This article was originally published on Music.Photo.Life.
When Sony informed me of the availability of the latest X series Bluetooth speaker – SRS-X11, X33 and X55 – I chose X33 because I previously reviewed the SRS-X3 so it would be a good chance to check out the improvements.
Improvements over X3:
– smaller (slightly)
– supports LDAC, a Sony proprietary wireless audio codec
– longer battery life
Sony SRS-X33 Specs
Speaker system: 2 speakers + 2 passive radiators
Frequency: 60-16,000 Hz
Amplifier Output: 10W x 2
Speaker diameter: 34mm
Speaker impedance: 4 ohm
Sound Technology: DSEE, ClearAudio+ Virtual Surround Sound
Wireless Connection: Bluetooth v3.0 +EDR, NFC
Codec: SBC, AAC, LDAC
Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Range: 10m
Dimension (WHD): 185 x 60 x 59 mm
Battery Life: 12 hours
Colours: Red, Black, White
Accessories included: 0.3A charger, USB cable
Previously, I compared the SRS-X3 favourably with my all-time favourite mini speaker, Bose SoundLink Mini. This time on the upgraded SRS-X33, I can hear similar sound signature as the X3, but I think the X33 bass response is improved to deliver more prominently deep magical subwoofer feel. Of course, the X33 supports voice calls compared to the Bose so it also makes an excellent teleconference device.
And just like the X3, the X33 delivers hi-fi sound, with sparkling treble that easily fills the house. From another room, the X33 sounds so clear you wouldn’t guess it comes from such a small speaker. If you want a wider clearer sound, you can activate the ClearAudio+ with the press of a button on the speaker to accentuate the treble while providing wider sound staging but at a slight expense of the bass. If I were to nitpick, perhaps the X33 does not exude enough warmth. If your audio source is treble heavy, it might accentuate any compression defects. Also, the speaker is not physically built for extremely loud playback.
I had the audacity to compare the X33 with my favourite home speaker, Audyssey SOMA which I bought in 2011. Guess what? They are comparable in sound clarity. What SOMA betters is its warmer tones and a more expansive sound since its speakers are much larger. But for convenience, I could replace it with the X33 for casual audio enjoyment.
Sony X33 supports LDAC, a Sony proprietary wireless audio codec that transmits 3 times more data (990kbps) compared to SBC (328kbps), which downsamples the audio before transmitting over Bluetooth. LDAC maintains the audio data and fidelity which ensures you continue to enjoy Hi-res audio even via wireless. When using the NWZ-A15 Sony Walkman which supports LDAC (after updating to V1.10 firmware) to test, I detected higher volume and consistently crystal treble without compression artefacts, which often occurs to Bluetooth audio. While the X33 might not be the best speaker to full enjoy Hi-res audio due to the limited frequency range, it made the X33 sound good to this reviewer.
I do hope that the X33 could support USB audio like Creative Soundblaster JAM or the UB+ Euphospeaker so that I can get purer audio quality if I want to pipe music from laptops with inferior audio processors.
The Sony X33 is easy to impress anyone with exceedingly clear treble that matches home stereo system, and reverberating subwoofer bass feel which makes any music stand out. It has marked improvements over the X3, and supports LDAC which works with the A15 Sony Walkman to deliver Hi-res audio wirelessly. The X33 will bring impeccable joy to listeners of well-recorded tracks from any genre.
It is available in Singapore for S$199 at Sony Stores, Sony Centres, and authorised dealers, in colours variants of red, white or blue.
Rating: 4.8 of 5
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