tribit stormbox micro bluetooth speaker: For a tiny Bluetooth speaker, the $50 Tribit StormBox Micro has plenty to offer. It’s fully waterproof, has a built-in tear-resistant strap, and can work as a speakerphone. It also sounds quite good for its size, with reasonably rich low-mids and lows paired with crisp, clear vocals. There’s little to complain about here, but there’s also little that separates the StormBox Micro from other affordable portable speakers like the $60 Sony SRS-XB13 and the $40 JBL Go 3.
Small and Rugged: Tribit stormbox micro bluetooth speaker
Available in black or orange, the StormBox Micro measures 3.9 by 3.9 by 1.4 inches (HWD) and weighs 9.1 ounces, with a rounded square shape. Its exterior is fabric with matte silicone; the fabric grille covers an upward-facing 9-watt mono driver and holds a set of minimal controls. A central multifunction button covers playback, track navigation, call management, and voice assistants depending on how many taps or longer presses you give it, and plus/minus buttons adjust volume. The bottom panel houses rubber feet, along with a strap for attaching the speaker to whatever can fit through its tight grip, like bike handles or hooks. This panel also houses a perforated grille for the passive bass radiator, which seems to push out a fair amount of air when the volume levels are high.
The IP67 rating here means the speaker is fully waterproof, and can be submerged up to around three feet for 30 minutes. Neither Bluetooth signal nor sound work well underwater, but the point is the speaker can get wet or dirty (it’s also dustproof) and then rinsed off under a faucet, and you don’t have to worry about it.
The StormBox Micro is compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 and supports the SBC codec, but not AAC or AptX. Two speakers can be connected to work as a stereo pair, or to play the same mono stream out of both in Party Mode.
Tribit estimates the StormBox Micro’s battery life to be roughly eight hours, but your results will vary with your volume levels. The included USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable connects to the USB-C port on the side panel.
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Not for Bass Lovers
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the StormBox Micro manages to mostly avoid any distortion. It flirts with crackle at top volumes and the enclosure seems to vibrate a bit, but to be fair, this is a difficult track for small speakers to reproduce. At more moderate volumes, the deep bass on this track doesn’t sound very full, but also doesn’t distort.
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Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the StormBox Micro’s general sound signature. Callahan’s baritone vocals get an extra helping of low-mid richness, and the drums sound relatively full and robust at moderate volume. Higher volumes can make the driver sound like its teetering on the edge of distortion even on this track, though.
This isn’t the issue with everything we played; tracks off the latest Haim record and a live recording of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s new band, The Smile, pack some laudable bass richness and depth that was cleanly delivered. In all cases, the highs are crisp and bright.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives plenty of high-mid presence, allowing its attack to retain its punchiness, though the sub-bass synth hits are more implied than delivered. Again, we wouldn’t expect a speaker this size to deliver real bass thunder, but it can still muster a sense of richness in the lows and low-mids. The vocals on this track are delivered with solid clarity. You’ll need to spend more money if you’re looking for a powerful speaker with deep bass, but the StormBox Micro packs a reasonable punch, gets fairly loud, and generally delivers a clean sound signature for its size and price.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound relatively rich and full through the StormBox Micro. The mids take on a more profound role than they usually do, with the higher-register brass, stings, and vocals delivered with slightly less brightness than usual. The speaker doesn’t sound muddy, though, and it does a solid job of conveying a full-sounding mix through only one driver.
The speakerphone mic offers decent intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone, we could understand every word we recorded, with typical Bluetooth distortion. Callers should be able to understand you with a decent signal.
Solid Outdoor-Friendly Sound for the Price
For $50, there’s little to complain about the StormBox Micro. The built-in strap and waterproof, dustproof build mean you can take it anywhere, and sonic performance is solid for a speaker this size, even if it doesn’t necessarily stand out. In this price range, we’re fans of the recently reviewed $60 Sony SRS-XB13 and the $40 JBL Go 3. For $100, the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom is a more powerful option with an outdoor-friendly build. We’re happy to add the Tribit StormBox Micro to this list of solid, outdoor-friendly speakers, though. It’s a worthy option alongside the others just mentioned, even if it doesn’t necessarily outperform any of them.
Solid audio performance for the size
Can distort at maximum volume
The portable Tribit StormBox Micro speaker delivers full-sounding audio from a weatherproof frame for just $50.