HANDS ON REVIEW: Sony has revealed it's latest portable Bluetooth speakers, the SRS-X2 and SRS-X3, which take technology and a design heritage from the company's high end X-series speaker range
Sony’s X-series speaker range has, up to now, been primarily for at-home listening, but that is soon set to change – the company has today announced two new portable additions to the range, the SRS-X2 and SRS-X3, which borrow technology and design influences from the high-end models and shrink them down to a pocketable size. We were some of the first people in the UK to get a listen to both new models, in order to bring you some first impressions.
With a clear design legacy from the high-end SRS-X9 in-home speaker, the SRS-X3 has the same “Definitive Outline” surround which draws attention to the sharp, angular shape. Metallic speaker grilles, a rubberised finish and choice of three colours make it look particularly stylish for a Bluetooth speaker, and will comfortably blend in on a coffee table as well as slip in a rucksack for taking on the move. According to Sony, the internal battery should last for around seven hours of music playback.
The SRS-X2 is a slightly more rugged device, thanks to an entirely rubberised outer shell, and is primarily designed for outdoor listening. The shape might be curved, but it has the same Definitive Outline bevelled edges and choice of colours to help it stand out. The SRS-X2 should last around five hours on a single charge. Both speakers can be recharged using microUSB, and each one includes a 3.5mm auxiliary input to let you connect older, wired devices which lack Bluetooth.
Both speakers output 20w of sound power, which according to Sony makes them the most powerful portable speakers on the market for their size and price. The SRS-X3 uses two 34mm drivers and two passive radiators, while the X2 uses larger 45mm drivers and a bass reflex port. They also carry across Sony’s ClearAudio+ DSP technology from the more high-end X-Series speakers.
Bluetooth and NFC is onboard both models for quick pairing with an Android smartphone, but use the A2DP protocol rather than aptX. Despite extending the X-series range, which is primarily focused on Sony’s Hi-Resolution audio push, neither new speaker includes support for Hi-Resolution playback.
Based on our short time with each speaker, Sony has managed to squeeze an awful lot of sound into a tiny package; the X3 in particular has and impressive presence, thanks in part to the bass radiators giving LMFAO a suitably beefy low-end. Although they won’t pose any competition for the rest of the X-series range, particularly if you’re a convert to high resolution audio, they are easily able to make themselves heard when outside the house – whether you’re in a relatively quiet garden, or a much louder park or beach. We’ll reserve final judgement until we get them in for a full review, however.
Both models should be going on sale in the UK from July onwards in a choice of black, white and red colours. The SRS-X3 is set to cost £129, and you’ll be able to buy an SRS-X2 for £89.