Similar in look to the SRS-X3 -- offered in multiple colors, priced at about $129, and a geometrically pleasing rectangular shape -- there are subtle differences (and not so subtle) that set the SRS-X33 Bluetooth speaker apart from its predecessor.
Besides being a smidge lighter than the X3, one real draw is the additional battery life. Where the X3 offers about 7 hours before it needs to be plugged in, the X33 can go about 12 hours. The other big difference: Sony’s LDAC codec support, giving this speaker the ability to transmit three times as much data as AptX. In layman’s terms, you’ll be treated to higher quality streaming audio, as long as you are using a LDAC-compatible device.
As previously mentioned, the X33 is rectangular in shape, and comes in multiple colors. The finish is smooth and pleasing, and provides a sleek and straightforward modern look. Choose from red, white, and black just like the X3, as well as a bright blue color.
It measures about 7.3” x 2.4” x 2.3” in size, and weighs in at about 1.54 lbs (the X3 is about 1.75 lbs). Despite its small size, it doesn’t have a cheap feel at all. The 3.5mm audio jack is located on the back of the speaker if you don’t feel like connecting via Bluetooth.
It features dual passive bass radiators, 60Hz - 16kHz frequency, and two 10-watt drivers for 20 watts total power, providing sound with no distortion. Bluetooth 3.0 allows you to stream music from your device from up to approximately 30 feet away, as well as take calls with its built-in omnidirectional electret microphone (a fancy term for speakerphone).
If your tablet or smartphone supports NFC tap-to-pair technology, it offers this as well. The LDAC codec support is a great addition, but the problem is not many devices currently on the market are LDAC-compatible. Still, it’s a great addition nonetheless. Charge the lithium-ion battery with the included micro-USB cable after approximately 12 hours of use.
Additionally, it provides A2DP support, S-Master, DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine), and ClearAudio+, just as on the SRS-X2.
Though it’s small, it sounds great. It provides a nice, clear, balanced sound, and offers better bass performance at higher volumes. Once you use it, you’ll probably be surprised at how loud such a small speaker is. However, you’ll still find that certain tracks will be distorted, just like other speakers of its size. The secret lies in the internal DSP (digital signal processor), which limits certain frequencies to keep the distortion at a minimum. This means you might hear the bass suddenly weaken - it’s just the DSP doing its job.
Overall, its performance is superb compared to other speakers similar in size, for the price it is offered at. As long as you aren’t listening to something that is all about that bass, or Big Band tracks featuring numerous instruments and sounds, you and this speaker will get along nicely. Check it out today at the Sony Store.