Feel the Experience and enjoy the sound from this wireless home speaker.
February 13, 2022, has finally arrived and with it Super Bowl LVI. Although this event may not be that big of a deal for some, it is a rather special day for our family. Overshadowed by COVID-19, we have not had visitors to our home, outside of our nuclear family, for the past 2 years. My 12-year-old son is turning 13 this month and wanted a few activities. First, he wanted to watch an opening weekend viewing of “Uncharted” and he wanted a small friend get-together for the Super Bowl. Despite an array of game-day snacks, beverages, bean bags, and our 50” living television, something was missing. I wanted to feel the excitement and decided that we needed an upgrade to the sound output of the base television.
The Tribit Soundbar Wireless Home Speaker arrived in classic Tribit style. The cover panel proudly displayed the Tribit logo “Tribit Unleash the true sound” along the top left of the main cover, within the negative space of a vibrant emergency-cone orange box. The generic name “Sounder Speaker” was listed just below the Tribit name, followed by “Wireless Home Speaker” in the same orange accent. The main focal point of the cover panel was the large image of the Tribit Wireless Home Speaker and remote. Although the orange accents and the wireless home speaker were rather visually appealing, I would have loved a more catchy name for the product like the “Tribit Occano” Wireless Speaker.” Latin for sound, I feel that the device would have benefited greatly from a true name.
The white front panel listed eight black-colored product-defining icons representing the key features of the wireless home speaker: Superior Sound, Bluetooth 5.0, Optical, HDMI, Movie Mode, Game Mode, Music Mode, News Mode. Both side panels displayed the grey Tribit logo (like the cover), while the bottom white panel was left unadorned. The rear-facing panel benefitted from the same emergency cone orange accents as the cover. However, instead of splashes of orange, the panel utilized the orange as a base and added splashes of white font. The company and product name were provided at the top left of the panel, while I was able to see the BTS60 model number, SKU, FCC ID, ID, importer address information, product manufacturing labels, Made in China Label, a quick statement of thanks, email@example.com website, compatibility list (computer, tablet, phone), and an SKU barcode. Although I appreciated the information on the back cover, I would have liked a segment devoted to product specifications (Wattage, channels, modes, package contents [Power Cable, Optical Cable, HDMI Cable, Mounting Kit], and whether batteries were included for the remote or not [not]). When trying to make a decision to buy or not, sometimes the information can make the difference between an affirmative nod versus a credit card swipe.
I lifted the top panel of the 42 inches long by 6 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall packaging and perused the contents within the box. Before removing the main speaker/four styrofoam pads, I removed the small zip style bags that contained a 5 foot/60-inch Optical cable, 47 inches long HDMI cable, and a product accessory box (6 1/8 inches long by 2 1/8 inches wide by 4 1/8 inches tall). The accessory box contained a variety of items. First, I found two zip-style bags each with two 1 1/8 inches long screws and drywall mounting anchors. Next, I removed the dual L-shaped 3 1/8 inches thick by 2 3/8 inches tall by 13/16 inches wide plastic, felt-lined, wall mounting brackets. Then, I removed the 59-inches long Type A power plug with 90 degree input adaptor, and the 59-inches long 90-degree to 90-degree 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable. Next, I removed the 1 9/16 inches wide by 5 7/8 inches tall by 3/4 inches thick black remote. Finally, I removed the Tribit Soundbar Speaker 2.1 Channel Soundbar user manual.
The remote had a single red 1/4 inches diameter button along the top left, then two 7/16 inches diameter buttons for “Mute” and “Source.” Beneath the dual buttons, you will find a round array of buttons measuring 1 1/4 inches in diameter. The centralized play/pause button measured 9/16 inches diameter while the outer 5/16 inches rim contained the following buttons in clockwise layout: 1. VOL+. 2. >>. 3. VOL-. 4. <<. The lower segment contained a 1 1/8 inches long by 5/16 inches tall black oval-shaped button with labels for “MOVIE” and “GAME.” Beneath the oval button, you will find dual 7/16 inches diameter buttons for “Music” and “News” with EQ listed between them. The entire grouping was surrounded by a white ink-outline that resembled a console controller. Lastly, you will find a 1/2 inch diameter Bluetooth button just beneath the EQ, and the white Tribit name along the very bottom.
