If you’re looking to dazzle your next gathering with huge sound, a light show, and perhaps some karaoke, Sony’s new SRS-XV900 might be just the party speaker you’re looking for. Sony says it’s the most powerful and loudest party speaker in its X-Series range of Bluetooth speakers. It goes up for pre-order on September 20 on electronics.sony.com for $900, but will also be available at Amazon and BestBuy.
The tower-like SRS-XV900 mirrors the design of the company’s existing SRS-XP500 and XP700, but on a much bigger scale. You get many of the same features, but where the XP700 measures just over 27 inches in height and tips the scales at about 37 pounds, the XV900 stands 34 inches tall and weighs a bicep-shattering 58 pounds. All of that extra size and weight explains why Sony has given the XV900 a set of built-in wheels at its base — you will want to do as little carrying of this beast as possible.
Size isn’t the only difference. For the XV900, Sony has increased the number and type of drivers. It’s a three-way system that uses the same “omnidirectional” layout as the XP700, but now there are nine drivers in total: five front-firing units (two tweeters, two midranges, and one full-range X-balanced unit), two side-firing tweeters, and two rear-firing tweeters that project sound backward through the speaker’s top panel. There’s also a passive set of bass ports at the bottom of the unit, which Sony calls a Jet Bass Booster. Sony’s MegaBass mode is still available for when you want an even bigger low-end hit.
Also enhanced is the accompanying LED light show. You can now control the colors of the LED lights, which are mounted on the top and bottom of the speaker, directly from the touch panel, which lets you select specific hues or a rotating multicolor option.
As with the XP700, you get dedicated inputs for plugging in a microphone and a guitar, making the speaker a handy alternative to a karaoke speaker or a guitar amp. But Sony has also given the XV900 an optical input, which can be used in two ways: In normal mode, it acts like any other amplified speaker, taking the signal from your CD player or another external digital source. In TV Sound Booster mode, you can choose to use the speaker to boost just high and low frequencies from your TV, making dialog and bass more enjoyable, according to the company.
You can control the XV900 from the Sony Music Center app, and extend its sound to up to 100 compatible Sony speakers, like the SRS-XE200 and SRS -XG300 through the Party Connect feature. The onboard battery is good for a claimed 25 hours of use and can also be used to charge external devices like smartphones via the USB port.
The only thing that Sony hasn’t preserved from the XP500 and XP700 is water protection. Those speakers have an IPX4 rating, but Sony hasn’t provided any official rating for the XV900, so you’d be well advised to keep it from any accidental sprays or spills.