The Tribit Stormbox Micro is a true mini portable Bluetooth speaker with the footprint of a drink’s coaster. It’s waterproof, supports stereo pairing and has a handy rubber strap that provides flexible mounting options.
I’ll be running through all its features before comparing how it sounds to other popular compact speakers: the UE Wonderboom 2, the Anker Soundcore 2 and the LG PL2 I recently reviewed. I’ll also compare to its larger sibling the Tribit MaxSound Plus.
Inside the box you get the speaker itself, a USB-C charging cable, and an instruction manual. There’s no included travel pouch.
This is one of the most compact Bluetooth speakers I’ve tested, measuring just 98mm x 98mm and 35mm thick. It weighs 292g, making it smaller and lighter than all the speakers I’m comparing it to.
The build quality of the speaker is excellent for the price. The bottom half of the speaker has a rubberised matte grey finish and the top half including the speaker grille is wrapped in fabric which feels nice to the touch. It’s solid with no creaking and I like the design with it’s soft rounded edges. It looks very similar to the Bose SoundLink Micro, which also has the rubber mounting strap.
The top of the speaker has raised rubber control buttons and the Tribit logo. The volume controls can be held down to continuously adjust volume. A double press of the middle Pause | Play button skips forward a track and a triple press skips back. The button also answers and ends phone calls.
The side of the speaker has the USB-C charging port with no cover.
The front of the speaker has the slightly recessed power and Bluetooth pairing buttons, either side of the status LEDs and microphone. There’s no 3.5mm audio-in port which is usually the norm on these speakers.
The bottom of the speaker has the rubber mounting strap, 4 soft rubber feet, and the passive radiator grille.
To charge the speaker you need to use a USB-A to USB-C cable like the one supplied. I’m pleased to see USB-C charging, unlike on the more powerful MaxSound Plus which uses micro-USB.
Like many other USB-C speakers I’ve tried it won’t charge with a dual-ended USB-C cable.
The right four white status LEDs indicate the current charge level with one of the LEDs flashing to indicate charging is in progress. They all turn off when the speaker is fully charged. The integrated 2600mAh or 9.6Wh battery takes up to 3.5 hours to charge from completely flat, charging at a respectable 1.1A.
A short press of the power button turns the speaker on and off. When you turn it on for the first time the status LED flashes blue. Tap on Tribit StormBox Micro in your Bluetooth settings. There’s an audio prompt and the Bluetooth LED goes steady.
You can pair to a maximum of two devices simultaneously, although it can remember up to 8 devices. To pair to a second device press and hold the Bluetooth pairing button for 2 seconds until the LED starts flashing and connect your second device.
If you have a second Tribit StormBox Micro you can set them up as a wireless stereo pair. Press and hold the Bluetooth button on both speakers for 5 seconds until you hear the prompt. This puts the speakers in Party Mode. To enter Stereo Mode with the two speakers playing the left and right channel separately, short press the Bluetooth button on either speaker. You should hear confirmation audio prompts. Another short press reverts back to Party Mode and pressing and holding the Bluetooth button for 5 seconds will disable the pairing. Unfortunately I don’t currently have a second speaker to test this feature.
If you want to factory reset the speaker and remove all Bluetooth pairings records, with the speaker on press and hold the Bluetooth button for 10 seconds. You’ll hear a confirmation sound and the speaker will re-enter Bluetooth pairing mode.
Sound accompanies turning the speaker on and off, Bluetooth pairing and reaching maximum volume but with no break in music playback just a slight reduction in volume. Unfortunately you can’t turn these audio prompts off.
With two connected devices you can pause playback on one device to play from your second device.
The speaker turns off automatically after around 15 minutes with no playback which also can’t be disabled.
There’s no accompanying app to adjust EQ, configure audio prompts or setup stereo pairing.
Sound quality and performance
The Tribit StormBox Micro has a single 42mm 9W mid-range driver and a passive radiator. I’ve been genuinely surprised with the sound it produces considering its diminutive size. It sounds full bodied and with Tribit’s XBass technology it has a lot more bass than I was expecting, but doesn’t bounce around like some lighter speakers.
Unlike the larger Tribit MaxSound Plus you can’t turn XBass off, but I tend to leave that feature on most of the time anyway. It doesn’t have quite the clarity of the MaxSound Plus as you might expect, and busier tracks sound better with the volume reduced slightly. But maximum volume is also louder than I was expecting – considerably louder than the LG PL2, and a lot of tracks can still be played at maximum volume with little distortion.
