Sony has justifiably earned its place at the forefront of the tech industry, a position it has maintained for decades. Due to their global renown, it should come as no surprise that their portable speakers are some of the best on the market today.
To give you a better idea of which Sony mobile music player offers the best overall package, we will be comparing these three speakers on a number of different factors. They will be judged on sound quality, durability, battery life, and overall design along with any features each product comes with.
If you are looking for a product that is going to give you a good amount of battery life and admirable durability, the XG500 is right up your alley. With up to thirty hours of battery life, this beast offers three hours of use for every ten minutes of charge. On top of its impressive battery, you can rest assured that with an IP rating of 66 this product is comfortably resistant to water and dust. It’s also the lightest product by a mile so it won’t weigh you down terribly if you have to lug it around.
If you want a budgeted speaker with an admirable amount of quality in its sound clarity and volume, the XP500 is going to be the best bang for your buck. This product weighs in at 24.6 pounds and is going to give you a better overall sound quality than the XG500 while being about fifty dollars cheaper overall. If you do want this product, I’d recommend only purchasing it if you planned to have it plugged in, as the max volume drops considerably when it is run off its battery.
Finally, for the audiophiles reading, you are going to want to drop a dime on the impressive XP700. This thing is bulky and hefty to carry at 37 pounds, but it offers an impressive 25 hours of battery life, the best sound quality in the trio of speakers overall, and is unique in its omnidirectional sound output. You pay a formidable price that approaches 400 USD for this product, but when you look under the hood it is easy to understand why.
All three products come with Clear Audio +, DSEE, and Live Sound music modes that you can switch to. The audio clarity of all three of these products is proficient enough, though the smaller products really drop off at the higher volumes as far as decibel level is concerned. To make a complicated comparison simple, the heavier these products are the better their sound quality will be due to what’s under the hood of these speakers.
XG500 is naturally going to fall a bit behind when you look at these devices as it simply isn’t big enough to compete with its more formidable siblings. It does offer two 2.5 cm front tweeters as well as two woofers sitting at 11 cm each, but these are comfortably outmatched when you look at the other two products.
The XP700 naturally is going to outperform the smaller XP500 due to its larger and more numerous tweeters (three 6 cm front tweeters, one 5 cm rear tweeter) and slightly larger 17 cm woofers. The XP500 offers two 5 cm front tweeters and two 14 cm woofers and lacks the omnidirectional abilities of the upgrade XP700. On top of this, the max volume of the XP700 outperforms the smaller product by a wide margin.
Verdict – The XP700 is without question the superior product in terms of audio clarity and sound output with the XP500 a bit behind it.
When considering the design and long-term toughness of each product I am going to judge them on what they are attempting to be — portable speakers. So while someone using the XP700 as a miniature PA system might prefer its bulk, the unfortunate camper forced to lug this beast around probably won’t.
Speaking of the XP700, this product is just cumbersome, plain and simple. It’s an impressive piece of equipment but when you realize it is sitting at 37.25 lbs and occupying 14.44 x 12.32 x 27.28 inches of space, you start to realize that it may not be for everyone. With that said, I appreciate that it at least punches in at an IP4 rating so you don’t have to worry about sudden inclement weather. I also really enjoy the ability to lay it both horizontally and vertically which gives you more options in terms of where you can place it.
The XP500 is a much more efficient option by comparison that weighs a more reasonable 24 pounds and measures out to be 11.61 x 10.83 x 22.52 inches overall. While better than its bloated brother, this speaker is still going to definitely be felt in transit. This is especially true if you have to load it with things like camping supplies, fishing equipment, sports bags, or whatever your interests may be. It comes with an IP4 rating and offers vertical and horizontal placement capability.
The XG500 is definitely the superior product when it comes to design and durability and it really isn’t even close. The reasonable dimensions of 12 lbs and 18.11 x 10.07 x 8.46 inches make this the ideal choice for those looking to take a speaker with them into the elements. If the lightweight and efficient design aren’t enough, this product boasts an IP66 rating which really nails the point home that the XG500 was built to survive most environments without issue. All three products come with a handle, though the one made for the XG500 feels the most purposeful.
Verdict – The XG500 is the obvious winner with a design that reflects the purpose of what portable speakers are designed for. While the other two products have a superior sound design, this very literally weighs them down in terms of mobility.
All three products have pretty impressive battery lives, especially when compared to a number of Sony’s competitors. At the end of the day, regardless of which product comes out on top in this category, you could do a lot worse than any of these Sony speakers. All estimated charge times and battery life are taken directly from Sony’s own technical specifications, your personal mileage may vary.
All speakers will drain a battery faster at higher volumes, so bear in mind that the hours listed are not accurate to those looking for a misdemeanor charge due to disturbing the peace.
It feels like we are picking on the XP500 a bit and this category won’t do anything to alleviate that assumption. While it does offer a battery life of 20 hours, the volume drastically drops when this product is without an actual outlet to power it. To make things worse, the charge time of the XP500 is significantly slower than both the XP700 and the XG500 if Sony is to be believed. So while the battery life is good, most critics agree this product should stay plugged in to get the most out of it in terms of the decibel level.
The XP700 offers a ridiculous 25 hours of battery life and a charge time of ten minutes for 3 hours of playback. It should also be noted that the volume this can play at will be notably higher than the other two. So while it does fall behind the XG500 by about five hours of battery life, you will be able to play music much louder. I have no real complaints about this product in terms of its battery, Sony has set a standard for their portable speakers’ ability to remain charged.
The XG500 yet again shines at the forefront with a battery life of 30 hours which feels almost unbelievable. This is on top of the fact that it offers 3 hours of playback for every ten minutes of charge. You will have to consider that the volume of this product will not meet the same volume level as the XP700 or XP500, however.
Verdict – The XG500 edges it out in terms of strictly battery life. If you want something that is going to last the night while also putting out more volume, the XP700 might be more your speed, though.
To offer a better picture of all three of these products I’m going to briefly go over what all three offer. When you purchase any of these products you will be getting X-balanced speakers with three different sound modes (Clear Audio +, DSEE, and Live Sound), party connect compatibility (multiple speakers used simultaneously), Mega Bass, Bluetooth support, and a battery care mode. All products can be used with the Sony mobile app as well as the Fiestable app.
The XG500 lacks the ability to be placed vertically unlike the XP500 and XP700. Though what is likely to be the most unique feature listed is the XP700’s omnidirectional sound output or “Omnidirectional Party Sound”. This creates a sound that can be heard throughout the room and not just in the direction the speaker is facing.
Verdict – XP700 for its ability to output sound in every direction, although that really is about it.
To conclusively say one of these speakers is superior to the other might be missing the point a bit. All three offer different advantages depending on what you are looking for and it really comes down to what you want out of your portable speaker.
The XG500 is a great personal speaker that won’t deteriorate with repeated outdoor adventures. This is a durable, efficiently designed speaker that can play music for dozens of hours without breaking a sweat. The biggest weakness of this speaker is its inability to compete with the other products in terms of sound quality and volume, though this is likely because of its much smaller design.
The XP500 is far and away the cheapest choice and offers a solid battery life and really pleasant audio clarity, though the volume is gonna suffer when it is using battery power. I’d recommend this speaker for people who don’t mind keeping it plugged in more often than not and don’t want close to forty pounds of “portability” to contend with.
The XP700 is a behemoth of a “portable” speaker that hardly seems to fit the title. Outside of that, however, it is a brilliantly made product that puts out solid volume, great crisp sound and does so for about 25 hours depending on your volume. It has a steep price tag of nearly 400 US dollars, but I feel that this is justified considering all that it has to offer.