Tribit has continually pushed affordable audio forward. So, when the opportunity to review Tribit StormBox Pro arose, we were anxious to see if it could live up to that legacy. As is made apparent by the Editor’s Choice Award presented for this Bluetooth speaker, it absolutely does. But even the best speakers have caveats.
Tribit StormBox Pro, under review, proved to be a worthy contender on battery life, audio quality, connectivity, and features. It isn’t, however, perfect. And, in fact, the biggest caveats are on the charging side of things and in high-volume output. But that doesn’t really tell the whole story.
Let’s dive in and take a closer look at this top-notch, sub-$150 audio device.
StormBox Pro hardware exudes the premium standards upheld by Tribit
The Tribit StormBox Pro is undeniably a stunning piece of hardware and the pictures taken for this review don’t do that justice. Tribit started with soft-touch rubbery materials for the easy-to-use handle, top control panel, power cover, and bottom ring. And then it wrapped the speaker components in an equally soft two-tone fabric weave.
The result of that is a speaker that’s comfortable to hold and which fits in, aesthetically, in just about any setting.
It also packed in an array of lights, under the Bluetooth, Power, XBass buttons, and charge indicator, that shine clearly even in bright sunlight. And, with five battery indicator lights, those are easier to read too. In terms of how much charge is remaining.
While the Tribit logo on the carry handle is engraved, the logo at the front is all metal.
Conversely, the buttons here are slightly squishy. But they aren’t so squishy as to feel uncomfortable or cheap. At the end of each squish is a satisfying click. So the lack of real rigidity seems to be more about comfort than anything else.
That actually works incredibly well here. The buttons are easy to use. And they reduce the strain that might be felt with repeated use of a more standard straight-to-click button that doesn’t have any give when pushed.
Finally, the rear door panel covering the charging ports sits snugly in place. And that’s snugly enough that it shouldn’t wear out for quite some time, without being so tight as to be uncomfortable to pull open. The ports underneath — one USB-A port for charging up a secondary device and a USB-C port for charging the Tribit StormBox Pro — are tight-fit. So plugging into them offers a solid click and no jostle to be seen.
Of course, that door serves a real purpose here too. Tribit StormBox Pro is IP67 water-resistant. So it can handle being dunked at up to one meter for 30 minutes. So taking your music or podcasts to the pool, lake, riverside, or near just about any other body of water won’t be a stressful experience either.
Battery life wasn’t quite as advertised but that’s not a dealbreaker here
Now, as noted above, Tribit StormBox Pro has two plugs on the back associated with charging and I used both extensively during this review. The first is a 5V/1A USB-A port. That’s utilized for charging up an external device, such as the device you’re playing music from.
Of course, that’s not going to charge at the fastest rate. It likely won’t even charge some devices, since it equates to just 5W of charging as compared to the 10W or more used by most smartphones. But it should charge most devices fast enough to keep them alive during playback. And it will charge an inactive device well enough in a pinch. Such as in an emergency where the phone is low on charge and a call needs to be made. Albeit not quickly by any stretch of the imagination.
The other port is a USB-C plug at 10W — or 5V/2A. So that’s going to charge the Tribit StormBox Pro battery faster than the speaker will charge a phone. Of course, that’s not fast charging. In fact, it took just over six hours to charge up Tribit StormBox Pro during my review. And that’s not great. But, considering that this speaker also lasted around 17.5 hours with several hours of standby too, that’s not half bad.
More impressively, that time is with the speaker turned up to around 90-percent volume, with XBass features turned on. And the source device was kept at over 30 feet distance from the speaker too. So my test was on the extreme end of things. This speaker lasts an incredibly long time compared to most others with similar power and features. Up to 24-hours under the right conditions, according to Tribit.
Tribit StormBox Pro audio has some quirks but the price is right on the money
In terms of sound, Tribit StormBox Pro features a 2.1 channel subwoofer system, with full-range sound production. At least, that’s according to Tribit. The audio is driven over Bluetooth 5.0 at up to 100-feet from the source device under the right conditions. Specifically, it’s driven to a 3-inch subwoofer, two 40mm speakers, and two passive radiators. And that’s with support for aptX too.
So the audio quality should be at the top-tier for the $100-$200 price bracket. And, for the most part, it is. Where the sound could have been better is on the bass end. At the very least, at the lowest end of that frequency range and especially with the volume turned up to the loudest registers — between 80-percent and 100-percent.
Or, even more specifically, it could have used more separation between the various tones at higher volumes. With better clarity between bass tones, mids, and highs.
That’s not to say it’s bad. The audio here, for the cost, is brilliant. But, for audiophiles and for those who have a lot of experience with high-end speakers, you’re going to notice the difference. Especially in wider, more complex songs, this speaker is muddier than most higher-priced speakers. And compared to at least a few contenders in the same price bracket. Although even those are likely going to cost at least a few dollars more, if not 15- to 20-percent more. So this isn’t a deal-breaker.
AKM7755 DSP and less than 0.5-percent distortion also go a long way toward making this speaker great for its price bracket. At lower and middle volumes, especially with XBass turned on, the sound quality is noticeably better than at the highest volumes. And all of that is likely to improve greatly with one feature we’ll discuss in the next segment too.
Connect two Tribit StormBox Pro speakers for an even better experience
As already discussed, you’ll be able to listen to Tribit StormBox Pro with the source device up to 100-feet away. Provided there’s a clear line-of-sight to the speaker, with minimal obstruction. So the connectivity provided via Bluetooth 5.0 technology is strong. But that’s not all that makes the connectivity and features of this speaker great.
Setting aside that this speaker is more than loud enough to fill a standard two-story rambler with music all on its own, two Tribit StormBox Pro speakers can also be paired in tandem.
But it also means a full stereo experience and at a cost that seems more than reasonable. The real question is this. What’s the point of spending twice as much for a “better” speaker? Especially when you could buy two Tribit StormBox Pro speakers, pair them, and get twice the volume and twice the punch. All without sacrificing audio quality.
Pairing brings your total output to no fewer than four components at 7.5W two 25W subwoofers and two passive radiators for even more bass punctuating a near-distortion-free experience. All for under $250 — for the cost of two speakers. While one speaker is great on its own, this is one feature that will all but eradicate the audio issues noted above.
Tribit pushes affordable audio to new heights, StormBox Pro is well worth the price
Tribit has, for at least a few years now, continuously made affordable audio better for the masses. That’s both in terms of features and build quality. And well beyond simply improving the sound quality. Looking beyond the easily avoided, minor caveats to audio quality and charging, Tribit StormBox Pro certainly lives up to those standards.
In fact, it’s fair to say that Tribit StormBox Pro is going to easily be among the best speakers around for the money. And the ability to pair two of these speakers for a stereo audio experience and potentially even better quality only makes that more appealing. As do the water resistance, premium materials used in the build, and the quality of the overall user experience with this fairly straightforward Bluetooth speaker.
Put simply, Tribit StormBox Pro, like others in Tribit’s latest speaker line-up, is worth every penny of its asking cost and then some.