Even though voice-powered smart speakers might be the go-to choice at home, portable Bluetooth speakers still serve a purpose. After all, you can’t (easily) drag a HomePod or Echo Studio with you to the park or the pool. Today, Sony revealed a trio of redesigned options in its Extra Bass line with updates to sound quality and design. The three models — SRS-XB23, SRS-XB33 and SRS-XB43 — are priced at $100, $150 and $250 respectively, so there should be something that fits your budget. So long as the features meet your needs, of course.
In order to enhance the Extra Bass tone the moniker implies, Sony relocated the the passive radiators to the sides of the speakers (or top and bottom of the XB23). The company says it achieved punchier bass by switching to “non-circular” diaphragms for increased sound pressure and reduced distortion. On the XB23 and XB33, these components are oval shaped, while on the XB43 they’re more rectangular. The pricey XB43 also features a 2-way speaker setup that combines a woofer and tweeter for fuller sound. And like previous models, Sony brought back its Live Sound mode that simulates 3D audio as if you were hearing an artist in person. You can also place all three speakers vertically, not just the cylindrical XB23.