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A modern boombox perfect for pool parties

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Last year’s big and bold boombox is back. Sony’s SRS-XG500X series is a large Bluetooth speaker with a carry handle that is reminiscent of the image of a radio-cassette stereo in the 80’s and 90’s. At first glance, this speaker is impressive for its size, but if you look closely, its features are just as remarkable. On top of that, the boom’s boasting sound is balanced and manages a day at the pool or beach.

The SRS-XG500 X-series weighs 12 pounds, but its large handle makes it easy to carry.Tyler Hayes

Sony has narrowed down the right audience for this product, with a retail price of $ 450 and a large size not far from the classic 48-quart Coleman cooler. The best candidates for the SRS-XG500 are those who host or at least attend a significant number of parties. Other types of people who might appreciate this speaker are musicians. On the back is a 1/4 inch input that can handle musical instruments and microphones. Being able to double as an amplifier for musicians still results in a small audience, but at least it extends the usefulness of the speakers.

How big is the SRS-XG500?

This speaker is not a retrofit. When you drive to a weekend party, you’ll need a dedicated space on the car’s seat or trunk. Do you use trains or public transportation? It’s not a backpack speaker, it weighs just over 12 pounds.

The SRS-XG500 is big, but its weight is not exorbitant to carry around. Inside, there are two 4.3-inch woofers and two 0.98-inch tweeters. It really produces a lot of low-end bass and volume due to its size.

The speakers are on the sand, just like on the water, dustproof and IP66 rated.Tyler Hayes

There are lights on both sides of the speaker to add an atmosphere when the day fades in at night. The front is lined with rubber buttons to control volume and playback without reaching for your phone. On the back is a control panel covered with a rubber flap, probably to keep out water. It includes two USB-A ports for recharging your phone or tablet. The speaker itself can drive audio for 30 hours, so it may have a bit of battery life for other devices.

The back panel is covered with a rubber flap. In addition to other controls, it has two USB-A ports for charging other devices, a 1/4 inch input for a guitar or microphone, and a 1/8 inch aux input for a wired music source.Tyler Hayes

In my opinion, one of the best features is also on the back. It contains a 1/4 inch input made for a guitar or microphone. It can be used as an amplifier as well as streaming music from speakers from mobile phones.

Speaker and guitar amp combo

If you imagine enough medium-sized gatherings to justify this rugged speaker, you can also imagine why you need to connect a microphone to make the announcement. Also, those who have an intimate show may want to amplify it a bit. This speaker doesn’t seem to be suitable for street performers as it has only one instrument input. Still, it’s much more interesting than just a Bluetooth speaker because it’s compatible with microphones.

“Scaled icy” boombox sound of 21 pilots

I’m pairing with a specific music album while listening to new speakers and headphones. In this case, I used the new release “Scaled and Icy” from Twenty One Pilots. Duo music varies from heavy rock to light pop and is a good test case here. This new release replays both sides of the band’s past discography, but is a great support for the refreshing sound of a new synth with a mix of many basses.

The rubber strips on the front buttons allow you to control your music without touching your phone.Tyler Hayes

The low end of the speaker is really the story here, and with the dedicated Megabass button, songs such as “Shy Away” and “The Outside” change from synthesizer-led to low-end beat introductions. It’s a welcome sound for the song, given that the bass doesn’t drown the vocals. At 50% of the volume of the SRS-XG500, “Mulberry Street” drums hard enough to fill a large, high-ceilinged living room. The reverberant low end made one of my favorite tracks on the album even easier to dance.

Pressing the bass in Megabass mode is useful for external performance. The SRS-XG500 produces a fairly uniform sound with bass, even without a wall around it, instead of instantly disappearing like a small Bluetooth speaker. One of the songs that acoustically contrasts with the rest of the collection, “No Chances,” will not lose its influence outside the house, probably thanks to its dual sub-speakers.

Both “Good Day” and “Bounce Man” retreat from the heaviest feel to some of the most quirky tracks on “Scaled and Icy.” Outside the backyard, those songs lose their impact and quiver a bit when Megabass isn’t active. When turned on, those songs are much more fulfilling and can really shine.

Bluetooth speakers like boombox are perfect for outdoor use with mega bass sound settings.Tyler Hayes

I was very impressed with the external performance of this speaker. It’s a tough environment for speakers, but it’s a mission. Raising the volume to 90% did not blur or peak the speakers. It can fill a small suburban backyard and will be large enough to annoy a moody neighbor. The volume level was sufficient for such personal use. To take it to the next level, the SRS-XG500 can be linked with 99 other Sony speakers in party connect mode. I haven’t had the opportunity to test this, but I welcome it in the future.

Need to buy SRS-XG500?

Sony SRS-XG500 Bluetooth Speakers are easy to sell and difficult to sell. On the one hand, it can provide enough sound for most discreet outdoor gatherings. It is element tolerant and incorporates many great features such as mic and guitar inputs.

On the one hand, it’s big enough that you may not be able to bring it where you want it. It’s also expensive enough to price it from the area of ​​impulse buying. Still, if you need a loud, balanced outdoor sound, that’s what you get.

Purchased at Amazon and B & H Photo.

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