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Sony SRS-XP500 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 08, 2022 at 10:58 am
Sony SRS-XP500 Picture
7.0
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
6.7
Podcasts
2.4
Voice Assistant
7.5
Outdoors

The Sony SRS-XP500 is a smaller version of the Sony SRS-XP700 that's ideal for listening to tunes at your next party. It's a big speaker that comes with a lot of party-oriented features, including customizable RGB lights and a microphone input if you're in the mood for karaoke. The built-in handles help you carry the speaker with you to every event, and its IPX4 rating for water resistance protects it in the event of some light exposure to water. With Sony's ClearAudio+ technology, you can enjoy clear sound with your favorite tunes wherever you listen.

Our Verdict

7.0 Music

The Sony XP500 is a satisfactory choice for music. Out-of-the-box, it reproduces a punchy bass that's ideal for pumping up the excitement at your next party. Bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop are full of thump and rumble, while voices and other instruments remain clear and present in the mix. It's suitable for listening to different music genres and is loud enough to fill up the space at your next event. Plus, its graphic EQ and presets give you lots of ability to switch up its sound to your liking, and you can customize its RGB lights to match your mood. However, as you turn up the volume, there's more compression and pumping artifacts that distort the sound.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Extended low-bass.
Cons
  • Large and heavy build.
  • Poor directivity.
6.2 Videos/Movies

The Sony XP500 is mediocre for watching videos and movies, though it isn't designed with this use in mind. You can stream audio to the speaker from a phone or a tablet over Bluetooth, and you can place your tablet or other devices on the groove on top of the speaker to hold them in place. The speaker has a bass-heavy sound that brings action-packed scenes to life. There are some lip-synching issues with Android devices, so it's only suitable for watching with an iOS device.

Pros
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Poor directivity.
  • Some latency issues with Android devices.
6.7 Podcasts

The Sony XP500 is a fair choice for podcasts. It's not designed for this use, but if you want to catch up on your favorite shows in between parties, it can get the job done. Dialogue is reproduced with clarity and accuracy right out of the box, so you don't have trouble following along with the hosts. It's loud enough to fill large rooms in your house with sound. However, it isn't the most portable, which isn't ideal if you want to bring the speaker with you from room to room as you listen.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Large and heavy build.
2.4 Voice Assistant

The Sony XP500 doesn't support voice assistants.

7.5 Outdoors

The Sony XP500 is good for outdoor use. It's a solid and sturdy speaker that's battery-powered, so it doesn't need to be plugged into an outlet if you take the party outside. It gets loud enough for outdoor spaces like backyards and patios, and its battery life will last through even your longer days outdoors. It's rated IPX4, so it can withstand some light rain, though it isn't meant to be submerged in water like pools or lakes. That said, it's pretty big and heavy, even with its built-in handles, so you might have some trouble carrying it from place to place.

Pros
  • Built-in handles.
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Large and heavy build.
  • 7.0 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 6.7 Podcasts
  • 2.4 Voice Assistant
  • 7.5 Outdoors
  1. Updated Dec 08, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Dec 06, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony SRS-XP500 is available in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this speaker, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sony SRS-XP500 is smaller than the Sony SRS-XP700, but it's still a pretty large and bulky party speaker that's designed to pack a punch at your next event. It's pretty similar to its big brother, although it doesn't get quite as loud, and its battery life isn't as long. Still, with many features oriented toward big events, it's a solid pick for bringing up the energy while you listen to your favorite tunes.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best party speakers, the loudest Bluetooth speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers for bass.

Sony SRS-XP700

The Sony SRS-XP700 is a larger alternative to the Sony SRS-XP500. Both models are very similar, and they look alike as well. However, the XP700 is bigger and heavier. It gets louder, which is a nice touch. That said, the XP500 still gets plenty loud for most uses, so some users may find it's a better value overall.

JBL PartyBox 110

The JBL PartyBox 110 is better for music than the Sony SRS-XP500. They're both party-oriented speakers with lots of flashy add-ons, such as customizable RGB lights and mic and guitar inputs. However, the JBL reproduces a touch more bass, and it gets louder overall.

JBL PartyBox 100

The JBL PartyBox 100 and the Sony SRS-XP500 are both party speakers that meet different needs. Both come with RGB lights as well as mic and guitar inputs for musicians. However, the JBL gets louder, and it has a better soundstage. It lacks a companion app, though, so you don't have much control over its sound like you do with the Sony. Sony's apps give you access to more party features, which is neat.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is better than the Sony SRS-XP500. They're both party-oriented speakers with lots of cool add-ons to amp up the energy at your next event; however, the JBL gets louder and brings more thump in the bass. Its battery life lasts a little longer, too, and its built-in telescopic handle and wheels make it easier to transport.

Sony SRS-XG500

The Sony SRS-XG500 and the Sony SRS-XP500 are both versatile speakers, but depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The XP500 is a big party speaker with flashing RGB lights as well as mic and guitar inputs for karaoke. It reproduces a touch more bass, too. However, it's not as portable as the XG500, and its battery life doesn't last as long. Plus, it doesn't get quite as loud. If you want a party speaker with all the bells and whistles, check out the XP500, but if you prefer a more portable option, the XG500 is a really solid pick.

