors to consider before making a purchase

Some of the best portable speakers on the market will have additional built-in features such as a docking bay, alarm clock, built-in mic for hands free calls and additional connection capabilities for non-Bluetooth enabled devices.

You can start any discussion for speakers without mentioning audio quality. Common sense dictates that buyers want the speaker that sounds best. Then again, it always isn’t that simple. For starters, audio preferences vary from person to person. For example, might seem like head-splitting, low end-heavy fiasco to someone who prefers cleaner sound. Others also may prefer the processed sound of a speaker. Just how much of a stickler you are for audio quality can also impact your opinions in terms of size and price as the best-sounding speakers usually are bigger and more expensive, though there are exceptions.

Power source, Rechargeable batteries

Like any other electronic device your Portable speaker will require a power source. Wireless, Bluetooth, NFC Portable speakers can be mains powered, USB powered or powered by a rechargeable battery.

SONY SRS-XB40 Extra Bass Review: The Best Bluetooth Speaker

The first and most important thing to consider when buying a Portable speaker is compatibility. Ensure that the speakers are actually compatible with your device before buying is essential. Some wireless speakers are capable of connecting through Bluetooth as well as AirPlay and some are only capable of Bluetooth connections.

Sony SRS-XB40 Review

If you love a good weekend getaway, you should definitely have a portable Bluetooth speaker with you. The audio market is flooded with a wide range of options, across brands and price segment. Sony recently added three new offerings to its EXTRA BASS series and today, we’ll be testing the SRS-XB40, which is the most powerful of them.

It boasts of features like a 24-hour battery life, water resistant design, the ability to daisy chain it to other similar speakers, and of course, flashing lights. Priced at a slight premium of Rs. 16,990, let’s see how well it performs.

Sony SRS-XB40 design and features

The XB40 is a bit on the larger side for a portable speaker and it’s also fairly heavy at roughly 1.5kg. It looks and feels quite rugged and the soft rubber lining all around gives it a premium feel. The speaker is designed to be placed horizontally but you can just as well use it standing upright, although there aren’t any rubber feet on the side like there are on the bottom.

All the buttons are placed on the top, and from here you can control media playback, adjust the volume, answer a phone call, or trigger your phone’s voice assistant. The EXTRA BASS button engages the device’s dual passive radiators for more bass, and the same button can also be used for enabling or disabling the lights. The power button also lets you pair the speaker with your Bluetooth device, in case you it doesn’t support NFC. The XB40 can work with up to three simultaneous connections.

There’s a flap on the back of the speaker which protects the ports from moisture. Here, we have an aux-in port, USB port, DC-in port (9.5V) for charging, and a reset button. The USB port can be used to charge your personal electronic devices.

In the front, there’s a metal mesh grille protecting the drivers. We have two full-range 61mm drivers for stereo sound, and a passive radiator facing forwards. The second radiator is placed at the back, and can be seen through a similar metal mesh. The SRS-XB40 has three types of lighting. an RGB line that runs along the edges of the mesh grille, speaker lights, and a strobe for each driver. The pattern of the lights can be controlled via the Sony Music Centre app.

The SRS-XB40 supports Bluetooth 4.2 and streaming codecs such as SBC, AAC and LDAC. The latter is Sony’s proprietary high-resolution codec, similar to Qualcomm’s aptX HD. You’ll need a compatible Xperia device but it’s also now baked into Android Oreo so compatibility will become wider. When connected to a LDAC capable phone such as the Google Pixel, the SRS-XB40 automatically uses the best available codec. The drivers can handle a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz.

The SRS-XB40 is IPX5 rated so it can withstand light splashes of water. In the box, you get only an AC power adapter. The device is officially only available in black in India, but there are more colour options in other countries.

