The $50 speaker can be attached to a bike, backpack and even tucked into a coat pocket.
Portable Bluetooth speakers are excellent devices for taking out — to the beach, to a park, even to work. Connecting to Bluetooth, you can push out sound from a smartphone, and expand the volume and depth so others can share as well. Tribit's Stormbox Micro is a pint-sized speaker, easy to pop in a pocket, well a coat pocket, and certainly a bag — with a decent sound quality that's easily an improvement over any of your mobile devices today.
Working on Bluetooth, the speaker will connect to a smartphone, tablet and computerGearBrain
What you get with the Tribit Stormbox Micro
The Tribit Stormbox Micro is a square shaped speaker, with the back covered in a rubber-like material, and the top in mesh in either black or orange. I wish there had been more color options, but the bright orange was a cheerful color for cold wintery days. The speaker has an IP67 rating, meaning it can handle being dropped in about three-feet of water for 30 minutes, and has some dust protection. That means getting splash with a water by the pool shouldn't be a problem.
The speaker comes with a USB-C cord, but not the end charger. Most of have these from other devices, but just bear that in mind. You also get the speaker, of course, and the rubber strap which is attached permanently at one end while opening at the other. The rubber strap fits solidly and most crucially securely along the back. I never felt it would slip off a bag, although once attached you're covering up the rear speakers a bit which will affect the sound.
The speaker will need charging before you use it, and can hold about eight hours together, but once ready the controls are very simple. To connect with any device over Bluetooth, you'll turn on the power — I connected via my iPhone — and then press the Bluetooth button to the right of the strap. Go into Settings in your device, and select the Tribit Stormbox Micro to pair and connect.
A blue light shows when the speaker is connected to BluetoothGearBrain
Controls on the speaker itself are also simple. The front has three rubberized raised buttons to increase and decrease volume, and one that pauses and plays music. You cannot select a track from the speaker itself, through, as that will have to be done through your mobile device or computer.
The power and Bluetooth buttons are on the side, near a series of pin holes which will show you when the power is turned on, how much charge is left. The pin hole on the far left will also highlight as blue when Bluetooth is connected.
Sound from the Tribit Stormbox Micro was good, but it's directional. So you're getting most of the sound pushed from the top or front. If it's attached to a bicycle, you're getting less sound from the back, although there is a smaller speaker on that side as well. Sounds thinner from the top, what you'd hear from a bicycle.
A rubberized strap connects the speaker to a bike, bag or backpackGearBrain
The best sound was when it lying flat, so if you had the speaker stationary on a park, lawn or the ground. At the highest of volumes, there was tremendous bass overly present, and distortion from the back. High notes also broke apart and in some cases the bass swallowed up even the vocals.
But at more reasonable volume levels, the settings you'd use with the speaker next to you or worn closer on the body, the sound distortion disappeared and bass and treble returned to more of a balance. Plus the sound is intensely fuller though and rounder than what you'd get from a smartphone or computer.
The Tribit Stormbox Micro is priced at $49.99 and available on the company's web site.
Worth picking up?
The Tribit Stormbox Micro is a solid Bluetooth speaker, well-priced, with good sound. The speaker felt secure when attached through the rubber strap on the back, and the quality of the speaker was really good, especially at mid-range volumes.
The size is nice — small and compact — and the waterproofing makes it ideal for placing in a kitchen or even by the pool.
I did find some distortion at the highest volume levels, but these were likely louder than someone would want playing if the speaker were close to them. I think as a speaker for a bike ride, sitting in a park outside, or even in a dorm room, office or kitchen at home the speaker is a great option, even more so by its very affordable $49.99 price.