There seem to be an insatiable appetite for Bluetooth speakers of all shapes, sizes and price points across India. The latest to launch big bang devices in this space is Sony. We put the new SRS-X55 to the sound test.
The Sony SRS-X55 looks a bit, or should I say a bit too much, like the Bose SoundLink. But looks don’t really matter in this space. If the Sony speaker sounds half as good as the Bose one, then it is going to be a winner.
What is good?
The X55 is a very compact stylish looking device. The front just has a grill and if you look hard you will see the solo subwoofer and two satellites inside clearly. On top there are bunch of buttons, some of which are touch sensitive. There are buttons to initiate pairing, take a call and adjust volume. You cannot skip songs from the device and will need to go back to the smartphone or tablet from where the audio is being played. There is sound mode to switch on the extra bass if needed.
The audio quality is really fine. The X55 can go high on volume, especially when it is not on its battery. But that does not mean it can’t play Shaam Se Aankh Mein from Marasim and not let you enjoy the pain in Jagjit Singh’s voice. This is a supremely versatile unit and any audiophile song version will showcase this versatility and depth. For a
device that is pretty small, the X55 is relatively stable and does not crack up when the volume is turned up to max. For those with a LDAC compatible source like a Sony Walkman there is the promise of even better sound quality.
The X55 has a very easy call function that lets you take a call easily and go back to what you were listening seamlessly. The call quality is good on both sides and you don’t really have to be near the device to be heard. There are a bunch of connectivity options including an old fashioned audio in for those who prefer to go wired. But one-tap NFC functionality gives the SRS-X55 a clear edge. Even otherwise the Bluetooth pairing is smooth and devoid of any sort of confusion.
Sony claims 10 hours of audio playback. But at full volume it might not give you more than eight. However, we doubt if you could have an 8-hour party with this one playing at full volume.
What is not good?
For one, I can’t understand why Sony wants to push another proprietary charger into our households. This could have done well with a micro-USB charger so that you could have plugged it into any of the many charging stations wires all over your house. The power adapter in the box is also a bit too big to be hidden away. The SRS-X55 is a bit heavy despite its small size. Not really an issue, but don’t think of carrying this around in your bag for music on the go. I missed a mute button. I believe that is a must-have on any music device.
Verdict: If you can’t really afford the Bose SoundLink, then the Sony SRS-X55 seems like the next best bet. If offers great audio quality with a bunch of easy connectivity options. It is still a bit pricey, but with Sony you are rest
assured that the device will handle your music needs for a few years to come.
* Dimensions: 221 x 118 x 51 mm
* Speakers: 1 Subwoofer; 2 full range satellite speakers
* Power output: 30W (AC), 20W on battery
* Power output subwoofer: 20W (AC), 14W battery
* Sound technology: DSEE, ClearAudio+
* Wireless connection: Bluetooth NFC one-touch connection
* Battery: Built-in Lithium-ion battery
* Weight: 1.2 kg
* Estimated street price: Rs 16,999