At the beginning of May, Sony Electronics Inc. released information about the brand-new Mobile ES subwoofer and car speaker lineup. This exciting lineup includes the XS-162ES, XS-160ES, XS-690ES and XS-W104ES. As we dive deeper into the new product offering, it's clear that Sony has set the bar high for in-vehicle entertainment, allowing you to experience your favorite music while transforming the car environment and elevating your mood. Let's look at the new Sony Mobile ES products.
History of Sony Electronics
Sony Electronics is based in San Diego, California. The company is a leader in consumer and professional electronics, including automotive electronics and stereo equipment. Officially in business as Sony Group Corporation since 1957, the company is known today as one of the largest entertainment providers in the world, offering a vast portfolio that includes music, electronics, motion pictures, gaming, mobile, financial services and robotics.
Sony Mobile ES Brand
Daisuke Kawaguchi, the Vice President of Home Entertainment & Sound for Sony Electronics Inc., stated that the purpose of the new Mobile ES speaker lineup is to provide customers with a premium listening experience without any compromises. With the new Sony speakers, enthusiasts can choose the products that fit their needs while experiencing a new level of in-vehicle audio innovation.
The Sony Mobile ES selection of speakers is scheduled to be released for purchase this month. They're built for the audio enthusiast and engineered for perfection. With the advanced technology included within their speakers and subwoofers, you can expect unparalleled sound from your car stereo.
Let's take a closer look at what makes the ES lineup stand out from other car audio products. You'll quickly see that Sony took its time creating speakers from high-end materials and put a lot of thought into the construction to produce that perfect tone.
3rd Generation MRC
With MRC (Mica Reinforced Cellular), the speaker diaphragm is specifically engineered to be rigid yet still lightweight. It also created good internal loss or less resonant distortion. Sony is using the third generation of this compound, which provides some mechanical driver improvements. In all, you can expect a wider frequency response combined with more natural, smoother sounding characteristics.
In fact, MRC is the perfect partner when it comes to playing modern bass-driven tunes. The fiber holds its shape, even when pushed to high speeds and pressure. The end result is basically better audio quality and less distortion, particularly when you drive the bass hard.
Separated Notch Edge Surround
The separated notches that are curved on the surround are proprietary technology to Sony. This unique design improves the vertical amplitude symmetry of the subwoofers, to produce a clearer sound with less distortion. Sony claims that this surround design “dramatically reduces distortion” and “enhances clarity”. It's the first time we've seen a design like this on a surround but ultimately it looks like this will reduce friction/resistance on the cone to allow it to travel further faster.
Five-beam Frame Structure with a Dynamic Air Diffuser
The core of the speaker's structure is built around the beams. They are needed to supply rigidity, translating into the level of distortion that is heard and sound clarity. Sony put in the extra effort and uses an innovative five-beam frame construction. Their goal with this design is to further reduce distortion and resonance dispersion. With many other brands, the speakers are only manufactured with a four-beam design, so it's clear that Sony took care when creating the structural aspect of this speaker. With this innovative design, you can count on a solid foundation that translates into better sound quality. In conjunction, the Dynamic Air Diffuser provides superior air circulation to cool its voice coil and supply smoother cone travel for all-around solid tones.
Progressive Height Rate Spider
A speaker's spider is what allows the coil to move within the magnet without actually touching the magnet itself. It's one of the core components of a speaker that affect clarity and quality. With Sony's acoustically-optimized spider, the products achieve higher airflow and more power handling capability. Plus, the profile is created for precise and rapid speaker cone cushioning. Basically what this design does is creates a more precise and clearer sound while allowing the speaker to cover a wider frequency range without distortion.
With the XS-162ES speaker, you will find a resonance damping phase plug that provides the best frequency response to the crossover point when combined with matching tweeters. If you've ever heard distortion while running two speakers off of the same power source, you know the problem this design fixes. Plus, the Dynamic Air Diffuser and aluminum bobbin help to support this frequency response, creating more dynamic and controlled bass delivery.
Sony Mobile ES Product Line Details
With so many new products to choose from, the Mobile ES speaker lineup is sure to make waves. Here are the latest offerings, although there are sure to be more coming down the pipeline.
You can choose the 6 1/2″ 2-way Component Speakers (XS-162ES) or 6 1/2″ 2-way Coaxial Speakers (XS-160ES). There are also 6 x 9″ 2-way Coaxial Speakers (XS-690ES) and 6 x 8″ 2-way Coaxial Speakers (XS-680ES). Plus, the lineup is completed with the 10” Subwoofer (XS-W104ES).
When combined, these products offer the sound quality you have been hoping for. We can take a look at each one in-depth and showcase the design and specifications that set each apart.
Before we go into the specs of every new speaker, make sure you check out Sony's new YouTube video highlighting the lineup.
