A good speaker with a big mistake

Illustration for article entitled Tribit's versatile, long-lasting new Bluetooth speaker has a weird flaw

Photo Catie Keck / Gizmodo

There’s a lot to like about Tribit’s new flagship Bluetooth Speaker. With a length of only 7 centimeters, the StormBox Pro is very portable. It is also in that good place between being big enough to have a solid loud sound, but also small enough to certainly fit in a backpack or carrying case. But for some of its best features, at $ 120, the Tribit is a bit expensive for what it has to offer. And depending on what you need from your Bluetooth speaker, you may be better off with something else.

What I immediately liked about the StormBox Pro has clean, minimal lines and a handle that folds up for easy carrying. That makes it a good choice for something that looks nice on a bookshelf, but can also be used outdoors thanks to its durable properties. I think this speaker could the right choice for the right shopper, but that depends a lot on how you are going to use it.

The good news is that the StormBox Pro has a Bluetooth range of up to 30 meters and a battery life of up to 24 hours – although that depends on how you listen and will likely be less at top volumes. At just three pounds, he’s light too, Tribit said the speaker can be connected to a second StormBox Pro. It is equipped with a single sub and two mid-high frequency drivers. A button on the device labeled XBass will boost the bass (obviously), which I did almost immediately during testing. Without it being turned on, the sound didn’t jerk as much as I am used to from many Bluetooth speakers in this category.

In terms of durability and portability, Tribit makes a pretty solid case for itself. In addition to the longer battery life, it has an IP67 rating for waterproofing, and based on my tests, it can definitely drop – especially on softer surfaces like grass or indoor floors – without fear of suddenly shitting in bed. However, that’s a bit of an absolute minimum gain for this speaker. Similar speakers in this price category can be handled heavier in the same way and produce a better sound.

For example, if I had to choose between this speaker and the slightly more expensive one Boom 3 (priced at $ 130 at Best Buy at the time of writing), I would go for the Boom 3 without a doubt. The sound of the Boom 3 blows the StormBox Pro out of the water across the board, especially for genres like hip hop and electronic.

Illustration for article entitled Tribit's versatile, long-lasting new Bluetooth speaker has a weird flaw

Photo Catie Keck / Gizmodo

I found that at top volumes, the StormBox Pro gave that absolutely horrible popping sound at times, and that’s frankly unacceptable for a speaker at this price. You will not have this problem with medium volumes. But as someone who generally pushes their speakers to the limit, this was a huge problem for me during testing. You don’t get the same battery life on the Boom 3 as that speaker gets up to 15 hours depending on your listening habits. The Boom 3 also lacks the handle that I actually quite liked on the StormBox Pro. But the Boom also weighs half as much as the Tribit, so that’s it.

If the Boom 3 is over your budget and you want to spend a little less than the cost of one of these speakers, then I would recommend the Anchor Soundcore Flare 2 ($ 70), which gives you as good if not better sound than the StormBox Pro. That speaker has 360 degrees of sound, absolutely impressive bass for its price and size, has a waterproof rating of IPX7, and can be paired with over 100 other Flare 2 speakers (just in case you’re in this extremely niche situation and decide to, I think to blow up your entire congregation). Plus, that speaker has great EQ functions and light show settings on the unit. But again, you’re compromising on battery life, as the Flare 2 only gets 12 hours of playtime on a single charge, which means it’s outperformed by both the StormBox Pro and the Boom 3.

Ultimately, I don’t think the StormBox Pro is a bad speaker. I think it is actually a pretty good Bluetooth solution. I just didn’t like the sound processing on this speaker as much as I’ve heard and tested on comparable (or even cheaper) speakers, as was the case with the Anker. But I do think that if battery life and portability are important to you – I can’t stress enough how nice it is to have the ability to clip this speaker to a backpack with a carabiner for camping or hiking, for example – and you’re typically a medium volume listener, this could be the perfect speaker for you even if i wasn’t there.