Sony SRS-XG500 and Sony SRS-XP500 review: sound systems for all occasions

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Large speakers are a very niche product for the mainstream consumer. On the other hand, there are a lot of scenarios where they would come in handy. I reviewed two models: Sony SRS-XG500 and Sony SRS-XP500. The first is perfect for going outdoors, while the second is more focused on indoor use. Why is that? I will talk about this in the review.

Appearance

I’ll start from smallest to largest. Sony SRS-XG500 assumes good mobility when carrying in the hands due to a special handle, but I would not call the speaker’s weight too light – 5.6 kg. When carried over a long distance, the back will definitely not say thank you. Therefore, the ideal scenario is to throw it in the trunk of a car and go on a picnic in nature. This is even hinted at by the manufacturer himself, guaranteeing IP66 protection, which states that even jets of water (fresh, distilled, boiled) will not penetrate into the product.

A little rain on the column is not dangerous

Column controls are on the right side. Six buttons are located on an elongated rubberized platform and have a rather tight, but predictable stroke. Individual keys, such as power, Bluetooth pairing, sound mode switching, have indicator lights for easy navigation in the dark.

In my opinion, the illumination of the volume control and play / pause buttons is also necessary.

Not only buttons have LED elements. Another RGB-backlight is located near the woofers at the ends of the speaker. In addition to the decorating element in the form of music accompaniment by flickering in the tempo of the playing composition, the glow also has practical use, helping to outline the contour of the device in the dark.

The big Sony SRS-XP500 has a completely different ergonomics. For starters, unlike the Sony SRS-XG500, its weight is 11.2 kg and the main working position is vertical. And although there are rubberized feet on the right side of the speaker for placing it in a horizontal orientation, convenient access to the control panel is carried out only in a vertical position.

At the back of the column there are three additional function buttons responsible for pairing with other devices of the brand, enabling the limitation of the charge level to 90% when power is applied and changing the color of the RGB backlight.

Likewise, the power, Bluetooth pairing, and sound mode buttons have an indicator light on top.

Another important difference is the protection against water and moisture of the IPX4 class, which states that when interacting with liquid, the device will remain intact only when the lid located on the back of the speaker is closed. Moreover, the area of ​​the woofers is covered with a metal mesh, which provides protection only from physical impact on the important elements of the speaker.

The combination of the above parameters recommends using the column only in room conditions

Not without LED backlighting. In the place where the carrying handles are located, RGB diodes are built in, pulsing to the beat of the playing songs.

For two speakers, all connectors are located on the back and are tightly closed with a rubber cover. It has everything you need: a power connector, USB ports, connectors for an electric guitar or microphone.

In the older Sony SRS-XP500, the power port is represented by two connectors

Sound

Evaluation of the sound is a very subjective moment, but what exactly the speakers showed themselves to be five-plus is in playing at a volume above average. Dynamic tracks with pronounced bass do not lose clarity, while gadgets from Sony are equally great at demonstrating themselves across the entire spectrum of frequencies: high, medium and low.

An important parameter is the operation of devices at minimum volume, if any background sound content is required. In terms of clarity, the speakers perfectly transmit high frequencies, but low ones, of course, fade into the background. But the developers provide for a special mode for increasing the power of low ones. To activate it, just press the button located on the remote control labeled Mega Bass.

Branded applicationis

The manufacturer offers more fine-tuning of the speakers in the Music Center utility, available on both Android and iOS. The application provides remote control of the volume, setting the priority of emphasis on frequencies using the equalizer and easy transition to music services: Spotify, Apple Music.

The application is quite descriptive and allows you to fine-tune the sound

To pair the speakers into a stereo pair, the Music Center is enough, and to access additional customization functions, the manufacturer suggests using an application called Festible. The first connection is carried out through the Bluetooth settings of the smartphone, then you need to go to the utility and select there which devices you want to combine with each other and set up the synchronous backlight.

In addition to setting up collaboration, the application allows you to combine playlists of party participants, playing music in a given order, and even turn smartphone screens into a flashlight.

Review

Large speakers like the Sony SRS-XP500 have a number of mobility limitations and disadvantages due to their size and ruggedness. A distinctive feature is its applicability in almost any scenario: a disco in a large room, karaoke, a sound system for a bass player. I mentioned the last option for a reason, because the Sony SRS-XP500 has incredible low-frequency quality, thanks to the large 14-centimeter drivers.

But the Sony SRS-XG500 is a very ultimate player, which demonstrated good sound clarity at maximum volume thanks to 11 cm low-frequency drivers and 2.5-cm high-frequency drivers. The fabric protection against splashes of water allows not only using the column in field conditions at a picnic, but also eliminating strong soils as a bonus. What’s more, the SRS-XG500 has an amazing battery life of around 30 hours, versus 20 hours for the Sony SRS-XP500.

pros

  • Excellent sound quality at high volumes.
  • Long battery life.
  • Unobtrusive RGB lighting.
  • Good ergonomics.
  • Intuitive proprietary application.

Minuses

  • Not all buttons are illuminated.

Controversial points

  • Great weight.

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