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Sony SRS-XE300 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 19, 2022 at 09:38 am
Sony SRS-XE300 Picture
6.7
Music
6.1
Videos/Movies
7.2
Podcasts
5.9
Voice Assistant
7.8
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

 The Sony SRS-XE300 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a similar pentagonal design to the Sony SRS-XE200. However, it's a bit larger, leaving more room to produce a bit more bass. This portable stereo speaker is well-built and comes with Sony's 'ClearAudio+' feature, which the manufacturer advertises to adjust the speaker's sound according to the audio that it plays. It's compatible with the Sony Music Center and Fiestable apps which you can use to access features like a graphic EQ and sound effects. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, which is great if you like to rely on them for support.

Our Verdict

6.7 Music

The Sony SRS-XE300 is alright for music. With its 'ClearAudio+' feature turned on, this stereo speaker has a boomy sound profile that adds extra bass to the mix. The rest of its range is fairly balanced, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, though higher-pitched voices and instruments sound dull at times. You can customize its sound profile thanks to the graphic EQ in its companion app. That said, like most speakers its size, it lacks a thumpy and rumbling low bass. Since it projects audio in one main direction, it also has disappointing directivity, resulting in a soundstage that you'll perceive as narrow and directional.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ.
  • Gets decently loud.
Cons
  • A lot of compression at max volume.
  • Narrow and directional soundstage.
6.1 Videos/Movies

The Sony SRS-XE300 isn't bad for watching videos and movies. It has low Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices, so there aren't any syncing issues between the audio you hear and the visuals you see on the screen when using the speaker to watch videos. Some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary. Unfortunately, you'll perceive its soundstage as narrow and directional-sounding since the speaker projects audio in one main direction, so audio doesn't sound as clear when listening from different angles. Despite its boomy sound profile, like most speakers its size, it also lacks low bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed movie scenes.

Pros
  • Gets decently loud.
  • Low Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices.
Cons
  • A lot of compression at max volume.
  • Narrow and directional soundstage.
7.2 Podcasts

The Sony SRS-XE300 is decent for podcasts. It's incredibly portable, so you can easily bring your favorite podcasts and audiobooks with you from room to room. With its 'ClearAudio+' feature enabled, it has a balanced mid-range that ensures voices and dialogue reproduce clearly and accurately in the mix. However, higher-pitched voices and sounds sound a bit veiled at times. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound profile to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ in its companion app. That said, since it projects audio in one main direction, your audio doesn't sound as clear when listening from different angles, like from behind the speaker. Also, while it gets decently loud, there's a lot of compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio at louder volume levels.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ.
  • Incredibly portable.
Cons
  • A lot of compression at max volume.
  • Narrow and directional soundstage.
5.9 Voice Assistant

Since the Sony SRS-XE300 doesn't have any built-in voice assistants, meaning it uses those available on your paired smartphone. Unlike other Sony speakers we've tested, it does an excellent job of registering your commands when you're far away from the speaker and when you're in noisier environments. That said, there's a lot of compression that degrades audio quality at max volume, so your assistants' voice doesn't sound as clear when the volume maxes out. Also, since the speaker projects audio in one main direction, you don't hear your assistant's voice as clearly from different angles, like when you're behind the speaker.

Pros
  • Excellent far-field and ambient noise performance.
Cons
  • A lot of compression at max volume.
  • Narrow and directional soundstage.
  • Voice assistants aren't built-in.
7.8 Outdoors

The Sony SRS-XE300 is very good for outdoor use. It's well-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be dust tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can bring your favorite tunes with you to the pool without needing to worry about it getting wet. Its long-lasting battery life of almost 17 hours means you don't need to charge it very frequently, and it's great for longer-listening sessions spent outdoors. Its small and lightweight design makes it incredibly portable, so you can easily bring it when you're out and about. That said, while it gets decently loud, there's a lot of compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio at louder volume levels.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ.
  • Gets decently loud.
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Incredibly portable.
Cons
  • A lot of compression at max volume.
  • Narrow and directional soundstage.
  • 6.7 Music
  • 6.1 Videos/Movies
  • 7.2 Podcasts
  • 5.9 Voice Assistant
  • 7.8 Outdoors
  1. Updated Aug 19, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 12, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sony SRS-XE300 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a sleek pentagonal design that blends into your decor. It's similar to the SRS-XE200, but it's a bit bigger. That said, it doesn't come with a removable carrying strap. You can find it in Black, Blue, and Light Gray.

