The Tronsmart Element T2 Plus is a compact portable speaker with an IPX7 waterproof rating, up to 24 hours of battery life, independent lossless playback via a MicroSD slot and supports wireless stereo pairing with another identical speaker.
It’s reasonably priced at around $35 or £30 but often on offer so check for the latest pricing in the description below.
I’ll be comparing it against the similarly priced and popular Anker Soundcore 2, the slightly larger Anker Soundcore Boost and the T2 Plus’s big brother; the Tronsmart Element Force – all of which I’ve reviewed recently. Could this be the perfect budget portable travel speaker? Let’s find out.
Inside the box you get the speaker itself, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, a 3.5mm audio cable and a decent instruction manual. There’s also a lanyard which is nothing more than a short shoelace.
This is a pretty compact speaker measuring 175mm by 69mm by 53mm and weighs 535g. It’s marginally smaller and lighter than the Anker Soundcore Boost but the Anker Soundcore 2 is significantly smaller and weighs over 100g less.
The boxy design with curved sides is quite plain, with rather too prominent Tronsmart branding for my liking, on the front and rear speaker grilles. But it’s well built with no flexing or creaking. The Soundcore Boost feels more premium with its fine fabric grill wrap and flush control buttons, but for something designed for travel and portability first and foremost the T2 Plus should prove more robust, and it has an IPX7 waterproof rating rather than IPX5 splash proof rating of the Soundcore Boost.
Behind the metal grille at the front of the speaker are the stereo drivers that deliver up to 20W of output.
Around the back of the speaker you can just see the rear venting passive radiator behind the metal grille and lifting the rubber flap reveals a microSD slot, a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm audio-in port for a wired connection. They don’t list the maximum capacity of microSD card supported, but a Sandisk 64GB card worked just fine. It’s not a feature I’d use much, but it does allow for completely untethered music playback. It’s nice to see the modern and robust reversible USB-C charging port but I would have liked a USB port to charge other gadgets like on the Soundcore Boost. You need to completely close the rubber seal to maintain its waterproof rating.
Around one side of the speaker is a buckle like on the Tronsmart Force, for clipping to a bag. A karabiner would have been a more useful accessory than the short shoelace lanyard for this purpose.
Along the top are the slightly raised speaker controls. They don’t have any backlighting so being black on black are difficult to see in dim conditions. There’s no NFC like on the Tronsmart Force and Soundcore Boost for quick pairing to compatible devices. The bottom of the speaker has two rubber feet.
The T2 Plus has a 3600mAh battery, but despite charging via USB-C doesn’t support fast charging. It supports up to 2A at 5V but I didn’t get more than around 1.2A and it wouldn’t charge at all via a USB-C to USB-C cable. A full charge takes around 3 hours.
The power LED lights red whilst charging and then turns off when fully charged. You can use the speaker whilst charging but Tronsmart recommends against it for the longest battery lifespan.
A 3 second press of the power button turns the speaker on with a sound that can’t be disabled. The first time you turn the speaker on it’ll enter Bluetooth pairing mode with the power light flashing blue. Connect to Tronsmart Element T2 Plus in your Bluetooth settings. There’s another beep and the power LED goes a steady blue. The speaker will power off automatically after 15 minutes if there’s no music playback. You can’t turn this feature off.
Disappointingly you can only connect to one speaker at a time, like all the other speakers I’m comparing it too. But you can pair to a second T2 Plus speaker to create a stereo pair, like with the Tronsmart Force. I don’t have a second speaker to try out this feature.
If you want to pair to another device, press and hold the play button for three seconds until the blue light starts flashing indicating it’s again ready for pairing.
If you have any connection issues, the manual suggests you should be able to reset the speaker and delete all pairing records by holding down the play button for 8 seconds with the speaker on. I didn’t find this did anything.
The controls along the top can be a little confusing and I had to repeatedly refer to the manual to remember their multiple functions. An extra Bluetooth pairing button would have been useful.
