Sony SRS XB43 Buttons Explained: Summary
The Sony SRS XB43 Bluetooth Extra Bass speaker has several buttons across its top panel as well as a few more inside its rear power and AUX port compartment, behind the sealing cap. E.g. Including the Volume, Play-Pause, Live, Power, and Pairing buttons. Plus in the back, we find the Light-Battery, Party, and ST Pair (Stereo Pairing) buttons. So here we give our version of these Sony SRS XB43 buttons explained. Herein, for each button, we cover what it does along with how and when to press it. Thus with this information, you can fully enjoy all the features of this excellent sounding wireless speaker.
Summary of the Ports on the Sony SRS XB43
In the port panel, sealed with a semi flexible cover, we also find USB-C charging port as well as a 3.5mm auxiliary (AUX) input port and a USB-A style output port for the power bank function. But here, we focus on the use of the buttons, and not the ports. So let’s get to that as soon as we briefly touch on the various status lamps on the XB43.
Summary of the Lights
We find five lights in the top button area. These lamps tell you in part, what the speaker is up to, as you work each of the buttons, as follows.
- The Power lamp lights solid, to show that the speaker is ON.
- The CHARGE lamp glows when the speaker is recharging. Plus, this same light blinks to tell you when you’re not charging, that the battery is pretty low and should be charged soon.
- The Pairing lamp flashes or glows solid blue to let you know the connection status of the speaker.
- The Live lamp glows when the speaker is in its expansive stereo mode.
- The STAMINA lamp comes when the XB43 is in Stamina mode.
We also find two other lamps inside the port compartment in the rear of the speaker. These include the Party and Stereo Pair lamps.
- The Party lamp glows when the XB43 is in party mode. But more on that below.
- The ST PAIR (Stereo Pair Mode) lamp glows when the SRSXB43 is connected to another speaker of the same model, to create bigger stereophonic sound. But again, we’ll discuss that more below.
Sony SRS XB43 Buttons Explained, Each One in Detail
First, there is one row of six buttons on the top of the XB43, and all buttons there have a unique shape as we see in the next picture. Then there’s also the buttons in the back compartment, which we’ll get to later.
The Power Button
We begin our Sony SRS XB43 buttons explanations with the Power button, on the far left edge of the buttons panel as we point out with the green arrow in the next picture. Note its round power symbol shape with the plum line through its top.
Turning the SRS XB43 ON and OFF
Press and release the Power button when the speaker is OFF, to switch it on. Press and release it again, to turn it back OFF. The Power lamp lights up when the speaker powers up, as we show in the next picture.
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 and the unit announces, “Bluetooth paired.” But whether paired or not, no sound is heard when you turn off the XB43.
So, to know for sure that this speaker has turned OFF, you must check the Power status lamp, mentioned above, or the party lights mounted inside the front of the unit. When the speaker is OFF, all lamps should be dark, unless you’re charging the unit. When OFF in that case, the CHARGE lamp still glows solid orange.
For more details, see our How to Turn Off Sony SRS XB43 and How to Turn On Sony SRS XB43 Extra Bass Speaker posts.
The Pairing Button
This button is essential when you want to connect the XB43 to a source device, and then stream music on that device to this speaker.
Activating the SRS XB43 Pairing Mode
With the speaker powered ON, you press and release quickly the Pairing button. You then hear the speaker say, “Bluetooth pairing.” The speaker is now in pairing mode.
You need to do this anytime you pair the Sony SRS XB43 with a never-before-paired Bluetooth source device.
When in pairing mode, the pairing status lamp blinks in a pulse-pulse-pause, pulse-pulse-pause pattern. And while that’s going on, the XB43 sends out its name and other connection handle info over the Bluetooth air channels. Then, this allows nearby BT devices to find and pair to it.
When a device subsequently connects to the XB43, the pairing status lamp stops flashing, and starts glowing a steady blue.
For more details, please see our Sony SRS XB43 Pairing Instructions and How to Put Sony SRS XB43 in Pairing Mode posts.
