Picture of the button panel on the Sony SRS XB12 Bluetooth speaker.

Sony SRS XB12 Buttons Explained

The Sony SRS XB12 Bluetooth extra bass speaker has several buttons across its lower rear panel, including the Add, Volume, Play-Pause, and Power-Pairing buttons.  There are five lights underneath the buttons as well. The lamps tell you what the speaker is up to, and you operate the speaker with the buttons.  The Power / Pairing Status lamp lights in either solid, fast, or slow blinking white, to show the current speaker pairing and power situation. There’s also a port access panel on the back bottom, sealed with a semi flexible cover, that houses a USB charging, and auxiliary (AUX) input ports.  Here we offer our  Sony SRS XB12 buttons guide.  We show you where the controls are on the speaker, explain the meaning and function of each button, what any button combination presses do, when to press them, and how to use the buttons to operate the speaker in general.

Sony SRS XB12 Buttons, Their Codes, Functions, Combinations, and Meanings

There is one row of buttons on this XB12 speaker.  Most buttons there have a unique shape.

The Power / Pairing Button

We begin our Sony SRS XB12 buttons codes, functions, and meanings guide with the Pairing / Power button, near the right side of the rear panel as pointed at by the green arrow in the next picture. Note its power symbol  shape.

Turning the SRS XB12 ON and OFF

Press and release the button when the speaker is OFF, to power it on.  Press and release it again, to turn the XB12 back OFF.   The Bluetooth / Power Status lamp lights up when the speaker powers up. The speaker makes no sound when you turn it on or off, unless it automatically pairs with a device upon power up. In that case, you hear two ding-down sounding tones. But whether paired or not, no sound is heard when you turn off the XB12 .  So, to know for sure that it has turned OFF, you have to check the Power / Pairing status lamp, mentioned above. When the speaker is OFF, no lights should be glowing, unless you’re charging the unit.  When OFF in that case, the CHG lamp still glows solid orange.

Activating the SRS XB12 Pairing Mode

With the speaker powered ON, you press and hold the same button until you hear a beep.  Then release the button.  The speaker is now in pairing mode.

You need to do this anytime you pair the Sony SRS XB12 with a never-before-paired Bluetooth source device.  When in this mode, the speaker sends out its name and other connection info over the Bluetooth air channels. Then, this allows nearby BT devices to find and connect to it. Don’t release this button too quickly, lest you turn the speaker OFF, without putting it in pairing mode.

Picture of the Sony SRS XB12 portable speaker powered OFF, showing the -Power- button.
Sony SRS XB12 portable speaker powered OFF, showing the -Power- button.

Sony SRS XB10 Volume Down and Volume Up Buttons

The XB12 also sports Volume Controls. Near the center of the button panel, near the  button, the these buttons look like minus and plus symbols.  Find these circled in the next picture.

Picture of the Volume UP and DOWN buttons on the speaker.
The Volume UP and DOWN buttons on the speaker.

When pressed, these lower and raise the output volume of the speaker respectively, by reducing or increasing the volume setting on the paired source device. No lights change on the speaker, and no beeps or other accessibility sounds play when you adjust XB12 volume. Note that you can also change XB12 volume by adjusting volume on your source BT device.

How to Raise (Turn Up) and Lower (Turn Down) Sony SRS XB12 Volume

With the speaker paired and playing, press the minus shaped Volume Down button to decrease its audio output level. Press the plus shaped Volume Up button to increase audio output.

Note that these loudness controls have no effect when the speaker is not paired. Also, the volume setting may change from paired device to paired device. That is, each paired device remembers its own volume setting. So you might need to re set the sound output when you unpair the speaker from one source device and pair it to another.

The Play-Pause / Voice Assistant Button

The Play / Pause button looks like a right-pointing arrow / triangle with two vertical lines to the right of that.  We find it near the left side of the buttons panel, as pointed at by the green arrow in the next picture.

Picture of the Play-Pause button on the speaker. Sony SRS XB12 Buttons.
The Play-Pause button on the speaker.