The power button turns the speaker on and off with a 3 second press. A single press activates your voice assistant, and an 8 second press forces the speaker to shut off if it locks up which I didn’t experience.
The M button is for pairing with a second T2 Plus speaker and switches between Bluetooth, line in and the microSD card, if in use.
The play | pause button also answers and ends a phone call, and is used for Bluetooth pairing as previously discussed.
The volume buttons also skip tracks with a long press. There’s no EQ button, and no dedicated app to control EQ, but you could make some adjustments via your device’s EQ settings.
You can copy music to a microSD card in a number of formats for independent playback from the speaker. The music will be played back in alphabetical order and loops continuously. Even after turning off the speaker, it continues to playback from its last position.
Sound quality and performance
The two 10W drivers with the rear venting passive radiator deliver a big sound for such a small speaker and with an impressive amount of bass. Mids generally sound pretty clear but with busier tracks and at louder volumes the highs can sound a bit harsh. With no EQ adjustments it does depend a lot on what you’re listening to. Most tracks sound pretty well balanced but for some music I found myself lowering the volume or adjusting the music apps’ EQ settings.
You can hear for yourself how the Tronsmart T2 Plus sounds and listen to how it compares to three other similar speakers: the Anker Soundcore 2, the Anker Soundcore Boost and the T2 Plus’s big brother the Element Force. I’ve reviewed all speakers separately if you want to hear them play other tracks.
Tracks with a lot of bass did highlight one significant issue regarding vibration. The speaker started to walk around the table to quite an alarming degree. Definitely something to watch out for!
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 timestamps below to skip ahead if you like.
It is a step up in size from the Soundcore 2 but if that doesn’t bother you, it’s also louder with more presence and significantly more bass. The Soundcore Boost I think overall sounds better, but is more expensive and I did find the T2 Plus had a little more clarity in the mids. The Tronsmart Element Force has a very similar sound signature to the T2 Plus, but its extra size and additional output is noticeable.
The speaker has the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and the connection was generally reliable. Range was ok and comparable to the other speakers I was testing it against, making it to the far end of the next room of my brick built house around 10 metres away, but no further.
There’s no support for the higher quality aptX or AAC codecs, but you could always connect via the 3.5mm cable or use a microSD card for potentially better sound quality.
I still got slight audio sync delay with YouTube on iOS like most of the budget speakers I’ve tested, but there was no noticeable delay with YouTube on Android and Netflix on both platforms.
The built in microphone is good enough for phone calls but there is quite a bit of background hiss, even speaking close to the microphone.
The speaker is well built and feels robust and it’s IPX7 waterproof rating held up fine in my testing.
Battery life was very impressive. Tronsmart quote a whopping 24 hours at 50% volume. I mostly used it around 75% volume and got over 15 hours of usage off a full charge.
There’s a lot going for the Tronsmart Element T2 Plus. Its compact, has a good range of features including an IPX7 waterproof rating, excellent battery life and it sounds quite impressive for its size and price. Maximum volume really is pretty loud and the amount of bass it manages to conjure up from its diminutive size might surprise you. Although this does also bring with it one flaw: the speaker might just bounce its way into trouble with bassy tracks. Something you really do need to watch out for if you’re prone to balance speakers in precarious locations!
If you want something even more compact which also has very good battery life, take a look at the Anker Soundcore 2 I reviewed a while back. It doesn’t have the bass of the T2 Plus but is still a great little speaker. If you want a slightly more refined sound, and a more premium build, there’s the Soundcore Boost. The Boost also comes with a USB port to charge your gadgets and NFC quick paring support, but it’s more expensive and only has an IPX5 splash proof rating.
Jumping up in size, and with a similar price to the Boost, the Tronsmart Element Force is quite similar to the T2 Plus in a lot of ways, but with a bigger sound, NFC support and EQ modes. There’s also the Tribit MaxSound Plus that I couldn’t squeeze into the sound test, but another great option with arguably the most balanced sound.
Overall if you’re after a truly portable robust speaker with decent bass and a good feature set, that can easily fill a small room, this is definitely a speaker to consider.
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