The Play-Pause Button
The multifunction Play / Pause button looks like a right-pointing arrow / triangle with two vertical lines to the right of that. We find it immediately to the left of the Volume DOWN button, and immediately to the right of the Pairing button, as we point out with the green arrow in the next picture.
How to Use the Play-Pause Button to Stop and Start Program Play
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 play stops. 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.
How to Use the Play / Pause Button to Change Songs
To skip ahead to the next song in the playlist you’re listening to, quickly press and release the Play / Pause button two times.
To start the currently-playing song over again, quickly press and release this button three times.
If you want to skip backward in the playlist to the start of the previous song, get to the beginning of the current song. Again, to do that, press the Play / Pause button three times. Then as soon as the song starts over, quickly press and release this button again three times.
How to Use the Play / Pause Button to Call Up a Voice Assistant
When paired with an Apple device, you may press and hold the Play / Pause button on the XB43 to get Siri’s attention. Note that you must first enable Siri on the source device (phone, tablet) to get her attention this way.
How to Use the Play / Pause Button to Answer a Call on the XB43
If you have your 43 paired with your phone, and a call comes in, you can answer it on this speaker by quickly pressing and releasing this button once. Detail: The phone ringing sound comes through the XP43 and the program you were playing pauses.
The XB43 then becomes a speaker phone. E.g. You’ll hear callers on the speaker, and they will hear you via the built in mic. See the location of this tiny microphone in the next picture.
The Volume DOWN and Volume UP Buttons on the SRS XB43
The XB 43 also sports Volume Controls. On the right portion of the button panel, near the Play / Pause button, the Volume buttons look like minus and plus symbols. We circle these in the next picture.
When pressed, these lower and raise the output volume respectively, by reducing or increasing the volume setting on the paired source device. Moreover, you have 31 volume level steps on this unit.
Note that you can also change XB43 volume by adjusting volume on your source BT device, and you can also do it from within the Sony Music Center app.
No other accessibility sounds play when you adjust volume on the XB 43. But the green Power lamp normally blinks once, each time you press and release these controls. However it quickly pulses several times when the speaker is at maximum volume and you press the Volume UP button to raise the sound level further. The Power lamp also does this when the speaker is at minimum volume, and you try to turn it down further by pressing the Volume DOWN button.
How to Raise (Turn Up) and Lower (Turn Down) Sony SRS XB43 Volume
With the speaker paired and playing, press and release the minus shaped Volume Down button to decrease its audio output level by one step. Press the plus shaped Volume Up button to increase audio output. Or, you can press and hold the buttons to rapidly raise and lower the volume.
Note that these loudness controls affect the volume level setting whether the unit is paired or not. 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 Live Button
The Live button alters the output sound. The SRS XB43 has three sound effect modes that you activate with this button, including the following…
- Extra Bass (default) mode.
- The Live (stereo expansion) mode,
- The Stamina mode.
Normally, the Live and Stamina modes are both off, and Extra Bass mode is the default. In this case, neither the STAMINA nor LIVE light glows. The sound appears to emulate a flat response but with a bit of bass boost. LIVE mode gives a spacious, larger stereo image that you do not have to directly face the speaker to experience. Finally, Stamina mode seems to bring up the midrange and cut back on the deep bass and high treble sounds.
The Back Panel Buttons
We find three buttons inside the port compartment on the back of the speaker, behind the port chamber door. They are the LIGHT-BATT, PARTY, and ST PAIR buttons.
The LIGHT-BATT Button
This button switches the party lamps on the front and ends of the speaker ON and OFF.
How to Turn Speaker Party Lights ON and OFF
The multi colored lamps the pulsate, fade, flash, and change colors on the XB43 are ON by default, 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 a bit of battery power, especially when you don’t really need to waste any on running these lamps. E.g. Like when playing the speaker in daylight or in a bright room where the lights would be harder to see anyway.
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 will resume their flashing.
How to Get Battery Percentage Remaining
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 PARTY (Party Connect) Button
This party connect mode 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 Connect Plus and Party Boost feature on JBL speakers, you get a wider coverage area when you have more than one speaker in sync, than when just one is playing. So you get more volume to spread around bigger party areas.
