Bluetooth speakers

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#45
Shipment is delayed for some reason.
Who did you buy from? The SRS-XB3 I bought from B&H came yesterday.

The SRS-X88 bought via eBay came today. It was definitely new. It did a firmware update after I got it on my WiFi. I haven't had time to listen to more than a few tracks with it via Bluetooth from my Walkman, so I won't say anything about the sound for now.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#46
Who did you buy from? The SRS-XB3 I bought from B&H came yesterday.
I received one XB3, but the other is due Monday and it may take me a few days to pick it up.
It appears that each unit actually has two small speakers, so it produces stereo by itself.
Sound is a bit strange, but not bad for the size. Extra bass is not useful.
The unit is rather heavy, which I suppose indicates some decent speakers unless the batteries are quite large also.
Black is a poor color choice since the surface is rubbery on four sides and has an affinity for skin cells and other debris.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#47
It appears that each unit actually has two small speakers, so it produces stereo by itself.
Yes, but you don't get much stereo image unless you're close to it and sitting dead center. With two you link them and set them to left and right instead of duplicate mode and you get a good stereo image.

Sound is a bit strange, but not bad for the size. Extra bass is not useful.
I've found the unit is a bit sensitive to positioning. It sounds best with near a rear wall or with some shelf in front of it. They sound weak if you have nothing around it to reinforce/reflect the sound. Sitting it on a table in front of you at arms length is good. Sitting on the floor with it nearby is also good. Putting it on top of a tall stereo speaker so it's sort of our on it's own with nothing around it to reflect the sound is not. Generally I haven't found too many scenarios where they don't sound good. And yes, the Extra Bass feature is totally useless IMHO. It sounds much better with it off.

The unit is rather heavy, which I suppose indicates some decent speakers unless the batteries are quite large also.
It has a decent size battery, but the speakers can't be that wimpy.
 
Last edited:

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#48
I haven't had time to listen to more than a few tracks with it via Bluetooth from my Walkman, so I won't say anything about the sound for now.
So I've listened to the SRS-X88 some and it sounds good. It's definitely a step up from the XB3 having an integrated subwoofer + real 2-way stereo speakers. It can definitely fill a room with quality sound. Again, stereo imaging isn't great because it's not physically that wide spacing the L&R speakers only so far apart. It is better than a single XB3 in terms of imaging though. I've tried casting to it with Kodi + Yatse. It shows up as a Chromecast, uPnP (DLNA), and Airplay target. Functionally casting works okay, but not great. The IR remote for the unit can't skip tracks (only play and pause) when casting and there's a healthy several second pause between the tracks. I couldn't get it to work as a DLNA sink from Kodi + Yatse. I didn't try Airplay. Bluetooth audio with LDAC from the Walkman (NW-35) sounds great. The IR remote can skip tracks here by controlling the Walkman through the BT link. I haven't tried the USB A or B functionality yet. Supposedly it can act as a DAC/speaker for a PC as well as play music files from a USB flash drive.

It would definitely made a very solid out of sight / unobtrusive good fidelity music system for a room. Sure, it's not going to impress a diehard audio person expecting the sound of a full 2.1 system, but putting it in perspective even 15 years ago no one would have believed something so small could sound this good. It's smaller than a typical boombox yet sounds nothing like one having actual audio fidelity.

Is it worth $400? That's a tougher call. I'd say probably not unless the form factor is the primary selling point. I got it for $210 shipped (new) which changes the value equation a bit. I'll find a use for it. :cooler:
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#49
At some point the cost of some small speakers might not be so much and the integrated has only one box. I have a widebody head and like speakers spaced well apart. :)

I have the Bluetooths connected to the TAO, but only one device has the APX low latency. Do you use one with both channels low latency or how does that work on the S*ny?
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#50
I have the Bluetooths connected to the TAO, but only one device has the APX low latency. Do you use one with both channels low latency or how does that work on the S*ny?
Your post would be more understandable if you didn't mess up all the acronyms. The SRS-XB3 doesn't support aptX. It supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC. LDAC is the highest quality, but so far limited to only other Sony devices (reportedly they are opening it up to others). I don't know the priority order of the other two though. I think AAC support over Bluetooth is more of an Apple thing.