Stopping and Restarting Audio Playback

Press and release the  Play / Pause  button quickly to pause audio play. Rapidly press it again to reverse the pause action, and resume playback.

Note that the Play / Pause button is not a mute button. That is, pausing play in this way stops playback on the source Bluetooth device to which this speaker is currently paired. It does not merely just cut the speaker volume while the stream continues going.  If streaming, the playing is stopped.  So, you won’t miss any content when you pause the speaker, as the source device (your phone, tablet, or computer) remembers where the content was paused. Then it picks up playback where it left off, when you press the play pause button.

Bringing Up a Voice Assistant

When paired with an Apple device, you may press and hold the Play / Pause button on the XB12 to get Siri’s attention. Note that you must first enable Siri on the source device (phone, tablet) to use Siri in order for this to work.

Press an hold the Voice Assistant Action button until you hear the Siri chime. Then, make your request.  Finally, after Siri responds, the system resumes playing what you were listening to before.

Jump Back to The Start of the Current Song

Press the Play / Pause button three times in rapid succession, to start the current song over again.

Move Ahead in a Playlist

Finally, you can skip forward to the next song in a playlist with the Play-Pause button on the XB12. As the song plays, do the following…

      • To advance to the next song, quickly press and release the Play-Pause button twice.  Upon doing that, your source device advances to the next song in the current playlist.

The Add Button

Please see our post How to Use the Add Button on the Sony SRS XB12  for an in-depth explanation of this button.

The Reset Button

Find this recessed button inside the port compartment on the speaker back.  Open the port door to get to it, and insert a paper clip end to press it.  Unlike reset buttons on other speakers, this button does NOT restore the unit to its factory default state.  Instead, you press this only when the XB12 becomes unresponsive.  E.g. It won’t power ON or OFF, or the other buttons do nothing when pressed. Thus, pressing this reset does not clear the stored Bluetooth pairings from memory though.

It does appear however, to disconnect the speaker from its battery by brute force, to cause a hard shutdown to occur, and releasing it applies battery power again.  You can then turn the speaker on with the Power button.

The hope with this design is that the unit will again respond to other button presses when cold started after pressing this reset button. So using this forces the firmware to initialize from scratch, and fix some problems.

Picture of the Reset button hole on the speaker.
Reset button hole on the speaker.

How to Use the Reset Button

Should the SRS XB12 lock up or become non responsive to button presses, press and hold for a few seconds and release this button using the end of a small paper clip.  If the Power lamp is ON, it should shut OFF almost as soon as you press.

Sony SRS XB12 Buttons Combinations, Codes

Reset Button Code Combination

You can reset the SRS XB12 to factory default settings and state. With the speaker powered ON, press and hold the  Volume DOWN  and   Power-Pairing  buttons at the same time until the Power-Pairing lamp starts fast flashing. See these buttons pointed at by the green arrows in the next picture.

Picture of the Sony SRS XB12 Bluetooth speaker, powered ON, showing the -Power- and -Volume Down- buttons highlighted.
The Sony SRS XB12 Bluetooth speaker, powered ON, showing the -Power- and -Volume Down- buttons highlighted.

You may wish to reset the speaker to correct any weird behaviors you notice from it such as failing to pair, sound distortion, failure to power off when you press the  Power  button, and so on. Note that resetting invalidates any saved connection info about this speaker on your source Bluetooth devices. So you’ll have to forget those connections on these devices, and re pair the speaker after a reset in order to play your audio content through it once again.

For more details, please see our Sony SRS XB12 Factory Reset Instructions.

Other Posts About the Sony  SRS XB12  Compact Speaker

    1. How to Turn Off Sony SRS XB12 Extra Bass Speaker
    2. How to Turn On Sony SRS XB12 Bluetooth Speaker
    3. Sony SRS XB12 Pairing Instructions
    4. How to Reset Sony SRS XB12 Speaker
    5. How to Connect Sony SRS XB12 to iPhone

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References for Sony SRS XB12 Buttons Explained

    1. Sony SRS XB12 Bluetooth Speaker Product Page at Sony.com

Revision History

    • 2021-09-15: First posted.
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