Sony SRS-XB23: Review of the Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Sony SRS-XB23

Sony has delivered audio technology to customers all around the world for a long time. Sony has a wide range of wireless headphones and speakers, which are perfect for your active lifestyle.

Whether you are looking for style or sound, you can’t go wrong with Sony Bluetooth speakers. They offer innovation along with their stunning style and practicality. Sony is the manufacturer of many leading products in the audio industry. Their portfolio includes powerful bonus features that other companies cannot offer.

Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the portable options from the Sony extra bass speaker range.

About Sony SRS-XB23

With a compact design, the Sony SRS-XB23 is a speaker that is perfect for those who want to bring quality sound on the go.

If you’re looking for a speaker with the look and sound of Bang and Olufsen for a cheaper price, this is the item for you.


  • Good sound quality…
  • Competitive price
  • Stereo pairing and Party Mode


  • …but not the absolute best
  • Lower peak volume
  • Unclear battery level alerts

Design and Built

Sony has a range of wireless speakers that are updated on a regular basis. Some of these speakers provide access to smart assistants or offer higher levels of water and dirt resistance.

The Sony SRS-XB23 offers excellent audio quality. This speaker is great if you want to listen to your favorite songs while on the go. With this speaker, you’ll get an IP67 rating, 12 hours of battery life, and a range of attractive color options for less than $100.

This Bluetooth speaker is not the most advanced, but it has a lot to offer for its lower price tag.

The speaker uses two Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) speaker cones that are now more oblong-shaped than circular to improve performance.

It’s lightweight, at only 580g and 3.6 x 8.6 inches (76 x 218mm). It is small enough to sit on a desk or in a car without taking up any space, but large enough for drinks in cup holders or armrests.

The speaker’s playback controls are in the back (play/pause and volume up/down) as well as two neat features like a stereo pairing that allow you to assign each speaker to a left-right channel. Party Mode is included, allowing you to chain up to 100 Sony speakers together.

Sony says that the SRS-XB23 is Sony’s first attempt at an entry-level wireless speaker and their idea of improvements include the top bungee strap so you can hang it from a carabiner, shower nozzle, tree branch, or fencepost.

Ultimate Ears started out by using the feature, but can’t claim any exclusivity over it. It’s important to recognize what they did so that they aren’t charging too much for a primarily utilitarian feature.

The speaker is IP67 rated, meaning it’s dustproof and waterproof up to one meter – this has some obvious advantages for an outdoor speaker, so it’s great Sony has kept the specifications.

Speaker companies are now using the USB Type C connector rather than Micro-USB, which allows people to carry around one single charging cord for almost all their devices.

The XB23 boasts Bluetooth 5.0, the latest and greatest wireless standard, and supports three major codecs – SBC, AAC, and LDAC – which you’ll find on most newer Android devices.

Related: Wireless Bluetooth Soundbar


To make sure the Sony SRS-XB23 sounds good, we compared it to some other speakers. We surveyed our family members and friends about which speaker sounded better without telling them which ones were which.

Everyone agreed that the Wonderboom 2 sounded better than the Sony XB23, but only because of its larger soundstage, louder volume, and better bass response.

When you compare it to other Bluetooth speakers, however, you’ll probably be blown away by the SRS-XB23 – it can sound pretty loud without a lot of distortion and the passive radiators help the bass sound clearer than Sony’s previous models.

We connected our phone to a Google Pixel 3a XL and were able to test the speaker with the LDAC codec streaming MQA files from Tidal. The sound was full, robust, and powerful. As hard as this is to believe, we could’ve actually used a bit more bass for Sony’s Extra Bass lineup but the two cone driver, two passive radiator system was a big success for its first outing.

Sony promises about 12 hours of playback on a full charge when listening to music on 50% volume. The speaker is tested strenuously and only got between 7-8 hours of battery life on the first charge – but more quickly if you keep your volume at 80-90%.

The speaker’s inability to tell us exactly how much juice was left, only told us to charge the speaker the battery when it crossed below the 30% battery life mark.

When the speaker interrupts us to say that it needs to be charged, we become irritated. When the speaker doesn’t tell us if there is 10% battery life left, we become even more irritated.

The speaker charges slightly faster than Sony claims in the instructions. It said four hours in the instructions, but only took around two. You can use the Sony Music Center app to put it in Stamina Mode if you need the extra battery power.

Final Thoughts

These Sony Bluetooth speakers have been tested and approved by a team of experienced audio engineers. They’re well-designed, easy to use, and powerful in terms of their sound quality. Moving up to the Sony SRS-XB33 or SRS-XB43 is sure to bring even better performance and probably do sound as good or better than the competition. That said, the XB23 will make for a great value option for people in search of speakers that can compete with the high-end models.

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