Gadgets

Sony Extra Bass Takes Aim At Dance Music Fans

Did you know that Australia has the highest number of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival goers in the region? That’s not a “per capita” number. With 45,000 people heading to Sterosonic alone every year, we beat India and Korea for the most active EDM fans.

Sony’s Extra Bass range is aimed squarely at this market, taking into consideration the specific requirements of music with a bit of rumble in the lower end.

Image: Sony

“In the last Triple J Top 100, about a third in the top 20 are what you can consider EDM. Looking back 10 years ago, it was more rock — so we think we are launching this range at the right time,” a spokesperson for Sony told Gizmodo.

“Music is becoming lower, it’s all about the bass line. Music these days is mastered to be louder, so that kind of technology change leads us to launching products like this, that are designed to play music louder. If you’re into jazz, easy listening, walk away — this is not for you.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, having attempted to play my usual playlist of Foo Fighters and Weezer, this is a very specific range. EDM or get out, basically. Anything else sounds muddy, or tinny.

It’s not only about lowest of low sounds Sony is looking to perfect, but the ones a bit higher up the scale. “A type of bass that’s nice and tight at the 100hz range,” Sony says. “If you go too low it sounds a bit soft and loose. All this Extra Bass gear is tuned just for that.”

Here are the details we have on the range:

GTK-XB7 One Box High Power Audio System ($549)

The XB7 is designed to turn “nights at home into a premium clubbing atmosphere”, with the 16cm woofers looking after that low frequency sound. The speaker utilises Digital Signal Processing (DSP) that processes frequencies according to the source, while maintaining audio quality. The result is those punchy and deep bass notes Sony is aiming to hit.

You can position the XB7 vertically or on its side, and there’s a Speaker Add function that allows you to hook up a second XB7 unit via Bluetooth. To get your music to play, just connect via Bluetooth, tap with an NFC enabled device, or connect via the audio input. There’s a USB input that lets you charge your phone while it plays, too.

It’s not just about the sound with this speaker — you’ve got colour changing 3-way line lights, strobe flashes and speaker light effects that interact with the music. There’s also a Sony SongPal app to add “cool DJ-style effects”.

Specs GTX-XB7
Bluetooth Version 3.0 (A2DP, AVRCP)
NFC Yes
Communication Range 10m
Supported Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC
USB Yes (Play and Charge)
Audio In Yes (RCA)
Bass Boost Function EXTRA BASS
Sound Enhancement DSEE (Auto)
Party Chain Yes
Speaker Add Function Yes
Clear Audio + Yes
Light Speaker Light/Line Light/Strobe Flash
Light Mode 12 Modes
SongPal Yes
Dimensions Approx. 326mm x 650mm x 340mm
Weight Approx. 12kg
Colours Black/Blue/Orange Red

SRS-XB2 ($169) And SRS-XB3 ($249) Portable Wireless Speakers

“The smaller SRS-XB2’s powerful sound belies the eyes,” Sony says. Its palm-sized design weighs just 480g but encompasses a newly developed 42mm full range speaker unit. Its extra strong magnets deliver a pure bass sound and the lightweight diaphragm improves sound pressure levels. The XB2 also houses Sony’s DSP and passive radiator which can deliver higher acoustic pressure and “punchier bass notes than ever heard in a compact size”.

A four hours recharge of the battery provides approximately 12 hours of continuous wireless use. NFC and Bluetooth are how you’ll get your tunes on these speakers.

Both wireless speakers have multiple usage options. The XB3 can be placed horizontally or vertically depending on your own style or space limitations. Both the XB2 and XB3 enable you to wirelessly add two speakers together using the ‘Speaker Add” function. Double mode will play music back through two speakers simultaneously and Stereo mode will play the music in stereo.

The speakers are water resistant — I’ve been testing mine out in the shower.

Specs SRS-XB2/SRS-XB3
Speaker Type 2ch speakers + 1 passive radiator/2ch speakers + 2 passive radiators
Speaker Size Approx 42mm diameter/48mm diameter
Sound Modes EXTRA BASS ON/OFF
Bluetooth Version 3.0 (A2DP, AVRCP)
Communication Range 10m
Supported Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC
NFC Yes
Battery Life Maximum 12 hours/Maximum 24 hours
Dimensions Approx. 191mm x 62mm x 65mm/211mm x 80mm x 83mm
Weight Approx. 480g/930g
Colours Black, Blue, Orange, Green, Light Green, Khaki Yellow/Black, Blue, Orange, Green, Light Green, Khaki Brown
Supplied Accessories USB power adaptor, Micro USB cable/AC power adaptor

MDR-XB650BT Headphones ($279.95)

MDR-XB650BT is a Bluetooth compatible, compact addition to the existing EXTRA BASS series of Sony headphones. With a 30mm driver exclusive to this range, together with an incorporated bass booster structure and dedicated EXTRA BASS diaphragm, the headphones “achieve highly realistic notes that precisely carves out the rhythm and groove of rich bass,” Sony says.

Like the rest of the range, they feature one-touch Bluetooth connection and music playback via NFC. The MDR-XB650BT maintains audio quality whist wireless due to compatibility with AAC and aptX Bluetooth codecs.

“The headphones have been designed specifically to enhance the playback for deep bass,” says Sony. “Designed with an increased contact surface area, they achieve a stable fit that can withstand the punchy and deep bass notes.”

They can swivel around to fold flat, and have 30 hours battery life per recharge — 300 on standby.

Specs MDR-XB650BT Bluetooth Headphones
Driver Unit/Type 30mm, Closed, Dynamic
Frequency Response 20Hz-20,000Hz
Impedance 24ohms
Sensitivity 95dB/mW
Volume Control Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
NFC Yes
Bluetooth Version 4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP)
Supported Audio Formats SBC, AAC, aptX
Weight Approx. 190g
Batteries DC3.7V: Built-in Li-ion rechargeable
Battery Charging Time Approx. 4 hours (full charge)
Battery Charging Method USB
Battery Life Music playback/communication time: Max 30 hours, Standy: 300 hours
Colours Black, Blue, Orange Red
Supplied Accessories 0.5m microUSB Cable

The whole range will be available in Australia from 1 April.


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