I still slightly prefer something like the less bassy LG PL2 for playing back podcasts, TV shows and YouTube videos with lots of speaking.
By default, you’ll have the StormBox Micro on its rubber feet with the speaker pointing straight up. It is a directional, not 360 degree speaker though, and I preferred the sound with the speaker pointed towards me, using the rubber strap to mount it vertically, but this isn’t always practical and it’s a shame it’s not really possible to stand it vertically on its own.
In the accompanying video, you can listen to a comparison between the Tribit Stormbox Micro in it’s default and vertical positions, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 with Outdoor Mode off, the LG PL2 with Sound Boost on, the Anker Soundcore 2 and the Tribit MaxSound Plus with XBass on. So you can decide for yourself which one you prefer the sound of. I also have full reviews of many of these speakers playing various tracks, so take a look at the links in the YouTube’s video description.
I’ve recorded the sound test with binaural microphones that capture stereo sound, to try and provide the closest representation of what I’m hearing. Please listen with headphones for the best experience. Use the video chapters in the timeline or the timestamps below to skip ahead if you like.
There was a slight delay in audio playing back YouTube videos on iOS but Netflix was ok as was YouTube and Netflix on Android.
The 8 battery life is probably the most underwhelming feature of this speaker, less than all the other speakers I’m reviewing it against. Tribit don’t mention what volume this is measured at but I still got a good day’s usage out of it, generally at around 75% playback volume, before the status LED started flashing red, indicating the battery was low.
You’ll see the battery status when you first turn the unit on as well as when it’s charging.
The speaker uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 but range was slightly worse than average, just making it to the end of the next room of my brick built house less than 10m away. But I didn’t have any connection issues in general use.
It doesn’t support any of the higher quality codecs like AAC and aptX – just the standard SBC codec, but this isn’t really of any concern for a small speaker like this.
Although the speaker has a built in microphone for voice calls, it doesn’t have the greatest pick up, sounding a little quiet and muffled even speaking less than 30cm away. Received phone calls sounds ok though. This mic is also used if you activate your voice assistant with a one second press of the Play | Pause button, but you’ll need to get quite close for Siri or the Google Assistant to understand you. You can listen to the quality of the built-in microphone in the accompanying video.
The speaker has an impressive IP67 water and dust proof rating, higher than all the other speakers I’m testing it against. The first digit 6 means it’s meant to be dust-tight which is not something you usually see in a Bluetooth speaker. And the 7 means it can be fully immersed in water, like any other IPX7 speaker. It stood up fine in my testing even with the uncovered USB-C port and fabric cover.
I tried attaching the speaker with the rubber strap to various objects, including the handlebars of a bike, a backpack, a tree branch, a metal gate and even the belt of my trousers working out in the garden and shed. I found it could be attached to objects up to around 35mm in diameter.
It does feel fairly secure, but I’d want some sort of twist lock mechanism if I was someone who was going to ride my bike around with it attached. It’s still a very simple, yet handy feature.
If you’re after a mini Bluetooth speaker which sounds good and doesn’t cost too much the Tribit Stormbox Micro has to be on your shortlist. I was impressed with the sound quality, build, design and feature set – particularly the rubber mounting strap and rugged IP67 dust and waterproof rating.
It’s still a small speaker and obviously has limitations. It’s not as loud as the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 or Tribit MaxSound Plus and midtones can sound a little swamped by the bass with some tracks and you can’t turn the XBass off. If you’re after a compact speaker for podcasts or watching TV shows and YouTube videos, the LG PL2 and Anker Soundcore 2 sounded a little clearer to me. If you don’t need the compact size or mounting options with the handy rubber strap, the MaxSound Plus and substantially more expensive Wonderboom are a step up in sound quality, with improved clarity particularly in the midtones. And much better battery life too – which is probably the StormBox Micro’s weakest feature. All the other speakers, apart from the Wonderboom 2, have an audio-in port too if that’s important to you.
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Tribit StormBox Micro: https://amzn.to/32WrFs9
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2: https://amzn.to/3jOQ8qm
Anker Soundcore 2: https://amzn.to/2DzlJgc
LG PL2: https://amzn.to/32Vmx7z
Tribit MaxSound Plus: https://amzn.to/3jQsk5n