Picture of the glowing -Power- lamp on the Sony SRS XB22 speaker.

Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained

The Sony SRS XB22 Bluetooth Bluetooth speaker has several buttons on its top  panel, including the Volume, Phone, Live, and Power-Pairing buttons.   We also find the ResetLight-Batt, WPC, and Add buttons in the back of the unit inside the port compartment. These buttons let you operate the many features of this portable but large sounding speaker.  So here we offer our Sony SRS XB22 buttons explained cheat sheet.  E.g. We show you where to find each control on the speaker, explain its meaning and function, what any button code combination presses do, when to press them, and how to use the buttons to work the speaker overall.

Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained: Top Panel Buttons

There is one row of buttons on the top of the speaker. They each have unique shapes. Moreover, there are three lamps on the top, and three more in the rear port compartment. The lights tell you what the speaker is doing at any given time.  E.g. The Power lamp lights up white when the speaker is ON.  The Pairing Status lamp lights or blinks blue to show the current speaker connection state.  And the LIVE light tells you that the XB22 is in stereo expansive mode. Further, there’s a CHARGE lamp on the back of the unit that flashes when the battery is getting low, and glows steadily as you charge the speaker.  Also there, we find the ADD and WPC lamps. These glow when either of these modes is active.  And finally, there’s the micro USB charging, and Audio In (AUX) ports.

The Power / Pairing Button

One function of the Pairing / Power button is to turn the 22 ON and OFF. Another is to begin Bluetooth pairing mode.  And finally, this button is a part of a button chord to hard reset the speaker (described below)  Find it near the right end of the control panel, as we point out with the aqua arrow in the next picture. Note its power symbol  shape.

Picture of the -Power- button on the speaker. Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained.
Sony SRS XB22 speaker -Power- button.

Turning the XB22 ON and OFF

Press and release the button when the speaker is OFF, to power it on.  Depress and release it again, to turn the 22 OFF again.

The Power Status lamp lights up when the speaker boots, as we see next, pointed out by the yellow arrow.

Picture of the glowing -Power- lamp.
The -Power- lamp glowing.

Note that the speaker might make no sound at all as it boots. But if it connects with a source device at that time, you will hear two beeps.

When the unit is OFF, no lights on it glow, except when you’re charging it.  When OFF in that case, the CHARGE lamp still glows solid orange.

The glowing -CHARGE- light.
The -CHARGE- lamp glowing.

Finally, the Bluetooth Status lamp illuminates in one of three possible ways.

  1. It slow blinks when the speaker comes up in standby mode, ready to pair but not in discovery mode.
  2. The lamp fast flashes when the speaker boots into discovery / pairing mode.  This occurs just after you take a new 22 out of the box, or after a master reset.
  3. It glows steadily when the speaker makes a connection with a source device.
The glowing -Bluetooth Status- light.
The -Bluetooth Status- lamp glowing.

Activating Pairing Mode on the SRS XB22

With the speaker powered ON, you press and hold the Power-Pairing button until you hear a series of rising beeps, and the speaker announces in a lady’s voice, “Bluetooth pairing.”  At that point then, release the button.  The speaker is now in pairing mode, and the Bluetooth Status lamp pictured above begins fast flashing blue.

You need to start pairing mode anytime you want to link the 22 with a never-before-paired Bluetooth source device.  When in this (a.k.a. Discovery) mode, the speaker sends out its name and other connection data over the Bluetooth air channels. Then, this allows nearby BT devices to find and connect to it. Don’t release this button too quickly though, lest you turn the speaker OFF, without it ever going into pairing mode.

Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained: The Volume DOWN and Volume UP Buttons

The 22 also has volume controls. The Volume UP and Volume DOWN buttons that Sony positions in the center of the buttons panel, between the Play-Pause and Power buttons. Further, you can feel their minus and plus symbol shapes. E.g. Find these controls pointed out in the next picture.

Picture of the Volume buttons. Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained.
The Sony SRS XB22 speaker Volume buttons.

