Robot Or Human?

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The Sony SRS-XB41 is the largest portable bluetooth speaker in the company’s 2018 Extra Bass series. Compared khổng lồ last year’s Sony SRS-XB40 speaker — which you can now buy for $178 on Amazon — the new SRS-XB41 comes with significantly upgraded features. It’s more water và dust resistant, with an IP67 rating, so you can wash it off with a hose if it gets muddy and not have to lớn worry about ruining it. It’s more powerful & has three times the wireless range of the SRS-XB40, too. & it has a ‘Live Sound’ mode so that, by pressing a button on the đứng đầu of the SRS-XB41, you boost the soundstage of the music so it fills the room more & it feels like you’re in a concert venue of sorts. It has some other DJ-esque and “party booster” features, which I’ll get into below. The speaker costs $250 và is available now.

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Buy Now: $250

The Good: The fact is, the Sony SRS-XB41 sounds excellent especially at high volumes. Và it gets really loud. It’s super easy for anybody lớn use, with simple pairing and volume buttons on the top of the speaker. It works well in outdoor situations & there’s no need lớn worry about people spilling water on it or getting it dirty. You can customize the màu sắc and the flashing of the LED lights in myriad ways. If you don’t like the lights, you can shut them off. Lượt thích its predecessor, it has a USB-A port the speaker can act as a portable power ngân hàng to charge your phone. You can links up khổng lồ 100 Extra Bass speakers and have them all playing simultaneously, although I’m guessing not many people will have a reason to liên kết more than two.

Who They’re For: Anybody can use this speaker và appreciate it, and I imagine it performs will for backyard barbecues or dorm room raves. However, it’s really geared for tiệc nhỏ situations. The lights, the loudness, the bass-heavy tunes và its ‘Live Sound’ mode are really for people listening to music together. Also, you have khổng lồ be okay with navigating a separate app to control the speaker’s lights & quirky features. For kids — think high-school or younger — the buổi tiệc nhỏ features might be interesting.

Watch Out For: Lets get into these quirky features. The Fiestable tiện ích lets you control the các buổi party features — changing the màu sắc of the lights, DJ scratches và customize noise effects and using motion control with your phone (you can shake your phone và a cowbell will ring on the speaker, for instance) — và it all works well, to be honest. However, many of these features make the speaker feel pretty gimmicky, lượt thích a child’s toy. There’s also ‘Party Booster’ feature you can access through a second app, Sony’s Music Center, that enables you to hit in specific places on the speaker, and lượt thích a Bop It, certain percussion or drum noises will play. It’s hilarious, but in a ‘who the heck is going khổng lồ use this feature kind of way.’ Again, maybe kids will lượt thích it. The other thing is the speaker’s ‘Live Sound’ mode isn’t very good for anything else than EDM and buổi tiệc ngọt tunes. A lot of the midrange audio, which encompasses important instrumentals & vocals, feel muted — it’s just not great for normal listening conditions. I left ‘Live Sound’ off for the majority of the testing period.

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Alternatives: If you’re looking for 360-degree sound & not a front-facing portable công nghệ bluetooth speaker, I’d suggest the UE’s Megaboom ($250) or Bose’s SoundLink Revolve+ ($300). Neither has bright LED lights lượt thích the Sony SRS-XB41, too. On the flip side, you can get last year’s Sony SRS-XB40 speaker ($178), which costs less & comes with many of the same features.

Review: The Sony SRS-XB41 has grown on me over my two week testing period, admittedly. The majority of my time listening was spent in the office, amongst my colleagues, and most of us felt its appearance — the bright lights and quirky features — was “too loud.” But one of the good things about the SRS-XB41 is if you don’t like its lights, you can just shut them off in the app once & not have to worry about them ever again; I left them on because, well, I kind of liked them. The DJ- and Bop It-like features are reset & disabled every time you shut off the speaker, so you have lớn go out of your way too use them. Và I like that.

I can imagine some people will like the speaker’s ‘Live Sound’ mode, but it made songs sound hollow to me. It’s not the speaker’s default setting, however, so you don’t have khổng lồ worry about ‘Live Sound’ mode if you don’t want to. Just don’t press the button on the speaker. Simple.

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It doesn’t have a built-in virtual assistant, either, lượt thích a UE Megablast, but in my experience công nghệ bluetooth không dây speakers not made by Amazon, Google or táo bị cắn don’t need them — they only complicate the experience, they’re not as quick lớn respond và you can only talk lớn them when connected to wifi.

Verdict: As a standalone bluetooth không dây speaker, the Sony SRS-XB41 has everything you want. It gets loud. The sound unique is good. There’s a lot of bass, too. & maybe best of all, it’s as easy khổng lồ use as any bluetooth speaker. It even has NFC for easy pairing. The point is, you should look at it as a good và loud công nghệ bluetooth không dây speaker, with a bunch of fun tricks that some people — mainly tiệc nhỏ goers và kids — will dig. Still, not everybody is going lớn want lớn pay a premium — $250 is fairly expensive — on a speaker with this much personality.

What Others Are Saying:

• “The SRS-XB41 is made for partying, mainly due lớn the deep & powerful tones produced by the speaker. Enabling its Live Sound mode, you’ll experience the feeling of listening to lớn your favorite tunes live. It’s honestly not for everyone, but if you prefer that kind of style, it undoubtedly delivers with its wide audio distribution.” — John Velasco, Phone Arena

• “The SRS-XB41 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It is, after all, just a decent-sounding bluetooth không dây speaker with a couple of extra interesting features. But its colorful LEDs, ‘Live Sound’ mode, & music-making elements are interesting additions, even if they won’t be for everyone. It’s a công nghệ bluetooth speaker that knows exactly what it wants to be, & when it comes to lớn something that’s built for convenience that’s enough lớn make it worth a look.” — Jon Porter, TechRadar

Key specs

Frequency Range: 20hz – 20kHzDrivers: dual 2.28 driversBattery: 24 hoursWaterproof: IP67