Sony SRS-XB30 Wireless Speaker Review - How it Compares to Bose

So are you looking for the Sony equivalent of a Bose SoundLink mini or the UE boom. Well then this #WhatGear review is probably what you're looking for. Well I know what your thinking... Wow look at this bold statement on the box extra bass... And wouldn't want that? Is this better than the competition?

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The XB30 retails at around £130 at the time of this video. The aforementioned Bose SoundLink  mini 2 retails at £170 and UE boom 2 also around £170. That's a £40 saving from the off but is less more? Or is the Sony SRS-XB30 more or less the same in terms of sound quality and features?

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So the Sony XB30 offers up 24 hrs playback. The Bose only offers 10hrs and the UE boom 2 15 hrs. Putting the Sony on top. The layout of the speakers resemble that of the Bose. Only the Sony has 48mm drivers the Bose has 51mm drivers, and UE has 45mm drivers. So the Sony land somewhere in the middle here. Although the Sony has a pretty large passive radiator at it's center just like the Bose. This gives it the edge over the UE Boom 2.

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In terms of styling the Sony has some really visible differences to the others we mentioned. Of course I'm talking about the light display. You can customize the light patterns. Although Sony do limit the customsation of these to the presets which are available via the SongPal app. My JBL pulse 3 however offers completely customisable colours using the JBL connect app with the use of your phones camera. I think is an amazing feature that Sony have not done yet. Saying that XB30 leaves the UE boom 2 & Soundlink mini 2 in the dark because have ...well nothing.

So let's look at the on board controls here. This button in the middle allows you to pair the device with another Sony speaker for stereo separation & you can even pair up to 10 of these. Which is not bad, although... I recently witnessed JBL break a world record for syncing a 1000 pulse 3's together from one source, but let's be honest 10 speakers is more than enough for most people. The UE boom 2 can do up to 8 and the Bose Soundlink mini 2 can't do any at all.

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So some more features. If you hold your finger on the phone icon button it'll tell you how much power you have left. Remember you cant listen to music unless you have power. 

This same button can answer your calls and you can use XB30 as a speaker phone. Pushing this button with a short press will also open up siri or Google Assistant a smart feature I must say. So that's one button that does three things. Of course as you would expect you have a play pause, vol up and down and power button and a Bluetooth led light.

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A really nice feature you can see here is the standard issue Sony NFC...that always reminds me of coffee for some reason. Tap your nfc capable device on the top for instant syncing. This is a feature that Bose does not offer, but the UE boom 2 does.

This speaker is water resistant with an IPX5 rating. To help with this it has this rubberised cover to protect the ports at the back. Underneath it has a power input which utilises a Sony propriatory charger. A USB C would have been nice. Also it has a 3.5mm input for audio jacks, if you're old school like that & a USB output. You can use this USB port to charge you phone because your phone won't work unless you have power. So if you're out with mates and somebody's battery dies you can be like "I have the power".

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Talking about power...who doesn't want extra bass. This dedicated button gives you that option. So can listen to some really bassy tunes and practice some of best Drake dance moves, and when your hot line blings that can only mean one thing...pick up your phone

So last little important feature here the SRS XB30 uses Bluetooth 4.2 . Which basically means means that you can pair 3 devices simultaneously. You can also use Sony's very own Ldac feature. However I'm still not sure but LDac might also be a Kling on swear word. What LDAC means here in relation to the XB30 is that by using LDAC you can transmit 3 times more data than regular bluetooth streaming methods. Basically making your music sound better as long as you're using a good source. For example Hi Res audio files in Tidal.

The Bluetooth 4.2 also gives the Sony good range between your device and the speaker. Sony boast up to 10 meters, the Bose Soundlink mini 2 can do 9m but UE claim the boom 2 can do up to 33m. So again Sony land somewhere in the middle.

So having heard all three of these. The Sony blows the UE out of the water for sound quality, but the UE boom is better with water because it's IPX7 waterproof and it has more range over bluetooth. The XB30 competes very well against the Bose Soundlink 2 soundwise but it edges the Bose out with battery life and and its Bluetooth features. 

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So bearing in mind all the differences that we've talked about in this video... do I think this is a good sound investment?  Well yes it is... Plus it's got extra bass...and who doesn't want that?