$500 is a lot of money to spend on anything and when it comes to portable speakers UE Boom seemed to have the market covered with form factor and ease of transport. So the question begging is whether another competitor can make a more awesome portable speaker.
It is summer after all and it is time for jams down at the beach, or at the work Xmas do, or heck while you are sitting outside wondering how you managed to burn through five annual leave days already. Well the Sony XG500 is making a pretty good argument for it to be your next speaker.
If I know anything about style, and I don’t, this speaker has it in spades. The handle looked like it could have been clunky but actually in real life it has been designed well and looks slick. The functionality this provides when carrying the speaker can’t be understated. The handle is nice and big so it is super comfy to carry and it is relatively light for size.
The speaker mesh style going all the way around the unit makes it look like a tidy bit of kit that will fit in any room or with anyone’s personal style. The matte plastic used for the handle and the ends means it retains that understated but super awesome look. It looks awesome but you wouldn’t notice in the corner of the room unless you were looking, and I like that.
The Flashy Lights
How do you know something is expensive and awesome? Flashy lights of course. The XG-500 keeps style going when it comes to lights too. The lights sit below the subs at both ends of the unit. This means it pumps out some colour which definitely looks cool as the evening darkens.
But again it enhances a room, it doesn’t draw all the attention to itself and I like that. It means it will fit in any room in any house and it won’t upset people watching sports on the TV or people wearing glow bracelets, or whatever kids do at house parties these days.
If the lights aren’t your jam, that’s all good, you can disable them or turn them to a fixed colour using the Music Center App. After poking around, I found myself right back at the default, it works well.
I mean it is a speaker so one of the most important questions is how it sounds. The answer: bloody amazing. I cranked it up to a level that I was uncomfortable with and it sounded so damn clean. No crackling or fuzziness which is excellent. Africa by Leo has never sounded so good. I mean it is a banger of a cover so it sounded good already but cranked up through the XG500 it sounded so damn good.
I cranked a range of music varying from Childish Gambino, to Iron Maiden, to The Beatles to Distubed. No matter what I played it was amazing, well except when my son got hold of Spotify. But the terrible sounds that came out were the fault of the content, not the speakers. The Speakers played that awful music perfectly.
It has a Mega Bass button which certainly pumped up the Bass but not in a better way. I found the speaker had the perfect amount of Bass in normal mode but if you want to tweak it you may be better off playing with the features using the Music Center app.
The speaker is dust proof and water resistant but not waterproof. So if you are jamming music at the pool it will handle some splashes, but don’t drop it in the pool. Hidden at the back of the speaker is a nice big rubber cover that pulls off to reveal heaps more.
There is an input for your guitar so you can use the speaker for an amp. There are USB ports which can also charge your phone and a 3.5 mm jack in case you aren’t the bluetooth type. It has a charging port back there so you can have it running on AC in the corner of the room and of course a Party Connect button.
This last feature lets you connect multiple Sony speakers so they act as one, though to be fair, unless you live in a mansion and want the sound to be seamless as people walk from the lounge to the 78th bedroom, this speaker will probably be all the sound you need.
XG500 is an insanely good speaker. The sound is beyond excellent. It is portable thanks to the handle with some weight but it’s not heavy. It’s style would see it sit happily anywhere in your party. On a table, on the bench, in the car, or the middle of the room, it fits in anywhere and doesn’t draw attention. With a 30 hour battery life it will keep pumping the tunes no matter where you put it. At $500 it isn’t cheap but if you have the money it will be worth it.