Price: SRS-XB32– Rs 11,590 | SRS-XB22– Rs 7,690
Sony is very serious about its party speakers lineup. It has just refreshed its portable offerings in this space with new models SRS-XB12, SRS-XB22 and the larger SRS-XB32, carrying forward the legacy of earlier devices. These cater clearly to people who like to party wherever they are, be it a poolside or by the beach.
We tested the SRS-XB22 and SRS-XB32 together, given that these can be used together to create a party chain.
The SRS-XB22 is a handy speaker, shaped like a log. There is a colourful LED line light that runs all along the front of the speaker. The speaker grill has a fabric finish while the rest of the body has a rubberised plastic adding to the waterproofing capabilities of the speaker. The ports are behind a flap at the rear. Overall the build quality is really the power, volume and live buttons are on the top and embedded into the body. Android devices can pair using NFC.
The SRS-XB32 is larger and has a larger battery because of this. All the features are similar, except for two strobe lights added into the speaker grill to add to the oomph element of the party. Both speakers have a live button on top to switch of a concert-like surround sound effect.
The audio quality of both speakers is good. Of course, being Sony Speakers they are heavy on bass. I started on a nostalgia trip with the speakers playing classic soul in a chain — you have to set up the chain using the Sony Music Centre app. Being larger, the SRS-XB32 offers a roomier audio profile and holds up better on higher volumes.
It is not as if the extra bass dictates the kind of music you can play on these speakers.
They worked well even when I shifted to Carnatic music, though I though Ravi Shankar and Lalgudi sounded better with the Live option on. Using the Sony Music Centre app you can switch on clear audio and tune the profile just the way you like. So you are not stuck with the extra bass.
However, while the SRS-XB32’s lights can be adjusted using the Fiestable app, the SRS-XB22 offers limited options and you cannot chat the blue colours there. On the SRS-XB32, you can play with the colours from a blinking blue for Team India’s matches to a soft pink to celebrate a birthday. If you are looking for a switch of shut the light completely, you will have to use the settings on the app.
Overall with the audio quality on offer, the lights and the party chain offer, the SRS-XB32 and SRS-XB22 can literally light up any party. And the music quality is good enough for just the SRS-XB22 to become the music hub of the house. The SRS-XB32 is only better. Go ahead, party.