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Sony SRS-XE200 Bluetooth Speaker Review: Your Ideal Pool-Side Companion
- Solid and durable build
- Good sound quality
- Impressive battery life
- Capable companion app
- Distortion at very high volume levels
- Misses out on an AUX-in port
Sony has always found a high spot in every audiophile's portfolio, thanks to the quality audio its products bring to the table. Now, the company has added yet another great audio product to its lineup in the form of the SRS-XE200. These are compact speakers that are touted to withstand any condition. It is one of the three X series speakers launched in India and is ideal for outdoor use.
It is priced at Rs. 12,990 and features a rugged build and a decent design. This versatile speaker is compatible with voice assistants and comes in a slew of color options to let you choose one that fits your needs.
The Sony SRS-XE200 is well-packaged and is bundled with a USB Type-C to USB Type-A charging cable sans the charging adapter and a quick start guide. It is priced at Rs. 12,990 and is available via Amazon India. Before you proceed with making a buying decision, check out our detailed review of the Sony SRS-XE200.
Sony SRS-XE200 Design
Sony has designed the SRS-XE200 to be a simple and straightforward speaker in a pentagonal shape. You can place it horizontally to experience stereo sound but it is tuned to deliver optimum performance when placed vertically. The excellent build quality is complemented by the fabric and silicone finish. The speaker features a fabric finish to some extent while the rest of the body is a rubberized silicone. There is an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance to make it rugged, so you can use it without any concerns. It is touted to last under one meter of water for up to 30 minutes as there is a rubber flat protecting the ports.
The lightweight speaker weighing under 1kg is easy to carry in one hand and comes with a slew of easy-to-use textured controls with indicator lights. There is a multi-functional play/pause button, which can be used to answer and end calls, and change tracks. When you long press this button, it will activate the voice assistant from the paired smartphone. Next to this button, there is a microphone that can also be put on mute and the corresponding indicator light turns red when you mute it.
Works With Sony Music Center App
The Sony SRS-XE200 works with the companion Sony Music Center app to control what the speaker can do. It is easy to sync the speaker to the app via Bluetooth. As there is support for multi-connectivity, you can connect the Sony speaker to multiple speakers to amplify the audio.
The app supports a graphic EQ to let you customize the sound profile. It comes with a Stamina mode to cut the bass in the audio and extend the speaker's battery life when it is running low. There is another feature - Battery Care, which suppresses the charge to 90% when you charge it fully to optimize the battery performance in the long run. Lastly, the Auto Standby mode lets you automatically turn off the speaker when it is idle for 15 minutes. What's more, you can access different music streaming apps or offline audio files via the Sony Music Center app.
Sony SRS-XE200 Audio Performance
The Bluetooth speaker from Sony has Line-Shape Diffuser to deliver exceptional sound quality, which the company claims to be inspired by the concert setup. This means that the speaker can push audio over a wide area and still keep it impressive. The speaker does deliver an impressive performance but it misses out on punchy bass. This can be tweaked via the EQ settings in the app. You can also adjust the treble and mids via this app. Besides, the Sony SRS-XE200 is compatible with SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs for hi-res playback.
Speaking of the real-life performance, I had a good experience using the speaker within a room as the sound fills up the entire room. However, this is not sufficient when used in outdoor scenarios. In the open space, the sound gets muffled to some extent at high volume levels. Though the sound quality is exceptional while listening to music, it can be improved with the ClearAudio+ feature. Also, the sound is a little distorted at volume levels of over 80% but this is a common aspect of many speakers out there, and I had to increase the volume only when used outdoors.
The mute option on the speaker is a great addition, and it works effectively during calls. Also, voice assistant support is an added functionality, and it works well with compatible smartphones. I paired the speaker with an iPhone 13 and a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G and it worked pretty well with Siri. The audio clarity in calls is pretty clear and there are no complaints in this aspect.
Sony SRS-XE200 Battery Performance
The Sony speaker is claimed to deliver up to 16 hours of battery life per charge. However, the device doesn't last that long. I could use it for almost 10 hours in one cycle with a moderate volume level. This is pretty impressive for a Bluetooth speaker. Moreover, the Stamina mode in the app helps prolong the battery life by making changes to the settings of the speaker. There is the Battery Care mode as well.
The Sony SRS-XE200 is pretty good for music listening and delivers a sound profile that is punchy. It misses out a little in terms of bass but it can be adjusted in the companion app to get the performance you intend.
Given that it delivers good battery life, features and a solid and rugged build quality, and an ample set of controls, the Sony SRS-XE200 is a good buy, if you want a well-rounded device that can check all the boxes. One notable downside is that it doesn't get very loud and compresses the vocals at high volume levels, thereby degrading the quality in some cases. This speaker is compact yet a powerful pool-side Bluetooth speaker, which can take accidental liquid splashes.