Tribit Stormbox Micro 2: Two minute review
The Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 is the latest proof that ‘Tribit’ and ‘value’ are two words that happily skip hand in hand on this road we call life. The Chinese audio specialist doesn’t yet have the massive influence of heavy-hitters like JBL, Sony, Ultimate Ears and Bose in the field of the best Bluetooth speakers – and we almost don’t want to offer the virtues of Tribit’s latest for fear it will join them. will add up and prices will skyrocket.
But we’re dutiful, so know that Tribit’s Stormbox Micro 2 inexpensive Bluetooth speaker takes everything that was good about the original and surpasses it — and that little speaker was a high-level contender to begin with.
With a standard price of $60 or £60 (around AU$86), but already a 10% discount on Tribit’s own website, you simply can’t do better for design, durability, features and sound quality in an inexpensive Bluetooth wireless device. loudspeaker at this wallet-friendly level.
Similar to the original 2020 Stormbox Micro, the StormBox Micro 2 is about the size of a stack of coasters, and has a handy strap on the bottom so you can attach it to a table leg, bag strap or your bike’s handlebars. even managed to attach it to the cup holder of a rental car.
Now, however, the Stormbox Micro 2 is slightly larger and weighs 35g more (315g instead of 280g). Like its older brother, the Micro 2 is IP67 dust and water resistant, but battery life is now 12 hours at moderate volumes, which is over eight hours for the original – and remember you only get five of the same – format options like the JBL Go 3.
The power has also been improved, from 9W to 10W, which means that the volume of the Stormbox Micro 2 is increased. You also get Bluetooth 5.3 (up from Bluetooth 5.0), the main benefit here being a new 120-foot Bluetooth range, according to Tribit. Personally, I was able to stray up to 18m from the speaker before disconnecting from my phone – which is seriously impressive when walls and doors were involved.
Perhaps the biggest improvement is that you can use the Stormbox Micro 2’s two-way USB-C port for charging (i.e. to charge your mobile device) and to charge the speaker itself, although it’s standard 5W charging is instead of fast charging. You get a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, although no plug, and keep in mind that if you own an iPhone, you’ll need a USB-C to Lightning cable to use the feature.
You can also link two Stormbox Micro 2 speakers together to either get ‘Party’ (read: mono) sound or create a stereo pair. While it’s a bit disappointing to see you have to have two Micro 2s to pair them up, so you can’t daisy-chain other original Stormbox Micros like you can with JBL’s PartyBoost technology or the UE WonderBoom 2 and original Wonderboom, say , it’s a relatively minor complaint at this level.
And the sound is now more powerful, clearer, more exciting and will make your picnic, walk or campfire even more fun. The Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 offers features you’d never expect at this price point, and it’s hard to imagine anyone forgoing its minimalist, sophisticated design.
All things considered, the category of cheap Bluetooth speakers has a new frontrunner – and because of the Micro 2, Tribit is about to get a lot more famous.
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 review: price and release date
- $60 / £60 (approximately AU$86)
- Released in Spring 2022
The Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 was unveiled in April 2022 and is currently only available in black (the first-gen model occasionally came in a fresh and limited-edition orange colorway, but this was the exception rather than the rule), and while regularly priced at $60 / £60, it’s already discounted by 10% when you buy direct from Tribit – meaning it’s only $54/£54.
Price cuts and Tribit are also quite common (and we’re very thankful for that) at major online retailers like Amazon – so keep your eyes peeled, because even at its original price, this is an extremely talented Bluetooth speaker.
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 review: design and features
- Compact, pocket-sized design with built-in bike-friendly strap
- Pillow shape means a big driver
- Up to 12 hours payout – ie. four more than the first generation model
Every design tweak Tribit has made here for the second-generation Stormbox Micro is both welcome and value-added – undeniable proof that a little more can always be squeezed out of even the cheapest portable wireless speaker designs.
As mentioned, it now doubles as a handy power bank (although it’s a 5W charger, so don’t expect super-fast charging for your phone) and it’s just a bit bigger and rounder. If you think of the Tribit Stormbox Micro as a stack of drink coasters, Tribit just added another coaster to the stack for the Micro 2 – and it paid off when the thing is playing music.
