CNET First Look
Classy wireless speaker excelsA worthy peer to speakers by Bose and Jawbone, the Sony SRS-BTX500 is one of the best premium portable Bluetooth speakers you can buy.
I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the Sony SRS-BTX500 portable Bluetooth speaker. This is the flagship portable Bluetooth speaker in Sony's lineup for 2013 and it is a very good model. As you can see, it is sleek, it is well designed, it's a fairly hefty unit, it weighs around 4 pounds and around $300, it competes directly with the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II, as well as the Big JAMBOX. What I liked about it is that it offers clean sound, also pretty big sound. It doesn't over accentuate the bass much but there is ample bass and this delivers impressive sound for a compact Bluetooth speaker. And yes, as I said, it is portable and has a rechargeable battery inside. It delivers about 6 hours of battery life. That's not great. You can do better than that if you lower the volume a bit, but you should be able to get through a good portion of the day with that battery life. Another nice feature is that it has a USB port in the back. So, when you do have the AC adapter plugged in, you can charge other devices such as smartphones while you have this on. A couple of other features worth learning this does have built-in speaker phone capabilities. There's a button on top of the unit for answering calls, there's also volume controls and a few buttons on the side, but it does have a pretty minimalist design and you basically are expected to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote and there is an auxiliary input for devices that aren't Bluetooth enabled. This also has another sort of hot feature of the moment that is NFC pairing. NFC is the feature that's available in some smartphones. This allows you to tap to pair your device but it doesn't make pairing that much easier and you do have to download a special app to make it work, but the featured did work when I tried the NFC pairing and you can also disconnect by tapping on the speaker with your smartphone. Well the speaker will certainly fit in a suitcase and it does come with a carrying case. It is a nice neo-print carrying case. So, one does really say this is the best speaker to take with you in a bag on an airplane for a longer trip. The BTX300 might be a little bit better than that, although, this does offer bigger and richer sound than that speaker does. And I would recommend this speaker over that smaller speaker because of that sound. And all-in-all, I really did like it a lot and it certainly does compete well with the Bose and Big JAMBOX and should be on your shortlist for portable Bluetooth speakers. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Sony SRS-BTX500. Thanks for watching.