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Sony SRS-X77 review

Richard Easton
11 Dec 2015
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Sony SRS-X77 front angle
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
180
inc VAT

The built-in battery and Bluetooth makes the SRS-X77 a seriously versatile multiroom speaker

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Specifications

Speakers: 3, RMS power output: 40W, Dock connector: None, Networking: Bluetooth (SBC, AAC, LDAC), 802.11n, Dimensions: 300x60x132mm, Weight: 1.9kg, Streaming formats: UPnP, DLNA, AirPlay, Google Cast

There are plenty of multiroom speakers to choose from, but few are designed for moving around the home. A built-in battery separates Sony’s SRS-X77 from the competition. At 300x132x60mm and weighing 1.9kg, it's also the smallest speaker in the SRS range, making it well suited for portability; the larger X88 and X99 lack an integrated battery, so are meant to remain stationary. The only limitation will be your Wi-Fi range, but even then you can still use it as a conventional Bluetooth speaker.

Sony SRS-X77 front

Design

The SRS-X77 is a minimal, piano black rectangle with a front face completely covered by its uninterrupted speaker grille. I'm a big fan of the monolithic look; it feels premium and well-constructed, and there's a decent heft to the cabinet - without making it too heavy to comfortably move around the house. The only issue, as is the case with all glass piano black glass objects, is how dusty and fingerprint prone it is. Be prepared to constantly wipe it down to keep it looking its best.

Sony SRS-X77 top controls

The glossy glass top has touch-based controls for swapping between Bluetooth, Network and wired Audio In modes, plus volume adjustment. Disappointingly, the buttons aren't backlit as they are on the more expensive models. The NFC contact point on the top for quickly pairing a Bluetooth device is a handy inclusion, though.

The charging port, Ethernet port and 3.5mm auxiliary connection can all be found on the back. There's also a USB port, which can be used to charge a device but not for playing music off a flashdrive. The back also houses a pop-out antenna that can be used to improve wireless reception. When extended it slightly ruins the clean lines of the speaker, but it's not too big a sacrifice for a stronger connection.

Sony SRS-X77 antenna

Setup and App

As with Sony's other multiroom speakers, setup and controls are handled through the SongPal app for Android, iOS and desktops. A tutorial takes you through the process of adding your wireless network details to the speaker if you don't use the WPS pairing option. You first connect to the speaker over Bluetooth, before entering your Wi-Fi details and assigning the speaker a name. The app also handles firmware updates, and out of the box I was immediately presented with one. It took about 20 minutes to download and install, which is more than a little slow, but it's not something you'll be doing too frequently.

Sony SRS-X77 SongPal app

Multiple speaker grouping is handled by grabbing and dragging icons representing each one around the screen. It's an intuitive way to visualise how your speakers are arrayed, and shows at a glance whether a speaker is in Network or Bluetooth mode. Tapping a speaker displays individual controls, where you can choose what source you want to use. The SRS-X77 is both Google Cast and Spotify Connect compatible, supports AirPlay, and can play music over DLNA. With Bluetooth and the auxiliary connection, you're well covered. Unlike with Bose's SoundTouch multiroom app, you're able to also play locally stored music on your smartphone or tablet over Wi-Fi as well.

Sony SRS-X77 SongPal app grouping

The SRS-X77 supports Bluetooth LDAC, which allows for better quality wireless streaming from compatible devices at a higher bitrate compared to Bluetooth SBC. Unfortunately, not many devices support it, apart from Sony's smartphones and Walkmans.

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