We cranked it up and got it wet
It can sometimes seem like portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen, which makes it difficult to figure out which ones are worth your investment or not. Tribit recently released the StormBox Micro, a small, portable Bluetooth speaker that not only pumps out impressive sound but boasts weather resistance too.
Tribit sent the StormBox Micro to us to do a portable bluetooth speaker review, so we put it through the paces to find out how well it performs in a variety of real-world applications.
Appearance: Compact but Convenient
The speaker lives up to its name. At 3.9 inches wide, 3.9 inches tall, and just under 1.4 inches thick, the speaker does not take up much space, nor does its weight get in the way of transporting it. The black exterior is nondescript, although it did make it difficult to pick out the top buttons at a glance.
The Tribit StormBox Micro has three buttons on top: a volume down and a volume up button, as well as the MultiFunctional Button. On the front of the portable bluetooth speaker is the power on and off button, the Bluetooth button, and a series of LED indicator lights that denote volume level and connectivity.
One feature that is worth noting about the exterior of the StormBox Micro is the integrated strap. It snaps into place on the bottom of the speaker but has a secure hold, making it perfect for looping around your belt while you’re mobile.
If you’re looking for flashing, pulsating LEDs that dance in time with your music, you’re out of luck. The StormBox Micro forgoes the bells and whistles for a plain, straightforward look, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in performance.
The first thing you notice about the StormBox Micro is the sound quality. Despite its small size, this little speaker pumps up the volume. It is appreciably loud even at lower volume levels and can fill a room when maxed out.
In addition to the volume, the StormBox Micro produces a surprising amount of bass. Speakers of this size usually fall short due to the lack of space for subwoofers, but the StormBox Micro excels even in bass-heavy electronic music. Sure, it won’t compare to a dedicated speaker with a larger woofer, but at this size the StormBox Micro is hard to beat.
Even demanding songs like Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low” sound great on the speaker. It’s easy to detect instrumental position in the playback, and the StormBox Micro maintains a good sound balance with minimal distortion.
The primary issues that arose during playback were lower, bass-heavy moments sounding a bit washed out when higher sounds were dominant in a song. Of course, problems like this are expected when dealing with compact speakers.
Features and Functionality
The StormBox Micro has several notable features. It is designed to be used with a phone, as the Multifunctional Button, or MFB, has functionality catered toward phones. The StormBox Micro has two main playback modes: Music Mode and Conversation Mode.
In Music Mode, the MFB serves as the play and pause button when given a short press. A double press skips to the next track, while pressing it three times in a row goes back one track. If you press and hold for one second, the MFB will activate Siri on your phone.
Conversation Mode is a bit different. A short press of the MFB will answer or end a phone call, while pressing and holding for one second will reject the call. A short press during a phone call will put the call on hold to answer an incoming call, while subsequent presses will allow you to switch between two calls simultaneously.
Pair one StormBox Micro with another and you have access to even more features, including Party Mode and Stereo Mode. When you put the two speakers in Party Mode, you can play the same song in sync from both, spreading the sound out across a wider area.
Stereo Mode is where the power of the speaker really shines, however. The audio quality is already impressive for a device of this size, and on its own it has good spatial representation. When put in Stereo Mode, however, the speaker tells you which one is left and which is right.
Stereo Mode provides an audio experience that is on par with much higher-priced speakers. It’s impressive for such a small device, although if you have access to a set of high-end headphones, they will likely outperform the StormBox Micro.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a way to get impressive audio quality even in your shower, the StormBox Micro might be your best option. With an IP67 weather resistance rating, the StormBox Micro can handle a lot of abuse–it’s water resistant up to a meter deep for half an hour.
Bluetooth and Battery Life
The Bluetooth functionality of the StormBox Micro is worth mentioning. It can pair with up to eight different devices total, and with up to two at the same time. That means there is no need to pass the aux cord, so to speak. If you and a friend are sharing music, all you have to do is pause your playback and your friend can start playing their music.
On a full charge, the StormBox Micro portable bluetooth speaker claims up to eight hours of battery life. While testing did not reveal an exact amount, the speaker played music for hours without a break and still had plenty of charge left over. Charging the speaker is easy, too–and included USB-C cable and a 5V plug is all you need.
StormBox Micro: Worth the Cost?
The Tribit StormBox Micro packs a lot of features into a small package, but it carries an equally small price tag. At just $50, it’s honestly hard to imagine a better Bluetooth speaker in this price range. There are options out there that may be louder and have more functionality, but they are more expensive too.
The StormBox Micro is loud, surprisingly effective where bass is concerned, and has enough features to make it a competitor against bigger brands., If you’re looking for a way to jam in the shower, this is your best bet.