Technophile

A 100 ways to throw a party

Mala Bharghava | Updated on: Jun 27, 2018
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Sony’s SRS-XB21 is a small Bluetooth speaker, but you can hook up a bunch of them for some sound and light

Sony’s Extra Bass line of speakers could well have been made just for India. It’s right here that people like their music to pack a punch and that’s exactly what the Extra Bass speakers deliver.

Among them, the little SRS-XB21 is a small wireless speaker that is smaller than the size of a box of tissues. It’s neither round nor rectangular, but rather an interesting mix of both. On the front, it’s flat while the rest of the body is somewhat cylindrical. Underneath, small rubber nubs stop the gadget from rolling off should it have a mind to.

This little speaker is made of synthetic material but is well-built, reassuringly heavy but also portable and in fact essentially a to-go speaker, unless you’re thinking of going to a bring-your-own-speaker party and plan to hook a whole collection of them up. There is in fact a button to do exactly that among the speaker’s minimalist controls. You can combine a 100 such speakers and produce quite a noise with them playing together. The problem will be, of course, that these are going to run out of battery before a long party does because they run on rechargeable batteries that, at loud volumes, will definitely not make it for half a night. The idea of daisy-chaining a lot of XB21 speakers is nevertheless quite an interesting one because each speaker has a rim of pulsing light that syncs with the music. The colours match the colour of the speaker rather than cycling through different shades, but when there are many together, they can really set the party mood. If you’re not in the mood for a party, the SRS XB21 is nice for a casual visit to the pool or beach — assuming you’re lucky enough to have an available pool or beach — and it’s splash proof and rugged enough to weather that. The charging cable fits in under a flap, which one must close later.

The sound quality is loud and solid for the size of the speaker, but not for those who want their music carefully balanced and finessed. Bass is the agenda but the sound is otherwise a bit characterless and unexciting. It’s also a little expensive for what it offers.

Price: ₹8,990

Pros: Loud for its size, bassy, splash-proof and rugged, good size for travel

Cons: Poor battery life, impractical party features, lights don’t change colours

Published on June 27, 2018

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