Picture of the left front of the Sony SRS XG500 wireless speaker.

Sony SRS XG500 Buttons Guide Meanings Codes

The Sony SRS XG500 Boombox speaker has several buttons across its top panel. Plus, there are also a few more inside its rear port compartment.

along with mic/guitar, power input, and USB play and charge out ports. All this is behind the sealing cap.

The buttons on the top include the Volume, Play-Pause, Mega Bass, Power, and Pairing buttons. Plus in the back, we find the Light, Battery, Party Connect, and ST Pair (Stereo Pairing) buttons.

So here we give our version of these Sony SRS XG500 buttons details. Herein, for each button, we cover what it does along with how and when to press it. Find also below, descriptions of button combinations / codes / chords that initiate more speaker functions than a single button press does.  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 XG500 

In the port panel, sealed with a semi flexible cover, we also find a barrel style DC input charging port. There’s also a 6.35mm audio input port for either a microphone or guitar.  Plus, we have two USB-A ports.  The first lets you connect a USB storage device (thumb drive) to the speaker, and then play audio files stored on that device, through the speaker.  The other USB-A style output port supports the power bank function, where you can connect a cord between here and a mobile device to recharge it.

But here, we focus on the use of the buttons, and not the ports. So let’s get to that.

Sony SRS XG500 Buttons Explained, Each One in Detail

First, there is one row of six buttons on the top of the XG 500, 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.

Picture of the dark status and Bluetooth lamps on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker, which is powered OFF.
The dark status and Bluetooth lamps on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker, which is powered OFF.

The Power Button

We begin our Sony SRS XG500 buttons tour with the Power button, on  the far left edge of the buttons panel. We indicate this with the green arrow in the next picture. Note its round power symbol shape with the plum line through its top.

Picture of the -Power- button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker. Sony SRS XG500 Buttons.
The -Power- button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.

Turning the SRS XG500 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.

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

The speaker makes rising electronic notes sound when you turn it on.  It also plays a sort of ding-dong sound if it automatically pairs with a device upon power up. Plus, the unit announces, “Bluetooth connected.”

The unit plays a falling sequence of notes when you turn it off.

So, to know for sure that this speaker has turned OFF, you must check the Power status lamp, mentioned above, or the party lights found on the sides 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.





The Pairing Button

This button is essential when you want to connect the XG500 to a source device, and then stream music on that device to this speaker.

Activating the SRS XG500 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.

Picture of the Bluetooth pairing / discovery button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The Bluetooth pairing / discovery button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.

You need to do this anytime you pair the Sony SRS XG500 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 500 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.

Picture of the Bluetooth status light glowing blue. Sony SRS XG500 Buttons.
The Bluetooth status light.

When a device subsequently connects to the XG 500, the pairing status lamp stops flashing, and starts glowing a steady blue. For more information see our pairing details posts here and here.

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 just to the right of the Pairing button, as we point out with the green arrow in the next picture.

Picture of the Play-Pause button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The Play-Pause button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.

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.





The Volume DOWN and Volume UP Buttons on the SRS XB43

The XG 500 also sports Volume Controls. On the right center portion of the button panel, just right of the Play / Pause button, the Volume buttons look like minus and plus symbols.  We point these these out in the next picture.

Picture of the Volume buttons.
The Volume buttons.

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 50 volume level steps on this unit.

Note that you can also change volume on this Sony boombox speaker by adjusting volume on your source BT device. And from there, you can also do  it from within the Sony Music Center app as well.

No other accessibility sounds play when you adjust volume on the 500. But the green  Power  lamp normally blinks once, each time you press and release these controls.  However it quickly pulses three 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 lowest 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 XG500 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 MEGA BASS Button

The Mega Bass button alters the output sound.  The SRS XG500 has three sound effect modes that you activate with this button, including the following…

    1. The Mega Bass (default) mode.
    2. The Flat (mode,
    3. The Stamina mode.
Picture of the MEGA BASS button on the Sony SRS XG500 boombox speaker.
The MEGA BASS button on the Sony SRS XG500 boombox speaker.

Normally, the Flat and Stamina modes are both off, and Mega Bass mode is the default.  So the red Mega Bass indicator lamp normally glows. The sound appears to emulate a flat response but with significant bass boost.  Finally, Stamina mode seems to bring up the midrange and cut back on the deep bass and high treble sounds. Trimming the very low and very high response conserves battery power and thus, allows the speaker to play longer per charge.

Activating Flat Mode

To take the speaker out of Mega Bass mode and into Flat mode, quickly press and release the Mega Bass button once.

Activating Mega Bass Mode

Now to get back to Mega Bass mode from either Flat or Stamina modes, quickly press and release the Mega Bass button once.

To Activate Stamina Mode

From either Flat or Mega Bass mode, you turn on Stamina mode by pressing and holding the Mega Bass button (for about three (3) seconds) until the red Mega Bass indicator lamp lights.

Sony SRS XG500 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 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.

Picture of the Party Connect button. Sony SRS XG500 Buttons.
The Party Connect button.

To form a party connect 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 Party 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 Party Connect button on Speaker One for three seconds. The Party Connect 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. Furthermore, the speaker also makes a sound when you first press the button, and when the button assumes the solid white glow.
Picture of the Party Connector indicator lamp glowing on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The Party Connector indicator lamp glowing on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
Start Party 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 Party Connect button on Speaker Two  for three seconds.  The Party Connect 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 operation.
    3. Finally, once you connect to the new party connect group, you can start playing music on that source device. Then it will stream to the speaker group, and you’ll hear the program on both speakers.
    4. Now to add other speakers to the group, repeat steps 1 through 3 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 Connect button on Speaker One for three seconds.  A tone then sounds and the Party Connect light goes out, meaning that the link is now broken.

