We have previously tested the refined speakers by Sony with lighting effects in their ExtraBass-series. The travel-friendly Sony SRSXB30, Sony Xb60 Black Friday Deals 2021 and the party speaker Sony GTKXB5 last year, which unfortunately lacked power. The Sony GTK XB60 has this problem fixed. It can last up to 14 hours when set at reasonable levels and the lighting effects are off. It only lasts three hours at maximum volume, with additional bass and lamps. It is comparable to the other results in the test. The carrying handles aren’t very comfortable.
The handles are fine if you only need to move the speaker but they can be uncomfortable if you intend on carrying it around for long periods of time. The disco lights are the most prominent. They pulse and flash to the music and can be adjusted by music genre. You can also hook up a microphone to shout at the guests if you want to become a DJ. You can connect the speakers in either a stereo pair, or in party mode with as many as 10 compatible models. You can connect wirelessly or by cable. You can also adjust the audio settings to suit different musical styles and add a bass amp. The app is difficult to use because all of these features pack the device’s top with buttons. You can also control the lighting with an additional DJ-app.
We expected more from the XB60, given its extrabass-series status and the large sub-woofers. You might think that the sound pressure would cause you to fall backwards, causing the roof to collapse. In reality, XB60 has a smaller footprint than Braven XXL and JBL Boombox. You can use it for many different music types, provided you’re willing to adjust the Bassboost, EQ and ClearAudio settings. You might find dance music a bit too tame and your finely tuned music a little enclosed if you don’t.
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ConclusionWe test our fair share of small, portable Bluetooth speakers, but that doesn’t mean speakers need to be small in order to be portable. Case in point: the $249.99 Sony GTK-XB60, an imposing structure with built-in LED lights that almost looks more like a gaming PC than a speaker. The GTK-XB60 is a great choice for audio purists who want a true sound signature. However, if you are looking for a larger speaker that can pump up pop, electronic and rock music, the GTK-60 will not disappoint.
We don’t joke when we say that the GTK-XB60 looks big. It measures 21.8 x 10.4 x 10.7 inches (HWD), and weighs 17.7 lbs. It is battery-powered but it does not make it waterproof or rugged enough to be used outdoors. The blue or black plastic contour is what many find to be a problem. It looks almost like a large cooler’s plastic lid. When the speaker is upright, it can be placed on its side or upright. The control panel is located on the top.
The GTK-XB60’s front panel speaker grille houses dual 2-inch tweeters, and dual 5.2-inch speakers. They produce a total of 30 watts (15 watts each channel) Porting allows for better driver movement. The port is located on rear panel. A Party Chain button can be found on the back panel. This button works with the other Party Chain buttons if your speaker acts as the “host”. This button bloat is something most Bluetooth speakers can avoid. Bluetooth speakers can be paired and chained together using an app.
Surprisingly you can make calls through the GTKXB60. This makes it one of our largest speakers to have this feature. The mic has mediocre understanding. We were able to understand all the words we recorded using Voice Memos on an iPhone 6s. However, the audio was distorted and fuzzy as is common with Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker microphones.
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Sony claims that it can last 14 hours, but this is only if the LED lights are off and the volume is low. It drops to five hours at maximum volume when the Stamina button is engaged. The speaker will play for 3.5 hours at maximum volume, which is much more than you would expect from a speaker of this size. The speaker can be carried around, but it is recommended to keep it plugged in at an outlet if you want loud volume and a light show.
Performance The GTK-XB60 can deliver serious power even without the Extra Bass button disabled. It could even be said that the speaker doesn’t require an Extra Bass button and sounds better without it. The GTK-XB60’s Extra Bass button is off and the GTKXB60 produces more bass than any other speaker in this price bracket. The speaker’s ability to produce bass on tracks that have a lot of sub-bass, such as “Silent Shout” by The Knife, can sometimes be too strong for the enclosure. It rumbles at certain frequencies and squeaks slightly.
It is clear that the GTK-XB60 has a subwoofer and can get extremely loud. This bass is real and can be felt. For a track like this, turning on the Extra Bass feels absurd. You’re more likely to bang walls and disrupt the balance. We kept the Extra Bass off for the majority of our testing. You can always turn it on if you want to crank things up but the GTK-XB60 delivers subwoofer-like power without it. Regular listening mode makes it sound more balanced and tighter.
The back panel contains RCA inputs/outputs as well as a USB port that can be used to charge or play MP3 files or WAV files from a USB drive. A quarter-inch microphone jack and mic level knob are available for those who wish to use the speaker as a karaoke machine. The LED lights create an “EDM festival” atmosphere in your room. They can be jarring at times, which I often found. They flash brightly and sometimes to the beat of music. Sometimes they flash at random. Although it’s a stunning display, there are some quirks. For instance, if the speaker is connected to a power strip for example, the lights will be flashing every time the strip turns on. You can disable the lights by pressing down on the W.Party Chain for a few seconds.
A power button, play/pause button, plus/minus buttons for volume and a bass button are all located on the control panel. There are also the less obvious buttons like Stamina (to save battery life), Function, (for switching between Bluetooth or USB inputs), Add (to pair multiple GTK-60 speakers), and W.Party Chain, which allows multiple GTK-60 or XB90 speakers from the same source simultaneously). This panel also has an NFC pairing area. The buttons are accompanied by a handle that can be used to transport the speaker from one room to another.
Sony’s speakers have the brightest lamps and strobe lights, making them undoubtedly the most festive. You can really get the party going by energizing the dance floor all night. Even a DJ can have a microphone and sound control. You can connect multiple speakers to increase the volume if the sound quality is not sufficient. One speaker isn’t as loud and bass heavy as many competitors. Sony Xb60 Black Friday Deals 2021 XB60, on the other hand can handle many musical styles but requires long adjustments to the sound settings. It can be difficult to use the app and all the buttons on your speaker.