The Sony GTK-PG10 is a pretty fantastic portable speaker that even has cup holders (seriously), but you need to look beyond that kitsch. Outside it looks like a ‘blunt instrument for maximum volume’ that will annoy the neighbours. Inside there is quite a lot of tech.
I like Sony; it’s [usually] refined design cred and a touch
of elegance. There is nothing subtle or elegant about the Sony GTK-PG10. It
looks straight out of the 90s – a boom
box with cup-holders. I am waiting for the next version replete with a cooler
for drinks to put in the cup holders.
Let’s get over the cup holders. Sony claims the Sony GTK-PG10 cupholders are a world first and a focal point of any party. I say cup holders are not going to make people buy it. The focal point of any party is the music – how loud and how it sounds.
Spoiler alert: It is big and loud with surprising versatility from bass-heavy tracks to high instrumentals if you master its app and use the EQ.
Sony GTK-PG10 portable party speaker
We Aussies have an architectural expression – brutalist design
– that means stocky, blocky and lots of hard lines. That describes the 330 mm
x 376 mm x 303 mm 6.7kg boom box with a massive front woofer and interesting
‘wings’ a.k.a. Cup holders at the top.
I am not saying it is ugly, but it lacks the Sony finesse
that I, and I suspect most of us like. It is fine for taking to the beach, on
camps, the back of a ute (pick-up truck in US terms) or you live in a cave, but
it is also large and relatively heavy. If you need portability and IP ratings, then
look at Sony’s SRS-XB
(Extra Bass) range. It is not a delicate Objet d’art by any stretch.
So, note to Sony: love the concept (of the wings – more on that
later) but not the execution.
$449 but you may find it online for about 20% less.
The left and right wings have a tweeter on each. When the wings are closed, the tweeters point down at 45°,
and when the wings are open, they point up at a 45°. As you open or close the
wings, its DSP (digital signal processor) adjusts the ‘sound stage’.
Orientation makes a considerable
difference to the sound stage but so too does the speaker location and height. You
probably should only use the down position if the speaker is around 1.2 metres
or more off the ground if only to focus the sound in a narrower area.
With the wings up it creates a broader
sound stage both in front and above the speaker and works best when your ears
are above the speaker, e.g. it is on a table or the floor.
The Wings have a 10kg weight limit,
and the speaker must not be used as a ‘stool’. They latch down into place to
act as carrying handles.
It is an in-your-face, I am loud kind of speaker including the
tripod mount. A trap – it is just a recessed hole in the base (no screw mount),
and you need a shaft diameter of 35mm to insert into the socket. As it weighs 6.7kg
be careful that the three legs have a minimum of 55cm (spread from the centre).
Don’t mount the device over 1.2 m height or it could be top-heavy and tumble.
Sound and volume
We test with a huge variety of music
to ensure that we cover bass, mid, treble – or head thumping metal, pop, vocal,
classical and instrumental.
The speaker has a companion Music
Centre App (and Fiestable app – more later) that has an EQ with pre-sets as
below. My only complaint here is that you don’t know what each does, so there is
no ‘baseline’ when you use the Custom EQ setting.
To be clear, I would like to know
what each setting means in ‘EQ’ language so I can select the one I like most
and then tweak it slightly with the +/-6dB Custom EQ.
We tested on the ‘Flat’ EQ setting,
and volume was nearly 90dB (loud). It had a very harsh treble and when we
backed off to under 80dB that came under control.
The flat EQ setting produced this
frequency response. It is as expected – bass starts at 100Hz and its relatively
flat to about 16kHz.
The ‘Excited’ setting boosted the bass
a little, but it still cut in about 100Hz and slightly extended treble – it was
my favourite setting for most music.
The ‘Extra Bass’ setting (in the app
and via a push button) did as expected. Boosted Bass from around 70Hz but at the
expense of upper-mid and treble. It was great for bassy music but not for pop
Bottom line: It is capable of a warm
and sweet signature (nirvana), but you will need to tweak the app to get what
2.1 system (Left/Right/Woofer)
2 x 25W 40mm tweeters in the wings
25W 180mm cone-type woofer. It appears to have
two passive vents beside it (vented cabinet)
Under a covered front port
AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA
shuffle, repeat and track by track
Very difficult to navigate folders/albums
5V/1A will power a portable HDD or SSD (limited
on folder and file numbers) or act as a Power Bank
SBC, AAC and LDAC
pair up to 8 BT devices
10-metre max range – we felt 6-7 metres was reliable
20 channel pre-set in Music Centre – no pre-sets
on the device
A good tuner that picked up stations my car
Tune +/- only – no way to type in the frequency
not DAB+ that more are expecting now
We tried BT with a portable CD player and 3.5mm smartphone
jack. Volumes were about half of BT. It could have been the CD player or 3.5mm output
or the port’s sensitivity
¼” Microphone jack
Input for a karaoke mic or other un-amplified
A 4900mAh battery is slightly larger than you get on a premium
smartphone. It has to do less computing work but drive larger speakers. We
mention this because we expect it to have similar charge and discharge
But it does not. A charge from 0-100% (with the unit turned
off) takes an agonising 7-8-hours. You can use it on mains power, but the
charge time extends to almost double that again. Sorry, Sony – you have obviously
under specified the charging circuit amperage.
We ran three tests over the week
5-hours maximum volume,
11-hours at 70% volume
13-hours at 50% volume
Bottom Line: if you intend to use
it on battery (it can only charge via mains power) make sure you leave plenty
of time to charge it. The app tells you the battery level, and you can get a voice
indicator as well.
Sony Music Centre and Fiestable apps for your smartphone
Music Centre lets you remotely use the speakers via a
Bluetooth connection, so you can change the volume and use the different modes
that include Bluetooth, USB, FM Radio, Audio In and Karaoke.
Fiestable lets you pick karaoke tracks to sing along or
echo. You can shift the key of the music that’s playing
by six steps in either the flat or sharp direction–enough to translate a song
to anyone’s singing range.
GadgetGuy’s take – Sony GTK-PG10 is a party speaker
Do we review it as a cup holder with a speaker or a speaker with
a cup holder? Forget the cupholder – it’s a party speaker, loud and proud.
It has heaps of volume and with the app can produce several
variations on ‘warm and sweet’ (nirvana for movies and music).
You can ramp up the bass a little without affecting treble too much or go for more mids to improve vocals. As much as Sony would like you to think Extra Bass means head-thumping its more subtle than that and should be used depending on the music content.
The Sony GTK-PG10, Sony GTK-PG10, Sony GTK-PG10, Sony GTK-PG10
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Cup holders are novel but not the reason to buy
Heaps of volume at relatively low distortion levels
App makes it possible to adjust sound singature for most content
Adjustable sound stage to suit placement
Sony LDAC support makes BT even sweeter
Can be harsh over 80% volume (adjust the app)
Cupholders are splash proof – not spill proof
Very app reliant to get the best out of this
No voice assistant