“The StormBox Micro is sturdy, sounds good, and is remarkably reasonably priced”

  • IP67 climate resistance ranking
  • Distinctive Bluetooth vary
  • Good sound high quality
  • Light-weight, transportable design
  • Boring aesthetic
  • Battery might be higher

A collection of occasions occurred in near-perfect succession: One weekend, I rediscovered my love of river floating, a soothing, socially distant exercise that shines as one of many extra gratifying issues to do on a heat summer season Sunday afternoon. The important thing ingredient lacking was good, easy-listening music. I had Bluetooth audio system, however none that I might confidently take close to the water.

So, the following week, when my editor informed me I’d be enhancing the $50 Tribit StormBox Micro transportable Bluetooth speaker, I couldn’t wait to get began.

Out of the field

The packaging, very similar to the speaker itself, is sort of small. Accordingly, the contents of mentioned packaging are minimal; there’s the StormBox Micro, a USB-C charging cable, and a fast begin information. That’s basically it, and actually that’s all you actually need.

StormBox MicroNick Woodard/Digital Developments

The setup course of is sort of nonexistent. Merely energy the speaker on by way of the button on the facet of the Micro, maintain the Bluetooth button proper subsequent to it for 2 seconds, and the Micro will enter pairing mode. From there, you understand the drill: Discover the speaker in your system’s Bluetooth settings, make the connection, and begin having fun with your music.

I put the Micro at one finish of my yard and went as distant as my property would let me, and the Micro continued to pump out tunes with no glitch.

The StormBox Micro comes with Bluetooth 5 tech, and Tribit claims it helps a 100-foot vary. Whereas I can’t affirm that precise quantity, I can say the vary is spectacular. I put the Micro at one finish of my yard and went as distant as my property would let me, and the Micro continued to pump out tunes with no glitch.

Design

Cease my if I’ve mentioned this earlier than, however the StormBox Micro is small. The square-shaped speaker is 3.87 by 3.87 inches round, and about 1.Four inches tall. It weighs about 10 ounces, which to place into perspective, is heavier than your commonplace smartphone however no bulkier than an overstuffed pockets. In different phrases, the size of the Micro scream portability.

StormBox MicroNick Woodard/Digital Developments

The aesthetic of the Micro isn’t nice. In actual fact, I’d say it’s downright boring, with a ridged mesh cowl throughout the highest and Tribit’s emblem sitting squarely within the center. That mentioned, I’d additionally say the aesthetic shouldn’t matter to most individuals on this speaker. Try to be extra centered on its sturdiness, and the Micro does really feel like it could possibly take a beating. And from my expertise, it could possibly. I dropped it as I used to be traversing a steep bankside on my method right down to the river, however I used to be in a position to retrieve it, mud it off, and proceed jamming out like nothing occurred.

There are three controls on the highest of the speaker: Quantity up, quantity down, and a multi-function button. The amount buttons do what you assume they might, and the multi-function button can pause and skip tracks, activate your sensible assistant, or navigate cellphone calls. Sure, you’ll be able to reply, reject, and toggle between two completely different cellphone calls on this $50 Bluetooth speaker.

The Micro additionally has a tear-resistant strap that Tribit says you need to use to connect the speaker to your bike or backpack. It’s slightly small to be universally helpful, however it’s versatile and I looped it by way of a strap on my mountaineering backpack with out challenge. To be clear, I didn’t use the Micro whereas mountaineering. Please, don’t be the one that blasts Cardi B whereas mountaineering.

Options

For most individuals, that is going to be a very powerful a part of this evaluation. The very fact of the matter is, there’s an countless variety of Bluetooth audio system you should buy, lots of which can offer you pleasantly respectable sound for the same value. However if you seek for one thing that may deal with the weather and tackle the fixed grind of an outside life-style for hours on finish, the choices slender dramatically.