9.0
Design
Portability
Volume
165 inยณ (2,698 cmยณ)
Weight
2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Sony SRS-XE300 is incredibly portable. While it's a bit larger than the Sony SRS-XE200, it's still small and light enough to easily hold in one hand and carry on the go. That said, it doesn't come with a carrying strap to help you transport it.

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-XE300 has excellent build quality that feels solid overall. Its body is tightly wrapped in fabric, and silicone covers most of its surface. Its charging port is protected by a solid rubber flap. It has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can take it outside without worrying about getting it a bit wet. While there's no official IK rating, Sony claims the speaker can withstand minor drops, bumps, and scrapes.

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-XE300 has a fantastic selection of easy-to-use texturized controls that are identical to those of the Sony SRS-XE200, with indicator lights to info you of the speaker's status and chosen settings. You can use its multi-functional play/pause button to answer and end calls, double-press it to skip tracks, and triple-press it to backtrack. You can also press and hold it to activate the voice assistant on your smartphone. There's a mute mic button to mute the speaker's microphone when you're on the phone, which causes its indicator light to turn red. The power button's indicator light flashes three times to let you know when you reach its minimum or maximum volume.

There's a Bluetooth button you can press to enter Bluetooth pairing mode. It causes its indicator light to slowly flash blue when it's in pairing mode, and it solidifies once it's paired. There's a battery button you can press to let the speaker audibly inform you of its remaining battery level. You can also press and hold this button to activate 'Stamina' mode, which cuts the Sony XE300's bass to conserve and elongate its battery life.

Design
In The Box

  • Sony SRS-XE300 speaker
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Reference and Quick Start guides

Sound
6.9
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.68
Std. Err.
3.78 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
51.9 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.5 kHz

The Sony SRS-XE300's frequency response accuracy is alright. There's a 'ClearAudio+' feature advertised to adjust the speaker's sound according to the audio it plays. With the speaker placed horizontally and with ClearAudio+ enabled by default, its sound profile is boomy overall. The overemphasis in the high-bass range adds extra punch and boom to the mix, while its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments reproduce clearly and accurately. That said, while it produces a slightly more extended low-bass than the Sony SRS-XE200, it still lacks a thumpy and rumbling low-bass, like most speakers its size. Also, the underemphasis in the treble range causes higher-pitched vocals and instruments to sound dull and veiled at times. Fortunately, you can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ in its companion app.

Note: The speaker was tested with its 'Ambient Noise Sensing' power-saving feature turned off.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.6
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
6.48 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Sony SRS-XE300 has an alright soundstage performance. It plays stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It means that instruments and sound effects in your audio move from one side of the speaker to the other, the way the sound engineer intended the audio to be heard. For example, if you play a song that normally has the keyboard on the right and the guitar on the left, you'll hear the keyboard coming from the right side of the speaker and the guitar from the left. That said, due to the Sony XE300's size, this distinction is hard to notice when listening passively.

However, its directivity is disappointing. Your audio doesn't sound as clear when you listen from different angles, like from behind the speaker, since it projects sound from one main direction. It results in a more narrow-sounding soundstage.

Note: The Sony SRS-XE300 doesn't automatically switch from stereo to mono when you turn it vertically. As a result, you hear the channel separation as coming from the top and bottom instead of from the left and right when you place it vertically. If you prefer having your audio in mono when placing the Sony XE300 vertically, you can make the switch from stereo to mono in its companion app.

6.0
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
90.5 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.56 dB

The Sony SRS-XE300 has a fair dynamics performance. It gets decently loud, and fills most average-sized rooms with ease. That said, there's a lot of compression present at max volume that degrades audio quality as you bump up the sound, so your audio doesn't sound as clean and clear when you max out the volume.

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

The Sony SRS-XE300 offers a fantastic battery performance. Although it's advertised to last around 24 hours from a single charge, it lasted just under 17 hours from a single charge in our tests, which is still remarkable! You can enable Sony's power saving feature, 'Auto Standby', in the app. It turns the speaker off following 15 minutes of inactivity. You can also enable the 'Ambient Noise Sensing' feature, which saves battery power by cutting the frequencies you aren't likely to hear depending on the ambient noise in the environment the Sony XE300 is placed in.

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

The Sony SRS-XE300 doesn't come with any built-in voice assistants. It's compatible with Siri and Google Assistant through your paired smartphone. While there's a button to mute the speaker's microphone, you only use it for phone calls. That said, unlike other Sony speakers we've tested, it has no trouble hearing you when you're far away from the speaker or when you're in a noisier room.

