Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

Sony SRS-XV500 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 17, 2024 at 03:22 pm
Sony SRS-XV500 Picture
7.0
Music
6.3
Videos/Movies
7.0
Podcasts
2.4
Voice Assistant
7.4
Outdoors

The Sony SRS-XV500 is a wireless party speaker with built-in RGB lights and an advertised 25 hours of continuous battery life. As if that's not enough to keep the party going all night, it also features two instrument inputs so you can plug in a mic or even a guitar, as well as karaoke-centric controls like key transposition, echo, and volume knobs for each input. It promises a loud, room-filling sound with robust EQ customization options and a MEGA BASS button if you need to crank the bass up to the next level.

Our Verdict

7.0 Music

The Sony XV500 is decent for music. With the MEGA BASS feature enabled, it has a bass-heavy sound that brings plenty of boom and rumble to kicks and low bass lines. It does a solid job of reproducing mid and treble frequencies, too, so vocals and lead instruments reproduce clearly and accurately. That said, there are plenty of options to adjust the sound, with a 3-band EQ and presets available via the companion app. This speaker can get loud enough to fill up reasonably large rooms, too, though there's some noticeable compression at max volume. However, its directivity isn't the best, so the sound won't be consistent across all angles. It's worth noting that this speaker excels for karaoke use, though, due to features like dedicated mic inputs and channel mixing, as well as a key transposition function.

Pros
  • Dedicated karaoke and live performance controls.
  • Decently well-built and IPX4 certified.
Cons
  • Poor directivity.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
6.3 Videos/Movies

The Sony XV500 is okay for videos and movies. It's loud enough to fill your living room with sound, and its bass-heavy sound lends plenty of excitement to cinematic sequences in movies. It also has low audiovisual synchronization error with Android devices, which is even lower with iOS devices. As a result, you won't experience many lip-synching errors between your audio and video. Unfortunately, its poor directivity means that audio delivery will vary according to where you're positioned relative to the speaker. If you choose to crank the volume, you'll also hear a fair amount of compression and pumping artifacts.

Pros
  • Decently well-built and IPX4 certified.
  • Low AV synchronization error over Bluetooth.
Cons
  • Poor directivity.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
7.0 Podcasts

The Sony XV500 is satisfactory for podcasts. It can get pretty loud, though, and although there's some compression at max volume, it's mainly concentrated in the bass range, which is unlikely to affect podcast audio. Even with the MEGA BASS feature enabled, it does a good job reproducing mid and high frequencies, making speech clear and detailed. While it's slightly heavy, the attached carrying handles make it easy to carry from room to room, so you can bring your favorite podcasts with you. Unfortunately, its directivity is poor, so audio won't sound consistent across all listening angles.

Pros
  • Long continuous battery life.
  • Decently well-built and IPX4 certified.
Cons
  • Poor directivity.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
2.4 Voice Assistant

The Sony XV500 has no voice assistant capabilities.

7.4 Outdoors

The Sony XV500 is decent for outdoor use. It's reasonably well-built, with an IPX4 rating that helps protect it against water splashes. It has a bass-heavy sound profile that's well suited for your next outdoor party, and it has a long battery life so you can keep cranking out the tunes all night. It's also portable enough to be a mobile party solution and gets loud enough for most occasions, though there's some noticeable bass-range compression when you approach max volume. It's let down by its poor directivity, so audio won't sound the same across all listening angles.

Pros
  • Long continuous battery life.
  • Decently well-built and IPX4 certified.
Cons
  • Poor directivity.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
  • 7.0 Music
  • 6.3 Videos/Movies
  • 7.0 Podcasts
  • 2.4 Voice Assistant
  • 7.4 Outdoors
  1. Updated Apr 17, 2024: Review published.
  2. Updated Apr 10, 2024: Early access published.
  3. Updated Mar 19, 2024: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Mar 19, 2024: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Mar 07, 2024: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony XV500 comes in one color variant: Black. You can see our unit's label here. If you encounter another variant of this speaker, please let us know in the comments, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sony XV500 is a wireless, battery-powered party speaker with a customizable sound and RGB lighting. It's a continuation of the previous party speakers released by this brand, including the Sony SRS-XP500 and the Sony SRS-XP700. It has a similar feature set to the XP500, and the two perform similarly for most usages, but the XV500 has notably lower audiovisual synchronization error. Those who need even more volume, with less compression at max volume, will want to look into the more powerful Sony SRS-XP700. That said, around the Sony XV500's price point, the popular JBL PartyBox 310 still delivers the loudest, cleanest sound, although it performs very similarly in other respects.

