When I was a teenager, the Sony Hi-Fi system was all the rage. Almost everyone I knew had one. I remember how my cousins and I used to select the cassettes to play at cousins’ sangeet ceremonies and other events. Sony doesn’t manufacture Hi-Fi systems anymore, and while times have changed, one thing that still exists is our shared love for music and playing it loud when families and friends get together on special occasions.
The new Sony SRS-XV800 is a wireless Bluetooth-enabled party speaker that delivers big and loud sound from a standalone unit, replacing the Hi-Fi systems of the past. I have never experienced a ‘party’ speaker before, and having heard great things from those who owned the previous generation models, I was rather excited to review the SRS-XV800. Here is my review.
Sony SRS-XV800 price in India (as reviewed): Rs 45,990.
Coming in at 20kg, it’s best suited for bigger homes (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/The Indian Express)
Design and build
Measuring 32x70x38cm, the SRS-XV800 is built and designed to remain an integral part of your entertainment setup. I mean, it’s big – roughly the size of a small cabinet. Coming in at 20kg, it’s best suited for bigger homes that can accommodate a speaker like this. Technically, this speaker is designed to station at one place but thanks to small wheels at the bottom and handles on the sides, you can move it from one room to another. But don’t make the mistake of moving the speaker from one floor to another (unless you have a lift at home). It’s IPX4 rated when placed vertically, and IPX2 when placed horizontally, meaning that it can handle light water splashes. The controls on the top of the speaker are easy to use, offering access to change inputs and adjust the volume and bass levels. There’s also a USB port on the back to charge your phone which comes in handy.
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The massive speaker features three tweeters, two 170mm square woofers, plus two rear tweeters that provide immersive sound in the 360-degree spherical sound field. The SRS-XV800 is a party speaker – after all, and its multicolour LEDs on the top and bottom elevate the experience as if you are in a discotheque. Yes, it is possible to customise lights through Sony’s Music Center app. Besides that, you can also connect a microphone and a guitar, allowing people to sing and play along. The battery life is rated at 25 hours, although it varies depending on whether you listen to music at a high volume or enable the LED lights all the time.
It delivers deep and rich bass that fills the room with super-clean sound (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/The Indian Express)
The sound quality of the SRS-XV800 is impressive. It delivers deep and rich bass that fills the room with super-clean sound. Because of the SRS-XV800, I started enjoying dance music. I felt like I was in a club listening to Kylie Minogue’s ‘Padam Padam’ and David Guetta’s ‘Baby Don’t Hurt Me’. The SRS-XV800 delivers impressive room-filling oomph, thanks to its high-excursion woofer that packs a punch. And you’ll get crystal-clear vocals and all the details of the instruments. It’s like having your personal DJ right at home. The good thing about the SRS-XV800 is that it doubles as a home theater system. I linked the speaker to my TV, and with the built-in ‘TV audio boost’ mode, it elevated the experience of watching movies at home.
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Should you buy Sony SRS-XV800?
At Rs 45,990, Sony’s high-tech SRS-XV800 wireless speaker is a fresh take on party speakers, a segment I think could become big in the future. For most people who favour smaller portable Bluetooth speakers, the SRS-XV800 may look like a speaker from a different planet. But for those who like to throw parties at home, the Sony SRS-XV800 is more of an investment. Whether you are listening to music or watching movies this speaker is designed to immerse you in sound like never before but it’s still not for everyone. But remember, this is big, and thus requires a lot of space. The SRS-XV800 sits on top of the competition, but you can find party speakers from other brands at much less but they don’t benefit from Sonys’ audio legacy and exceptional sound.
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