With portable Bluetooth speakers, there really is no shortage of choices. There are dozens and dozens to choose from. My suggestion is to always stick with an audio brand you trust. Historically, Sony is one of the top audio brands in the world. The company that brought us the Walkman is now competing in a crowded portable Bluetooth speaker market. Does it still have what it takes to stand out from the crowd?
I’m reviewing the Sony XG300 Bluetooth speaker. It features a retracting handle, LED ambient lights, and offers 25 hours of playtime on a single charge. It even has a dedicated Mega Bass button to really kick things up a notch. It could be the next boom box of this generation.
Specs: Sony XG300 Bluetooth speaker
- IP67 water and dust resistance
- A retractable handle allows for easier transport
- Quick-charging—one hour of music with only ten minutes of charging
- 25 hours of playtime on one charge
Design of the Sony XG300 Bluetooth speaker
The XG300 sports an oval design that sits horizontally on a surface via two rubberized feet. The dimensions are approximately 6.5”x 8”x 14” (WHD) and it weighs just over 6lbs. It’s touted as having lightweight construction but 6lbs is heavy for a Bluetooth speaker.
On the top, you’ll find a retractable handle that sits flat when not in use. To me, this is the most notable design element of this speaker, It makes it easy to carry. If you feel so inclined, you can also carry it on your shoulder like an old-school boombox. Under the handle, you’ll find buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, and Mega Bass on the left. On the right side are buttons for playback, volume, and taking calls as a speakerphone.
On the back is a rubber cap that opens to expose all the port options: USB-A, 3.5mm jack, USB-C, battery button, and ambient lights. The USB-A port can be used to charge other devices like smartphones in a pinch. Pressing the battery button activates a voice response with the battery power left. The ambient light button activates the light effects around the passive radiators on each side.
Under the hood, you’ll find a 20mm tweeter and a 61mm x 68mm woofer on the left and right sides of the speaker. It should be noted that these diaphragms are non-circular. This is what Sony calls its X-Balanced Speaker Unit. This maximizes the area of the speaker’s diaphragm, which increases the sound pressure for more punchy bass and less distortion.
Setting up the Sony XG300 Bluetooth speaker
The Sony XG300 supports Google Fast Pairing. This makes it incredibly easy to connect with any Android device. Even my tablet mounted on my wall recognizes the speaker. Everything should connect like this. For iOS users, you will have to connect it the old fashioned way. As I have multiple Android devices, fast pairing is a huge selling point for me.
I wanted to see if the XG300 supports dual Bluetooth pairing. This is when two devices are simultaneously connected to the speaker. It’s one of my top must-have features for any party speaker. Thankfully, I was able to pair both my smartphone and tablet at the same time. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a company like Sony. Another great selling point.
Sony’s Music Center app
Sony’s Music Center app provides a host of additional features and controls. The app integrates with SoundCloud and Spotify for easy access within the app. Another app, Fiestable, also integrates inside of the Music Center app. This is where you get access to DJ and light effects. It was fun to play around with DJ effects on tracks but I doubt I would use this very much. Nevertheless, it is a cool feature to use during parties.
The Music Center app is also where you can connect additional Sony speakers. During this review, I also was reviewing the Sony XE200 and XE300 speakers. With the Party Connect feature, I was able to group the speakers together to play music in sync. This has a great application inside a home to create a multi-room audio system. Put one speaker in the backyard, one in the kitchen, and another in the bedroom. As you move between the different places, the music or podcast will follow you. Of course, this is limited by the Bluetooth range but it did work inside my home.
Using the Sony XG300 Bluetooth speaker
In my youth, I had a home-based music production studio and I created a lot of original music. To avoid getting flagged by YouTube’s copyright, I used my own music so I could film and record the sound. Overall, this is an amazing-sounding Bluetooth speaker. Whatever the genre, the music sounds great. Even at max volume, there is very little distortion. However, I preferred to listen to it at around 75% of the max volume.
The bass is warm and punchy. Personally, I preferred having Mega Bass activated. I used it outside during a jump rope session and the bass-heavy music immediately got me into the zone. While it sounds equally good indoors, it really shines outdoors. That’s where I could really test it at high volumes and the sound it produced did not disappoint.
I used the Party Connect feature and connected the XG300 with the XE200 and XE300 speakers for surround sound around my jump rope pad. That was a profound experience. Music was coming at me in all directions, I thought I was in a music video.
The portable Bluetooth speaker market is incredibly crowded. How does a company like Sony stand out in the crowd? By creating speakers that sound great. It is as simple as that. The XG300 is a high quality speaker. It’s got all the bells and whistles. The retracting handle is my favourite feature. While it feels a little heavy, it’s easy to carry, even as a boom box.
What Sony has shown me here is that there is value in sticking to one brand. During the winter, you can use multiple speakers inside the home to create a multi-room audio system. In the summer, you can take that multi-room audio system wherever you go. If that doesn’t impress your friends, nothing will. While you will find many Bluetooth speakers considerably cheaper, you will be hard-pressed to find one that sounds as good as the Sony XG300. Mark my words on that. Check it out on bestbuy.ca today.