Know anyone who likes electronic, dance, dubstep or trance? If you do or your kids just keep you up with a bit of the “doof doof”, a new audio range is out and ready for your bassy needs.
The term “EDM” might look like another bit of jargon for you to painstakingly look up and remember, but unlike the cacophony of techy terms out there, this is one term that only matters if you’re into EDM already.
Translated, “EDM” actually stands for “electronic dance music” which is the sort of music you might find blaring from radios, blasting from nightclubs, and generally forcing its way out of earbuds, earphones, headphones, and speakers of the youth, and this style of music generally demands one thing from its listeners: bass, and lots of it.
With that in mind, Sony is launching a trio of speakers and a new pair of wireless headphones made to let listeners of this style of music doof doof their way through every door of where they live.
First up are the headphones, and these arrive in the XB650BT, a pair of light weight wireless cans using Bluetooth for that whole wireless tech and providing a maximum of 30 hours of battery life.
The bass is fired up thanks to a 30mm bass driver, and this joins Sony’s headphone range with a supra-aural design, meaning it sits on top of the ears but still offers a plush comfy lining so as to keep the bits on the side of your head comfortable.
There’s a built-in microphone so they can used to talk to people when connected to a phone and a design that is a little flatter than Sony’s h.ear on range though feels almost as durable, with a swivel design made for easy storage.
Pricing on the headphones comes in at $279.95, and that makes it mid-range compared to the rest of the gadgets Sony is dancing into hearts with, because they’re a range of speakers running from $169 to $549.
On the bottom end of the scale is the XB2, a small Bluetooth speaker with a two 42mm drivers and a passive 20 watt radiator for the bass.
This one can be paired with another XB2 and delivers up to 12 hours of battery life, offering a degree of water resistance, coming in at IPX5 meaning it’ll survive a splash or two but not total immersion.
A little bigger is its brother, the XB3, which increases the size and the strength of the sound technology inside, pushing up the bass with two 48mm drivers and two passive 30 watt radiators, thereby making the bottom end a little more pronounced.
Like its XB2 sibling, this is a slightly water-resistant body (IPX5) with up to 24 hours of battery life — basically making it twice the sound and twice the battery life — and it can be paired with another XB3 if needed.
What neither of the XB series can do, however, is pair with each other. While Logitech’s Ultimate Ears range can pair to different UE speakers, Sony’s XB range will only pair when the speaker is the same type, so an XB2 to an XB2 and an XB3 to an XB3, either acting as sound duplication or left and right, and only with two speakers.
That being said, one speaker is very loud, something we tested for our own ears, and it was clear there was a massive emphasis on bass, with a deep and heavy thwack (surprisingly so) in such a small box.
We’re giving the XB3 a good run for its money for a speaker review at the moment, and you’ll find these for $169 for the XB2 and $249 for the XB3 in stores April, but if you need a bit more sound again and you’re thinking more in line of the sort of volume a party offers, you’ll want to look to the louder, brighter, and bigger XB7.
A little bit different, Sony’s GTK-XB7 feels more like it targets people familiar with the “Muteki” brand of high-end and high-impact speakers the company pushed out to the masses a few years ago.
Muteki doesn’t quite have the name it once did, but people keen for explosive sound for high-energy audio are probably still aware of the reputation once connected, and that’s exactly what Sony feels like it is channeling for the XB7, bringing
You’ll find 470 watts of power across two 160m woofers and three 50mm tweeters. Jargon aside, Sony suggests that you’ll be able blast 105 decibels with this speaker, and it is also rotation aware, meaning you can stand it up or lie it down and it will deliver the audio the right way out of the speaker.
It will also deliver lighting, also, as it connects with the sound while running a light show, flashing lights, strobes, and colour effects that can be designated using an app or a wireless remote that goes with Sony’s XB7 speaker.
Music can make its way to the XB7 speaker courtesy of Bluetooth from a phone or media player, as well as a USB key thanks to a port at the back, but if you want to go old school — and you definitely can — you’ll even find a few RCA ports on the back, allowing you to plug in using cables, heaven forbid.
Sony’s XB7 isn’t quite as portable as its smaller XB2 and XB3 brothers, weighing 12 kilograms instead of the 480 grams and 930 grams respectively, so you’re not going to drag this thing to places like its more mobile family, and it’s not water-resistant either.
But it is loud, and if you’re throwing a party in a warehouse or somewhere spacious where volume of sound is super important — and the preferred music style is something with a fair degree of bass — Sony’s XB7 could definitely cut it.