May 2, 2013
- Stylish design
- Bluetooth connectivity
- USB port for smart phone charging
- Good audio quality
- Too large & heavy for travel
- Battery life could be better
The Sony SRS-BTX500 is a Bluetooth wireless speaker that sports an impressive, sleek design and high-quality audio output. It can be used while on-the-go thanks to a rechargeable battery and can be used to charge smart phones via the built-in USB port.
The design of the SRS-BTX500 is really one of the selling points that Sony uses to sell this speaker - and rightly so! It has a professional, clean look that looks extremely well put together. The front face is entirely the grille for the speaker and the sides have brushed metal. On the back, there is a retractable kickstand and a matte black finish (which scratches extremely easily).
The speaker measures 15.1 x 6 x 2.5-inches (wdh) and weighs just over 4-pounds. Because of its size and modest weight, you probably won't want to take this speaker in your luggage on vacation but for room-to-room movement at home, it's great.
On the speakers side there are a few buttons, including power, auxiliary input, sound mode and pairing mode. On the top, there are buttons to answer/end a call and a volume control. On the back near the kickstand, there is a Bluetooth standby switch, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port. This USB port allows you to charge your smart phone (if the speaker's AC adapter is plugged in).
Getting the Sony speaker connected via Bluetooth with an Apple iPhone 5 was a breeze and worked on the first try. There is also NFC (near-field communication) support, which lets you answer and end calls through the speaker and to use the speaker as a speakerphone.
Another good feature of the SRS-BTX500 is the built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery. Sony says you can get up to six hours of continuous playback, which is a so-so number in our opinion.
The speaker is rated at 2 x 10W, so you get 20W of total audio output. It's definitely loud enough to fill a medium-sized room, but isn't enough to use for a large party or anything like that. For a small gathering or for your own personal listening, it's more than adequate. Overall the audio quality was very good. At extremely high volumes, there was noticeable distortion and crackling but at "regular" volumes, it was great. The amount of bass level available was good, but nothing worth raving about. The Mega Bass and Mega Bass + Surround modes seemed to improve the overall audio quality, but we found the Mega Bass setting to be the best.