Check out our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers for parties, the best Bluetooth speakers for bass, and the best outdoor speakers.

JBL PartyBox 310

The Sony SRS-XV500 and the JBL PartyBox 310 are both portable party speakers with built-in RGB lights. They boast very similar feature sets, with mic inputs and karaoke-specific controls, like echo. The Sony features a key transposition function, giving it a slight edge for karaoke. However, the JBL has a more balanced sound profile, and it can get louder, with less compression present as you approach max volume. It also has a slightly longer battery life, which may be useful if you plan on throwing an all-night rager.

Sony SRS-XP500

The Sony SRS-XP500 and the Sony SRS-XV500 are extremely similar portable speakers. They're both decently well-built, have balanced sound profiles, and can get similarly loud, although there's less compression at max volume for the XP500. They also have similar continuous battery life lengths and even share the same companion app. The XV500 has lower AV synchronization error with both iOS and Android devices, so it's a better choice for watching video content.

Sony SRS-XP700

The Sony SRS-XP700 is effectively the Sony SRS-XV500's louder, less portable cousin. Both speakers have a similar build quality and feature RGB lighting and a powerful, bass-heavy sound that's well-suited for parties and outdoor gatherings. The XP700 gets louder, with less compression at max volume. It also has better directivity, so audio will sound more consistent across all angles. However, these audio improvements come at the cost of a much heavier design that's tougher to move around, even when using the built-in carrying handles.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM and the Sony SRS-XV500 are both portable Bluetooth speakers with a room-filling sound. The Ultimate Ears is smaller and lighter but lacks RGB lighting as it's not as party-oriented as the Sony. Beyond this, both speakers are decently well-built, feature Bluetooth multi-device connectivity, and have sound profiles that are customizable via the graphic EQ and presets in their respective companion apps. Despite its smaller size, the Ultimate Ears can get louder with less compression present at max volume, and it has better directivity, so audio sounds more consistent from different angles. If you're okay with lugging around a heavier speaker, the Sony features a more prominent bass response when using its MEGA BASS feature.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

The Sony XV500 has a similar appearance to some of Sony's other party-oriented speakers, like the Sony SRS-XP500. It's quite large and can be positioned both vertically and horizontally, with built-in handles on either end for ease of transport. There are also RGB lights behind the handle that reflect off the body for a colorful light show. These are customizable via the Sony Music Center and Fiestable apps, so you can tailor the light show to the occasion. It's only available in the 'Black' colorway.

7.3
Design
Portability
Volume
2,044 inยณ (33,488 cmยณ)
Weight
24.1 lbs (11.0 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is a little smaller than the Sony SRS-XP500, although it weighs a similar amount. While it's a little hefty, carrying it around with one hand is still possible. You can see how much space it takes up when it's oriented horizontally here.

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

The build quality is decent. The overall construction feels solid, with a matte finish on the body that complements the metallic grilles that cover the drivers. There are rubber feet on both the bottom of the speaker and on the right side, ensuring a degree of stability no matter how you orient it. The built-in carrying handles on adjacent sides make the speaker less unwieldy to pick up and set down. There's even a rubber port cover on the rear that'll protect the inputs from damage. It's certified IPX4 for water resistance and will withstand water splashes. However, the manufacturer specifically advises avoiding dusty areas, implying that this speaker is more susceptible to damage from dust.

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

This speaker has a decently intuitive control scheme that allows you to input some basic functions via the physical controls. The buttons are tactile and easy to use, and the top panel lights up when controls are engaged. There are buttons to toggle MEGA BASS mode and light controls and a button for Bluetooth pairing. These controls are also backlit to indicate when they're engaged. While this speaker has no Party Connect button to create a stereo pair with another compatible Sony speaker, you can initiate this function through the Sony Music Center app. A new Key Control function on the back panel lets you pitch the audio up or down so you can sing your favorite karaoke tunes in a range that suits your voice. This button is flanked by indicators for guitar input and echo, the latter of which you can toggle for different levels of echo. There are also dials so you can adjust the respective levels of the two 1/4" inputs.

