One of the most enjoyable aspects of modern technology is the ability to listen to music wherever you desire. Since our smartphones have mostly replaced the need for mp3/4 players, we can use Bluetooth portable speakers in lieu of Boomboxes. We are no longer tied to our home sound systems, to our cars/radios or bulky boxes for our music. With so many options available on the market, it can often become difficult to select a good portable Bluetooth speaker.
The Tribit Portable Bluetooth speaker arrived in a small 7 3/4 inches long by 4 1/8 inches wide and 2 3/4 inches thick rectangular box. The cover had a blue “Tribit” logo along the top left and an ink drawing of an oval-shaped speaker along the middle of the cover. I enjoyed the clean appearing white cover and the blue accent coloration, upon initial impression. The top of the package provides four icons detailing the features of the speaker: waterproof, long battery life, speakerphone, and superior sound. The remainder of the packaging was mostly devoid of useful information. I was disappointed with the bland packaging and the generic speaker image. The packaging did not entice the buyer and provided no “WOW” factor to cause you to give a second look. Please do not judge this book by its cover, as this would be a huge mistake. My disappointment quickly faded and was replaced with excitement upon seeing and hearing the speaker.
After you open the box, you will see the 6 3/4 inches long by 2 inches thick by 2 inches deep, 13.2-ounce black speaker, wrapped in thin plastic. Beneath the internal cardboard shelf, you will find a 24 inches long micro-USB to USB-A charging cable and an 18-panel front/back multilingual instruction manual. Along the top of the speaker you will find five conveniently placed buttons: Power, Bluetooth, Play, Volume — and, Volume +. The shell is composed of a rubberized plastic material, and the screen is a hard black plastic. Along the back of the speaker, you will find the XSound Go logo and a 1 1/2 inches long by 1/2 inches wide access panel. There is a small thumbnail notch protecting the micro-USB input port and a 3.5mm AUX port. Just to the side of the access port, the company conveniently provided a black shoestring wrist lanyard.
The Tribit Xsound Go speaker may be the ideal size for a portable speaker. At 13.2 ounces, it has a hefty feel, but it can easily fit into the palm of your hand and a cargo pocket. The speaker is listed as IPX7 waterproof, protecting from splashing and submersion up to 1-meter depth for up to 30 minutes. The speaker utilizes Bluetooth 4.2 with standard A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP protocols. It has dual 6W output drivers with a 3.7V 4400mAh internal battery. Using a standard wall charging brick or USB-A output from a computer, the device will charge fully in about 5–6 hours at DC5V/1A. Charging the device out of the box, it only took 2 hours to charge to full. Testing the device over the past two weeks, I have found ~20 hours of charge at about 2 hours per day. Completely depleting the battery, it took about 5.5 hours to fully charge the battery (5 hours listed in the manual).
Powering the speaker on and pairing the speaker to my iPhone X proved to be incredibly easy. Press the power button for about 2 seconds to turn the speaker on and then press the Bluetooth icon for 2 seconds to activate the pairing mode. Navigate to settings on your device, select Bluetooth and then Tribit XSound Go. My first test was to utilize audiocheck.net and to evaluate the frequency range. Using the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10–200 Hz) and High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22–8 kHz), my eight and six-year-old sons were able to hear to 18kHz down to 40 Hz. I was only to able to hear 40Hz-15kHz, which was very reasonable based on my age/hearing ability. After testing the range, I turned to my usual speaker test tracks. To test the bass, I utilized CeeLo Green’s “Bright Lights Bigger City,” and the Gladiator Soundtrack. To test the upper range and instrumental might of the Tribit speaker, I utilized the Far and Away Soundtrack, Queen “Somebody to Love,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Billy Joel “Piano Man,” and “The Longest Time.”
To test the balance and overall sound, I tried a few new tracks as recommended by whathifi.com. I listened to Radiohead “The National Anthem,” as this was reported to have a very diverse mixture of sounds. I had not heard it before, but the sounds of each of the instruments proved to be clear. Personally, the song is a bit busy, but the speaker seemed to do a good job. I also listened to Bob Marley, and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low.” The song lyrics were very crisp, and the background bass was very strong and smooth. The little speaker is very vocal and did not get a tinny sound or muddled at higher volumes. I love to hunt down new test tracks but tend to rely on my previous tracks for an apple to apple comparison. I was pleased with “Baby Plays Around” by Anne Sofie VONOTTERMEETSCOSTELLO. I found myself playing on YouTube and listening to a variety of songs to include I’ll Fly Away- Ransomed Bluegrass, “This Train is Bound for Glory,” by Mumford and Sons and numerous Johnny Cash songs and Gaither Band songs. I prefer the lyrics and magic of John Fogerty over just about any other. No matter what genre of music that I turned to, the Tribit XSound go stood up to the challenge. I enjoyed the sound from low levels all the way to the highest point on my iPad Air 2.
I was incredibly impressed with the strength of this little speaker. I do not know that I have tested a speaker that had more than about a 10-hour life. The battery in this speaker lasted more than a day, which is absolutely shoulders above the industry norm. Additionally, using Bluetooth 4.2, the Tribit speaker enjoys an enhanced connectivity with your smart device. Normally you can expect to get about 10m of distance between your Bluetooth devices. The packaging promises 20m (66 feet). To test this, I paired my iPad Air 2 with the iClever IC-BTS07 and IC-BTS09 and with the Tribit XSound go. I set each one in my driveway and started walking backward and noted the distance. I was able to get to just over 30 feet/10 meters with both of the iClever devices and to 55 feet before the Tribit started to lose connection. It completely lost connection at 60 feet. The connectivity is superior with the latest Bluetooth technology. Testing the speaker indoors, I could not find a spot that resulted in a poor connection. I have two floor home, with a basement, and had no issues listening to music across the edges of my home. When you consider the output and a sub $40 price, I have not found a better bang for the buck. There are also additional bonus features of this device: a microphone for phone calls and Amazon Dot support. Vocals were easily heard using the speaker during phone calls. However, the microphone proved to be the weak link, similar to other Bluetooth speakers. This device is perfect for the dorm, for a personal gym, for the office, for a trip to the beach, to the pool, for the bathroom, etc. Being IPX7 rated, take this device everywhere you go and fret not. I turned to Amazon to look at other reviews and found a 99% 5-star rating. This powerful speaker deserves the 5/5 star rating.
Originally published at macsources.com on January 4, 2018.