Behind the cloth grille, dual full-range drivers, aided by passive bass radiators on both ends of the speaker, deliver a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. The drivers are also lit up by LEDs and resemble glowing eyes from behind the grille. Rubber feet on the bottom panel keep the 2.4-pound speaker stable on flat surfaces.
A rubber strip on the top panel houses the controls, with buttons for power, Bluetooth, play/pause (which also answers/ends phone calls), minus/plus for volume, and Live, which adds an unnecessary spatial effect to the audio. This area is also an NFC pairing zone and houses status LEDs for pairing mode, battery life, and whether Stamina mode is activated, which is a low-power mode that preserves battery life by essentially eliminating bass response. It’s not great for listening to music but it can be helpful when trying to save battery life and using the speaker for calls or podcasts. Buy the Sony XB33 EXTRA BASS™ Portable BLUETOOTH® Speaker Best price online from The Clickstore,Nairobi
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the SRS-XB33 delivers notable low-frequency thump for a speaker this size. At moderate volumes, it really seems to be pumping out some deep lows, while at higher volumes, the bass depth gets thinned out somewhat by the DSP (digital signal processing), but not to an extreme extent. At maxed-out volume levels, there’s no distortion, and still a very healthy sense of bass depth.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the SRS-XB33’s general sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on larger, bass-forward systems, but here, they find a nice balance between robust, full bass depth and not overdoing it. Callahan’s baritone vocals are delivered with plenty of added low-mid richness—thankfully, there’s a solid high-mid and high-frequency presence to keep things clear and defined. The acoustic strums and higher-range percussive hits are delivered with plenty of high-frequency presence, as well. Generally speaking, this is a sculpted, scooped sound signature, with lots of rich bass depth and crisp high-frequency contour, but the midrange takes a bit of a vacation. This can be remedied to a degree with the app’s EQ.