There are times when we want to show something to a friend or play some music for them. But if you’re fussy about audio, a smartphone’s speaker just won’t cut it. In that case, you could consider a Bluetooth speaker like the Sony EXTRA BASS SRS-XB12 or SRS-XB32.
For your information, the XB12 and XB32 are upgrades of the XB10 and XB30 respectively. Sony sent us these two speakers recently and we like them a lot. These speakers are excellent companions for both music and mobile gaming. For one, you can play games even by the poolside and not worry about being splashed. The XB12 and XB32 are relatively compact too, so you can carry them around easily if you need to.
Looks and feel
You can tell from the dimensions that the Sony EXTRA BASS XB12 and XB32 aren’t quite the same. The XB12 is shaped like a cylinder with the dome top outputting the sound. It’s also much smaller and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. If you have butterfingers, the provided strap can be used to hook the speaker to a belt or bag.
On the other hand, the XB32 is a much larger speaker. It has a slightly more oblong shape and a base to rest on. In addition, the speaker unit consists of two 48mm speakers. A metal grate with a honeycomb design covers the speakers, while a nylon covering helps ensure that the grate won’t get scratches.
Both speakers are available in different colors such as red, blue, and black.
Both Bluetooth speakers come with IP67 rating, making them dustproof and waterproof to a certain extent. We dunked both into a pail of water as it is playing something and they continue to work. Generally, you won’t have a problem as long as the water immersion is brief or not too deep.
The XB12 is quite barebones but the XB32 is feature-packed. Firstly, it comes with party lights embedded into its sides. In addition, you can tap its body to make different sounds, including those of a kick drum or snare. It can also be used to charge USB devices – useful when there’s no power outlet to charge your smartphone.
The audio from the two speakers is decent, considering their sizes. For the SRS-XB12, you’ll have to use two of them to get stereo sound quality. With just one, you end up with a very shallow soundstage. However, its bass has quite a bit of punch to it, making it good for pop music or for action games.
Moving on to the SRS-XB32, it has a much higher max volume and delivers very good stereo sound quality. It’s also got a stronger bass and the Live button helps add a surround effect, boosting its sound separation capabilities.
Overall, both speakers did best in the bass department as suggested and have pretty decent midrange. Considering that they’re waterproofed portable speakers, this kind of sound quality is praiseworthy.
For those of you specifically looking for wireless speakers with good battery life and decent bass, do consider the Sony EXTRA BASS XB12 or XB32. The former provides decent audio performance at a reasonable price, while the latter is a feature-packed device with plenty of oomph. The waterproofing is the cherry on top, as it allows you to even bring them to places like beaches or the pool.