When pressed, these lower and raise the loudness respectively, by reducing or increasing the volume setting of the connected source device.

The Power lamp blinks once for each time you press either the Volume UP or Volume DOWN buttons. That is,  except when you hit the lower or upper ends of the volume range.  Then that light fast flashes a few times.  Also, no beeps or other accessibility sounds play when you adjust the volume.

Note that you can also change XB22 volume by adjusting the controls on your source BT device as well.

How to Raise (Turn Up) and Lower (Turn Down) Sony SRS XB22 Volume

With the speaker paired and playing, press the minus shaped Volume Down button to decrease its sound 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, since there is no paired source device to change the volume on. Moreover, the volume setting may change from paired device to paired device. I.e. each paired device remembers its own volume setting. So you might need to re set the volume when you unpair the speaker from one source device and pair it to another.

The LIVE Button

The Live button changes the output sound, giving it a more “live” sounding, expansive stereo quality. It makes the room you’re listening in sound bigger, more like a concert hall.

Picture of the LIVE button.
The LIVE button.

Normally, the Live mode is OFF, and the Extra Bass mode is the default, and the LIVE lamp is dark, as we see next.

Picture of the dark LIVE light.
The dark LIVE lamp.

With Live mode OFF, the sound appears to mimic a flat response but with a bit of bass boost.

The LIVE mode on the other hand, adds a “presence” and larger stereo image that you do not have to directly face the speaker to sense. When LIVE mode is active, the LIVE lamp glows white, as we show next.

Picture of the glowing LIVE light.
The glowing LIVE lamp.

The Play-Pause / Phone / Voice Assistant Button

The Phone / Voice Assistant button has an icon of an old fashioned telephone receiver just above it, and the button itself is the ever familiar right facing triangle and two vertical lines shape.  We find it at the left edge of the top buttons panel. See it in the next picture.

Picture of the Play-Pause button. Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained.
The Sony SRS XB22 speaker Play-Pause button.

Answering an Incoming Phone Call

Press and release this button quickly to pick up on an arriving call when you have this unit paired with a smart phone. Depress it again to hang up the call. When a call arrives, the item you were listening to pauses when you pick up the call. But note that once you disconnect from the call, music playback usually resumes automatically.  If it does not, try quickly pressing this button.  But this button may not restart the music, depending on the app you were listening in.  In that case, you have to go into the app supplying the music, and un-pause it there, on the phone itself.

Getting Siri’s Attention

When paired with an Apple phone, you may press and hold the Play / Pause / Phone / Voice Assistant button to wake up Siri. Note that you must first enable Siri on the source device (phone, tablet) to use Siri for this to work. Siri then hears you on the built-in microphone on the XB22.  So be sure to talk at the speaker, and not at your phone, when paired with the 31.  The mic is on speaker front grill, near the right edge.

Finally, after Siri responds, the system normally picks back up with playing what you were hearing before.

Stopping and Starting the Music

This is the Play-Pause function of this button. To use it while the 22 is playing, simply press and release this button.  Play stops and the source device goes into pause mode.

To resume play, then again, press and release the Play-Pause button.

Move Back and Fourth in a Playlist

Finally, you can skip forward to the next song, or back to the previous song in a playlist with the Play-Pause button on the XB22. 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.
      • To move back and play the previous song again from the beginning, quickly press and release the Play-Pause button three times.  When you do that, your source BT device jumps back one song from the current one in the current playlist, and plays that song from the beginning.

Sony SRS XB22 Back Panel Buttons Explained


This button switches the party lamps on the front top and bottom center of the speaker ON and OFF. E.g. See it in the next photo.  It’s at the top of the vertical row of three buttons in the port compartment on the right side of the port.

Picture of the -LIGHT-BATT- button.
The -LIGHT-BATT- button.

