Which Tribit Speakers Are Actually Worth It? A Deep Analysis of the Ultra-Cheap, Small, Loud Marvels

Some Tribit speakers are just frankly not worth it. But Tribit also offers some of the very best waterproof, ultraportable Bluetooth speakers around. This is definitely a case where you want to choose wisely.

We’ve analyzed the whole range of Tribit speakers, as well as what other audio critics say about them, and in this article we’ll steer you to the very best from this low-cost, very high-performing, but also rather uneven brand.

Update History of This Article

This article was first published on September 30, 2022.

Tribit Speakers: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Your first consideration when choosing a portable Tribit speaker is simply to decide how much speaker you want to carry.

The full range is listed below in order by weight, starting with the lightest, pocket-sized Tribit StormBox Micro 2 moving all the way up to the hefty, boombox-sized Tribit StormBox Blast.

Pricing is not completely linear but generally also goes up in from cheapest (for the lightest speakers) to most expensive.

Click the green plus (+) sign next to the photo for more details on each speaker; there are also vendor links to the best online pricing we have found.

How the Tribit Portable Speakers Compare in Sound and Other Key Features

The features on Tribit speakers are quite similar and tend to be just fine; the main difference to watch out for is how they sound.

We’ll share below our thoughts and whether we’d recommend each one and for whom.

Tribit StormBox Micro 2: A Marvelous, Clip-On Pocket-Sized Speaker

The Tribit StormBox Micro 2 is the smallest speaker in the Tribit line. We loved using the original Tribit Stormbox Micro when it was released and are pleased to see Tribit has made some important upgrades, like a longer battery life and improved power rating from 9 to 10 watts. The sound profile of the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 remains quite similar to the original Tribit StormBox Micro.

The Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 is small enough to fit in a coat pocket, though you’re more likely to use the built-in strap to attach it to a backpack, bicycle handlebar, picnic cooler, volleyball net post, or anywhere else convenient. It’s rated IP67 waterproof and dustproof, so it’s definitely ready for some outdoor abuse.

My favorite feature on the Tribit Stormbox 2 is that it now charges an external device (most likely, your phone) from the speaker’s battery via its USB-C cable. We normally travel with a USB-C battery and have even found this indispensable for our long European bus trips. But the Tribit Stormbox 2 fills this need in a pinch as well; if your phone runs out of juice you can simply recharge it from the speaker. It doesn’t support fast charging but it will be a very handy backup to have when you’re out and about.

The Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 offers clean, surprisingly loud, vibrant, and rich mids and highs.

More importantly, the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 sounds excellent for its size; it can be a pleasant way to provide music for a small outdoor gathering even at half volume. The music and tech critics have been universal in their praise, saying that at 50-70% volume the mids are rich and bright. The bass end, while offering nothing like the heavy thump on a larger speaker, is at least fully present and enjoyable. At top volumes there are some complaints of distortion and the bass overtaking the mids. But, overall, the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 impresses with a clean, vibrant sound that seems like it should be coming from a much larger speaker.

The speakerphone feature is an oddity and has gotten some complaints for dropouts and a poor mic. Most current Bluetooth speaker lines are dropping this feature and I’m not sure why Tribit keeps it; I certainly have always preferred using the speakerphone feature directly on my phone to using it on a connected Bluetooth speaker, even when it works well.

If you buy two Tribit Stormbox Micro 2s you can link them together for stereo sound on the go; they do not link unfortunately link with the previous Tribit Stormbox Micro.

Tribit XSound Surf: Excellent Volume, Extremely Cheap

The main selling point for the Tribit XSound Surf is that, as of this writing at least, it is available for very cheap (under $30), and you really can’t get a better speaker at the moment for that price.

The Tribit XSound Surf is very cheap but prone to distortion at top volumes.

It has been reviewed by only a few critics and YouTube fans, who feel that the volume and bass is impressive and that the speaker is comfortable to listen to music on for long periods, including outdoors. But there is a bit of distortion, particularly at top volumes, and of course the bass is not particularly convincing. The Tribit XSound Go discussed below sounds better if you’re seeking a small, long, and narrow speaker and it costs just a bit more than the Tribit XSound Surf.

The Tribit XSound Surf has everything that we’d expect in terms of features: a long (10-hour) battery life, IPX7 waterproofing, USB-C charging, and the ability to create a stereo by linking two of them simultaneously — and you couldn’t possibly ask for a cheaper way to get on-the-go true stereo sound.

Tribit XSound Go: The Best-Sounding Small Speaker

The Tribit XSound Go is widely considered the best cheap small Bluetooth speaker out there. It is just slightly wider and shorter than the XSound Surf, and though it costs a bit more it’s well worth the few bucks, in our opinion, for louder and smoother delivery.

The XSound Go offers what we generally see as standard on more expensive Bluetooth speakers at this point: USB-C charging, IPX7 full waterproofing, and a long battery life—in the XSound Go’s case 24 hours. Reviewers have been nearly universal in their praise, saying that it’s nearly as good as the more expensive Sony, JBL and Ultimate Ears speakers that these demanding folks usually critique.

