Sony has today announced a new list of party speakers – three rugged and portable units that promise to bring powerful music and other party features to the outdoors.
Sony’s X-Series includes the SRS-XP700 and SRS-XP500, both of which take design cues from PA speakers, and the SRS-XG500 which looks more like a modern boom box interpretation.
In Australia, these three units will be available from June 2021, with the SRS-XP700 and SRS-XP500 costing AU $ 699 (about $ 420 / £ 350) and AU $ 499 (about $ 300 / £ 250) respectively, while the SRS-XG500 costs AU $ 629 (about $ 380 / £ 320). Prices and availability of other regions are yet to be announced.
The three units take their name from the non-circular, X-Balanced speaker units which, according to Sony, offer “a richer and clearer sound no matter what style of music you’re listening to” due to the pressure increased sound and the lower distortion. provided by the larger diaphragm.
Each speaker also illuminates ambient lighting, similar – if not identical – in style to Sony’s Extra Bass speaker range (like the SRS-XB33), allowing for multiple light patterns that respond to the music .
Another common feature of the X-Series range is the ability of each speaker to receive either microphone or guitar input, allowing for karaoke sessions or, presumably, a temporary guitar amp if you crave.
As mentioned, the XP700 and XP500 have a similar form factor to PA speakers, but they have integrated sensors that allow them to optimize the sound for either being mounted vertically or horizontally.
These two speakers also feature a variety of tweeters alongside the main drivers, the larger of the pair having three in front and one in the rear for omnidirectional sound, and the smaller being boast only two in the front.
All three speakers have a tidy carry handle and promise of long battery life (no details yet), but the XG500 takes the cake with outdoor capabilities thanks to its IP66 weather resistance rating and waterproof mesh . Both the XP700 and XP500 have an IPX4 rating, which should keep you out of trouble in inclement weather.
Party speakers without the party
Sony’s timing with these speakers may seem unwise given the different locks and quarantines that countries around the world are testing, but this may suggest why we’ve only seen Australian details on the products so far (we’ve contacted Sony for more information on this).
The concept of party speakers is certainly not new, but from the Bluetooth speakers launched in the era of the pandemic, we’ve seen more success in smaller personal speakers like the Sonos Roam, which we loved for its rugged design , brief. and a fruity but not loud sound.
The other space we saw getting more attention during Covid-19 is the smart speaker families – for homes that don’t necessarily invest in an expensive hi-fi system, or would rather have a few smaller speakers throughout the house, clever speakers like the Sonos One make a lot of sense.