Sony has announced a slew of new speakers this week, but one that should really catch everyone's eye is the SRS-XB402M. Despite the unattractive name, it is an Alexa speaker that is not only portable, but rugged and waterproof. Meaning, you can toss it into the pool with your this summer.
This is Sony's first smart speaker to join its EXTRA BASS lineup of speakers. It has done smart speakers before, like the LF-S50G that sports Google Assistant integration, but it was not an EXTRA BASS speaker. This also marks the first Amazon Alexa speaker that Sony has done.
There aren't many portable, smart speakers. A big reason for this is that smart speakers do need to be always-listening and that typically means worse battery life on a portable speaker. But there are a few out there, however, this is the most rugged model available so far.
Battery life on this speaker is rated at about 12 hours, which is pretty decent for this size.
Sony has equipped the SRS-XB402M with dual passive radiators and "cleverly angled speakers" to provide users with a really great sound experience. There is also some deep bass included on this speaker. Which, again, is expected, seeing as this is an EXTRA BASS speaker.
Amazon Alexa is included, which means that you can ask Alexa to play music from your favorite music providers like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music and more. It also works for playing audiobooks and podcasts. Alexa can also control your smart home. So if you've gone outside to the pool for the afternoon, you can ask Alexa to adjust the air conditioning in the house and turn it down, saving you money on your electric bill.
Spotify is supported on Amazon Alexa, but it is a bit wonky. Luckily, the SRS-XB402M does also support Spotify Connect. Allowing you to open the Spotify app on your phone or laptop, and start playing music on the SRS-XB402M. This is actually a really good feature to have, since playing podcasts on Alexa is pretty frustrating right now, and using Spotify Connect, it is almost seamless.
As mentioned, this is a waterproof speaker, with an IP67 rating. It is also shockproof, according to Sony. This is going to allow users to drop the speaker, and not have to worry about the speaker getting damaged or no longer working. Of course, it's not a good idea to drop your speaker anyways, but still good to know that if you do drop it, you won't break it.
This is a pretty impressive smart speaker with Amazon Alexa built-in, one of the only models that can take a dip in the pool with you this summer.
The Sony SRS-XB402M is going to be priced at £250 in the UK, and will arrive in July. Sony has not given pricing and availability for this Alexa speaker outside of the UK just yet, but that should be coming fairly soon. It would be surprising to see this only arriving in the UK and not any other markets.