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Sony SRS-XE200 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 09, 2022 at 08:46 am
Sony SRS-XE200 Picture
6.1
Music
5.7
Videos/Movies
6.8
Podcasts
5.8
Voice Assistant
7.6
Outdoors
Battery Powered
Yes
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No

The Sony SRS-XE200 is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker with a unique pentagonal design. This well-built speaker has a removable carrying strap that makes it easy to bring your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks wherever you go. Like other Sony speakers we've tested, it comes with Sony's ClearAudio+, which the manufacturer advertises to detect your audio and adjust the speaker's sound field according to what you're listening to. This versatile speaker is also compatible with Siri and Google Assistant via your paired smartphone, which is handy if you like to rely on voice assistants. It comes in four colors, so you can choose one that fits your style.

Our Verdict

6.1 Music

The Sony SRS-XE200 isn't bad for music. With its default ClearAudio+ feature enabled, it has a very boomy sound profile that adds boom and punch to the bass. Like other speakers its size, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music. The underemphasis in the treble range also causes higher-pitched vocals and instruments to sound veiled. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound profile thanks to the graphic EQ featured in its companion app. While this doesn't bring the bass up to a thump and rumble, it still gives you some control over its sound. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and there's a lot of compression at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio when the volume is maxed out.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ.
  • 14.5-hour battery.
  • Multi-device paring.
Cons
  • Lots of compression present at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
5.7 Videos/Movies

The Sony SRS-XE200 is middling for watching videos and movies. It has low Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices. It means that the audio you hear remains mostly in sync with the visuals you see on the screen, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary. It also plays stereo content without downmixing it to mono, so you can hear sound effects like cars and footsteps moving from one side of the speaker to the other. However, due to the speaker's small size, it doesn't feel as immersive as larger, movie-oriented speakers. It also doesn't get very loud and lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. You can customize its sound profile to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ featured in its companion app.

Pros
  • Low Bluetooth latency.
  • Graphic EQ.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lots of compression present at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
6.8 Podcasts

The Sony SRS-XE200 is alright for podcasts. It's incredibly portable, so you can bring your podcasts and audiobooks with you from room to room. You can pair it to two devices at once, so you can easily switch between audio sources. Like most speakers its size, it doesn't get incredibly loud. Still, it's loud enough to fill smaller, uncrowded areas like your bedroom or office. Unfortunately, there's a lot of compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio when the volume is maxed out. Voices and dialogue also sound dull and veiled at times. You can customize its sound profile to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ featured in its companion app.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Graphic EQ.
Cons
  • Lots of compression present at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
5.8 Voice Assistant

The Sony SRS-XE200 is middling with voice assistants. Since the speaker doesn't have built-in voice assistants, it uses the voice assistant from your paired smartphone. It does an excellent job registering your commands from far away and in noisier settings. However, you can't activate it with your voice and need to press and hold the play/pause button instead. The Sony XE200 also has disappointing directivity. Since it only projects audio from one main direction, your assistant doesn't sound quite as clear when listening from different angles, like when listening from behind the speaker. There's also lots of compression present at max volume that affects the clarity of your assistant's voice at louder volumes.

Pros
  • Excellent ambient noise and far-field performances.
Cons
  • Lots of compression present at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
7.6 Outdoors