Picture of the dark Party Connect indicator lamp.
The dark Party Connect indicator lamp.

The Stereo Pair Mode

The Stereo Pairing function lets you join two XG500s such that one plays the left channel of the stereo program, while the other plays the right channel. But unlike some of the other Sony speakers that allow you to activate this function from their controls, on the XG500, this feature is only available by using the Sony Music Center app.  So we won’t discuss it further here, since you cannot use the buttons on the speaker to get to it.

The Battery Button

This button triggers the speaker to announce the percentage of charge left in the battery.  It also switches between normal and Battery Care mode.

Picture of the Battery button on the Sony SRS XG500 boombox speaker.
The Battery button on the Sony SRS XG500 boombox speaker.

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 Battery Care Mode

In this mode, the speaker only charges the battery to ninety (90) percent.  It considers that a full charge and stops charging at that point. This is supposed to extend the battery’s service life somewhat.  Note that you can also control this option in the Sony Music Center app.

How to Activate Battery Care Mode

With the speaker running, press and hold the Battery button until you hear the “Battery Care mode ON” announcement.

How to Turn off Battery Care Mode

Press and hold the Battery button until you hear the speaker make the “Battery Care mode OFF” announcement.





The Light Button

The speaker has party lights that flash, pulse, and undulate in time with the music, making many multi-colored patterns for an enhanced party space. These are ON by default, but turning them off saves battery power. This is handy when you’re running the speaker in bright rooms or outdoors during the day, where you couldn’t see the lights very well anyway.

Picture of the Light button. Sony SRS XG500 Buttons.
The Light button.

How to Turn the Party Lights OFF

Turn these lights off by pressing and releasing the Light button.

How to Turn the Party Lights ON

Then to turn them back on again, simply repeat what you did before.  I.e. Press and release in the Light  button. At that point, the party lamps will resume their flashing, fading, and color changing patterns.

The Guitar Button

This speaker can serve as a PA system for microphones or an amplifier for electric guitars, keyboards, and such.

Picture of the Guitar button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The Guitar button on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.

This button stops Bluetooth and USB audio sources, and then the speaker accepts input from the Mic / Guitar input connecter, pictured below.

Picture of the 6.35mm, 1/4 inch Mic / Guitar input port.
The 6.35mm, 1/4 inch Mic / Guitar input port.

How to Activate Mic / Guitar Mode

Press and release the Guitar button to suspend all other audio sources, and bring the Mic / Guitar port online.

Once turned on, you can plug a microphone or guitar into the 1/4” Mic / Guitar port that we point out in the picture just above. The Mic / Guitar lamp glows when this mode is active, as we see next.

Picture of the glowing Guitar input indicator light on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The glowing Guitar input indicator light on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.

But before you insert a cord into the port, turn the level control to minimum to prevent being blasted out by loud static or program audio when you actually make the connection.

Then, use this level knob to set how loudly the speaker plays content received from this input.

Picture of the level control knob for the Mic / Guitar input.
The level control knob for the Mic / Guitar input.

How to Exit Mic / Guitar Mode

Press and release the Guitar button.  Then the speaker makes a sound, and the guitar indicator lamp goes dark, as we see next.

Picture of the dark guitar input indicator lamp on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The dark guitar input indicator lamp on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.




Sony SRS XG500 Buttons Combinations, Codes

Change Sound Quality

You can control how the speaker priorities its Bluetooth connections.  Either it can favor connection stability over sound quality, or sound quality over connection stability.  Now by default, the speaker favors sound quality over stability, and this is normally no problem, as long as you keep the 500 well away from sources of microwave interference.

Picture of the Bluetooth and Volume UP buttons.
The Bluetooth and Volume UP buttons.

How to Change to Prioritize the Sound Connection

Press and hold both the Bluetooth and Volume UP buttons until the Bluetooth lamp flashes blue three (3) times.  At that point, the speaker then favors connection stability over sound quality.

Picture of the Bluetooth status light glowing blue on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.
The Bluetooth status light glowing blue on the Sony SRS XG500 speaker.

How to Change to Prioritize Sound Quality

Again, press and hold the Bluetooth and Volume UP buttons at the same time, until the Bluetooth lamp flashes blue two (2) times.

Reset Button Code Combination

You can reset the XG500 to factory default settings and state. To do that, turn on the speaker. Then press and hold the  Play-Pause and   Mega Bass buttons, found on the top panel in the third and sixth 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.

Picture of the Play-Pause and Mega Bass buttons.
The Play-Pause and Mega Bass buttons.

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.

Final Remarks About the Sony SRS XG500 Buttons

Note that you can control many of these XG500 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, switch the party lights OFF and ON, 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.

Other Posts About the Sony SRS XG500 Boombox Bluetooth Speaker

    1. How to Check Sony SRS XG500 Battery Life
    2. Starting Pairing Mode on the Sony SRS XG500 BT Speaker
    3. How to Pair Sony SRS XG500 Speaker
    4. How to Charge Sony Boombox Speaker SRS XG500
    5. Sony SRS XG500 Charge Time for Full Recharge

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References for Sony SRS XG500 Buttons Explained

    1. Sony SRS XG500 Boombox Speaker Product Page at Sony.com

Revision History

    • 2022-08-19: First posted.
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