StormBox Bluetooth Speaker
I was recently given the opportunity to try two products from a company called Tribit. This duo of products included the StormBox Bluetooth speaker and the FlyBuds 1 Bluetooth wireless earbuds. What did I think of them? Read on to find out.
Let’s start with the StormBox. The StormBox takes on the narrow tubelike speaker format that many companies are using these days. It is about 7” high and 2.68” wide. It weighs about 1.7lbs. It sounds light, but it feels heavy due to the narrow build. This is not a bad thing. The weight assures it is not going anywhere and will be stable on a flat surface.
Before I get into the experience, here are some more of the details. The speaker is available in two color options: blue or black (the manual shows a third red option, but there is no option to buy it in red as of the time of this writing.). It charges via micro USB (included) and is advertised to have about twenty hours of battery life. You will need to supply your own charging block or source. I didn’t play it twenty hours continuously, but I will say it has great battery life. It also is has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which makes it great to use poolside. The Tribit website says it can be tossed in a pool or ocean without concern.
As far as connectivity, the speaker uses Bluetooth 4.2. I had no issues connecting to my phone, iPad, and computer. It connected easily and stayed connected with a fairly decent range. I was able to take the speaker on another floor of the house and still have a connection.
The speaker has huge buttons on what I would call the front for controlling volume and a third button for various playback controls. It also has a built in microphone in the event you want to take a call through it.
Now let’s get to the experience. The speaker has 360’ sound, which is suppose to give all listeners in the room the same experience. I have to say, this is what I found. The sound quality is fantastic and the first time I played it my son declared it sounds great from anywhere in the room. I would definitely agree. The speaker uses XBass technology and you can really feel and hear the bass. There is a button to turn this feature off, and even with it off the sound is great.
One feature I was not able to try is the ability to daisy chain two speakers together (I was only sent one speaker). This lets you spread out the sound in a room. Based on how great one speaker sounds, I can only imagine how good two in the same room would be.
Overall, the StormBox is a great versatile speaker option. It can be used on the go or kept in a spot in the house. I would even consider using it as a computer speaker. The price is fantastic compared to other speakers on the market. My main complaint is that it still uses micro-USB. The headphones I will review below come with USB-C, and it is disappointing to not see that with the speaker. However, that is not a game changer and if you choose the StormBox I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
MyMac.com rating 9 out of 10
FlyBuds 1 Wireless Earbuds
Now let’s move on the the FlyBuds. The FlyBuds are bluetooth earbuds that take on a form factor like many earbuds you see in this price range. Speaking of price, at $35.99 they are much more affordable than high end earbuds like the AirPods..
As far as features go these earbuds check off a bunch from my checklist. First, they are waterproof/sweatproof. This is a must in my book if you are using them in any type of situation where you will be sweating (the gym, jogging, etc.).
Second, they are comfortable. The earbuds have soft tips and come with an unheard of six different sizes to easily swap on and find your fit! Most earbuds come with three. My only complaint here is that there are no earclips. I will say that I used these mowing the lawn, running and walking and they did not fall out once. However, they had the feel of being about to fall out and the clips would just give a more sturdy feel.
My favorite feature is that the earbuds are not ear specific. So many earbuds have a specific bud for the right ear and the left ear. I find myself looking at the earbud to see which goes in which ear. No need for that here. Just take them out of the charger and pick an ear.
Speaking of the charger, the charging case is a small round case that holds the earbuds while charging. Just like with your ears, it does not matter what side of the case you place the earbuds in. The case charges the earbuds while being stored and has a light indicator inside the case to keep track of the charge. The case charges with the include USB-C cable, but it can also charge wirelessly! My complaint about the case is there is not an indicator light on the outside to let you know it is charging, or when it is done charging. It does vibrate when charging starts (wired or wirelessly), but I want that light on the outside. I don’t want to open the case to see the charging status.
The earbuds also have one touch controls on the side for pausing, skipping tracks and more. I found this system to be one of the easiest to use and understand when compared to other earbuds I have used. They also sync to devices without issue.
All of the above is great, but how do they work? As for usage and sound, they sound great. I listened to podcasts and music and don’t have a complaint here. Battery life is great, and is stated to have about thirty hours of playtime. I did not get thirty hours of time on one charge, but got enough to not complain.
However, and this is a deal breaker in my book. When listening to audio for more than twenty minutes the earbuds would “blip.” What I mean by blip is that the sound would bounce from one ear to the other as if the signal was lost. This would happen several times and then work fine. This, unfortunately, was not a one time occurrence. It happened each time I used the FlyBuds and it happened on multiple devices. Your mileage may vary.
Overall, the FlyBuds have a great price, they are great sounding, and waterproof, but in my tests they did not hold up.
MyMac.com Rating 5 out of 10
So in summary, I definitely would recommend the StormBox. It is a great speaker at a decent price. As for the FlyBuds, I would have to say explore other options.