Sony's SRS-XG300 is a solid portable speaker that convinces in many areas, has no real weaknesses and where the associated apps also offer a certain added value. The RRP quoted by the manufacturer may be off-putting at first, but the street price does justice to the product.
Table of Contents
- Design, Workmanship and price
- SRS-XG300 vs. -XG500
- Fearless of water and dust
- Connectivity: Bluetooth and jack
- Battery life: lots of stamina
- Pleasant and balanced sound
- Woe to be released…
- Software with certain added value
Design, workmanship and price
Sony has modified the design of the SRS-XG300 in some areas from big brother SRS-XG500. In general, the appearance of the current test subject can be reminiscent of a neck roll.
SRS-XG300 vs. -XG500
The SRS-XG500 offers a higher range of functions and above all more performance. The 500 variant can also provide sound for larger festivities, the 300 cannot. With an RRP of 449 euros compared to the test candidate at 249 euros, it is even more expensive.
Although the Japanese manufacturer has halved the weight of the handier version, the SRS-XG300 is by no means lightweight at just under 3 kg. The integrated and retractable, rubberized carrying handle ensures high portability, even if the loudspeaker certainly does not want to be carried for a long time.
Fearless of water and dust
On the outside, the Bluetooth speaker is made like a tube, with the passive membranes – as is so often the case with this type of sound generator – being attached to the sides that are almost 32 cm apart, while the midrange and tweeter have been incorporated into the front. However, this also means that the speaker can only be operated lying down. Externally, the test candidate was wrapped in gray fabric by its developers, which gives the speaker a certain elegance – the SRS-XG300 is alternatively available in black. In addition, the test subject is protected against dust and water according to protection class IP67 and, according to the standard, should also survive brief immersion in water. The two rubberized feet also ensure a secure footing, even on wet surfaces.
In terms of controls, the test candidate has everything that is needed for comfortable use. The on and pairing buttons for the Bluetooth connection are on the front left, as is the activation for the mega bass function that Sony has always named, while the play button and volume control are placed opposite.
On the back, on the other hand, various connection options are safely hidden behind a plastic tab, including the power connection for charging the battery in the form of a USB-C plug. The Japanese manufacturer includes a suitable power supply unit. Additional sources can also be easily connected via the audio input using a 3.5 mm jack plug. At the same time, the speaker offers the option of charging external mobile devices with up to 5 V and 1.5 A. Battery performance is discussed in more detail at the appropriate point.
In the darker evening hours, the LED lighting attached to the side speakers can also create an atmospheric and discreet ambience. The colors for this can be activated and adjusted via the Music Center app, which is available free of charge from Sony and is available for both Android and iOS and which also offers other functions. This will also be discussed in more detail later. In addition to being controlled via software, the lighting can also be switched on and off again using a corresponding button behind the tab already described.
Connectivity: Bluetooth and jack
The speaker connects to a corresponding source device via Bluetooth version 5.2. The pairing required for this is quick and easy, and the same applies to reconnecting.
Alternatively, as already described, the speaker can also be supplied with content via a cable. At the same time, the system offers the option of coupling several loudspeakers with one another in two ways: Using Party Connect, several sound generators can be connected to one another in order to operate them with their own output in different rooms, among other things. A stereo combination of two units is also possible.
Sony specifies the possible range as 30 m, although in practice it depends on both the spatial conditions and the source device. In the present case, a distance of 15 m as the crow flies with several walls and a ceiling in between could be covered before the first dropouts occurred. Back in range, was able to quickly reconnect and resume playback. Some influence on the range can be made in the music center software's Bluetooth settings by prioritizing a stable connection in the options for LDAC, the codec used by default. Under certain circumstances, this can lead to a loss of sound, since the transmission is then no longer carried out with a high bit rate.
As with many Bluetooth speakers, the test candidate can also be used as a hands-free system. The microphone for this was installed under the left control panel. An echo suppression should also ensure that both parties can speak without interrupting each other.
Battery life: a lot of endurance
Sony states that the battery life of the SRS-XG300 is up to 25 hours, with the measurement according to the manufacturer's own statements at a volume of 19 (which corresponds to a pleasant volume at which one can still have a conversation comfortably), an activated Mega Bass and a deactivated lighting were the basis. A meaningful measurement of the battery life is still difficult with such values, since many aspects have an influence. These include the playback volume and the signal quality of the source device. Even the type of content you listen to can make a difference in power consumption. The test copy was delivered to the editors with a fill level of 60 percent. This emptied down to 20 percent after around 10 hours of test listening at mostly room volume and different content. Extrapolated, the SRS-XG300 has a good chance of reaching the frame specified by the manufacturer.
But even if this should be an hour or two less for other users: the memory should definitely be enough for a day in the garden or at the paddling pool at home. And should the filling level come to an end early, thanks to the quick charging function with the supplied power supply unit, a charging time of 10 minutes should be enough for a further 70 minutes of music playback. The “Battery Care” function is also intended to increase the service life of the energy storage device. When activated, the battery is only charged up to 90 percent of its capacity, which saves the battery but also shortens the runtime.