Sony Mobile ES Speakers' Key Specifications
With Sony component and coaxial speakers, expect superior sound for your car entertainment system. Look at these key features.
- MRC Diaphragm Material: The Mica Reinforced Cellular material was created to provide higher rigidity and a lighter design. Expect a wider, smoother frequency response combined with a natural sound. The embedded MRC with the aramid fibers creates a suppressive action to minimize the distortion with the lows. It should also minimize distortion across the mid-range and higher frequency. Even when cranking the radio all the way up, you continue to hear smooth, clean sound.
- Curved Notch Edge: To enhance clarity and reduce distortion, Sony included proprietary technology adding curved notches for better vertical symmetry.
- Soft Dome Tweeter: The soft-dome diaphragm is compatible with high-res audio and attached to the voice coil. It covers the ultra-high aspect of the music, covering an audio frequency range that extends to 40kHz.
- Progressive Height Rate Spider: To create better power handling combined with more airflow, Sony used this spider, which is acoustically optimized for your enjoyment.
- Five-beam Structure: By dispersing resonance, you experience a deeper, fuller tone.
- Dynamic Air Diffuser: By creating a more efficient circulation of the air, the cone travel is smoother with additional cooling to the coil.
- Phase Plug (XS-162ES models): This phase plug provides more resonance damping power to create the best frequency response. This speaker combines best with matching tweeters to create a balanced, controlled sound.
- Bi-amp Terminals with Gain Selector (XS-162ES models): This professional crossover provides a metalized film capacitor, creating lower dissipation to create a smooth high-end. The bi-amp cable mitigates distortion to tweeters while running woofers at high input. Additionally, the gain selector balances the woofers with the tweeter signal allowing for precise level adjustment, occurring even if you power the speakers from your single amp.
Sony Mobile ES XS-W104ES Subwoofer Key Features
Just as we showed with the speaker lineup, Sony has pulled out the big guns while creating the XS-W104ES. Here are some of the features you can expect with this car audio subwoofer.
- MRC Honeycomb: With the Mica Reinforced Cellular Honeycomb design, you gain a diaphragm core similar to foam attached to the honeycomb fiber base, providing flexural rigidity exceeding ten times that of PP matrix. What you end up with is powerful and precise bass along with low distortion at the same time. This is third-generation material that enhances and smooths the frequency response along with the overall sound characteristics.
- Five-beam Structure: Just like the Sony speakers, the subwoofer includes the Five-beam Frame to disperse resonance.
- Separated Notch Edge: The curved notches around the edge surround improve the symmetry of vertical amplitude to reduce distortion while enhancing clarity.
- Dynamic Air Diffuser: With this design, you can expect better air circulation that remains efficient. Overall, it creates voice coil cooling and smoother cone travel.
- Progressive Height Rate Spider: For more power handling with increased airflow, Sony includes this spider, acoustically optimized for precise and rapid speaker cone cushioning. With the voice coil's lead wire sewn into the spider, wire movement is reduced, thereby preventing any sound interference while boosting signal integrity.
Sony Mobile ES Availability & Pricing
All of the products listed above included a May 2021 release date, according to the press release. However, when looking at the Sony Mobile ES website, it shows a release date of June 2021 next to each product instead. With that in mind, we expect the speakers to arrive soon. Here is the pricing that Sony has released.
In the lineup, you are looking at between $220 and $300 for each product. The subwoofer costs the least, while a couple of coaxial and component speakers require the most significant investment.
Our Honest Thoughts about the Sony Mobile ES Speakers
If you remember the branding, Sony Mobile ES, you aren't alone. The name used to be for a lineup of car audio CD receivers back in the day. At their prime, they were some of the top-of-the-line receivers, highly coveted by audio enthusiasts.
Now, Sony is using it once again for this lineup of car audio speakers. So, what do we think of the five products being offered? First, it's clear that Sony put a lot of thought into the design and construction. From the premium materials to the structure design, these speakers are sure to produce the sound you are hoping for.
Secondly, the pricing comes in well below what we thought it would be. Sure, these speakers aren't offering a cheap way to upgrade your car stereo, but they are going to provide premium quality without breaking the bank. For a reasonable price, you are going to be able to upgrade the sound in your vehicle to a level you didn't imagine.
As with most of the Sony products we have received, we are pleased with what the company offers. This manufacturer has proven itself to be a cutting-edge leader in the head unit industry, offering products we've recently reviewed like the Sony XAV-AX8100 and Sony XAV-AX8000. Now, the company goes deeper into creating superior speakers for a complete car audio system. When used together, you receive a well-rounded, clearer sound than what other brands offer.
Of course, there will be far more opinions once we get our hands on the speakers. We actively wait for that opportunity and plan to update you on our thoughts after testing them out personally. In the meantime, tell us what you think.