Sony SRS-XB40 performance and battery life

With an impressive list of features and specifications, it’s time to see how well this translates into actual performance. The XB40 doesn’t produce an omnidirectional sound, which takes some getting used too at first. This means that placement is very important, as you can’t just leave it anywhere in the room and expect it to sound good. It works best when it’s facing you and placed on the same plane as your ears or higher. Setting it up is easy with NFC or regular Bluetooth pairing. The light show kicks in once the music starts playing, and changes based on the beats and rhythm.

Sony’s Music Center app adds more features and functionality to the speaker. The Android app isn’t very well designed but it’s functional. It is missing one critical feature, which is a display of speaker’s battery status. The iOS app is slightly better designed. On the main screen of the app, you can pair more of Sony’s EXTRA BASS speakers (up to 10), switch to the auxiliary input, or play songs that are on your device. You can also adjust the volume of the speaker, which is independent of your device’s volume level.

There’s also another app called Fiestable, that you can download. This lets you add DJ-like effects to the current music track and change the colour of the RGB light strip. There are also gesture-based actions for controlling music playback and adding DJ effects, but honestly, this just feels very gimmicky. The volume of the after-effects is nearly twice as loud as the music track, which makes them extremely jarring and irritating.

The SRS-XB40 can get extremely loud which makes it good for outdoor parties. Enabling the EXTRA BASS feature surprisingly doesn’t muddy the sound as we were expecting. In fact, with the radiators firing too, the soundstage gets a bit wider and you get some more thump, even at lower volume levels. We used a Samsung Galaxy S8 for most of our tests, which included the use of FLAC files and streams from Apple Music.

first-look, review, sony, srs-xb40

With Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, the XB40 delivered a pleasing warm tone with very good detail in the mid-range frequencies, and subtle but audible low notes. FLAC files did sound better over a wired connection, with a noticeable improvement in clarity. Vocals were crisper and highs are a bit more distinct. The speaker’s real specialisation is of course is bass-heavy tracks and it handles these very well. In Tuesday by Burak Yeter, the it delivered punchy bass notes which were well-defined even at high volumes, without distortion. The dual satellite drivers ensure mid-range and high notes are not lost among the bass, which is often the case with speakers tuned for lower frequencies.

With LDAC and high quality music files, the SRS-XB40 did justice to more delicate tracks, such as the unplugged version of Only When I Sleep by the Corrs. Notes from the violin were well defined and separated from background instruments.

The XB40 has a built-in microphone, which works well for voice calls. Pressing the call button once brings up Google Assistant or Siri, depending on your paired device. Voice calls are handled well and the microphone is fairly sensitive in in picking up your voice even when you’re away from the speaker.

Battery life is rated at 24 hours and while we couldn’t test that out in one go, the speaker easily lasted us about a week, with an average of 2-3 hours of music being played each day, which is very good. When the battery is low, the volume level is restricted to about 20 percent and you keep getting a prompt to charge the device if you try to increase the volume. Charging the battery to its full capacity takes about 4 hours.

first-look, review, sony, srs-xb40

The calibration of the battery on our unit was a bit off, probably due to it being an older test unit, and we would sometimes get the low battery warning even at 50 percent. You can’t charge the speaker on the go with a portable charger or even a standard Micro-USB phone charger, as you have to use the beefier one that comes with it. This is something to consider when deciding between the SRS-XB40 and smaller, more portable options.


The Sony SRS-XB40 offers powerful sound for the price, and if you look online, you can find it selling for as little as Rs. 13,340. It isn’t as compact as most portable speakers, but given the volume output, size of the drivers and battery life, it seems as through there is a specific market for it. The speaker handles most genres of music quite well and it’s nice to see that it’s water resistant. However, the DJ features feel a bit gimmicky.

Overall, if you’re looking for a powerful Bluetooth speaker with good battery life, then the Sony SRS-XB40 is a good choice.

Price (MRP): Rs. 16,990

  • Loud and powerful
  • IPX5 water resistant
  • Light effects are fun
  • Rugged construction
  • Very good battery life

Ratings (Out of 5)



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