With the GTK XB7, Sony has decided to provide something more suitable for the younger customer base, such as students. This unit is primarily designed for noisy parties and this is enhanced by the presence of the various lighting options that simulate a club environment. This does not mean that this speaker only performs well with hip-hop and pop music – it sounds equally compelling with standard rock and even classical music due to the various sound enhancement options that are available. We hope that you will find this Sony GTK XB7 Review helpful.
Sony GTK XB7 Review – Power and Quality
This is a large and heavy unit which is essential as it is extremely powerful and needs some bulk to hold it steady when on full volume. Luckily, this works well, and the unit stays in place and does not rattle which indicates a good build quality. There are excellent lighting features including an array of diodes built into the column. This unit is an excellent solution for both indoor and outdoor parties and can be linked to both mobile phones for playing tracks via Bluetooth, has a quick connection NFC feature, and can be connected to external devices via its auxiliary port. This model of speaker is available in various colours.
In the box you will find the column speaker which can be mounted both vertically or horizontally and a compact remote control and pack of batteries. The design of the Sony GTK-XB7 case can be called restrained. One of the main design features of the device is the backlight, which can synchronize with the tracks, so, with some imagination and a suitable environment, any indoor space can look like a nightclub with spectacular illuminations. The backlight is visible from all sides, it is impossible not to notice it. In addition to the diode tape that surrounds the speakers under the protective grid, there are two stroboscopes and small light sources on the speakers themselves. In daylight, the backlight is not so bright, but at night the room is literally filled with flickering lights.
Due to the weight of the device (12kg) it can be difficult to carry from room to room or to place in storage, however Sony have included convenient carrying handles on both sides of the unit to aid in this task. You can arrange the column either vertically (conveniently if it is on the floor) or horizontally (for example, on a table) and the speaker will sense its orientation and adjust the sound accordingly, including adjusting which of the three built in tweeters are used.
The control scheme is intuitive and easy to master. All buttons are located on the top pf the unit with two round buttons for volume adjustment, a key for turning on and connecting wirelessly to another speaker, as well as a dedicated button for Extra Bass, which enhances low frequencies. There are three LEDs that show the source of playback: via USB, Bluetooth or analogue input and next to this is the NFC module which allows any partygoer to quickly connect their phone and take charge of the DJ-ing. On the back of the unit are the analogue inputs, outputs, USB port and power connector. This set of interfaces allows you to connect the column to a TV, listen to music from a flash drive, smartphone, and any other device. Devices can also be charged using the USB port.
The GTK-XB7 can be connected in arrays so you can have multiple units playing from the same source if required with the first unit being the master and controlling the output of the others, although there are better multi speaker options available.
The built-in functionality of the system is basic; however, Sony have an application called “SongPal” which is available for both for Android and iOS that adds additional features. After installing the program, you can manually change the lighting of the column, create your playlists for playback, control sound characteristics via the equalizer and even add DJ effects. There is also the ability to enable certain Sony sound enhancements such as their excellent ClearAudio+ system and DSEE upscaling which improves the quality of MP3 tracks so that the compression artefacts are no longer audible.
The Sony GTK-XB7 is suitable for large rooms with a crowd of people and can output up to 470 watts. With the bass enhancement enabled this produces a sound and power that will be enough for any medium to large sized domestic room. When bass enhancement is enabled the low-frequency sound is amplified, while the music remains clear with no distortion or unnatural shading.
Users are impressed with the powerful sound and bright lighting, although some have experienced problems with the switches failing or becoming unresponsive after a couple of years use, although this may be due to the amount of abuse such a party machine will undoubtably receive over time.
If you found this Sony GTK XB7 Review helpful you might also like to read about the best portable speakers under £100.