How do you get a party started? You fire up Sony XB90. It is as simple as that. With its boom sounds, customisable RGB lights, extra bass feature, it packs a punch. It has a well-balanced mid-range that gives an exceptional output of the vocals and lead instruments. It has one of the most crystal clear sounds in this range.
The big complaint we have against this is the inability to flex higher-frequency sounds. We attribute it to poorly emphasised treble. It causes the higher-pitched vocals and instruments to sound camouflage and dull. The only reason we still love this speaker is its graphic EQ and presets. This makes the sound personalised and customisable. It also comes with a ClearAudio+ that adjusts the speaker’s sound according to the audio you’re listening to with respect to the audio being played.
We are going to help you decide if this portable speaker is for you through our in-depth Sony XB90 Review-
Sony XB90 Review
Design and Build
The Sony XB90 has an innovative two-way design that gives flexibility regarding how you use the speaker. It can be placed either sideways or straight, yet it sounds fantastic.
The design has customisable RGB lights. They are set off with stunning infinity mirrors constructed around the speaker’s lights. The mirrors reflect the light and energy, therefore, looking sensational. With its dimensions of 29.1″ x 15.9″ x 16.3″, this is a large party speaker.
Not so portable though
While there are built-in handles on the sides to enable easy movement, they are still heavy. They are portable because they are battery-powered. The manufacturer warns against putting it under any direct lights, peak sunlights; the Sony XB90 isn’t rated for water or dust resistance. That is why we feel this isn’t as outdoor and portable as its competitors.
The Sony XB90 has a durable and robust build quality. Constructed with solid matte plastic, it has two rubber feet on the sides. It protects the drivers with a metal grille. It has play/pause buttons that are useful to answer and reject phone calls, change the tracks, activate voice assistants. It has NFC and Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth allows for more than ten speakers to be connected together, making a Party Chain.
The USP of the speaker is the Stamina Mode. When played at the maximum volume, the speaker has a battery life of 3.5 hours. The full volume may become slightly muted with the Stamina Mode but results in an hour and a half of extra playtime. The speaker has slot features for the phone and it also has a USB port to keep charging when in need.
Sound and Audio Quality
The frequency response accuracy is good. The sound profile from the speaker is boomy, which packs in a hefty punch when heard with bass-heavy music. If you are not a high bass listener, this could be overwhelming.
The mid-ranges are well-balanced, while the vocals and lead instruments have an excellent clear balance. The drawback is that treble range has been emphasised, making higher-pitch instruments sound unclear and dark. The XB90 has a fine low-bass reproduction.
Graphic EQ to the rescue
The graphic EQ and the multiple presets in the companion app allow customising the sound as per the listener’s choice. This speaker is one of the few in this range which can boast a good soundstage. The built-in sensor has automatic detention of the speakers’ orientation, allowing it to play the stereo content without reducing it to mono. It also has some good directivity.
It is loud.
The decent dynamics, powered by three 2 inch tweeters, two 7 inch subwoofers, deliver one of the loudest sounds in this range of speakers. It is loud enough to be heard in outdoor parties without any compression or distortion.
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This Sony speaker, as discussed, has an outstanding battery performance. It has a downtime of 15 hours on a single charge. Like others in this range, this also comes equipped with a handy power-saving feature that causes the speaker to sleep off after 15 minutes of inactivity.
This doesn’t have built-in voice assistants. Therefore, it uses the paired phones voice assistant, resulting in poor performance. The graphic EQ features apps like Spotify, as well as the ‘Fiestable’ app.
The Sony Music Center has the feature whereby the lights, pairing, stereo, daisy chain of speakers can all be customised. The speaker can also play music from the USB key, which plays music when connected to the USB port.
The W Party Chain Speaker
While speakers, as discussed earlier, can be connected via Bluetooth, the first and the last speaker of the chain need to be connected. For the daisy chain to become wireless, use the W. PARTY CHAIN and Function buttons on the speaker. The NFC capabilities add to the ease of connection.
- The graphic EQ and presets
- Soundstage of the speaker
- The loud volume
- Treble is underemphasised
- Sounds get compressed at max volume
The speaker is a loud boombox, which has fantastic bass. If such features interest you, then this is the ideal speaker for you. In our testing, we found this model good enough but not very great. There are quite a few negatives. One needs to check what they are looking for before they purchase this.
There are enough lights for a party, the bass is the juiciest, and the speaker is portable and can form a party chain. It is a good product, provided the negatives are well considered before buying.