Many Sony speakers, including the SRS XB21, feature a charging status light that lights up orange while they’re charging. But sometimes, this light stays on longer than expected. E.g. It does not switch off after way more than the specified charge time once you connect the charger. So in this post, we offer reasons that this might occur, and recommend possible fixes for this typical issue.
Sony XB21 Orange Light Stays On: Some Reasons Why
It’s normal that this lamp glows orange while the charger cable is supplying power to the XB21 for up to a few hours, until the battery completes charging. Then, under typical circumstances, this light should go dark, whether the speaker is running or not.
But if the orange lamp does not go OFF, a couple things might cause this, and we detail those below.
1. Your AC or Car Receptacle May Be Dead
The auto or home adapter you’re using may not deliver any power because it is not receiving any juice to begin with. This can happen due to a broken circuit, tripped circuit breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, and the like.
Check that your outlet has power by testing it. E.g. Plug a lamp or other device into it, to see if it works. Then reset circuit breakers if not. Also, if the outlet has a light switch that controls it, then be sure that that switch is in the ON position.
2. Your AC Adapter is Too Weak or is Defective
The Sony XB21 orange light stays on, perhaps, because the charger adapter you have provides SOME, but not ENOUGH, recharging energy. Or, its output power output has grown weak across time. The speaker requires a USB charger that delivers at least 1.5 amps of charging current at 5 volts (7.5 watts) to fully recharge in the shortest time of 4 hours.
One way to fix extremely long or forever charge times, is to replace the adapter. Note that many USB adapters can deliver this amount of current. So you needn’t be overly picky about which adapter to buy… at least not in terms of its power delivery specs. Just be sure to get a brand with a good reputation for continued reliability, and one that meets the minimum power requirements mentioned above.
3. The USB Charging Wire is Too Long, Too Thin, or is Defective
The USB cable can reduce the charging current even if your power supply is working well. This could happen with very long or very thin cords.
To address this, use as short a wire as is practical. Or, switch to a thicker, higher current handling lead. We suggest keeping cord lengths to under six feet, and to choose a wire certified to carry at least 2 amps.
4. The XB21’s Battery Might Be Faulty
As lithium ion batteries get older, they can gradually go bad. That is, they lose their ability to fully recharge over time, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as well. Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less charge current. The Sony XB21 seems to monitor 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 stale battery cells may not behave this way, and instead, continue drawing higher than usual current. Therefore, the amperage 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 XB 21. Note that replacing the battery means disassembly of the speaker. Furthermore, taking the speaker apart will likely break the waterproof seal, so that the unit no longer resists damage if you get it wet. Plus, breaking this seal may also change speaker sound quality. Therefore, battery replacement should be done only by someone who can get the right battery, and can restore the seal as they reassemble the speaker.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the Sony XB21 Orange Light Stays On
Even if you have a sufficiently big enough power supply and cable. along 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 21 fail. These circuits monitor the battery and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery as fully charged. But when they malfunction, the battery might receive no charging current at all. So it never recharges no matter how long you leave the speaker connected. Again, in this case, the orange light might never turn off. And 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 best solution here, given the lower cost of the XB21, is just get a new speaker. Why? Because the circuits in this model are very small. So unless you can easily replace the system board(s) yourself, just buy another speaker to save yourself the aggravation of having to work with very small and delicate components.
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- 2023-03-17: First published.