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Sony’s SRS-XV800 is a beast of a speaker. Just getting it out of the box was a minor adventure, as it weighs just over 40 pounds and is wrapped in styrofoam. Luckily, the speaker has two sturdy handles if you want to carry it, and even better, it has wheels for even easier transport. All in all, it’s a solid and stylish build that comes in all black.
The speaker is omnidirectional and fills the room with powerful sound from all directions. Five tweeters, two speakers that Sony calls X-Balanced Speaker Units, and a 6.7-inch subwoofer powered by 900 nominal watts undeniably produce a powerful sound to say the least.
Battery and AC power options
You can use the SRS-XV800 by plugging it into an electrical outlet or via its 10,520mAh rechargeable battery, which can play music for up to 25 hours (although you won’t be playing it loudly for that long). The speaker also has a fast-charging function that provides three hours of play time after just a 10-minute of charge.
If you want to plug in a guitar or microphone to torment your fellow party-goers with the former or organize karaoke with the latter, that’s fine, too. But the speaker is certainly not an alternative to a guitar amplifier. You can’t do much with the guitar sound, but it does work for connecting an acoustic guitar with a built-in pickup, for example. You can even get a slight echo effect; but again, it’s far from what a real guitar amplifier is capable of
The Sony SRS-XV800 can put on a light show
There are built-in flashing lights, of course, and they’re actually quite discreet. I’ve seen party speakers flashing more than a Christmas tree in tacky shopping malls. Download the Sony Music Center and Fiestable apps, and you can easily set the desired visual effects and poke around a rudimentary equalizer.
Music connects easily via Bluetooth 5.2, and the speaker supports the AAC and LDAC codecs in addition to the usual SBC. You can also stream music via Chromecast, play it from a USB memory stick, connect it to your TV using the provided optical cable, or plug in an analog source using a 3.5mm aux cable. All connections and volume controls for the guitar/microphone are located in a slot on the back, labeled with black text on a black background. If the room is at all dark, you won’t be able to see what you’re plugging in or turning on.
Sony, white text on a black background works better. Just sayin’.
The SRS-XV800 can get loud
As I’ve already said, the Sony SRS-XV800 is a powerful speaker. But does it sound good? Well, at lower volume it sounds really good, but when you crank it up, it just sounds loud, with incredible pressure coming from the bass register. Whether that’s good or bad is debatable. If you’re at a party and want to dance your ass off, it’s perfect. It’s even better for outdoor parties, where the sound can spread out more. But if you’re using this speaker as your home’s only sound system, there are many superior better alternatives.
If you’re one of those people who plan outdoor parties for most of the summer and have $650 to spare, the Sony SRS-XV800 is definitely the speaker for you–it can even withstand a downpour, with an IPX4 weatherization rating when the speaker is vertical and IPX2 when it’s horizontal.
Editors’ note: This review was translated from Swedish to English, and originally appeared on M3, our Swedish sister site.