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Rock and roll till dawn with Sony’s 25-hour SRS-XV500 party speaker

The new Sony SRS-XV500 party speaker in front of a shelf.

Sony has added another whopper to its party speaker lineup with today’s announcement of the new SRS-XV500. The $400 speaker is the most affordable of Sony’s big, yet portable speaker range that includes the SRS-XV800 and its flagship SRS-XV900, and it boasts a long-lasting battery, plus karaoke and light show features.

The party speaker market continues to heat up, with the XV500 going toe-to-toe with other leaders in the space, including JBL and LG. But the XV500 has its nearest competitors from those brands beat with its substantial 25-hour battery life and quick-charge feature that can put two-and-a-half hours of playtime back in the battery after just 10 minutes of charging.

Like a lot of party speakers of this size (10.6 inches by 22 inches by 11.5 inches) and weight (24.7 pounds), that kind of battery life will bode well for those who like to bring the party with them. Chief among the XV500’s features that will help you get funky is Sony’s X-Balanced speaker unit that’s made up of two tweeters and two 5.5-inch by 5.5-inch, noncircular (read: square) woofers that Sony says produces “deeper, punchier bass with less distortion and greater vocal clarity”  by maximizing the area of the speaker diaphragm. The Mega Bass button undoubtedly helps in this aspect, too, as does its Live Sound mode for listening to recordings of live music performances. Sony hasn’t released any power output details for the XV500 as of yet, but comparable models from other party speaker makers range in the 150-watt to 250-watt ballpark.

The new Sony SRS-XV500 party speaker on its side.

Music makes its way to the XV500 via Bluetooth 5.2, and you can stream from smartphones, computers, or other Bluetooth devices. Although Sony’s announcement didn’t include any details regarding Bluetooth codec support, it’s likely that SBC and AAC will be the bare minimum while we wait and hope that it also supports Sony’s hi-res LDAC codec that the XV800 and XV900 do. The XV500 can also be paired up with other Party Connect-compatible speakers for a chain of wall-rumbling sound.

And would the XV500 be a party speaker if it didn’t include a microphone input? Of course not. Well, luckily it does. Two, in fact — one mic-only input that features echo effects and a key control mode for tuning the music higher or lower so you can sing along more easily, and another that can be used for a second microphone or a guitar.

The new Sony SRS-XV500 party speaker.

Compatibility with Sony’s Music Center and Fiestable apps lets partiers create playlists and adjust the sound and DJ controls, as well as play with the karaoke features and the party light features. The XV500 is also IPX4 splashproof rated, which opens up pool party options with no fear of getting rained out.

The SRS-XV500 is available now on Sony’s website, as well as online and in brick-and-mortar retailers for $400.

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Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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