JBL PartyBox 300

The Sony SRS-XP500 is a better choice than the JBL PartyBox 300. They're both large party speakers that pack plenty of punch in the bass to amp up the excitement at your next event, along with RGB lights and mic and guitar inputs for karaoke. While the JBL gets louder, the Sony brings more rumble in the bass range. Plus, the Sony speaker's companion app gives you access to lots more customization tools and party features, which is great if you want to change up its sound.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

The Sony XP500 is a smaller version of the Sony SRS-XP700. It's designed for use at parties and other events, with customizable RGB lights to help you set the mood and a groove on top to fit a mobile device or tablet while you listen. You can place the speaker either vertically or horizontally, and its built-in handles help you position it to your liking.

6.9
Design
Portability
Volume
2,800 inยณ (45,890 cmยณ)
Weight
24.3 lbs (11.0 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Sony XP500 may be smaller than the Sony SRS-XP700, but this speaker is still quite large and heavy. The built-in handles give you some ability to move it around, but it may be too heavy for some users to carry with only one hand.

7.0
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Water-resistant (IPx4)
Dust Resistance
No
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
No

The speaker has a solid build. It's mostly made of matte-finished plastic, and there's a metal grille in front to protect the drivers within. It feels sturdy, though the materials aren't the most premium. Still, it's rated IPX4 for water resistance, so it's certified to withstand some light exposure to water. However, the manufacturer warns against placing it anywhere that's subject to a lot of dust.

7.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The main controls are on top of the speaker, and they let you power the speaker on/off, activate Bluetooth pairing, play/pause your audio, control the volume, and turn the MegaBass feature on and off. You can double press the play/pause button to skip to the next track, or triple press it to go back. On the back of the speaker, there are a few more controls. The Party Connect button lets you pair the device with other compatible speakers. The Battery button provides audible feedback on the battery level, and the Light button controls the RGB lights. There are also dials to control the mic and guitar inputs, as well as a button to activate the guitar input.

Design
In The Box

  • Sony SRS-XP500 speaker
  • Polarized power cable
  • Manuals

Sound
7.4
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-1.17
Std. Err.
3.17 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
42.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
15.1 kHz

Right out of the box, this speaker offers a bass-heavy sound that brings out the thump and rumble in your favorite tracks. It's a great choice for listening to bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop, too, since you can feel the floor shake with the punchy bass. Voices and lead instruments remain clear and present in the mix, too, so it's still suitable for lots of other music genres. Plus, if you want a different sound, you have a graphic EQ available through the speaker's Custom preset.

You can listen to music with the speaker placed either horizontally or vertically. Our tests were performed with the speaker set horizontally, on its default settings, with the MegaBass preset and Sony's ClearAudio+ feature turned on. There isn't much of a difference in the sound performance when you place it vertically.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
5.9
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
7.73 dB
Stereo
Yes

The speaker's directivity isn't very impressive, meaning that its soundstage is perceived to be narrow and directional. Still, it can playback stereo content whether you position it horizontally or vertically, thanks to its built-in sensor that automatically senses its orientation.

6.9
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
92.6 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.28 dB

While it doesn't get as loud as the Sony SRS-XP700, it still doesn't have any trouble filling large and open spaces with sound. There's some compression when you push it to max volume, though, especially in the bass range.

Active Features
9.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
14.5 hrs
Charge Time
2.2 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC
Battery Powered
Yes

The manufacturer advertises this speaker to last 20 hours on a single charge. It comes with some power-saving features, so it shuts off automatically after fifteen minutes without audio to help conserve power, as well as a Stamina mode to suppress the speaker's power consumption. The manufacturer even says that charging it for ten minutes will give you 80 minutes of playtime, which is handy. Ultimately, the battery life will vary depending on the settings you useโ€”it lasted over fourteen hours in our tests with its default settings, which will still get you through your next late-night party with ease.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
7.9
Active Features
App
App Name
Sony Music Center
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Sony Music Center app is a handy tool that lets you control the speaker from your phone or tablet. You have access to many different features through the app, including three presets: MegaBass, Live Sound, and Custom. The Custom preset allows you to switch up the speaker's sound with a 3-band graphic EQ. Plus, you can control the RGB lights and pair the speaker with other compatible devices to amplify audio across your home. There's even a shortcut to the Fiestable app, which lets you control the party features of this speaker.

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

This speaker comes with multiple inputs. The AUX input lets you wire older devices for audio playback, and there's also a mic input and a mic/guitar input if you want to connect external instruments. There are two USB-A ports. Both let you charge external devices, but only one port can playback media files from a USB drive.

8.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
86 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
156 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

You can stream audio from your mobile devices to the speaker via Bluetooth, and you can connect it with up to two devices at once. With iOS devices, it has relatively low latency, making it suitable for watching videos and movies. However, you might notice some lip-synching issues with Android devices.

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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