After a couple of quiet summers due to a certain global pandemic, I’ve spent the last few weeks making up for all that lost time. So far, my summer has been crammed full of days out, vacations, and large-scale events. It’s been pretty fun but also very tiring — not to mention horrendously expensive.
Usually, when I’m packing for a trip or excursion into the outdoors, my trusty UE Boom 2 portable speaker is one of the first things I shove into my bag – but, to be honest, I’ve always found it on the borderline when it comes to true portability. So, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity earlier this year to test out the Tribit StormBox Micro 2 (opens in new tab).
I had heard good things about its predecessor, and this second iteration of the Bluetooth speaker refines what made the first model so great. I had expected to find the StormBox Micro 2 an adequate alternative to my pre-existing speaker of choice, what I didn’t expect was for it to become my new summer essential gadget.
What’s most impressive about The StormBox Micro 2 isn’t just that it’s a compact and powerful portable speaker, but rather it's the rafter of additional features that really won me over. These have all come in handy at various points over the past few weeks, and are a big part of the reason I’ve been recommending this speaker to just about everybody I know all summer long.
Tribit StormBox Micro 2: $59 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Tribit StormBox Micro 2 is a powerful, but still pocket-sized portable speaker. Offering explosive audio and 12 hours of battery life, it's the ideal companion for adventures in the great outdoors. It also sports a silicon strap for attaching to handlebars, backpacks and belt loops and even doubles as a power bank.
A truly portable speaker
Coming from the UE Boom 2, the StormBox Micro 2 is incredibly compact. The speaker literally fits into the palm of my hand, and I don’t have particularly sizeable shovels either.
It’s got a slick overall look as well. The speaker mesh is stretched over the front with the USB-C port, battery indicator, on/off button and a connectivity button placed on the side. To the eye, it’s an attractive little device and it doesn’t stand out with garish colors or a needlessly over-the-top design.
I should also mention the large white volume control buttons placed on the top. I genuinely appreciate how clicky these are. This might sound like a very superfluous thing to praise, but I’ve used speakers in the past with less tactile controls and the immediate responsiveness of the StormBox Micro 2 shouldn’t be overlooked.
Big things come in small packages
Considering its micro-size I was initially a little concerned that the StormBox Micro 2 was going to have sacrificed the audio experience in the name of portability. But once I switched the speaker on I was pleasantly surprised.
We said in StormBox Micro review that the speaker “packs a lot of sound into a very portable package” and its follow-up offers the same surprisingly powerful audio. Granted, it’s obviously not as crisp or loud as speakers that aren’t designed to be taken just about anywhere, but it’s hard to imagine a speaker of an equally slim profile sounding any better than StormBox Micro 2.
Even when I took the speaker to a chaotic (and very loud) music festival campsite, I could clearly hear every word and guitar chord of my indie rock playlist even at around half volume. This was a treat for me, but I’m not entirely sure the campers next to me appreciated hearing The Wombats on repeat for practically the entire weekend.
More than just a speaker
When it comes to the best Bluetooth speakers there are plenty of options out there, but what really helps the StormBox Micro 2 stand out is its suite of additional features.
For starters, it’s waterproof with an IP67 rating. Some form of waterproofing – or at least water resistance – is expected with most Bluetooth speakers, but it’s still appreciated. And I was (un)fortunate enough to get to test out the strength of the StormBox Micro 2’s waterproofing when the sky opened while I was camping. I’m pleased to report the speaker passed the test with flying colors. My tent? Not so much.
The StormBox Micro 2 also comes with a tear-resistant silicon strap that can be used to attach the speaker to various objects from bike handlebars to a belt loop. I personally used the strap to fix the speaker to my backpack during a trek in the beautiful Peak District, and it allowed me to soundtrack the walk without needing to physically carry the device.
Perhaps most impressively, the StormBox Micro 2 also doubles as a portable charger. Just connect a phone, tablet or accessory via the USB-C port and it’ll juice the device up. It’s not a small burst of power either, on a full charge the speaker claims to offer 1.4 charges of the iPhone 13. This feature has already come in handy when my partner's smartphone died on a flight. Sure, it’s not quite the same as carrying one of the best power chargers with you, but it’ll get the job done in a pinch.
Packaging together an appealing design, surprisingly strong audio performance, and a slew of additional (and very useful) features, the StormBox Micro 2 is now comfortably the portable speaker I turn to whenever I’m heading outside my flat. And I’m confident I’ll be using it well beyond this summer as well.