The Tribit XSound Go offers natural-sounding, even delivery of music plenty loud enough for a small outdoor gathering. While it may not do as well with complex music as some of the more expensive speaker brands, it is comfortable to listen to for long periods. You can pair two units for stereo sound on the go.

The speakerphone function does not work all that well and its use is not recommended. The long-term durability is reportedly excellent from customers who have had it for a long time.

The Tribit Stormbox is a bit odd; it’s quite a bit more expensive than the Tribit XSound Go and just a bit larger, but its sound is a bit harsher and less natural. It’s also a less powerful speaker.

Strangely, in terms of features the Tribit Stormbox is also a slight downgrade from the Tribit XSound Go. It’s possible to pair two Tribit Stormbox speakers for louder sound but not stereo. The speaker is IPX7 waterproof and has a 20-hour battery life.

The main selling point for the Tribit Stormbox is that it offers 360-degree delivery. We would instead recommend either the cheaper Tribit XSound Go just above, the TribitMaxSound Plus just below. Those do not offer this listen-to-the-speaker-from-any-angle advantage, but put them on the edge of the room or gathering and they’ll sound better, as long as they’re facing you.

Or else, if you’re looking for excellent, punchy 360-degree sound in a similarly sized and shaped speaker to the Tribit Stormbox, check out my favorite travel speaker (reviewed here), the Ultimate Ears Boom 3.

The Tribit MaxSound Plus is horizontal speaker that is almost the same size and weight as the Tribit Stormbox but its performance is much stronger, richer, and more natural. It is slightly heavier and just a bit shorter than the JBL Flip 5 or JBL Flip 6.

The Tribit MaxSound Plus is a directional speaker so it sounds best from the front. It’s durable and completely IPX7 waterproof.

Those who have reviewed the Tribit MaxSound Plus generally gave it very high marks. This is one of the better-sounding Tribit speakers; it maintains the evenness and composure of its little sibling, the XSound Go, and is a natural step up in volume, power, and bass delivery.

Unlike other speakers of this size and in this price range, the MaxSound Plus nearly never distorts at top volumes. The mids are crisp and punchy. With the XBass feature turned on, it delivers a truly impressive, defined, and natural thump on the low end given the speaker’s small size. The feature isn’t overbearing; the mids and highs still shine through; most people prefer to leave the XBass turned on.

Tribit StormBox Pro: Muddled, Poorly Defined Mids and Distorting Bass

The Tribit Stormbox Pro is Tribit’s answer to the wonderful, sweet-sounding sonic buckets with handles from a more well-known company: the Bose Revolve II and especially the Bose Revolve+ II.

Tribit’s idea here is fabulous: This is a heftier, one-kilo speaker with a still-compact form factor kicking out 360-degree sound (so it’s meant to be placed in the middle of the space). There’s an impressive 24-hour battery life and, as with the Stormbox Micro 2, the ability to recharge your phone or other device off of the speaker’s great big battery. Plus, it’s ready to survive a bit of abuse outdoors, with an IP67 fully water- and dustproof rating.

The fun ends there however, as the sound is rather unpleasant in the ears of most reviewers. In a nutshell, the sound tends to muddle and distort, especially at higher volumes and on the low end, although the high end can sound strained as well. The speaker can go extremely loud for its size, but you wouldn’t really want to listen to it at that volume.

Tribit XSound Mega: A Portable Light Show with Excellent Volume and Party Performance

The Tribit XSound Mega is the Tribit speaker with a (silly, we think) light show. While its size and sound make it seem comparable to the JBL Xtreme 3 and its predecessors (which are preferable if you have the slightly higher budget for them), the Tribit XSound Mega’s light show also makes it akin to the JBL Pulse line of lava-lamp speakers, although not as well-executed and nice to look at as the Pulse.

The Tribit XSound Mega is still a very worthwhile speaker and one that we’d consider for casual, loud outdoor listening. There is a shoulder strap, USB-out for charging a phone or other device from the speaker’s large internal battery, and IPX7 waterproofing.

The speaker has gotten mixed reviews from critics but overall much more positive than negative in terms of its sound performance. The naysayers claim it’s not as precise as they would like, but it does offer an even performance at top volumes with perhaps a slight bass emphasis. The sound is highly directional, so it sounds best when you’re right in front of it. The bass is convincing, clear, and has depth.

Overall we think this speaker is worthwhile, but for if you need to really rock the outdoor party (and you have a bit more of a budget), we definitely prefer the Stormbox Blast just below.

Tribit StormBox Blast: Our Absolute Favorite Affordable Outdoor Party Speaker

The Tribit StormBox Blast is a bit smaller than the portable boombox cassette players of yore, and a surprisingly solid and somewhat heavy option at just around 5 kilos / 13 pounds. As with the other Tribit speakers (and unlike some competing brands), the Stormbox Blast is completely IPX7 waterproof—perfect for those of you who, like me, enjoy your outdoor dance parties even when there’s a strong risk of rain.

