I get to see a lot of great new kit as part of my job and Sony products are often a particular highlight. But when it comes to the best portable Bluetooth speakers it's safe to say Sony's latest speaker is, er, wheelie whacky and niche... to say the least.
That's because the SRS-XV800 comes with its own set of wheels, built-in lights and there's even a carry handle. No surprise it needs the first and last of those, though, as this party speaker is big and heavy to accommodate its significant driver setup.
I could see the XV800 being great for garden gigs (you don't have to use the lights though, they're optional and app-controlled), street performers (there are mic and guitar inputs), or home parties (there's even a karaoke mode, oh yes!).
The XV800's battery life is said to be good for 25 hours, so you can dance, sing, pluck that guitar, or whatever else it is you do, for long innings per charge. The included USB-C port can even be used to charge your phone.
While the XV800 sounds ideal for a specific kind of user base, I like how Sony has tried to flesh out its feature set to appeal yet wider. It can be used horizontally or vertically, for example, and if you connect an optical cable from your TV it'll act as a quick-fix soundbar too - though perhaps not one of the best soundbars, as it doesn't feature fancy HDMI passthrough (no surprises, mind).
Sony isn't talking wattage numbers or amplification, though, only that the SBS-XV800 has five tweeters, two main drivers, and a bass duct for the low-end, and that its sonic signature changes depending on its orientation. The tweeters are front- and top-mounted to give an immersive and 360-degree sound experience, whether you keep it upright or turn it sideways.
Now while I don't expect gazillions of Sony SBS-XV800 speakers to go flying off the shelves, if you are looking for a party speaker or mobile gig system then this fun piece of kit can be yours for £600/€700 when it launches. Best save up your change if you want to board the party bus, eh?