Many Sony speakers, including the Sony X3, feature a blinking orange light that lets you know that the speaker battery needs charging. Sometimes though, this flashing happens even though you’ve just fully recharged the speaker, when it should not, assuming the battery has recharged correctly. So in this post thus, we offer reasons that this happens and possible fixes for this common problem.
Why Sony X3 Blinking Orange Light Problem Causes
It’s normal that this orange light blinks when the battery is almost fully depleted. This warns that the speaker has little play time left before it goes dead, and that you should charge the unit for continued play. But when the battery is not close to dying, this lamp is dark. Thus under normal circumstances, this light should be dark, whether the speaker is running or not, and you are not charging the unit.
But if the orange light continues blinking, even after a full recharge, then a couple things might cause this, and we detail those below.
1. Your Charger May Not Be Getting Any Power
The auto or home adapter you’re using may not deliver any power because it is not receiving any in the first place. This can happen due to a broken AC or car circuit, tripped circuit breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, and the like. This would be most apparent when, though you connect the speaker to power, this lamp does not light up solid orange or continues blinking.
Check that your outlet has power by testing it by plugging in a lamp or other device to it, to see if it works. Reset circuit breakers if tripped, and if the outlet has a light switch that controls it, then be sure that that switch is in the ON position.
2. Your Charger is Too Weak or Defective
The Sony X3 orange light may blink, perhaps, because the charging adapter you have provides SOME but not ENOUGH recharging energy. Or, its output power has fallen over time. The speaker requires at least 1.5 amps of charging current at 5 volts (7.5 watts) from the supply to fully recharge in the shortest time.
The fix here is to replace the adapter. Note that many USB adapters can deliver this amount of current. So you needn’t be overly concerned about which adapter to buy… at least not in terms of its power delivery specs. Nonetheless though, get a well-known brand for reliability. The speaker is getting sufficient charging current when the lamp glows steady orange and does not blink.
3. The USB Charging Cord is Too Long, Thin, or is Defective
The USB cable can reduce the charging current even if your power supply is working correctly. This might happen with excessively long or thin cables.
To solve this, use as short a cord as is practical. Or, upgrade to a thicker, higher current handling cable. We suggest keeping cable lengths to six feet or less, and to choose a cable that is certified to carry at least 2.0 amps. When the light glows solid orange, this means that the speaker is getting at least the minimal amount of charging current needed.
4. The Speaker’s Battery Might Be Bad
As lithium ion batteries age, they can spoil. That is, they lose their ability to fully recharge, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as they get older. So you may notice that the orange light begins its blinking after a shorter than usual time since the last recharge. Or, it may blink as soon as you disconnect the charger. This can mean that the battery is not accepting enough of a charge to register in the battery management circuits as no longer near empty.
To correct this, replace the battery, although you can’t easily get to it in the X3. Note that replacing the battery demands that you dismantle the speaker. Furthermore, taking apart the speaker likely breaks the waterproof seal so that the speaker no longer resists damage if you get water on it. Plus, breaking this seal could also negatively alter how the speaker sounds as well. So battery replacement should be done by someone who can pick the right battery, and is able to restore the seal as they reassemble the speaker. A good battery should fit inside and provide 7.4 volts and 19.24 watt-hours at least. But we suggest using only Sony approved replacement batteries for this speaker.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when you See the Sony X3 Blinking Orange Light Too Often
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 high or too low. The can happen when the battery management electronics inside the X3 fail. These circuits monitor the battery and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery as fully recharged. But when they malfunction, the battery might get no charging current at all, and thus never recharge. Again, in this case, the orange light might never stop blinking while the charger is connected. You would also notice the speaker not playing as long before going dead. Or it might not play at all except when you have the adapter connected.
The best solution here, is simply to get a new speaker. This speaker has modest cost, and the circuits are very small besides. So unless you can replace the system board(s), just buy another speaker. This saves you the headaches of doing this work yourself.
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- 2023-03-08: First published.