StormBox MicroNick Woodard/Digital Developments

The StormBox Micro has an IP67 weather-resistance ranking, which protects it in opposition to mud and being submerged in as much as a meter of water. To check the bounds of this speaker, I took the Micro out on the river with a couple of mates. It sat tethered to a rope on the sting of our raft, constantly taking up water as we paddled away from rocks and pointy sticks. I finished wanting dropping the Micro underwater, as a result of I had issues each in regards to the buoyancy of the speaker and the depth of the river, however it received totally soaked and didn’t skip a beat throughout our float.

You’re going to need to preserve that USB-C charging cable helpful for a multi-day tenting journey, however the Micro has simply the correct amount of juice for a full day of enjoyable.

The Micro additionally has a claimed eight hours of battery life, which is respectable for a speaker of this dimension. The Micro ended up offering us fixed music for 2 consecutive floating journeys and the barbeque that ensued afterward. You’re going to need to preserve that USB-C charging cable helpful for a multi-day tenting journey, however the Micro has simply the correct amount of juice for a full day of enjoyable.

Audio high quality

Look, I’m not going to let you know that the Micro is able to issues which might be bodily inconceivable for a speaker its dimension. When you’re in search of bigger than life sound, strive the Final Ears Hyperboom. When you’re after extra high-fidelity sound whereas sustaining some climate resistance, strive the Marshall Emberton and even the Sonos Transfer.

StormBox MicroNick Woodard/Digital Developments

When you’re trying to find a pocket-sized speaker that may play louder (and clearer) than it appears attainable for one thing so small, then you definitely’ve come to the proper place. The Micro delivers respectable bass, particularly for its dimension, although it received’t rattle your raft. It sounds fairly clear, and it doesn’t distort at excessive volumes. Talking of excessive volumes, this might not be the speaker of selection for a high-octane home occasion. However did we bump some Beastie Boys or Zac Brown Band each time we handed onlookers on the banks of the river? You wager your Bluetooth we did.

The sweetest a part of the Micro’s sound functionality, to me, is its potential to pair with one other Micro to create a stereo soundstage. This stereo mode — or Celebration Mode, as Tribit calls it — is enabled after you maintain each your Micro’s Bluetooth buttons collectively concurrently for 5 seconds. The consequence considerably improves the audio I discussed above, rising the amount and bass capabilities twofold. It’s the best way music was meant to be heard, in any case, and I believe a setup like this could be much more very best for a yard hangout or a weekend tenting on the lake. The one draw back is that it’s simply going to price you twice as a lot.

To my shock, it’s truly pretty respectable for cellphone calls, if you end up needing that function. The Micro’s microphone isn’t nice, however I wouldn’t anticipate it to be anyhow. In a nutshell, this isn’t a speaker meant for taking calls, however you are able to do it successfully if it’s essential to. That’s greater than lets say for the Marshall Emberton.

Our take

The StormBox Micro doesn’t oversell itself. It appears to know the sort of client it’s for, and it checks all the required bins. It’s sturdy, it sounds good, and it’s remarkably reasonably priced for what it affords.

Are there higher alternate options?

The $100 UE Wonderboom has higher battery life at 10 hours, however a worse climate resistance ranking (IPX7). The identical goes for the $100 JBL Flip 4, which has 12 hours of battery life and an IPX7 ranking. Does extra battery however much less safety justify doubling the price of the Micro? I’d say it relies upon fully on what you’re utilizing your Bluetooth speaker for. The brand new river bum in me would go for higher resistance in opposition to the weather.

How lengthy will it final?

Tribit affords an 18-month alternative guarantee, 30-day money-back assure, and lifelong assist for the product. Mixed with an IP67 weather-resistance ranking, the StormBox Micro doesn’t appear prone to fail anytime quickly.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. There are Bluetooth audio system on the market with higher sound and improved battery, however for a $50 package deal that features glorious climate resistance, good sound, and handy portability, the StormBox Micro is a formidable worth.

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