Visually there is also a bit more flair; the plus, minus and multi-function buttons are now white to show up better in low-light situations, and the blue Bluetooth light on the front is slightly wider and easier to see, although the handy five-strong LED volume indicators are still there. At the bottom, the excellent rubber and slightly stretchy strap remains, but the rubber feet are slightly sturdier.
And if you thought there were no microphones here for speakerphone duties, you’d be wrong – there’s an integrated microphone in the front corner, next to the power button, which works fine as long as you stay relatively close to the speaker. during conversations. Start walking up and down the room while dictating an email and your caller may tell you to come a little closer and say something.
It’s important to note that the JBL Flip 6 has none of those speakerphone/power bank features and still costs significantly more, so Tribit performs well before it even passed a note. And it doesn’t go downhill there either, but we’ll come back to the sound later.
Perhaps our only complaint (and emphatically the only reason we removed half a mark) is the lack of backwards compatibility. Because the first and second generation models are so similar (and because other companies like JBL offer it), it would be nice if you could amplify the sound by mixing old and new generation Micros in mono – but this is not possible.
That said, for newcomers to Tribit, it’s worth buying two Micro 2s for the money to create an affordable wireless desktop speaker setup – we’re looking at Carrie Underwood’s ghost story on Apple Music Sessions on our MacBook Pro and found pleasing levels of separation and minimal lag between the music video and the sonic accompaniment.
- Design and feature score: 4.5/5
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 review: sound quality
- Fleshy, diligent, remarkably talented sound
- Impressive bass performance considering its size
- Doesn’t start to distort until 80% volume
Tribit has been tight-lipped about the driver under the grille here, but whatever happens in the Stormbox Micro 2, we love it – and it’s sure to go loud enough to fuel your picnic, barbecue, campfire or beach day with tunes even at 60% volume.
Listen to You should see me with a crown by Billie Eilish is one of the toughest tests of jewel bass we can think of, and the Tribit doesn’t disappoint. Treble elements (which sounds like dragging a knife across a pot) and a synth scream for the low-level beat are impressive, but when the bass cuts out, it really sinks low in the best possible way, what a gifted, snappy, agile performance.
Provided you don’t go too loud (anything above 80% starts to distort the mix and swell the bass – but that’s not surprising as this speaker fits comfortably in your palm), you’ll find yourself digging out several tracks to see what the Tribit makes of your more niche music.
We’re streaming The Waterboys’ the whole moon and cymbal crashes, backing vocals, violins and even the cannon are given plenty of room to shine in a cohesive and well-processed mix that leaves us happily tapping our feet. For the money it is astonishingly good.
The Chemical Brothers’ In fabric we trust is a similar story: sounds come in with ease and energy, but smaller pieces of music that we would have expected to get lost in the mix, as the dimensions of this speaker here are still layered within its commendable tuning.
And since it’s a five-star review, of course we have to put it to the ultimate classic test, don’t we? Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries features all the three-dimensional strings and soaring trumpets we could hope for at this level, all held firmly in check and with a perceptible, rumbling and exciting dynamic build-up.
Tribit Strombox Micro 2 review: value
- Incredibly competitive prices
- A recommended alternative to bigger brands
We hope we’re not exaggerating the pudding by saying that the Stormbox Micro 2 is incredibly good for its nominal price – and as such is an incredibly good value.
It’s important to balance this glowing praise by saying it’s not the best Bluetooth speaker ever – this small design can’t compete with the larger JBL Charge 5 and its brethren, as other than their relative size, these designs have more power, a dual driver design and a higher asking price.
What you should know is that for this size and price, nothing on the market comes close across the board – and by that we mean in terms of design, durability, feature set and sound quality. Tribit’s Stormbox Micro 2 has set a new benchmark.
It’s worth noting that while Tribit has an app (which works for the gorgeous Stormbox Blast and two of Tribit’s earbuds), the Micro 2 doesn’t get app support, so there’s no room for EQ changes or a numerical volume indicator – but at this level we think it would be rude to expect such a thing.
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 review: should you buy it?
|Design and Features||Slightly larger than the original with a reinforced spec sheet||4.5/5|
|Sound quality||Energetic, detailed and surprisingly bass-conscious sound||5/5|
|Where the||An excellent buy for this nominal release – nothing in this price range comes close to sound, design flair or feature set||5/5|
Buy it if…
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Think the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 might not be the Bluetooth speaker for you? That’s cool, here are three alternatives that can provide exactly the design, features, and sound quality you’re looking for.