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-XE300's Sony Music Center app is very good. It has a graphic EQ to adjust its sound profile to better suit your preferences. You can also use it to connect the Sony XE300 to other compatible Sony speakers when you want to create a stereo pair or when you want to amplify your audio across a larger area. The app also lets you access a few power-saving features. You can enable and disable its 'Auto-Standby' mode and its 'Ambient Noise Sensing' features. There's also a 'Stamina' mode which saves the speaker's battery by cutting the bass in your audio. The app lets you access Sony's 'Fiestable' app too, which you can use to access party sound effects of the speaker. You can also enable and disable its power and battery level indicator voice.

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

The Sony SRS-XE300 doesn't have any other inputs aside from its charging port.

9.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
15 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
79 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Sony SRS-XE300 offers outstanding Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair the Sony XE300 to up to two devices at once, so you can easily switch between audio sources without disconnecting your paired device. It has a fantastic range, so your paired device remains connected even when you're far away from the speaker. 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 the screen when you use the Sony XE300 to watch videos and movies. Some apps compensate for latency differently, and your real-world experience may differ.

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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony SRS-XE300 comes in three color variants: Black, Blue, and Light Gray. This review represents the test results for the Black variant, though all variants are expected to perform similarly. You can find the label for the model tested here.

If you come across other variants of the Sony SRS-XE300, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sony SRS-XE300 is a larger version of the Sony SRS-XE200. It performs slightly better overall. With its 'ClearAudio+' feature enabled, it has a boomy sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than the XE200. It's compatible with Sony's 'Fiestable' app, which lets you access extra sound effects of the speaker. It also has a longer-lasting battery life of almost 17 hours from a single charge, but it doesn't come with a carrying strap like the XE200. If you already own the XE200, it isn't worth the upgrade. If you can afford it in your budget from the get-go, The XE300 performs better overall.

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

JBL Charge 5

The Sony SRS-XE300 and the JBL Charge 5 are similar speakers with different strengths. While the JBL offers better overall sound quality, the Sony is more versatile. The JBL has better directivity, resulting in a wider and more open-sounding soundstage, while the Sony's sounds a bit more muffled. It also has a bit less compression present at max volume, so audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes. Its sound profile is also more balanced and a bit smaller, making it easier to transport. However, the Sony can produce slightly deeper bass, and its battery life lasts almost three hours longer. It supports voice assistants through your smartphone too. Also, it can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a richer and fuller sound. However, it's hard to notice the channel separation when passively listening due to the speaker's size.

Sony SRS-XB43

The Sony SRS-XE300 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB43, but not by much. The XE300 can produce a slightly more extended low bass and has a longer-lasting battery life of almost 17 hours, as opposed to the XB43's 15 hours. It can vary depending on your usage and chosen settings, though. When connected to the voice assistants from your smartphone, it does a much better job of registering your commands. Its soundstage is slightly less directional-sounding, but not by much. It's also smaller and more portable. That said, the XB43 gets a touch louder with slightly less compression at max volume. It also comes with RGB lights which you can customize via Sony's 'Fiestable' app.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XE300 overall. The Ultimate Ears offers a wider and more spacious-sounding soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design. It also gets around as loud as the Sony with significantly less compression at max volume. As a result, the audio quality doesn't degrade as much at louder volume levels, and your audio sounds cleaner and clearer when the volume maxes out. It comes with additional presets to further customize its sound, and it's even advertised to float in water. That said, the Sony speaker can produce a more extended low bass. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sony SRS-XE300 and the Sony SRS-XB33 are similar speakers, though the XE300 is slightly better overall. The XE300 can get a bit louder, though it has a touch more compression at max volume, so audio quality doesn't sound as clean at louder volume levels, but not by much. It also has a longer-lasting battery life of almost 17 hours. While they both support voice assistants through your smartphone, the XE300 performs better at registering your commands. It can also produce slightly deeper bass. That said, the differences between the XB33 and the XE300 are not all that pronounced, so if you already own the XB33, it isn't worth the upgrade.

Sony SRS-XE200

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.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Sony SRS-XE300 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB23. The XE300 can produce a more extended low-bass and gets slightly louder too. It has a longer-lasting battery life of almost 17 hours from a single charge, and it's compatible with Sony's 'Fiestable' app, which lets you access extra sound effects. When connected to the voice assistants from your smartphone, it does a significantly better job at registering your commands from far and in noisy rooms too. The XB23 is smaller and comes with a carrying strap, making it easier to bring along with you on the go. It also offers a more open and spacious-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design.

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