When it comes to streaming from your phone to something with some more muscle, there are a lot of options on the market. This year, Sony is taking a page out of Nokia's playbook with a slew of speakers and headsets enabled with Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, apt-X codec support, and speakerphone capabilities. The devices run the gamut from a racquetball-sized orb, to a purse-shaped speaker, to a premium $299 sound bar with a built-in subwoofer.
The spherical SRS-BTV5 will cost $69 when it launches and pumps out some OK sound despite its diminutive size. It’s a little tinny, and is prone to cracking at high volumes, but syncing with NFC is super simple, and the 360-degree sound means you won’t have to worry about the seating arrangement when you decide to rock out. The built-in battery only lasts for five hours, though.
The SRS-BTM8, on the other hand, can run for an impressive 20 hours on a single charge, and includes an AC adapter for topping things up on the go. The handbaggish look might not be to everyone’s taste, but the handle does make it easy to take your party on the road.
The $199 SRS-BTX300 and $299 BTX500 have a more traditional soundbar shape, but still offer the same connectivity functions of their lower-powered cousins. The BTX300 sounds better than the identically-priced Jambox to our ears, but it’s considerably larger.
Lastly, Sony is also coming out with a pair of headsets: the SBH–20 and DR-BTN200M. Both offer the same one-touch pairing and connecting via NFC. The former offers 400 hours of standby time and 9.2-millimeter drivers while the latter offers bigger numbers with 800 hours and 30 millimeters.
Luckily, you won’t need a Sony phone to take advantage of the NFC features — Android users with NFC-enabled devices just need to download the company’s Easy Connect app. We’re still waiting to hear from Sony about availability, but we’ll pass what we hear along as soon as we find out.
Dante D'Orazio contributed to this report.