Sony - Sony SRS-XB2


Sony SRS-XB2: Jessye Norman of the nomads

Aprox. 115€

See specifications

The youngest of the SRS family is a splashproof and compact model, nevertheless promising a full, deep and punchy sound thanks to the famous Extra Bass function. With the X2, Sony also guarantees great autonomy and powerful sound. Let's see what it is.

Positive points

Friendly design.

Fluid pairing.

Very complete SongPal application.

Major power.

Extra Bass.

Possibility of pairing two speakers for decoupled stereophony.

Bad points

The SongPal app does not recognize our test pattern.


Connection problems.


Our review


Once is not custom, Sony offers us a model all in curves and joviality. The very nice XB2 is a kind of rounded trapezoidal parallelepiped - but better than a thousand words, here are some pictures.

Available in blue, green, red or black, the ultra-compact nomad speaker but not that light (191 x 62 x 65 mm for 480 grams) has an elliptical grille at the front to protect its two speakers from 42 mm and its passive radiator , and six control buttons on its upper side.

Like its sister, the h.ear go XB1, we are surprised not to find on the XB2 a command to put the music in play / pause and to go to the next / previous song. Apart from this cruel absence, there are all the usual functions: power on / off, Bluetooth pairing, volume control and activation of voice recognition / call management. The playful little girl actually offers a hands-free kit, the quality of which is fairly average: in a calm environment, everything is bathed, but outdoors, the user's voice becomes difficult for the interlocutor to understand; it is then almost necessary to stick to the enclosure, which makes the qualification "hands-free" obsolete. The last command is the gently famous Extra Bass treatment, supposed to ... boost the bass - yes-well done-you-won.

For more complete control, there is the SongPal application. The latter accesses the music library stored on the device or Spotify playlists and this time allows navigation between tracks (play / pause / previous / next track), but also to select the source, the audio processing (ClearAudio +, DSEE HX or 5- band equalizer) and the Bluetooth codec (SBC, AAC and LDAC), to visualize the battery level and to set the automatic standby of the speaker - practical Patrick if you don't want to drain the battery by carelessness.

However, the more observant among you will have noticed that the first captures of SongPal show an application connected to a certain HG-1 ... not with the XB2. The reason is simple: SongPal simply never recognized the latest one - while the laptop was well paired with the speaker in Bluetooth. We tried to turn it on before, after, to unpair, to re-pair, to update the speaker software, to do a rain dance ... to no avail.

The connectivity is extremely fluid and pleasant, the XB2 automatically reconnects to the last device to which it was paired. There are, however, some very rare connection problems during which the music begins to cut, rather following the rhythm of an industrial chopper than that of a nice raccoon.

Finally, the connection, namely the analog mini-jack input and the micro-USB port for charging, is located at the back and is hidden under a rubber cover - splashproof requires. The XB2 is certainly not immersible, but neither is it a wimp: IPX5 certified, it is therefore protected against water jets from all directions with a lance (6.3 mm nozzle, distance 2.5 m to 3 m, flow rate 12.5 l / min ± 5 %). Note, however, the absence of a USB port for recharging mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, player, etc.).

Speaking of recharging, the autonomy announced at 12 o'clock keeps its promises (12 h 27 min measured). On the wafer, finally, we discover a discreet "ADD" which allows to couple two XB2 to enjoy a true stereophony, or simply a higher power. The L / R LEDs at his bedside indicate whether the speaker is assigned to the right or left channel - afterwards, you do what you want.


The XB2 is certainly categorized as a portable speaker, however it could almost be considered an ultra-portable. And given this small template, cuddly toy say, what is it sending! It is not a question of tearing off the eardrums while listening to it at maximum level, but rather of benefiting from a medium to strong listening volume with a relatively low distortion rate: since the XB2 has reserve, it can without any problem sound a room of average volume, especially in Bluetooth.

Like a pleasant person, the XB2 is a pleasant speaker. Without Extra Bass, it concentrates rather on the high part of the spectrum and offers a level of details quite correct. The voices are at the forefront, and the treble, slightly chemical, is never aggressive. When placed well in the axis, the speakers deliver a relatively balanced performance from 400 Hz. However, as soon as the ear decenters, the response tightens around the midrange and becomes more nasal. Too bad, given that nomad speakers - unlike their monitoring girlfriends - aren't really made to be listened to religiously from a sweet-spot.

To simplify things and catch the bass lover, Sony calls its sound processing by "Extra Bass" - but in reality, it's a little more subtle than that. Admittedly, triggering this effect adds a certain dose of low-mids - because don't get me wrong, below 150 Hz, there is no one left - but it's not just that: the treble is also lifted - attention, small sibilances can then point the end of their nose at high volume -, the general volume is raised - which psychoacoustically always gives a feeling of more ample - and especially, the stereophonic scene is considerably widened - via a work on the phase. The general impression is that of a sound with much more seat and amplitude, but inversely proportional, less precise. It is fun to switch with / without the Extra Bass depending on the songs and the desired effect.

Finally, with 200 ms, the Bluetooth latency is not discreet: watching wireless videos with the XB2 will therefore be a solution of last resort, the sound / image gap being perceptible enough to be disturbing.


The SRS-XB2 is a loudspeaker very visually pleasing, fluid to use and pleasant to listen to. Its impressive power and its Extra Bass function allow it to easily sound beautiful volumes, and its summer IPX5 certification allows it to stand on the side of swimming pools. Beware, however, of the application, which is very comprehensive but capricious, without which it is impossible to navigate between the tracks, and the occasional connection problems.