How to Set Up Party Connect Mode
Now to create a party group, you can use any combination of XB23, XB33, and XB43 models. In party connect 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 party connect group of speakers, do as follows.
Get the Speakers Together
- 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 Party Mode on Speaker One
- Power up the first speaker. We’ll call this one Speaker One.
- Pair Speaker One with your source Bluetooth device.
- Press the PARTY button on Speaker One for three seconds. The PARTY (Party Connect Mode) light will start blinking. E.g. See this light in the next picture below. Then after a few seconds, this lamp stops flashing, and begins glowing a solid white.
Start Party Mode on Speaker Two
- Next, turn on the second speaker. I.e. Speaker Two.
- As you did on Speaker One, press and hold the Party button on Speaker Two for three seconds. The PARTY light begins flashing on that speaker for six seconds. Then it glows steadily. Also, the Bluetooth lamp on Speaker Two goes dark. At this point, you have successfully created a party connect link between these two speakers. Note that once you initiate party connect 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 returns to normal single-speaker Bluetooth operation.
- Finally, once you connect to the new party connect group, you can start playing music on that device. Then it will stream to that speaker group, and you’ll hear the program on both speakers.
- Now to add other speakers to the group, repeat steps 5 through 7 on the speaker you’re adding. Note that after adding the last speaker to the group, you have thirty seconds to add another if you so desire.
How to End Party Connect Mode
When you’re ready to break the party connect link, simply press and hold the PARTY button on Speaker One for three seconds. A tone then sounds and the PARTY light goes out, meaning that the link is now broken.
The ST PAIR Button
The Stereo Pairing function lets you join two of these speakers such that one plays the left channel of the stereo program, while the other plays the right channel. Now to create a stereo pair, you need two SRS XB43 speakers. Pairing the 43 with speakers other than an identical model did not work in our tests, and the Sony documentation states that you must have two XB43s in Bluetooth range of each other for this to work.
We find the ST PAIR button in the back compartment, the rightmost button, as shown in the last picture.
Activating the SRS XB43 Stereo Pair Mode
To form a stereo pair of two XB43s, do as follows.
- Power up the first speaker. We’ll call this XB43 Speaker One.
- Press the Pairing button on Speaker One for three seconds. The ST PAIR (stereo pair) light will start blinking. E.g. See this light in the last picture above. After a few seconds, this lamp stops flashing, and begins glowing a solid white.
- Next, turn on the second XB43. I.e. Speaker Two.
- As you did on Speaker One, press and hold the Pairing button on Speaker Two for three seconds. The ST PAIR light will begin flashing on that speaker.
- No go to your Bluetooth source device, and connect it to the speaker pair, called “SRS-XB13”. If you do not see this device, the move your phone / tablet closer to the speakers.
- Finally, once you connect to the new stereo pair, you can start playing music on that device. Then it will stream to that speaker pair, and you’ll hear the program in STEREO!
When you’re ready to break the stereo pairing, simply press and hold the ST PAIR button on one of the speakers for three seconds. A tone then sounds and the ST PAIR light goes out, indicating that the pairing is now broken.
Sony SRS XB43 Buttons Combinations, Codes
Sony SRS XB43 Reset Button Code Combination
You can reset the XB43 to factory default settings and state. To do that, turn on the speaker. Then press and hold the Pairing and Volume DOWN buttons, found on the top panel in the second and fourth button positions from the left, at the same time until all lights on the unit go dark. See these buttons pointed at by the green arrows in the next picture.
You may wish to reset the speaker to correct any weird behaviors you notice from it such as failing to pair, sound distortion, cutting out, failing 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 detail, please see our Sony SRS XB43 Hard Reset Instructions post.
Note that you can control many of these XB43 functions from your phone or tablet, instead of using the buttons on the speaker directly. For that, you need the Sony Music Center app. In that app, you can adjust speaker volume, turn it off, update its firmware, and other actions. But how to use that app is beyond the scope of this post, though if enough of you want that information, we may develop a post that describes that later.
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- 2021-09-19: First posted.