The Sony SRS-XE200 is good for outdoor use. It's incredibly portable, and there's a removable carrying strap to help you bring it when you're out and about. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be dust tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, so you don't have to worry about it getting dusty or wet when bringing it outdoors with you. The manufacturer also advertises that it can withstand some bumps, drops, and scrapes, though there's no official IK rating for impact resistance. Its long-lasting battery life of over 14 hours also makes it great for long listening sessions spent outside. That said, like most speakers its size, it doesn't get incredibly loud, so it can't fill a large outdoor space with sound.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Graphic EQ.
  • 14.5-hour battery.
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Multi-device paring.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lots of compression present at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
  • 6.1 Music
  • 5.7 Videos/Movies
  • 6.8 Podcasts
  • 5.8 Voice Assistant
  • 7.6 Outdoors
  1. Updated Aug 19, 2022: Added a comparison with the Sony SRS-XE300 in the 'Style', 'Frequency Response Accuracy', and 'Compared To Other Speakers' boxes.
  2. Updated Aug 18, 2022: Changed the test result for 'Microphone On/Off' from 'Yes' to 'Yes (Physical)' in the Controls box.
  3. Updated Aug 09, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated Aug 03, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony SRS-XE200 comes in four color variants: Light Gray, Blue, Orange, and Black. They're all expected to perform similarly. This review represents the test results for the Light Gray variant; you can find its label here.

If you come across any other variants of the Sony SRS-XE200, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sony SRS-XE200 is a smaller version of the Sony SRS-XE300. It has a portable Bluetooth speaker with a unique pentagonal design. Like other Sony speakers we've tested, it has a portable design and is fairly versatile. It comes with Sony's 'ClearAudio+' feature that's advertised to automatically detect your audio content and adjust its sound field to better suit your audio. With this feature enabled, it has a boomy sound profile overall, though it doesn't produce as much low-bass as the larger XE300. It's well-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, making it a great outdoor companion. It's also compatible with Siri and Google Assistant via your smartphone. Unlike other Sony speakers we've tested, like the Sony SRS-XB43 and the Sony SRS-XB33, it does an excellent job of registering your commands from far away and in noisy rooms.

See also our recommendations for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, the best outdoor speakers, and the best waterproof speakers.

JBL Flip 6

The JBL Flip 6 is a better speaker for audio quality than the Sony SRS-XE200. The JBL offers a better-balanced sound profile overall, making it great for listening to a wide variety of music genres. It has better directivity, resulting in a wider and more open-sounding soundstage. While it doesn't get as loud as the Sony, it has less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner-sounding audio at louder volume levels. It's also smaller, making it more portable. That said, the Sony is a more versatile speaker overall. It plays stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It has a longer-lasting battery life of over 14 hours. It supports voice assistants through your smartphone. It also produces a more extended low-bass than the JBL.

Sony SRS-XE300

The Sony SRS-XE300 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XE200 overall. The XE300 offers a more balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass. It gets a bit louder with significantly less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also has a longer-lasting battery life of almost 17 hours from a single charge. That said, the XE200 is a bit smaller and comes with a removable carrying strap, making it more portable and easier to bring along with you on the go. If you already own the XE200, it isn't worth the upgrade. If you can afford to stretch your budget from the get-go, The XE300 performs better overall.

JBL Charge 5

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XE200, though they perform similarly. The JBL offers a more balanced sound profile out of the box, suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It gets as loud as the Sony with less compression at max volume, so audio quality sounds cleaner and clearer when you bump up the volume. It also has better directivity, so you'll perceive its soundstage as more open and spacious than the Sony speaker. The Sony can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It supports voice assistants through your smartphone too.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Sony SRS-XE200 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB23, though they have different strengths. The XE200 has a longer-lasting battery life of over 14 hours from a single charge. While both speakers are compatible with the voice assistants on your phone, the XE200 is significantly better at registering your commands than the XB23. You can also use the speaker to accept and reject phone calls. That said, The XB23 is a bit better for music. It offers a wider and more open-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design, while the XE200 projects audio only in one direction. Also, while it doesn't get as loud as the XE200, it has less compression present at max volume, so audio quality doesn't degrade as much when you increase the volume. Its sound profile is more neutral, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. However, it doesn't produce as much low bass as the XE200.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sony SRS-XE200 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB33. Overall, the speakers perform fairly similarly at a similar price point, only the XE200 is smaller, making it more portable. It has a slightly longer-lasting battery life too. Also, while both speakers support voice assistants through your smartphone, the XE200 is significantly better at registering your commands from far away and in noisier environments. That said, while the XB33 gets a touch less loud than the XE200, it has less compression present at max volume, so audio quality doesn't degrade as much as you increase the volume.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XE200. The Ultimate Ears offers a significantly wider and more spacious-sounding soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design. While it only gets a touch louder than the Sony, it has a lot less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner and clearer audio quality at louder volume levels. It has a longer-lasting battery life of almost 18 hours too, and there are additional presets in its companion app you can use to tweak its sound. It's even advertised to float in water. However, If you're a fan of bass-heavy music, the Sony can produce a more extended low-bass than the Ultimate Ears with its 'MEGA BASS' feature enabled. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

