In the first week of May 2021, Sony Electronics introduced its new Mobile ES series of speakers and subwoofers. If you’ve been into the car audio industry for a while, then you’ll recognize the Mobile ES (Elevated Standard) name from classic products like the CDX-X90 CD player. The new Mobile ES speakers include 6.5-inch coaxial and component sets, a set of 6×8 and 6×9-inch coaxials and a 10-inch subwoofer. Let’s dive into the 6.5-inch sets and explain what makes them an excellent solution for an enthusiast wanting amazing sound from their car audio system.
Sony Mobile ES XS-162ES Speakers
The XS-162ES is a 6.5-inch component speaker set that includes a pair of woofers with removable grilles, a set of 1-inch tweeters and a pair of passive crossover networks. The woofers are based on a proprietary lightweight composite material, designed to integrate cooling vents around the perimeter of the magnet to help keep the motor assembly cool. Sony calls this its Dynamic Air Diffuser. The five-spoke baskets also include venting under the spider mounting plateau to increase linearity at high excursion levels. There are 10 mounting holes in the thick upper flange to accommodate three-, four- and six-position fastener locations. A phase plug in the center of each woofer is supported by a finned aluminum bobbin with its own Dynamic Air Diffuser for added cooling.
The woofers are formed using Sony’s third-generation Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) cone material. The mixture combines mica mineral powder to increase damping and thermal stability with aramid fibers to provide good strength and rigidity. Sony reports that this new material helps suppress cone resonances to deliver improved bass and midrange performance. The cone is suspended by a progressive spider that helps control motion at extreme excursion levels. The design of the Separated Notch Edge Surround at the top of the cone, with its curved grooves, reduces distortion by equalizing compliance for inward and outward motion and damping the synthetic rubber material’s resonances.
Speaking of distortion reduction, Sony has included an aluminum shorting ring around the inside of the magnet to help control unwanted magnet flux in the motor assembly. This feature results in a significant reduction in speaker inductance and smoother upper midrange performance.
The set of tweeters included in the system uses a soft-dome design with a large surround. The voice coil is connected directly to the base of the diaphragm. A large neodymium magnet slug serves as the motor for the tweeter. The voice coil is immersed in a magnetic fluid that improves power handling, increases efficiency and damps unwanted resonance.
Sony claims these tweeters deliver output to 40 kHz. As such, they are ideal for Hi-Res source units that can play FLAC and DSD files. The tweeters can be flush-, surface- or angle-mounted using the included hardware.
The passive crossover networks each feature high-quality mylar capacitors and an air-wound inductor. There’s an output level control switch that will allow your installer to attenuate the tweeter by 3 dB to balance the system.
XS-160ES Coaxial 6.5-inch Speakers
The XS-160ES is the coaxial version of the XS-162ES drivers. They share the same basket and woofer design but feature a 13/16-inch soft dome tweeter instead of the 1-inch driver found on the component set. The tweeter is mounted on top of the composite center post and, just like its big brother, includes an integrated waveguide to help increase efficiency. The tweeter crossover capacitor is mounted in the center of the pole extension for a clean and tidy appearance.
An important consideration in choosing a coaxial speaker for your car or truck is to ensure that the tweeter doesn’t protrude too far out the front. The product development team at Sony took this into account and made the top edge of the tweeter even with the top of the woofer surround so it won’t come into contact with the stock grille in your car or truck.
Mounting Requirements and Specifications
Both the XS-160ES and XS-162ES have a mounting depth of 2.125 inches and require a 5-inch cutout diameter. When installed, the grilles stick out 29/32 of an inch. The tweeters in the XS-162ES require a 2.128-inch mounting hole and need 0.75 inch of depth when mounted flush. The overall outer diameter is 2.5 inches. Both speakers are rated for up to 60 watts of continuous and 270 watts peak power handling as per the IEC 60268-5 spec. The CTA-2031 spec is 90 watts per driver. Efficiency is specified at 89 dB with a tolerance of 2 dB at 1 W/1M. The frequency response is 45 Hz to 40 kHz for the XS-160ES and 40 Hz to 40 kHz for the XS-162ES system with no specified tolerance.
Upgrade Your Car Audio Experience with Sony Mobile ES
Based on the feature set alone, the new Mobile ES speakers put themselves in competition with products costing two to three times as much. The new Sony speakers are available to audition and purchase from authorized Sony Mobile ES retailers across the U.S. and Canada. If you’re looking for a way to improve the audio system in your car or truck dramatically, the XS-162ES and XS-160ES speakers are a great option.
You can learn more about Sony Mobile ES car audio products by visiting their website or visiting an Authorized Sony Mobile ES retailer near you. Of course, be sure to follow Sony on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to stay on top of future additions to the Sony Mobile ES line.