Sony SRS-XG300 is still inclined towards a party, but is a more polished bundle

We aren’t big fans of the Sony SRS-XG500 speaker, and we have our reasons. The boomy bass, the sheer bulk as well as the overall personality of the speaker, made it an uncomfortable fit in most homes. It felt overdone, and you’d too be correct in complaining it almost didn’t befit something with a Sony logo. But corrective steps have been taken.

The new Sony SRS-XG300 has taken care of the size, improved the sound and it is still as powerful as you’d want it to be. This no longer is as one dimensional as the older generation speaker – the XG300 doesn’t scream ‘party’ all the time. Instead, this is a versatile and powerful Bluetooth speaker, which will be equally comfortable with light music in a bedroom and the more up-tempo tracks in a larger hall.

Sony has retained the classic inspiration, with the boombox-esque design that tapers slightly towards the middle. This is a speaker you’ll place horizontally. There’s a heft to it (weighs about 3 kg, even after the size reduction). Yet, quite portable, particularly with the integrated (and retractable) handle. At each end are dancing lights too (thankfully, those can be turned off; and they remained turned off for the duration of our review), just a reminder of the youthful personality.

All the controls (power button, Mega Bass on/off, Bluetooth etc.) sit on a rubberised base, and that’s the first hint of this speaker’s ruggedness quotient. It’s serious too, with the IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. That’s about 30 minutes of being submerged in about a metre of water, while being sealed off against dust as well. Most Bluetooth speakers don’t go this far with the ruggedness aspect.

The really likeable design element of the Sony XG300 is the fabric finish – your choice is between black and what looks like grey. The fabric, instead of a plastic grille or even a rubberised finish, exudes class that you must demand from a speaker that costs as much.

You’d be pleasantly surprised to know the Sony XG300 supports Google Fast Pair, if you are pairing this with an Android phone. Once that is done, you must download the Sony Music Center app, to further tweak the sound and functionality of this speaker. And in case you’re wondering how to control the LEDs that we had mentioned earlier, that’s with the Fiestable app (that’s also free to download on the Play Store and App Store).

Also Read:Sony WH-1000XM5 have matured with age, which shouldn’t come as a surprise

Corrective steps have been taken on the pricing front too. This slides beneath the 30,000 price point, with a sticker price of 27,990. Let us get this out of the way now itself – the XG300 sounds much better than the JBL Boombox 2, for instance, which costs around 32,900.

There are two sides to the sound aspect with the Sony XG300. By default, leaning more towards bass, with a definite sculpting towards what can be referenced as “boomy”. Though that’s not compromised the mid-frequencies, the vocals do tend to get a bit overshadowed on certain tracks. Lower frequencies too, when it is about replicating low-bass, isn’t as evident. The ideal course of action would be to use the companion app to tweak the audio equaliser to tone down the leanings towards something more balanced.

Once that is done (you should also keep Clear Audio+ enabled; that’s the automatic audio processing at work), the soundstage comes through a lot better. There’s the definite sound location bit which is well done, which means instruments and elements of a track are well distinguished between the left and right speakers.

All said and done, this will never become a neutral sounding speaker, like a Sonos system perhaps. But then again that’s not what the XG300 is made for.

We did notice a very slight audible degradation of sound quality for certain music that was natively not in the Lossless audio formats, at higher volumes. The better quality tracks don’t exhibit this trend even when the volume is increased.

Unlike the larger sized predecessor, the Sony XG300 doesn’t remain restricted to just being the soundtrack to a party. It is a more versatile Bluetooth speaker which does well for the quieter moments where you’d simply use this as a versatile speaker for tunes for regular home use scenarios. Or even podcasts. It’s the maturing of the Sony XG speaker series. Or so it may seem.

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