So my Sony Walkman uses LDAC with it. I presume my LG G4 phone and Nexus 7 (2013) tablet use SBC.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#51
Your post would be more understandable if you didn't mess up all the acronyms. The SRS-XB3 doesn't support aptX. It supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC. LDAC is the highest quality, but so far limited to only other Sony devices (reportedly they are opening it up to others). I don't know the priority order of the other two though. I think AAC support over Bluetooth is more of an Apple thing.

So my Sony Walkman uses LDAC with it. I presume my LG G4 phone and Nexus 7 (2013) tablet use SBC.
I was hoping to avoid the echoes by implementing the aptX. Since that is not an option I'll continue with the TAO transceiver.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,852
Location
USA
#52
I got my SRS-XB3 on Friday last week and have have a little bit of time to play with it. I'm enjoying it so far but I'm finding that I want to mount it higher up when using it in my kitchen because the off-axis sound is a lot muddier than I like. I get that it's tough for any speaker to be that good when so far off axis, so it's not a huge fault of this speaker but probably more indicative of the enclosure and the way they need to protect the drivers from damage, etc.

I also used the SRS-XB3 with a 3.5mm audio cable connected to my PC while traveling with it for a mini LAN party and it worked perfect for that usage. I left it plugged in while playing so I don't know how long the battery would have lasted if I hadn't used the wall adapter. Overall it feels of high quality and it does have a surprising amount of bass when played using the extra bass option. I realize the bass is overemphasized but in some quieter settings with the volume a bit lower it does a decent job filling in the low range. I plan to bring this to some tabletop gaming sessions as it will be nice to play some thematic music for a game.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#53
Glad to hear you like the SRS-XB3. I've found the battery life to be quite good. I've not had the battery die yet. Even after many hours of playback spread over several days. I've not done a runtime test to see if it really lasts 24 hours, but it seems plausible to me.

The GTK-XB7 arrived today. It's BIG! Like the size of an active PA speaker. The LED lights are somewhat cheesy. It has a somewhat different sound signature. More of a warm'ish "fun" sound. Not exactly a reference studio monitor. However, it is pleasant to listen to. There's a little too much upper bass emphasis in the native response. Enabling the Extra Bass gives it some deepish low end, but further bumps the upper bass. It seems well voiced for a party type speaker and the bass emphasis probably works well outdoors or in a large room away from walls. It can rattle things in the room, vibrate the floor, and has some of the feel it in your chest punch.

A number of the options for it can only be controlled with the Sony Music Center app (formerly Songpal) via Bluetooth. The remote and/or the buttons on the unit can't control the EQ preset or many of the lighting modes. It has a small cooling fan on the amplifier, but it's pretty quiet. If you pause the music and you listen very carefully you can hear it for a few seconds before it turns off.

I'm curious to see what the LED lighting looks like in the dark.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#55
What are you doing with all of these speakers?
Add them to my collection of stuff I didn't need to buy but did. :rofl: The GTK-XB7 will probably end up in the garage. The SRS-XB3's will be a portable setup I can travel with or take with me as necessary. The SRS-X88, not quite sure yet.

FWIW, I'm done buying Bluetooth speakers.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#58
I got my SRS-XB3 on Friday last week and have have a little bit of time to play with it. I'm enjoying it so far but I'm finding that I want to mount it higher up when using it in my kitchen because the off-axis sound is a lot muddier than I like. I get that it's tough for any speaker to be that good when so far off axis, so it's not a huge fault of this speaker but probably more indicative of the enclosure and the way they need to protect the drivers from damage, etc.

