The Tribit StormBox Micro shows that sometimes, the best quality in a Bluetooth speaker is being small and easy to carry. It’s cheap, too: at a mere $50 this could be a great pick for someone looking to upgrade on their phone speakers with a limited budget.
As a consequence of being both small and affordable, it’s not exactly loaded with extras. But it doesn’t strictly need them: as our Tribit StormBox Micro review will explain, this is one of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Price and availability
The Tribit StormBox Micro is one of the cheapest Bluetooth speakers around; or at least of the cheapest good ones. It costs $50, and is available in both black and orange colorways.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Design
The 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4-inch StormBox Micro isn’t the smallest Bluetooth speaker you’ll find, but it’s small enough. It’s comparable to the 5.4 x 3.8 x 1.8-inch JBL Clip 3. At 0.6 pounds, it’s also light enough to stash in your bag without weighing you down.
Available in black or orange, the unit doesn’t feel or look cheap. The top of the square speaker is covered in a mesh, while the back is encased in a sturdy plastic. A plastic strap is integrated into the back; you can unhook one end to loop it around a backpack strap or bike.
On the front of the speaker, you’ll find controls for volume and a multifunction button that can play/pause songs, skip tracks and activate Siri, among other things. The bottom features the power button, battery indicator and Bluetooth pairing button. A USB-C port on the right side is for charging the battery.
Unlike the Clip 3, the StormBox Micro lacks an auxiliary input — it’s wireless or nothing with this model.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Performance
Don’t let its small size fool you: The StormBox Micro delivers very good sound for a speaker this size. It has especially impressive bass, something few micro Bluetooth speakers can manage — including the Clip 3. It also spreads sound fairly wide for a small speaker. The StormBox Micro doesn’t have as bright of a sound as the Clip 3, however.
Taylor Swift’s voice came through clearly on “the last great american dynasty,” and the bass was full, though the keyboards lacked some definition. Fiona Apple’s singing was vibrant on “Shameika,” and the little speaker handled the layers of instruments well. The bass on Jason Isbell’s “What’ve I Done to Help” was rich, as were his vocals, though the strummed acoustic guitars didn’t come through as prominently as they do on larger speakers.
The StormBox Micro has decent power — I measured it at about 90 decibels at full volume. But it gets distorted as you turn it up. It performs best when you keep the volume to 50% or less — around 75 to 80 decibels.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Ruggedness
With an IP67 rating, the StormBox Micro can withstand both water and dust. You can blast it with water, but it shouldn’t be submerged.
I ran it under the faucet for a few seconds without any damage. By comparison, the Clip 3 has better water resistance and can be submerged in water.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Battery
The StormBox Micro can play for up to 8 hours on a full charge. That’s a little less than many portable Bluetooth speakers; for example, the Clip 3 is good for 10 hours. After listening for more than 5 hours at low volume, the StormBox Micro had about 2/5ths of its power left, meaning that the 8 hours the company claims is pretty accurate.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Wireless and Setup
The StormBox Micro paired easily with my phone and maintained a strong connection from 100 feet away indoors. It can connect to two devices simultaneously, allowing you to easily switch who is playing tunes.
The speaker lacks an app and doesn’t offer any sound modes — you get what you get when it comes to the sound.
You can link together two StormBox Micros to spread the sound wider, either having both mirror the music or functioning as left/right stereo speakers.
Tribit StormBox Micro review: Verdict
The Tribit StormBox Micro is an excellent value and its small size makes it great for listening on the go. It delivers a sound that is bigger than you’d expect and it produces good bass. While the sound lacks some detail, it produces better overall sound than the JBL Clip 3. You have to step up in price and sacrifice size if you want something that sounds even better; the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is fuller and richer overall, but it’s also slightly bigger and more expensive.
The StormBox Micro doesn’t have many bells and whistles; it’s just a simple portable Bluetooth speaker that’s affordable, easy to take with you and sounds good. And sometimes that’s exactly what you want.