The Sony SRS-XB31 now has a more rugged design with a highly durable mesh grill that’s similar to the JBL Charge 3 or the UE MEGABLAST speakers. But unlike those speakers, the XB31 still delivers front facing firing directional audio instead on 360 degrees.
The most improved feature in the new Sony XB line of speakers is IP67 certification which means the speakers are dustproof, drop resistant from up to 4-feet and waterproof from both fresh and salt water. It can be submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Another new feature is Party Booster, this feature gives you the ability to chop/ tap the speaker in places to make different sounds to create your own beats. Some people may find this feature enjoyable especially to entertain friends and family but in reality, it’s just a cheap gimmick.
There are 3 different sound profiles to choose from, Standard, Extra Bass, and Live Sound. The downside sound side is that there is no dedicated button to switch profiles. You have to hold down the Play and Volume Down buttons at the same time for about 3 seconds in order to switch profiles. This will only give you access to 2 sound profiles which is Standard and Extra Bass. In order to activate the Live Sound profile, you have to use the Sony music app.
Like all the other new XB speakers the XB31 has a button call WPC (Wireless Party Chain) which allows you to pair over 100 Sony speakers together and have them play in sync to expand your audio experience and like most other Bluetooth speaker in this price range there a USB charging port to charge your phone just like a powerbank.
Connectivity & Lighting
The Sony XB31 offers Bluetooth 4.2 technology with a wireless range of over 60-linear feet with even a few walls in-between before the audio starts to break up.
The LED’s pulsate and glow with your music. At the front, you will find 2 strobe lights strips which are similar in design to its bigger brother the XB41 but the customization for these lights are very limited.
Sony claims up to 24 hours of playtime with LEDs off and without the Extra Bass on. This kind of battery life is pretty impressive when compared to the competition. But when used with all the enhancement features on, you will only get 10 hours of playtime with the volume at 50%.
The sound quality will vary depending on which sound profiles you choose. One thing to be aware of is that having the volume at 85% or higher might lead to the audio having some raspiness and flutter from time to time. The Live Sound profile is very enjoyable with an excellent simulated soundstage. While Extra Bass will be the one that most people will appreciate the most thanks to the thumping bass with mids that are strong and visceral. The highs are not as sharp, but it still offers enough clarity to be enjoyable.
The Sony SRS-XB31 is a step up from the older version with plenty of improvements all around and we highly recommend this awesome speaker. Read Now: Best Sony Bluetooth Speakers