Many Sony speakers, including this SRS XB12 Extra Bass model, have an orange charging light. labeled CHG, that glows while charging / recharging these little speakers. Sometimes though, this light stays on indefinitely. E.g. It does not turn off once charging is complete, and this is concerning for some XB12 owners. So in this article, we give some reasons that this might occur as well as potential fixes for this common problem.
Why Sony SRS XB12 Charging Light Stays On
It’s normal that this orange light glows while the charging cable is connected to the XB12 for up to five hours, until the battery completely recharges. Then, if all is well, this light should turn off whether the speaker is powered ON or OFF.
If the orange CHG light does not go dark, this might have several causes.
1. The Power Adapter is Broken or Too Weak to Do the Job
The Sony SRS XB12 charging light stays on, maybe because the recharging adapter you have provides SOME but not ADEQUATE power. Or, perhaps it did at one time. But recently, its power output has fallen due to the aging components inside. This speaker needs at least 0.5 amps of charging current at 5 volts (2.5 watts) from the supply to fully recharge in the specified time of 4.5 hours.
The fix is to get a new power adapter, preferably with a beefier, higher output model.
2. The USB Charging Cable is Too Lengthy, Thin, or is Defective
The USB cord can constrain the charging current, even if your power supply is working correctly. This might happen with extra long, thin, or broken cables.
To solve this, use as short a cord as you can. Or, upgrade to a thicker, higher current wire. We suggest keeping cable lengths to six feet or less, and to choose a cable that is certified to carry at least 1.0 amps. When in doubt, use a new wire.
3. The Battery Needs Replaced
As lithium ion batteries age, they lose their ability to fully charge, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as they enter their silver years. Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less current as the charging progresses. We think that the XB12 monitors this, and when the charge current falls to a value that it sees as the battery being full, then it shuts off the charging lamp and also the recharging current. But a faulty battery may not act as expected, and continue consuming higher power no matter how full it is. So in this case, the current never falls to the fully charged value. Thus, the CHG lamp never turns off. Instead, it stays on as the system continues pumping more charge into the worn-out battery.
To fix this, replace the battery. Now you can’t easily get to it in the Sony SRS XB12. So you must disassemble the speaker. Note though, that taking apart the unit will likely destroy its waterproof sealing, which means that the speaker will no longer resist damage should you get it too wet. Breaking this seal may also change how the unit sounds too. Therefore, battery replacement should be done by someone who knows how to select the right replacement battery, and can restore the seal when they put the speaker back together. A good battery should fit inside and provide at least 1400 mAh. But we suggest using only Sony certified replacement batteries for the XB12.
4. The Speaker Might be Defective when the Sony SRS XB12 Charging Light Stays On
Even if you have a large enough power supply and cable with a working battery, the charging current that actually reaches the battery may be too little or too much. The can happen when the speaker’s battery management system becomes faulty. Now this system watches the battery, and shuts off the charging current when it deem the battery fully recharged. But when the charging system fails, the battery might get no charging current at all, and thus never recharge. Again, in this case, the CHG light might never turn off while the charger is connected. You would also notice that the speaker doesn’t play as long before stopping. Or it might not play at all except when you’re recharging it.
The best solution here, given the low cost of the XB12, is simply to procure a new speaker. The miniaturized circuits in this model are indeed quite small. So unless you can replace the system board(s), just buy another whole unit to avoid the time and headache of repairs.
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References for Sony SRS XB12 Charging Light Stays On
- 2020-08-28: First posted.