Sony SRS-XB43

The Sony SRS-XB43 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XE200 for music. The XB43 gets louder with less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It offers a better-balanced sound profile overall that can produce a slightly more extended low bass. That said, the XE200 is smaller, making it more portable. It has a slightly wider-sounding sound profile, but not by much. Also, while both speakers support voice assistants via your smartphone, the XE200 does a much better job hearing your voice than the XB43 in noisier environments and from far away.

Bushnell Wingman

The Sony SRS-XE200 is a better speaker than the Bushnell Wingman overall. The Sony can produce a more extended low-bass than the Bushnell, and comes with a graphic EQ to customize its sound profile to your liking. It supports voice assistants through your smartphone. It's better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. That said, the Bushnell gets louder with a lot less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. If you like golf, it also offers golf-oriented features. It has a built-in GPS. You can also save your scores and calculate yardages on its companion app.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sony SRS-XE200 is a smaller version of the Sony SRS-XE300. It's a pentagonal speaker that you can place either vertically or horizontally. It has a sleek design that doesn't easily stand out. There's also a removable carrying strap to help you transport your favorite music, audiobooks, or podcasts along with you on the go. You can also find it in Blue, Orange, and Black.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
107 in³ (1,759 cm³)
Weight
1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Sony SRS-XE200 is incredibly portable. It's small and lightweight, making it easy to carry in one hand. There's also a carrying strap to help transport it, so you can bring your favorite tunes wherever you go.

8.8
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Sony SRS-XE200 has excellent build quality. It feels solid overall, wrapped tightly with fabric and silicone. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be dust tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, so you can bring it outside without worrying about it getting dusty or wet. While it doesn't come with an IK rating for impact resistance, the manufacturer claims the Sony XE200 can withstand a few drops, bumps, and scrapes. There's a solid rubber flap that protects its ports, and there's a carrying strap to help you bring it along with you on the go.

9.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
Yes (Physical)
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
Yes (Physical)
Additional Controls
Yes

The Sony SRS-XE200 has a fantastic set of easy-to-use textured controls with their own indicator lights to inform you of your chosen settings. Its play/pause button has multiple functions. You can use it to answer and end calls, double-press it to skip your track, and triple-press it to backtrack. You can also press and hold it to activate the voice assistant from your paired smartphone. There's a hole near the play/pause button for the speaker's microphone, which you can also mute. When you mute the mic, its indicator light turns red.

You can press the Bluetooth button to pair the Sony XE200 to your devices. When it's in pairing mode, its Blue light flashes slowly and solidifies when it's paired. The speaker audibly informs you of your remaining battery life when you press the battery button. You can also long-press this button to enable 'Stamina' Mode, which cuts the speaker's bass to extend its battery life. The indicator light next to the power button lights green when the Sony XE200 is on and blinks three times when you reach its minimum or maximum volume levels. The indicator light beside the 'Charge' icon turns orange when you charge it.