I also used the SRS-XB3 with a 3.5mm audio cable connected to my PC while traveling with it for a mini LAN party and it worked perfect for that usage. I left it plugged in while playing so I don't know how long the battery would have lasted if I hadn't used the wall adapter. Overall it feels of high quality and it does have a surprising amount of bass when played using the extra bass option. I realize the bass is overemphasized but in some quieter settings with the volume a bit lower it does a decent job filling in the low range. I plan to bring this to some tabletop gaming sessions as it will be nice to play some thematic music for a game.
I have the feeling that the dispersion is compromised for the bass.

BTW, do you have a large SONY on the bottom where it is not normally visible? It is very strange.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,852
Location
USA
#62
I'm pretty certain they wouldn't care. None of my friends show any kind of interest in audio components.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#64
I cannot figure out the two unit setup. The volume is synchronized and power on both turns off, but not back on again. I suppose it is due to the battery.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#65
I cannot figure out the two unit setup. The volume is synchronized and power on both turns off, but not back on again. I suppose it is due to the battery.
What can't you figure out? Turn the master on first, then the slave. They'll sync back up in dual speaker mode.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#66
What can't you figure out? Turn the master on first, then the slave. They'll sync back up in dual speaker mode.
Turning the power off on both is possible from only one unit. That's not so useful if the user has to physically be at the location of both units for every power on sequence.
I'm new to the whole Bluetooths transmission deal, so everything seems more difficult than it probably should be. :)
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#67
What can't you figure out? Turn the master on first, then the slave. They'll sync back up in dual speaker mode.
Apparently I had the two units linked, but in mono. It's still not clear to me how they function in linked mode. If unit A is the Master, is it alone receiving the BT transmitter signal and sending another signal to unit B or are both always receiving the BT transmitter signal and communication between the two keeps them synced? I find at about 20-25 feet the two speakers sometimes lose sync and one is a fraction of a section ahead of the other.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#68
Apparently I had the two units linked, but in mono. It's still not clear to me how they function in linked mode. If unit A is the Master, is it alone receiving the BT transmitter signal and sending another signal to unit B or are both always receiving the BT transmitter signal and communication between the two keeps them synced? I find at about 20-25 feet the two speakers sometimes lose sync and one is a fraction of a section ahead of the other.
Somehow it relies on the BT signal from the source although there is some weak link. The two units easily become out if sync even when linked. The line in does not link.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#69
Somehow it relies on the BT signal from the source although there is some weak link. The two units easily become out if sync even when linked. The line in does not link.
I think that depends on a variety of factors. I've had the same sync issue a few times, but it's not common. How far apart are the speakers from each other and how far from the source are they?
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,852
Location
USA
#75
I didn't see what you paid for the GTK-XB7. When I looked at your link at B&H the price was/is $248.

Yes, Massdrop is a pain that you need to sign in and I typically hate that BS. They occasionally have very good deals so I find them worth it.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,852
Location
USA
#77
Well then of course it's not a thrilling deal but if you're looking to get one now, it's the best price currently available that I could find in a limited amount of searching.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,808
Location
USA
#78
I'm finally using the XB3s on either side of the bed in the stereo configuration. I boosted the highs to compensate for the directional falloff (and my aging ears) and cut the lows a little, so they sound nice at a moderate level for background music. I'm not having BT issues with the speakers in a fixed position.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#79
FWIW, Costco is selling the Sony SRS-XB3 for $74.99 now (online and in store).

Also, I ordered a Sony SRS-XB40 on Thanksgiving with the $100 off sale price once I determined the cheesy LED lighting could be turned off from the unit with a long button press. The one I heard in Best Buy sounded solid. Like a souped up SRS-XB30 (which I presume sounds the same as the SRS-XB3).
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,179
Location
Michigan
#80
Sony added 1 to the model numbers. So XB41, XB31 etc. for 2018. They're wrapped in a fabric of sorts and have a "live" mode where you can play them like a drum by tapping on them. the sound effects get superimposed on the music.
 
Top