Sony has been working hard to compete with JBL on the party speaker front, and the company’s latest effort, the $649 SRS-XV800, shows that the two rivals are largely in agreement regarding what these block-rocking speakers should have. It joins Sony’s party flagship, the Sony SRS-XV900.
Like the similar JBL Partybox 710, the SRS-XV800 has its own wheels and carry handle so you don’t need to lug around its total weight when there’s a flat surface to roll on. It also has a customizable, music-synced light show that can be tweaked further through the Sony Fiestable app. Finally, no party speaker would be complete without a bit of water resistance for when things get crazy (IPX4) and dual audio input jacks for a karaoke mic and a guitar.
Where the XV800 goes in its own direction is Sony’s added TV connection. You can take an optical cable from your TV’s optical output and line it into the back of the SRS-XV800. When in TV mode, the speaker will automatically reproduce the same audio as the TV’s internal speakers, but with an emphasis on the lower frequencies your TV may struggle with. Naturally, it also has Bluetooth, and it supports Sony’s hi-res-capable LDAC codec, in addition to SBC and AAC.
Sony hasn’t revealed how many watts the XV800 pumps out, but we do know that the speaker emits sound in a 360-degree pattern thanks to three tweeters in the front and two tweeters that aim up and backward from the rear top corners. An additional woofer and passive radiator fill out the speaker’s drive units.
There’s an onboard rechargeable battery that’s good for a claimed 24 hours, and when you’re in need of some juice for your other devices, the battery can also be used as a power bank via the USB-A port.
The XV800 can be added to any Sony portable speakers that support Sony’s Party Chain for an even bigger sound.
Alongside the hulking SRS-XV800, Sony also debuted the newest small-size speaker in its lineup, the $59 SRS-XB100, a tiny portable Bluetooth speaker that nonetheless packs 16 hours of claimed battery life, an IP68 rating for full water- and dustproofing, and it even works as a speakerphone with echo cancellation for clearer calls. It comes in four color choices and includes a removable carry strap.