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A good speaker with big flaws

Illustration for the article titled Tribit's versatile, long-lasting new Bluetooth speaker has a strange error

Photo: Catie Keck / Gizmodo

There is a lot to like about Tribit’s new flagship Bluetooth speaker. StormBox Pro is only 7 inches high and is very portable. It also sits in the sweet spot between being big enough to have a solid loud sound, but also small enough that you can definitely place it in a backpack or tote bag. But for some of the best features, at $ 120, the Tribit is a bit expensive for what it offers. And depending on what you need from your Bluetooth speaker, you may be better off with something else.

What I immediately liked StormBox Pro are the clean, minimal lines and a handle that can tilt up for easy carrying. This makes it a decent choice for something that may look good on a bookshelf, but thanks to its durability features, it can also handle outdoor use. I think this speaker could be the right choice for the right shop, but it strongly depends on how you plan to use it.

The good news is that the StormBox Pro has a Bluetooth range of up to 100 feet and can have up to 24 hours of battery life – although that will depend on how you listen and is likely to be smaller at peak volume. At just three pounds, it’s also light, and Tribit said the speaker can be paired with another StormBox Pro. It is equipped with a single sub and two medium frequency drivers. A button on the device labeled XBass will increase the bass (obviously), something I did almost immediately while testing. Without it being enabled, the sound did not miss as much as I expected from many Bluetooth speakers in this category.

When it comes to durability and portability, Tribit provides a pretty solid case for itself. In addition to the extended battery life, it has an IP67 waterproof rating, and based on my testing, it can definitely be drained – especially on softer surfaces such as grass or indoor floors – without fear of it suddenly ruining the bed. There is a bit of a minimum gain for this speaker. Similar speakers in this price category can similarly take tougher handling and provide better sound.

For example, if I had to choose between this speaker and the slightly more expensive one Bom 3 (priced at $ 130 at Best buy when I wrote this), I would no doubt go for Boom 3. The sound from Boom 3 blows StormBox Pro out of the water across the board, especially for genres like hip hop and electronic.

Illustration for the article titled Tribit's versatile, long-lasting new Bluetooth speaker has a strange error

Photo: Catie Keck / Gizmodo

I found that StormBox Pro at peak volumes would sometimes give the absolutely awful pop sound, and that is frankly unacceptable for a speaker at this price point. You do not want this problem in the middle of the volumes. But as someone who generally pushes their speakers to the extreme, this was a big issue for me during testing. You will not get the same battery life on the Boom 3, since that speaker gets up to 15 hours, depending on your listening habits. Boom 3 also lacks the handle that I actually liked on the StormBox Pro. But Boom also weighs half as much as Tribit, so that’s it.

If Boom 3 exceeds your budget and you want to spend a little less than the cost of one of these speakers, I would recommend Anchor Soundcore Flare 2 ($ 70), which will give you just as good if not better sound than StormBox Pro. That speaker has 360-degree sound, absolutely impressive bass for price and size, has a waterproof rating of IPX7, and can be connected to more than 100 other Flare 2 speakers (just in case you are in this extremely niche situation and decide to , I guess, blow up the whole town). In addition, the speaker has good EQ features and light show settings on the device. But again, you compromise on battery life, as Flare 2 only gets up to 12 hours of playing time on a single charge, which means it gets trumped by both LargemBox Pro and the Boom 3.

Ultimately, I do not think the StormBox Pro is a bad speaker. I actually think it’s a pretty good Bluetooth solution. I just did not love the sound handling on this speaker as much as I have heard and tested on similar (or even cheaper) speakers, as was the case with Anker. But I think that if battery life and portability are important to you – I can not stress how nice it is to have the ability to cut this speaker on a backpack with a carabiner to say camping or hiking – and you are usually a mid-volume listener, this can be the perfect speaker for you, even if it was not for me.

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