Design
In The Box

  • Sony SRS-XE200 speaker with carrying strap
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Reference and Quick Start guides

Sound
6.2
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-1.42
Std. Err.
5.68 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
58.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.7 kHz

The Sony SRS-XE200's frequency response accuracy isn't bad. There's a 'ClearAudio+' feature that's advertised to adjust the speaker's sound field according to what you're listening to. When placed horizontally and with its default ClearAudio+ feature enabled, it has a very boomy sound profile, so there's extra boom and punch in the mix. However, like other speakers its size, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music. The underemphasis in the treble range also causes higher-pitched vocals and instruments to sound dull and veiled. That said, you can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ featured in its companion app. For a similar speaker that can produce a more extended low-bass, check out the Sony SRS-XE300.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.8
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
6.04 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Sony SRS-XE200's soundstage performance is alright. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, so instruments and sound effects in your audio localize to a pinpoint location. It means that if you play a song that normally has the drums on the left and the guitar on the right, it emits the drum sounds from the left side of the speaker and the guitar sounds from the right. However, because the speaker is on the smaller side, it's hard to notice these distinctions when passively listening to music. Still, this adds to the immersiveness of the speaker's soundstage.

On the other hand, it has disappointing directivity. Since the Sony XE200 only projects audio from one main direction, audio doesn't sound quite as clear when listening from different angles, like when listening from behind the speaker. As a result, you'll perceive its soundstage as narrow and directional.

Note: The Sony XE200 doesn't automatically switch from stereo to mono when you go from placing it horizontally to vertically. It causes the channel separation to be heard as coming from the top and bottom instead of from the left and right when listening to the speaker vertically. If you prefer having your audio in mono when placing the speaker vertically, you can make the switch from stereo to mono in its companion app.

4.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
88.6 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
6.62 dB

The Sony SRS-XE200 has poor dynamics. It doesn't get very loud, meaning it won't fill larger spaces with sound. It gets loud enough to fill smaller rooms like your bedroom or office with sound, though. However, there's a lot of compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio when the volume is maxed out, so it doesn't sound as clean and clear when listening at louder volumes.

Active Features
9.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
14.5 hrs
Charge Time
2.8 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C
Battery Powered
Yes

The Sony SRS-XE200 has a fantastic battery performance. While it's advertised to last around 16 hours from a single charge, it could last over 14 hours in our tests, which is still outstanding. There's also a power-saving feature Sony calls 'Auto Standby' in its companion app. You can enable it to turn the Sony XE200 off following 15 minutes of inactivity.

5.7
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Speakerphone
Yes
Siri
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Voice Assistant
Yes
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Excellent

Like other Sony speakers we've tested, the Sony SRS-XE200 is compatible with the voice assistants from your smartphone. However, unlike previous Sony speakers we've tested, it does an excellent job registering your commands when you're far away and in noisier environments. While there's a button to mute the Sony XE200's microphone, you only use it for phone calls.

7.9
Active Features
App
App Name
Sony Music Center
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Sony SRS-XE200's Sony Music Center app is very good. It features a graphic EQ, meaning you can customize its sound profile to your liking. You can use the app to set the speaker to either mono or stereo mode and can also use it to create a stereo pair with another compatible speaker. You can connect the speaker to multiple other speakers when you want to amplify your audio across a larger area in party mode.

There's a 'Stamina' mode you can enable in the app, which cuts the bass in your audio to extend the speaker's battery life when it's running low. There's a 'Battery Care' feature that suppresses its charge amount to 90% when you charge it fully to protect and optimize the battery's performance in the long run. You can also enable its 'Auto Standby' mode that automatically turns the Sony XE200 off when it's left idle for 15 minutes.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

Aside from its charging port, the Sony SRS-XE200 doesn't have wired inputs.

9.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
13 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
90 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Sony SRS-XE200 has fantastic Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair the speaker to two devices at once, making it easy to quickly and frequently switch between audio sources. It has outstanding range, so your paired devices remain connected to the speaker, even from far away. It also has low latency with iOS and Android devices, so there aren't any syncing issues between the audio you hear and the visuals you see on your screen when watching videos and movies. Some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
No
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

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