How to Turn Speaker Party Lights ON and OFF

The gray-white light bars pulsate, fade, flash, and brighten and dim along with the music on the XB22. These lamps are ON by default. I.e. Either when fresh out of the box, or after a factory reset.  But you can turn them off by pressing and holding for three seconds the LIGHT-BATT button.  Doing so may save significant power, especially when you don’t really need to waste any battery on lighting and need to get maximum playing time. You might also deactivate them when playing the speaker in daylight or in a bright area where the lights would be useless anyhow.

Picture of the dark party lights on the speaker.
Showing the party lamps dark on the speaker.

Then to turn them back on again, simply repeat what you did before.  I.e. Press and hold in the LIGHT-BATT button for three seconds. At that point, the party lamps resume their color light show.

How to Get Battery Percentage

Quickly press and release the same button (the LIGHT-BATT button) any time the speaker is ON. Then the unit speaks that percentage number of battery power left to you in a female voice.

The Wireless Party Chain (WPC) Button

This WPC  function lets you join from two to a hundred compatible speakers such that both play the same program. Why do this?  Because, as with the Party Boost or Connect Plus feature on JBL speakers, you get a broader coverage area when you have more than one speaker playing the same thing, than when just one is playing. Thus you get more volume to spread around bigger party areas.

Picture of the WPC button.
The WPC button.

How to Set Up WPC Mode

Now to create a party group, you can use any combination of XB20, XB21, XB22, XB30, XB31, XB32, XB40, and XB41, models. Furthermore, the GTK-XB60, GTK-XB90 Sony models work here as well.  Now In WPC mode, unlike with stereo pairing, you can indeed mix and match different speaker models, so long as you do it with only the models listed here.

To form a WPC group of speakers, do as follows.

Get the Speakers Together
    1. Position all speakers you wish to add within 3.2 feet, or 1 meter, of your phone or tablet from which you’ll be playing the music.
Start WPC Mode on Speaker One
    1. Power up the first speaker.  We’ll call this one  Speaker One.
    2. Pair Speaker One with your source Bluetooth device.
    3. Press the WPC button on Speaker One for three seconds. The WPC (Wireless Party Chain) light will start blinking. E.g. See this light in the next picture below. Then after a few seconds, this lamp stops blinking, and assumes a glow a solid white glow.
Picture of the glowing WPC light.
The WPC lamp glowing.
Start WPC Mode on Speaker Two
    1. Next, turn on the second speaker.  I.e. Speaker Two.
    2. As you did on Speaker One, press and hold the WPC button on Speaker Two  for three seconds.  The WPC light begins flashing on that speaker for a short time. Then it glows steadily. Also, the Bluetooth lamp on Speaker Two goes dark. At this point, you have successfully created a WPC  link between these two speakers. Note that once you initiate WPC on Speaker One, you have just one minute to complete the connection on Speaker Two.  If you do not, the waiting Speaker One times out, and goes back to normal single-speaker Bluetooth operation.
    3. Finally, once you connect to the new WPC group, you can start playing music on that device. Then it will stream to your speaker group, and you’ll hear the program on both speakers.
    4. Now to add other speakers to the group, repeat steps 1 and 2 on the speaker you’re adding.

How to Stop WPC Mode

When you’re ready to break the WPC link, simply press and hold the WPC button on Speaker One for three seconds.  A tone then sounds and the WPC light goes out, meaning that the link is now broken.

Picture of a dark WPC lamp. Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained.
The Sony SRS XB22 speaker showing a dark WPC lamp.

Then simply turn off the speakers that you’ll no longer be using. Note that turning off the speaker that’s paired with your source device breaks the entire WPC chain, and all speaker will stop playing in that case.

Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained: The Add Button

You use the Add button to join two Sony XB22 speakers together for stereo sound (Stereo Mode), or as two mono speakers for extra volume (Double Mode). To use two speakers together like this, you first create a Bluetooth connection between the speakers.  Then, you set up a Bluetooth connection between this pair, and the source Bluetooth device you’ll be playing music from.  Plugging a cord into the Audio Input port ends the Add function.

Picture of the ADD button.
The ADD button.

How to Use the  Add  Button

You need two Sony SRS XB22 speakers to use the Add feature for either Stereo or Double modes.

