Review: Sony SRS-XB31 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (SRSXB31/Ll)

  • May 18, 2018
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of the Sony SRS-XB31 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (SRSXB31/Ll), received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Works Well For Parties, Not So Much For Audio Books

We’ve tried a few speakers for when we work or entertain outside in our backyard, but haven’t found the perfect speaker quite yet. So when I showed my SO the Sony SRS-XB31 she was interested in us giving it a try.

Due to some unseasonably cold weather we weren’t able to get outside much initially, so we used it inside, and in particular I was using it while listening to Audible.

Based upon these experiences, the Sony SRS-XB31 provides some great sound in a small package. It has a shape that makes it easy enough to carry around, but still be able to place on a hard or soft surface without it moving about.

The ability to whack it to have it make noises is interesting, but I personally found it too inconsistent, and requiring too much force, to use it much; it won’t be much more than a novelty in our household.

Unfortunately, for audio books, or otherwise spoken audio, the Sony SRS-XB31 just isn’t very ideal, due to the fact that the extra bass can’t be disabled/turned down. While this is fine music, it’s not so great for normal speech.

Battery seems to last quite a long time on a single charge, definitely long enough for a teenage/college party (although it’s been a while since I’ve been in either demographic). The lighting effects are pretty cool, although like the bass boost can’t be disabled.

I ran into no issues with the wireless range or quality inside or out, and was unable to try out the party chain functionality, having only one speaker. For our household one is enough, but the option is certainly interesting (although I wonder how much use this would get given the current price of the speakers).

I’m not an audiophile, but the Sony SRS-XB31 sounds great to me. I wish the lights and extra bass could be disabled, and the ability to whack it for sound effects probably won’t get much use (and may result in eventual breakage in some groups), but I’d still give it four of five stars.