'Play' button:

  • Single tap: Plays audio.
  • Double tap: Skips to next track.
  • Triple tap: Skips back a track.

'MEGA BASS' button:

  • Single tap: Toggles MEGA BASS feature.
  • Long press: Enters Stamina mode, which deactivates lights and sound effects to preserve the battery life.

Design
In The Box

  • Sony SRS-XV500 speaker
  • Polarized AC power cable
  • Reference and Quick Start guide

Sound
7.5
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-1.08
Std. Err.
2.85 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
43.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
16.7 kHz

This speaker has a bass-forward sound that ensures kicks and basslines shake the floor when playing back club tracks or hip-hop anthems. However, it's still relatively balanced across the entire frequency range, so vocals and lead instruments are reproduced clearly and with detail. You can orient the speaker vertically or horizontally, but we tested it while placed vertically. We also had the MEGA BASS and Sony ClearAudio+ functions engaged when testing. ClearAudio+ is a proprietary Sony technology that enhances audio playback by analyzing your audio and optimizing the speaker's output based on the characteristics of the song. If you feel like mixing up the default sound, there are a range of EQ presets you can choose from in the companion app, though you'll have to switch off the MEGA BASS and ClearAudio+ functions to use them. We also found that the speaker's output was increased by around 3dB when connected to an outlet as opposed to running off its battery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
5.4
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
8.50 dB
Stereo
Yes

This speaker can play stereo content without downmixing to mono and has a built-in sensor that can detect its orientation and adjust accordingly. Its directivity is disappointing due to its mostly unidirectional design, so audio won't sound consistent across different listening angles. As a result, you can perceive this speaker's soundstage as quite narrow.

6.8
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
96.6 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.39 dB

This speaker has an okay dynamics performance. While it can get louder than the Sony SRS-XP500, there's quite a bit of compression present at max volume, so the audio output won't be particularly clear, and some pumping artifacts will be present, especially in the bass range.

Active Features
9.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
13.7 hrs
Charge Time
2.1 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC
Battery Powered
Yes

The Sony XV500's battery life performance is outstanding. The manufacturer advertises 25 hours of playback, and although we couldn't achieve this in testing, we still measured a very respectable time of just under 14 hours. We don't know the exact conditions under which Sony tested this speaker's battery life. However, plenty of factors can affect battery life, including using the RGB lights or MEGA BASS function and your volume levels. We performed our tests at volume level 16 (80 dB) with the MEGA BASS setting enabled and lights disabled. This speaker also has several features to help conserve battery life. An auto-off feature shuts the speaker off after 15 minutes without playback. There's also Stamina mode, which shuts off lights and non-essential sound features to get the most out of the battery.

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 useful for adjusting your speaker's controls on the fly. You can access various functions, including battery percentage, stereo pairing, USB controls (playing/pausing media connected to the USB input), as well as access to custom 3-band EQ (although you need to turn off Clearaudio+ and MEGA BASS for this). There are also a few EQ presets to cycle through, and you can change the settings for the RGB lights. You can also download the Fiestable app, which gives you control over this speaker's party features. You can see a video of how the app works here.

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

The Sony XV500 comes with a range of inputs. There's a USB input that you can use to insert a thumb drive or to charge other USB devices. There's also an aux input to connect devices via a wired connection. Finally, there are two 1/4" inputs: the first lets you connect a microphone, while the second doubles as a guitar input.

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

The Sony XV500 has outstanding Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect up to two devices via Bluetooth simultaneously using the default SBC codec. However, this feature is disabled when you enable the Party Connect feature in the companion app. Audiovisual synchronization error with iOS devices is very low, so you can watch video content without worrying about the lag between your visuals and the audio. However, AV synchronization error is slightly higher with Android devices but still falls within good levels, so it's unlikely you'll experience significant lip-synch issues.

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