Sony SRS-XV500 review

Party Rocker

₹ 39,990

The Sony one-box speakers have come a long way and the XV500 is the smallest one of the lot. It seems to be the upgraded version of the XP500 that was launched a while back with some upgrades to the design and also the sound output. What’s not changed is the promise of a powerful bass and of course the disco lights that come with it.

Sony SRS-XV500 review: Design and build

The Sony party speaker takes on a more rounded appearance in this refreshed avatar compared to the older XP500. It still holds the IPX4 rating, which is a good thing. The lights are placed in front where the grooves are and at the bottom. When it is on, it looks good - not too tacky and cheap but not overly mature either like one of those studio monitors. It has a fun party speaker vibe.

The build quality is superb all around. It’s tough as nails but there are a few things we wish Sony had paid a little more attention to. The XV500 doesn’t have any dedicated feet to rest on, and the groove on top to hold your smartphone doesn’t have any soft edges, so you risk scratching your phone when you place and displace it. Another thing to note is that the back panel has a rubber/silicone flap that we know with much experience, deteriorates over time and might compromise the IPX4 capabilities of the speaker.

Sony SRS-XV500 review: Features

The Sony XV500 doesn’t come with an extensive feature list. The focus here is more on the audio and less on the gimmicks. With that being said it does come with two mic inputs that will allow you to plug in mics and have some karaoke fun so you can annoy your neighbors. There’s also a key change option that lets you change the key of the song you play to either go flatter or sharper. This does not affect the mic output though, only the actual track that is playing. You can also plug in a guitar and use the XV500 as a guitar amp. It even has an option to add an echo effect to the output which is a nice touch.

Sony SRS-XV500 review: Performance

Most of these one-box speakers have one thing in spades - bass! A lot of it and every speaker we have tested so far from different brands have over done it. Sony unfortunately is no different and with Mega Bass on it is bass city through and through. The lower frequencies dominate in this mode and envelope most of the range. But it isn’t distorted or muddled, it’s acceptable if you like this kind of application.

Turn the Extra Bass off and that’s when the true character of the XV-500 shows. It’s a bright forward presentation and it isn’t afraid to go loud! We started with The Expert by Yello and were immediately impressed by the energetic delivery of the track. The bassline hits you with verve and tautness while the vocals appear to take centre stage. It’s an overall synergised delivery that is quite impressive from a one-box system. We play Black Mambo by Glass Animals next and are again impressed by the delivery and cohesiveness of the XV-500. Coming from a one-box system, there’s obviously no sense of separation between the channels but you can pair up compatible speakers via the Sony app. We also noticed that the XV-500 doesn't have an optical line which means you can’t really pair it up with your telly. Maybe Sony doesn’t want people to use it like that but in our opinion, instead of gimmicky stuff like changing the key of music playback, such options serve a more practical purpose.

Sony SRS-XV500 review: Verdict

The new Sony XV-500 is the smallest speaker in Sony’s lineup of party poppers but it sure packs a punch. Apart from the whole Extra Bass applications that a few people like, it has some serious audio chops for a party speaker. Mainly it gets loud without compromising the integrity of the track, which is a big plus and the thumping bass is well defined and not overpowering in the normal mode. Apart from that it can also run on battery which gives you a claimed 25 hour playtime so you can really blast your tunes out wherever you go.

Stuff Says

Well defined and forward, the XV-500 is an all rounder
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Great design

  1. Good Build

  1. Bass is tight

  1. Sounds great

  1. Limited connectivity

  1. Heavy