Front left view of the Sony SRS XB33 speaker.

Sony XB33 Not Charging

Most Sony Bluetooth speakers, including the XB33, offer truly portable capability via their lithium ion batteries inside. And when said battery runs down, you can recharge the speaker with an appropriate AC or car adapter. Sometimes though, you may notice that the Sony XB33 is not charging fully, or at all, even when you connect the adapter to power, and then to the speaker.  To solve this, we offer information here to help.

How to Tell that the Sony XB33 is Not Charging

Read the Charge Status Light

Among the ways you can tell that the XB 33 is not charging, is by reading the orange battery status lamp on the top of the speaker.  Now this light is normally dark, but starts flashing orange during play, when the battery is running 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, to solid orange.  Then, 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 occurring.

Moreover, the status light shows battery charging status while recharging.  I.e. As long as charging continues, 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, and does not go dark, then chances are, charging is not getting on well.

Feel the Heat

You can also feel the power supply’s side panel ten or fifteen minutes after connecting it to the speaker.  At that time, it should feel warm. But if you detect no warmth, then again, the Sony XB33 is likely not charging very well.

Thus when you see that the speaker is not recharging as it should, you’ll want to deduce what’s wrong and how to correct this problem.  So in this post, we offer reasons why the Sony XB33 may not charge when connected to power.  Then we give possible fixes for this seen-often hardship.

 Sony SRS XB33 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.

The glowing -CHARGE- lamp on the Sony XB33.
Sony XB33 -CHARGE- light lit up.

Or, once recharging finishes, that lamp goes dark. See this in the next picture.

Picture of The dark -CHARGE- light on the Sony SRS XB33 speaker.
The dark -CHARGE- lamp on the Sony SRS XB33 speaker.

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 Live

The Problem

The AC or car adapter for the SRS XB33 may not output any current because it is not receiving any power to begin with. This can happen due to a defective circuit, tripped breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, and similar issues.

The Fix

Check that your outlet has voltage 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 Adapter is Broken or Too Small

The Problem

The Sony XB33 not charging can also happen because the adapter is outputting SOME but not FULL amperage to completely recharge 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 33’s CHARGE lamp turn solid orange, but never go dark.

Please note that for fastest charging, this speaker needs 3 amps at 5 volts (15 watts) from a USB-C AC adapter to fully recharge in the shortest specified time of 5 hours.  Yet charging will likely not go as fast as we hope if the charger does not deliver on these requirements, or if you’re using a USB 2.0 charger, which supplies less than the full 3 amps.

The Fix

The solution is to replace the adapter, that delivers the 15 watts for consistently fastest charging. Use a commonly available 15 watt USB-C power adapter.

3. The Battery in the XB33 is Worn Out

The Problem

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, this can confuse 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.

The Fix

To repair this, replace the battery. But realize that you can’t easily get the old one out of the 33. Indeed, you must take the speaker apart for this. And this, rest assured, is an intricate undertaking.

Also note that doing this likely breaks the moisture seal.  So the SRS-XB33 will no longer be safe to use, should you expose it to water afterwards.

Furthermore, breaking this seal may alter the sound quality too. So get someone to replace the battery who knows how to pick the right replacement part. 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 1.9 amp-hours at 7.4 volts (14.06 watt-hours). But we suggest using only Sony certified batteries for this speaker.

4. The Speaker Might be Defective when the Sony XB33 Is Not Charging

The Problem

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 power management circuits inside the XB33 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 bonkers, 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 CHARGE 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 Fix

The best answer here, is simply to get a new SRS XB33.  Why?  Because the electronic parts in this unit are quite small and delicate.  So unless you can confidently replace the system board(s) yourself, or know someone who can, just buy another speaker to save a bunch of mental stress.

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Other Sony XB33 Posts

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    1. Sony XB33 Official Support Page
    2. Where to Buy the Sony XB33

Revision History

    • 2023-03-11: First published.