The Tribit Stormbox Blast, like the XSound Mega, has a silly light show but it can fortunately be turned off. There is an astounding and completely unnecessary 30-hour battery life, but, then again, it’s great to know that you’ll have plenty of juice just in case and you can charge your phone or other device off of the speaker’s battery if needed. That’s the real key to ensuring that the music never stops. There’s no speakerphone feature on the Stormbox Blast, but that’s not something we could imagine using on such a speaker in any case.

The Tribit StormBox Blast is much cheaper than the comparable Ultimate Ears Hyperboom or JBL PartyBox 100 and just as capable of kicking out serious bass and delivering even overall performance while animating an indoor or outdoor bash. Also, critics have generally admired how the StormBox Blast sounds; overall it gets high marks compared to speakers of the same size and weight while coming in much cheaper. Our favorite at this size has been the JBL Boombox 3 and its predecessors, but the Tribit Stormbox Blast comes costs about half as much and sounds nearly as good.

The loudest, biggest Tribit speaker is the Tribit Stormbox Blast, which offers crisp and powerful bass and real, punchy separation of instruments with a lot of dynamism.

The Tribit Stormbox Blast’s bass performance is smooth, rounded, crisp, beginning to approach what we’d expect from a nice indoor stereo system. There is an XBass feature to boost the low end even further but it is not really necessary and also tends to cause a bit of loss in clarity. Still, it is a perhaps fun feature for certain tracks, especially in an outdoor environment where the bass could get more easily lost.

The Stormbox Blast’s performance in the mids and treble also doesn’t disappoint. The speaker is punchy and dynamic with a good sense of presence. You’re carried into the music and can feel close to a singer’s voice, with a good separation of instruments on simpler tracks. The only complaint is that the highs can in some cases sound a bit harsher than with the more expensive speakers we sited above. But for the much lower price, this is certainly the best option.

General Notes and F.A.Q. on Tribit Bluetooth Speakers

As noted in our meta-reviews above, the quality of Tribit speakers varies quite a bit so it’s hard to make generalizations—it’s better to consider each speaker on its own.

How Does Tribit Compare to JBL?

Often Tribit speakers are a bit cheaper than JBL speakers and they tend to have nearly the same features. But the JBL speakers often tend to sound just a bit better than Tribit speakers—and JBL speakers are much more consistently of excellent quality.

As noted above, we think some of the Tribit speakers sound impressively balanced and dynamic and others can be a bit harsh and uneven. If you’re willing to pay a bit more for an assurance of higher quality sound at any size, check out our comparison review of the full range of JBL options. If you’re looking for a very small speaker, however, we definitely recommend the Tribit StormBox Micro 2 over the JBL Go 3.

How Does Tribit Compare to Ultimate Ears?

To our ears, when comparing Tribit speakers and Ultimate Ears speakers of roughly the same size, Ultimate Ears always sounds better. Ultimate Ears speakers are punchier, more dynamic, and deliver a fuller impression of bass. We tend to especially recommend the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 or MegaBoom 3.

That said, Ultimate Ears speakers are also generally more expensive than their Tribit counterparts, and there isn’t as wide a range of speaker sizes in the Ultimate Ears line. If you’re willing to pay a bit more than you would for a Tribit speaker, check out our comparison review of the full range of Ultimate Ears and JBL speakers to find the right option for the size you’re willing to carry and amount you’re willing to spend.

Are Tribit Speakers Worth It?

Yes, there are better Bluetooth speaker options at most sizes than Tribit. But for their low prices, it’s impossible, at least for the ones we recommend in this article. Unless you’re a more demanding listener or looking to fill a larger space with intense sound, you ‘ll likely be quite pleased with most of the Tribit options covered above.

How Is the Battery Life on Tribit Speakers?

Generally Tribit speakers advertise extremely long battery life but don’t play quite as long as they claim. Of course the actual battery life of any speaker depends on the volume and other conditions, but we’ve found that JBL speakers for example tend to outperform their advertised battery life in real-world tests, whereas Tribit speakers tend to fall up short.

That said, they do deliver so many hours of excellent music that this is a minor quibble.

Wrap-up: The Best Tribit Speakers

To put it bluntly, Tribit wins some and loses some.

We wholeheartedly recommend and really enjoy (from smallest to largest) the Tribit StormBox Micro 2, the Tribit XSound Go, the Tribit MaxSound Plus, and the Tribit StormBox Blast. The other options from Tribit aren’t terrible, but we wouldn’t spend our money on them.

Our Favorite
Tribit StormBox Micro II
A palm-sized, strap-on speaker with surprisingly rich detail and decent volume
Our Favorite
Tribit XSound Go
A slightly longer speaker with truly outstanding performance for its low price
Our Favorite
Tribit MaxSound Plus
A similarly strong performer with slightly more bass and volume
Tribit Stormbox Blast
The cheapest outdoor party speaker we’d recommend; exemplary bass performance and power with composed, even delivery