If there is no socket nearby, the Loudspeakers can also be operated via a connected power bank. In order not to consume electricity unnecessarily, the system switches off automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity.
As already described, external mobile devices can also be charged with up to 5 V and 1.5 A via the USB port on the back, which means that in most cases there is no need to worry about the runtime of the source device.
Pleasant and balanced sound
Sony equips the SRS-XG300 with two 20 mm high-frequency drivers as well as two drivers for the mid-range and low-frequency range. The latter have a special feature: the membranes are not round as usual, but asymmetrical with a size of 61 × 68 mm. The technology, known in advertising as the “X-Balanced Speaker Unit”, has a larger surface area than with conventional loudspeakers and should therefore enable a higher sound pressure level and a more powerful bass sound. With 20 Hz to 20 kHz, however, the test person only has a normal frequency response.
In addition to the already mentioned LDAC support, the system also understands the SBC and AAC codec, whereby the latter might be interesting for the use of Apple devices.
The sound of the SRS-XG300 is convincing. Anyone expecting a “roaring cube” bursting with bass after switching it on and connecting for the first time will quickly be taught otherwise. The loudspeaker presents itself with a balanced sound pattern in which no frequency section is neglected. In its original state, the sound could still seem too bland to one or the other listener – the mega-bass function should help here, which again emphasizes the low-frequency range without overdoing it directly. If desired, the sound can also be adjusted to your own preferences using the 3-band equalizer in the Music Center app.
With the SRS-XG300, a slight stereo image can even be heard – but only when the listener is directly in front of the sound generator. If you want more, you can connect two units to form a stereo set, although experience has shown that the two speakers shouldn't be too far apart. In addition, the built-in sound processor has a live function, which is not only intended to help live recordings to become more spacious. In reality, however, the effect is limited, as is so often the case, seems quite artificial and also causes losses in the low-frequency range. Concert recordings should therefore be left as the sound engineer mixed them.
Woe if he is let go…
In terms of volume, the speaker is also versatile. So it can be used for light background music as well as for small celebrations. When released, the test candidate can also be loud, even very loud. However, it only tends to distort in the last two volume levels. Until then, the content will be displayed very clearly.
Software with a certain added value
Sony offers two free applications for Android and iOS to control the SRS-XG300 more conveniently, Music Center and Fiestable. On the one hand, the Music Center is about direct speaker settings, which also include the sound options including a 3-band equalizer for your own frequency settings. Furthermore, apps for content can be included in a list that can be accessed quickly via the app. In addition, various system settings such as the already mentioned “Battery Care” can be made or the firmware can be updated. The possibility of deactivating the often annoying tones played when switching the device on and off is also exemplary.
The app also offers setting options for the LED lighting already described – albeit only to a very limited extent. It can only be selected from various ready-made presets or deactivated – it is therefore not possible to choose your own color.
Fiestable, on the other hand, serves a completely different purpose: With this app, several users connected to the same WiFi network via the software can use their smartphone to add tracks on the device to a playlist, which will be played consecutively in the order in which they were submitted. So at a party, at least musically, no one should miss out. However, its use is subject to (albeit few) limitations: No high-resolution pieces of music are played and the individual files must not be larger than 30 MB.
The SRS-XG300 is a solid loudspeaker that can convince in many areas and basically has no real weaknesses. But you shouldn't expect anything else at an RRP of 249 euros, even if the street price has already dropped to well below 180 euros at the time of writing the test, at least for the black version.
Externally, the speaker knows how to please with the fabric cover and the rest of the workmanship also leaves no reason for criticism. The sound generator appears solid and stable and ready to be used in the home garden or at the quarry pond without any problems. Its water and dust protection underline the mentioned capabilities and the rubberized and stable carrying handle ensures good portability despite the high weight.
In terms of sound, the SRS-XG300 does not show any weaknesses either. The sound is generally balanced, but can be adjusted to your own wishes using ready-made presets or the 3-band equalizer. But even then, the speaker never overdoes it and remains airy and pleasant – if you're looking for a bass horn, you've come to the wrong place with the test candidate. If the SRS-XG300 is let off the leash, it can also get very loud, but it only allows distortions just before the maximum volume. The model is therefore also suitable for smaller celebrations.
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The good runtimes ensure that the portable speaker can be unplugged for a long time – your own smartphone should rather give up as a source of content. If this is the case, it can also be charged via the speaker. This combination should provide a long background music.
The two optional applications also offer a certain added value, be it just adjusting the sound aspect to your own wishes or being able to access other sources more quickly. Nevertheless, the functions are more numerous than in most of the competitors.
So the SRS-XG300 from Sony can ultimately be described as an all-round successful package that will certainly find its buyers.< /p> Sony SRS-XG300 speaker product group, 01/20/2023
- good sound
- good workmanship
- Dust and water protection according to IP67
- long runtimes
- several speakers can be coupled
- other mobile devices can be loaded on the speaker
- numerous additional settings via app
- System sounds can be deactivated
ComputerBase was loaned the SRS-XG300 by Sony for this test. The manufacturer did not influence the test report and there was no obligation to publish it. There was no NDA.
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