- Bass Boost
- 20-Hour Battery Life
- Quality Sound 40Hz-20kHz
- Rugged All Weather Design
- XBass Button should be an always on feature
- 4-Hour charging time
- Micro-USB charging
- Bluetooth 4.2 instead of newer version
Enjoy “Unstoppable Music” with the affordable, compact, portable, waterproof IPX7 speaker from Tribit.
A little more than a year ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing the Tribit XSound Go and fell in love with their product. In fact, my headline read “You will not find a better speaker for the price.” This year, Tribit has brought a slightly bigger brother to market with the Tribit MAXSound Plus. Measuring roughly 1 inch longer and 1/2 inch thicker/wider than its little brother, the MAXSound Plus had some big shoes to fill.
The Tribit MAXSound Plus speaker arrived in a 9 3/4 inches long by 4 inches wide by 3 inches thick retail package. The white front and back cover contrasted brilliantly with the pumpkin orange top, bottom and side panels. To add a splash of color to the otherwise sterile white cover, the company name “Tribit” and Model IC-BTS25 number and “Portable Wireless Speaker” were listed in orange. Just to the right of the speaker name, I was pleased to find a 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches tall pill-shaped speaker. The front flap provided two QR codes, which linked to the tribitaudio.com website and to their facebook page, a nice “thank you” message and listed the email@example.com email address. The two orange side panels were left unadorned and the top panel provided five icons labeled “waterproof, speakerphone, Xbass Long Battery Life, Superior sound. The bottom panel was the most useful, providing the product specifications: Bluetooth v4.2, Bluetooth A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP profiles, Dual 45mm and 2 passive radiators, 80-20kHz frequency, 20-hour playtime, 4 hours charging time, input DC 5V/1.5A, 595g weight. In addition to the specifications, the panel had many of the typical product markings.
Opening the lid of the box, I found a nice little Tribit welcome and a link to the tribitaudio.com/user website. The 7 3/4 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches tall, black, pill-shaped speaker was packaged nicely within the inner orange cardboard tray. Just to the side of the main compartment, you will find a 2 5/8 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches long by 1/2 inches thick orange accessory box that contained a 24 1/2 Inches long USB-micro to USB-A cable and a 24.75 inches long 3.5 mm to 3.5mm cable. Beneath the speaker, you will find a hexa-lingual instruction manual, a business card sized Tribit Thank You/Warranty card and a similarly sized UNICEF charity donation card. For every positive review of their product, they will donate $1 to the United States Fund for UNICEF charity. To contact the company about the 30-day money back guarantee, 18-month replacement warranty, lifetime support guarantee or perhaps you had another Tribit question/concern, you can scan the tribitaudio.com QR code, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a ticket to tribitaudi.com/support).
After I removed the speaker from the packaging, I opened the small AUX/Power port on the back of the MAXSound Plus speaker and placed it onto charge. After thirty minutes the speaker was fully charged and ready for use. I rested the four small rubberized legs on my table and looked at the the six-button control panel atop the speaker. To power up the speaker, hold the power button for two seconds and notice that a tiny blue LED will illuminate. Navigate to Settings, then Bluetooth and make sure that the Bluetooth on your smart device is turned on. Tap the Bluetooth button on the speaker and select “Tribit MAXSound Plus” from the list. The Bluetooth connect was easy to establish and worked at standard Bluetooth ranges. After the Bluetooth button, you will find the play/pause button, followed by the volume down, volume up and XBass button. To proceed to the next track simply double press the play/pause button and to return to the previous track press the button thrice. If you receive an incoming call, you can use the speaker/built-in microphone to interact with the caller. If you wish to talk with the person, you could press the central play/pause button to answer the call. However, if you wish to deny the call, you could hold the central button for 2 seconds. While at rest, press and hold the central MFB to activate Siri. This feature worked fairly well. Lastly, across the top of the speaker, you will find an LED above the power button, between the play and “-“ buttons and above the XBass button.
The instruction manual was easy to navigate and provided a refreshing blend of imagery and verbiage. I was pleased to find that the 21-ounce device was given a 2200mAh battery, which fully charged in 4:10 minutes. At 50% volume, and with the XBass active, I found that the speaker would provide an entire week worth of music/video. Listening for roughly two hours per day, I did not have to charge the device until day eight. With the upgraded size from the XSound Go, I was hoping for a deeper bass experience. Do not misinterpret my statement, the Tribit speakers provide an amazing sound for a $50-75 device. Using the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz), I was able to hear sound at 40Hz, which was better than the manual promised. Depressing the XBass button, the fullness of the bass drastically improved but it did not add 20Hz-40Hz. Using the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz), my ten and seven-year-old sons were able to hear sound at 18kHz and I was able to hear the tone at 15kHz.
After testing the frequency range, I turned to many of my usual speaker test tracks. To test the bass, I utilized CeeLo Green’s “Bright Lights Bigger City,” and Home Free “Ring of Fire.” Additionally, I chose to listen to “Long Black Train” by Josh turner. With the success of the Bohemian Rhapsody Movie, I have rekindled a love for music from Queen and listened to the entire soundtrack before I realized it. The sound was good but favored upper sounds more than lower tones. To test the overall sound, I utilized the Far and Away Soundtrack, and the recent Aladdin Soundtrack. Coupled with many of my favorites from Alabama, Billy Joel, Journey, and some modern tracks from Meghan Trainer and Charlie Puth, the speaker held its own with some of the larger devices that I have tested. To round out my testing, I listened to Radiohead “The National Anthem,” and to Bob Marley, and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low.” I love the song because of the crisp lyrics, strong island feel and the background rhythm. Similar to the XSound Go, the little speaker did not turn harsh or tinny at higher volumes. Perfect for rock, pop, country, classical, faith-based, or any other music choice, the best speaker is the one that you can have with you. What more can you ask from a personal, portable speaker than light weight, quality sound and solid water resistance.
Many devices succeed at 50-75% iPhone volume but then fail at providing quality sound at lower volumes. The Tribit MAXSound Plus will work incredibly well for a dorm, for an office, for a living room, or for a bedroom. I loved that the sound at Volume 1 was enough to allow me to watch movies on Movies Anywhere while my wife slept in bed beside me. The speaker sounded as good at 1-2 volume, as it did at 75% volume. I rarely listen any higher than that level, but to test this speaker, my children and I cranked up the volume to full. Last weekend, we went to a local drive-in theater to watch the Avengers End Game and Dumbo double feature. When they experienced a technical difficulty with their projector, we pulled out the speaker and entertained a large audience with a Greatest Showman sing/dance-off. To use an Aladdin reference, it became a “diamond in the rough.”
I loved that Tribit chose to reduce the size of their name across the front of the speaker to a much less obtrusive size. I would have liked USB-C charging for a faster charging experience and that the device used the newer Bluetooth version (~5.0). The dual 12W output speakers enhanced the sound output, when compared to the XSound Go. I found the XBass button to be frivolous, as this feature should remain active at all times.