What We Like
- Durable chassis means that you don’t have to worry about XB40 much.
- Performance that’s catered to exploit every last drop of juice from transducers.
- Attractive yet neutral aesthetics make it a low profile speaker.
What We Don’t Like
- Built in microphone isn’t really up to the task.
Sony’s XB40 is probably one of the most balanced home Bluetooth speakers you can get right now. They packed all the right features and made it balanced in ways you don’t find too often. Let’s take a closer look.
From a distance, not a lot strikes us as special about the XB40. It’s not that Sony went out of their way to make this speaker look different. On the contrary, they pretty much utilized the very same design we are all used to bu now. However, they upgraded, changed and optimized a number of design elements to reach a the form they wanted.
Overall, XB40 sports a well made, extremely well protected chassis that is water resistant and impact resistant to a certain point. This makes it fairly practical if you want to use the speaker while showering or taking a dip in the pool. With that said, it doesn’t look ‘high speed’ as many water resistant speakers out there do.
You could plant the XB40 in just about any environment or interior and it will fit in. One interesting detail is the LED illuminated baffle surround that can add some color to your sound.
Moving on to features, we see a rather balanced selection that really puts XB40 into context. Let’s start things off by taking a look at the drivers. You get two 2.5″ drivers which are paired with a set of rear facing passive radiators.
In all honesty, these are not really the largest transducers in this segment of the market, but they sound better than most larger units. Pairing your smart device with the speaker is fairly easy as you can do it either manually, or by using the NFC. The absolute best thing about XB40 is the battery life.
This compact speaker packs 24 hours of playtime per single charge. If one is not enough, you can pair numerous XB40s together and get a much more defined sound stage. The app that comes with the speaker allows for complete control over the speaker. This applies to both the audio management as well as LED control.
Performance is arguably the best thing about Sony XB40. It is one of the rare speakers with passive radiators which actually make a tangible difference to the listening experience. Those two drivers do a great job at covering most of the frequency range rather accurately, but you can’t expect monitor level transparency.
After all, this is a consumer level speaker and those are always biased in one way or another. Interesting thing about is that volume is there in abundance. You can crank XB40 up to a pretty respectable level before it starts distorting. By that time, you are probably listening to music a bit too loud.
Pairing the speaker with your devices is quick and effortless, especially if you can exploit the NFC feature. Just tap the speaker with your phone and you are good to go. At the end of the day, having 24 hours of playtime and a very solid performance makes XB40 a very attractive speaker to use at home.
What Sony did with XB40 is pretty well thought out. They’ve chosen all the right features to make it a worthy choice no matter the application. If you need something to have in your living room, this is it.