Author: Sneha Saha: Sony offers a wide range of speakers to Indian consumers. Recently, the Japanese tech company introduced three new speakers in its X series. These include — SRS-XG300, SRS-XE300 and SRS-XE200. What Sony sent to India Today Tech for review is the SRS-XE200, which I have been using for the past few months. Now, be it a birthday celebration or a Diwali party at home, the SRS-XE200 sets the mood for every celebration.
The SRS-XE200 is currently available at a discounted price of Rs 9,990, and for that price, the product is a steal. The speaker offers excellent construction and audio performance (with some areas for improvement), but is easy to carry around. I took the speaker in my bag to my friend’s house in Delhi for a housewarming party. That’s right, it’s so light.
So, should you buy this Sony speaker? Read on to find out the answer.
Design and build
One of the best things about this Sony speaker is its solid construction. However, I think Sony could have experimented a bit with the design of the SRS-XE200. For a speaker priced around Rs 10,000, the SRS-XE200 has a boring design. It has a cylindrical design with buttons for power on and off, mute, Bluetooth pairing and volume up and down. Now, to use these buttons, I had to hold the speaker with my hands, which was a bit difficult for me to reach with one hand.
While I think the speaker design could have been better, I absolutely loved the build quality. The SRS-XE200 speaker can definitely take a bump or two and that’s thanks to the very sturdy rubber silicone. In my use, I didn’t drop the speaker at any point, but if you are a clumsy user and drop it by mistake, nothing would happen.
Now, the icing on the cake is the IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. Sony claims that the speaker can withstand up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. I haven’t personally tried submerging the speaker in water to test it, but if the IP rating is there, I think the SRS-XE200 should be able to handle a little water exposure. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to throw it in a bowl of water on purpose. I should mention that during my use the speaker easily registered dust, perhaps due to the rubber body. So I often had to wipe my body with a cloth.
One of the best things about the SRS-XE200 speaker is that it comes with multi-connectivity, which means you can connect the device to multiple speakers to amplify the audio. Now, it’s easy to connect the SRS-XE200 speaker to any device: iPhone or Android phone. To connect the speaker to your device, simply plug it in, turn on the Bluetooth connection option, and go to your phone’s Bluetooth settings, find the SRS-XE200 in the list, and tap to pair.
The Sony SRS-XE200 works with the companion Sony Music Center app, which allows users to control what the speaker can do. Connecting the device with the app is quite simple and easy. The Sony Music Companion app allows users to customize their sound profile, extend battery life when it’s running low, and much more.
Performance and battery
As I pointed out at the beginning of this review, the Sony SRS-XE200 is the perfect speaker if you want to host a house party with around 8-10 people. However, it may not be a great choice for parties or larger spaces. First, the Sony SRS-XE200 sounds clear and loud in an indoor setup, but not so much in outdoor settings. The device supports SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs for high resolution playback.
The speaker features a Line-Shape Diffuser, which Sony says is inspired by a concert setup. Even in real-life situations, I found the SRS-XE200’s sound performance to be quite impressive with clear and loud vocals. The speaker delivers crisp, well-defined bass, but the sound quality distorts at higher volumes.
As mentioned, inside a room, the SRS-XE200 was able to fill the space very well, but this was not the case on an outdoor stage. Now, while the sound quality seems to be great when listening to songs, I wish it was the same for conversations. I watched several movies by connecting my TV to the speaker, but the dialogue was often muffled. I hope that the speaker gave a clear performance in that too.
The speaker handled phone calls very well and the mics picked up the voice well most of the time. The XE200 also comes with Google Assistant and Siri voice assistants, which worked well for me most of the time. There’s also a mute option that works pretty well on phone calls.
In terms of battery performance, Sony claims that the XE200 speaker is capable of delivering up to 16 hours of battery life per charge. For me, the speaker lasted between 10-12 hours on a full charge at 70-85 level volume. The companion app also has a Stamina mode that helps extend battery life by making some adjustments to the speaker settings. That’s something I really loved. There’s a USB Type-C port for charging, so you can always use your Android phone’s charger to juice it up.
SRS-XE200 review: Should you buy it?
Sony has discounted the XE200 since launch, which makes it even more tempting and totally worth the price. The Sony XE200 speaker is currently sold at a much lower price than Rs 9,990 on Amazon and various other platforms.
The Sony XE200 speaker delivers reasonably good audio quality with a degree of distortion at higher volumes. It’s a great buy if you’re looking for a speaker to use at home parties and Diwali or Christmas celebrations. The speaker also offers a solid build and is easy to move from place to place, although I think Sony could have experimented a bit with the design. The cherry on top is the excellent battery life.
So, all in all, the SRS-XE200 speaker is totally worth the asking price, and of course, it comes with the Sony brand name to back it up.