Many Sony speakers, including the SRS X3, feature a status light that glows orange while charging / recharging them. Sometimes though, this light stays on. E.g. It does not turn off after way more than the specified charge time after you connect the charger. So in this post, we offer reasons that this can happen, and suggest possible fixes for this common problem.
Why Sony X3 Orange Light Stays On
It’s normal that this orange light glows while the charger cable is supplying power to the X3 for up to a few hours, until the battery completely fills. Then, under normal circumstances, this light should go dark, whether the speaker is running or not.
But if the orange lamp does not go out, a couple things might cause this, and we detail those below.
1. Your AC or Car Outlet May Not Have 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.
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 Power Adapter is Too Weak or is Defective
The Sony X3 orange light stays on, perhaps, because the charging adapter you have provides SOME but not ENOUGH recharging energy. Or, its output power output has weakened 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 specified time of 5 hours.
The fix in this case is to replace the adapter. Note that many USB adapters can deliver this amount of current. So you needn’t be overly choosy about which adapter to buy… at least not in terms of its power delivery specs. Nonetheless though, get a well-known brand for reliability.
3. The USB Charging Cable is Too Long, Too Thin, or is Defective
The USB cable can reduce the charging current even if your supply is working properly. This might happen with very long or very 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.
4. The Speaker’s Battery Might Be Faulty
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. Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less charge current. We believe that the Sony SR2 X3 speaker monitors this. Then when the charge current falls to a value that it interprets as the battery being fully charged, then it shuts off the orange CHARGE light. But faulty battery cells may not behave this way, and instead, continue drawing higher current. Therefore, the current never falls to the fully charged value, and so the orange lamp never turns off.
To fix this, replace the battery, although you can’t easily get to it in the X3. Note that replacing the battery dictates that you disassemble the speaker. Furthermore, doing this likely breaks the waterproof seal, so that the speaker no longer resists damage if you get it wet. Plus, breaking this seal may also change how the speaker sounds. Thus, battery replacement should be done by someone who can get 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 the Sony X3 Orange 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 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 turn off while the charger is connected. You would also notice that the speaker doesn’t play as long before going dead. Or it might not play at all except when you have the adapter connected.
The most practical solution here, given the relatively low cost of the X3, is simply to get a new speaker. The circuits in this model are quite miniature. So unless you can replace the system board(s), just buy another speaker.
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- 2023-03-08: First published.