Most JBL Bluetooth speakers, including the XB21, offer truly portable operation via their lithium ion batteries inside. And when said battery dies, you can recharge the speaker with an AC or car adapter. Sometimes though, you may notice that the Sony XB21 is not charging fully, or at all, even when you connect the adapter to power, and then to the speaker. To solve that, we’re here to help.
Sony XB21 Not Charging: How to Tell This
Read the Status Light
Among the ways you can tell that the XB 21 is not charging, is by reading the orange battery status lamp on the back of the speaker, inside the port compartment. Now this light is normally dark, but starts flashing orange during play, when the battery is running low. The Power lamp on the top of the 21 also starts blinking when battery is low.
But there’s a problem if this flashing keeps up, even when you attach the charger. Why? Because the lamp should change at this point though, to solid orange, when you apply charging power. When the light stops flashing, this means that the speaker is getting some power from the adapter. But if the orange blinking continues, then correct recharging is likely not happening.
Moreover, the CHARGE light shows battery charging progress while recharging. I.e. As long as charging is advancing, this lamp also continues glowing solid orange. And this light goes out when charging ends. But if that CHARGE lamp keeps glowing after several hours of recharging, then chances are, charging is not going well.
Feel the Warmth
You can also feel the power supply’s side panel ten or fifteen minutes after connecting it to the 21. At that time, it should feel warm. But if you detect no warmth, then again, the Sony XB21 is likely not charging.
Thus when you notice that the speaker is not recharging, even though it should be, you’ll want to determine what’s wrong and how to fix this problem. So in this post, we offer reasons why the Sony XB21 may not charge when connected to power. Then we give possible fixes for this seen-often difficulty.
Sony XB21 Not Charging: Reasons and Fixes
As we stated above, it’s normal that the CHARGE lamp pulses orange when the battery inside is about dead. But again, the light should switch to a solid orange glow when you connect the speaker to the charger, and the charger to a power outlet, and battery recharging begins.
Note that when the speaker is running, the Power light also blinks when the unit needs charging.
Or, once recharging finishes, the CHARGE light goes dark. See this in the next picture.
If the light does not change to a continuous orange glow when you plug the charger into the speaker, then several things might cause this. We list these below thus.
1.The Power Outlet May Not Be Energized
The AC or car adapter for the SRS XB21 may not output any energy because it is not receiving any to begin with. This can happen due to a defective circuit, tripped breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, and similar issues.
Check that your outlet has power by plugging in a lamp or other device. Then, reset circuit breakers if tripped, and if the outlet has a light switch that controls it, then be certain that that switch is in the ON position. Or, simply try a different outlet.
2. The AC Adapter is Broken or Too Small
The Sony XB21 not charging can also happen because the adapter is outputting SOME but not FULL amperage to fully charge the speaker, even though its getting the correct power input from the outlet.
Now as adapters age, their output energy can fall over time. So this power supply might not deliver the correct amount if it is very old. So you may see the speaker’s status lamp turn solid orange, but never go dark.
Please note that this speaker needs 1.5 amps at 5 volts (7.5 watts) from the adapter to fully recharge in the specified time of 4 hours. Yet charging will likely not go as fast as we hope if the charger does not deliver on these requirements.
The solution is to replace the adapter, preferably one that has a USB-A plug and delivers the maximum 5 volts at 2 amps (10 watts) for consistently fastest charging. Many commonly available USB power supplies meet these requirements.
3. The Battery in the XB21 is Defective
As lithium ion batteries age, 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 current from the charger as it fills. But in the case of cells aging out, it may draw too many or too few amps, thus confusing the speaker’s charging circuits into behaving like no charging is occurring. So the CHARGE lamp shows that charging is not happening correctly, either by never stopping its solid orange glow, or never turning on when you connect the charger in the first place.
To repair this, replace the battery. But realize that you can’t easily get the old one out of the 21. Indeed, changing the battery means that you must take the speaker apart, and this, rest assured, is intricate work.
Also note that doing this likely breaks the moisture seal. So the SRS XB21 will no longer be safe to use, should you expose it to water afterwards.
Also, breaking this seal may alter the sound quality too. So get someone to replace the battery who knows how to pick the right replacement battery. They should also be able to restore the seal to as it was, as they reassemble the speaker.
A good battery should fit well inside the speaker and provide 3.78 volts at 3 amp-hours, or 11.34 watt-hours. But we suggest using only Sony certified batteries for this speaker.
4. The Speaker Might be Defective When You See the Sony XB21 Not Charging
Even if you have the proper power supply, with a working battery in the speaker, the charge current that actually gets to the battery may be too low or too high. This can happen when the battery management circuits inside the XB 21 go amiss. Note that these systems read the battery status, and switch off the charging current when they deem the battery full.
But when they go awry, the battery might see no power at all though the power supply itself is okay. Thus, the speaker never charges. Again, in this case, the Power lamp might never stop blinking, even with the charger connected. You may also see that the speaker doesn’t play as long before going dead, if at all, until you connect the charger. Or it might not play at all, even with the charger connected.
The best answer here, is simply to get a new SRS XB21 speaker. Why? Because the electronics in this unit are quite small. So unless you can replace the system board(s) yourself, or know someone who will do it, just buy another speaker to save a bunch of mental tension.
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- 2023-03-17: First published.