Turn the First Speaker On
    1. Start with both speakers powered OFF.
    2. Power up the first speaker, and watch for the Power / Pairing lamp to begin flashing white.
    3. Press and release the Add button.  Then that XB22 beeps, and the ADD button lamp flashes several times and then comes on steady white, as we see next.
Picture of the glowing ADD light.
The ADD lamp glowing.
Turn On the Second Speaker
    1. Next, power up the second speaker.  Again, its Power / Pairing lamp should start flashing white.  Note that you have one minute to do this after putting the first speaker in Add mode.  Otherwise, that speaker times out, and reverts to a single speaker configuration. If this happens, power down both speakers, and start over with step 1.
    2. Press and release the Add button on the second speaker. This causes this XB22 to beep.
Pair Source Device to the New Sony Speaker Set Just Created
    1. Then, pair your Bluetooth source device to your XB22 speaker set that you just created.
    2. Begin playing something on your BT source device, and you should hear it play on both speakers.
    3. Then, adjust the volume using the controls on one or the other speaker.  Adjusting volume on one also changes it on the other.

To Switch Between Add and Double Mode

    1. To switch between Double Mode and Stereo Mode, press and release the Add button on one of the speakers. When in Double Mode, each speaker plays a mono version of the content, which contains both the left and right channels.  But in Stereo Mode, one speaker plays the left channel while the other plays the right.

To end this speaker linkage, simply turn off both speakers.

Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained: The Reset Button

Find this recessed button on the speaker back, just to the right of the Audio In port.  To work it, insert a paper clip end and gently press.

Picture of the Reset button.
The Reset button.

Now unlike reset buttons on many other speakers, this button does NOT restore the unit to its factory default state.  Instead, you press this only when the speaker becomes unresponsive or acts strangely.  E.g. It won’t power ON or OFF, or the other buttons do nothing when you press them. Thus, pressing Reset does not clear the stored Bluetooth pairings from memory.

It seems though, to disconnect the speaker from its battery by brute force. Thus pressing it causes a hard shutdown to occur. Further, 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 a Reset button press.

How to Use the Reset Button

Should the 22 lock up or become non responsive to button presses, press and release this button.  If the Power lamp is ON, it should shut OFF right away. Note that the speaker does not come back on when you release this button.  So to turn it on again, press the Power button.

The Reset Button Code Combination

Note that this is different from the Reset button described in the last section. This method is how to actually hard reset the XB22 to put it back to factory default settings.  The Reset button described earlier does not do this however.  But it is possible to run a true factory reset on the 22. as follows.

With the XB 22 running, press and hold the  Power  and Volume DOWN buttons at the same time until the speaker goes OFF and all the top panel lamps go dark. E.g. See these buttons pointed at by the green arrows in the next picture.

The -Power- and -Volume DOWN- buttons. Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained.
The -Power- and -Volume DOWN- buttons.

You may wish to reset the speaker to fix any unusual behaviors you notice from it such as failing to pair, sound distortion, failure to power off when you press the  Power  button, pressing the Reset button does not solve your issue, 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 to play your audio content through it once again.

For more details, check out our post that describes How to Reset Sony SRS XB22 Speaker.

Other Posts About the Sony SRS XB22

    1. Sony SRS XB22 How to Turn Off This Bluetooth Speaker
    2. How to Turn Off Lights on the XB22
    3. How to Tell if the SRS XB22 is Charging
    4. Putting This Speaker into Pairing Mode
    5. How to Pair The XB22

Related Posts to Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained

    1. Sony SRS XB41 Speaker Buttons Explained
    2. Buttons Explained on the SRS XB31 Speaker
    3. Sony SRS XB21 Buttons Explained
    4. SRS XB01 Sony Speaker Buttons Explained
    5. Sony SRS X11 Buttons Explained

References for Sony SRS XB22 Buttons Explained

    1. Sony SRS XB22 Sony Product Page at Sony.com

Revision History

    • 2021-10-01: First posted.