Before moving to the testing phase, I turned to the multilingual instruction manual for some intel (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese). The first two panels provided ink outline drawings of the product contents and the soundbar control buttons. Panels three through five detailed the input functions of the wireless home speaker and provided brief descriptions about how to select the modes on your television. The sixth panel provided an ink outline labeled drawing of the remote, while the seventh panel detailed remote battery installation. The eighth panel provided information regarding mounting techniques and a product specification table (25W+2+50W, 50Hz-20K, Bluetooth 5.0, 100-240V-50/60Hz input, function modes, EQ modes, and product dimensions. The last two panels provided an FCC Statement and IC Caution. I was pleased with the English section and found the translation to be very well done. I was not able to read/understand the other languages and could not attest to the quality of the writing.
I removed the four styrofoam pads from around the soundbar and then slid it out of the plastic wrap. The front surface of the 37 1/4 inches long by 4 1/2 inches thick by 2 11/16 inches tall soundbar provided a silver Tribit logo at the far left edge and a centralized 3 1/2 inches wide by 1 3/8 inches tall LCD screen. The remainder of the front panel, like the top panel, was covered in speaker mesh material. The back panel provided a centralized cutout for the ports (HDMI, Optical, USB-A, coaxial, power toggle, and power input port) and two pre-installed mounting brackets. The left side panel housed the six 11/16 inches wide by 3/8 inches tall rectangular function buttons, arranged in a two-by-three array: Power, VOL-, VOL+, SOURCE, EQ, BLUETOOTH. The bottom panel provided dual 3/4 inches wide by 2 7/8 inches tall foot segments, each with two 5/8 inches square rubberized anti-slip pads. I appreciated the visual appearance and functional layout of the wireless home speaker. I loved the positioning of the buttons, the recessed ports, rubberized anti-slip pads, and the pre-installed mounting brackets.
Based on the layout of my living room television/entertainment center, I chose to set the soundbar in front of the TV instead of mounting it on my wall. I plugged the Type A power cord into my surge protector, the 90-degree power plug into the back of the wireless home speaker, and then the optical cable into the television/soundbar. I flipped the power toggle at the back of the wireless home speaker to the on position, grabbed two AAA batteries (not included) for the remote, and tested the soundbar with a variety of streaming apps (Apple TV, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Movies Anywhere, and Netflix). I pressed the power button on the remote and noted that the wireless home speaker LCD displayed HDMI, despite an optical connection. I pressed the source button several times to cycle between BT, AUX, OPTIC, COAX1, and then back to HDMI Modes. With my TV connected via Optical, I found the volume levels 1-3 were a bit quiet. Interestingly, as I increased the volume on the remote, I found a prominent shift from volume three to volume four. It seemed that the wireless home speaker hit its stride at volume level 4 and had a nonlinear, stair-stepping volume increase with each level. The most prominent shift, however, was between volumes 3 to 4. At sound levels greater than six, I felt the soundbar increased the volume without improving clarity/quality.
I tested the sound output with HDMI, Optical, and Bluetooth modes in each of the four EQ modes. I was pleased to find no obvious difference between the HDMI or optical modes with any of the tests and that the soundbar remembered the previously utilized mode. In addition to the Super Bowl, we watched Pacific Rim, the opening sequence to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and several fight scenes from Avengers Infinity War and Endgame. The Movie mode seemed more full and colorful than the other modes and added a depth that was lacking in the news mode. The Game Mode reduced some of the reverberations when compared to the movie mode but still had more than the news mode. It seemed that the news mode worked decently for commentators and talkshows, and enhanced the speech without emphasizing bass or blend. The music mode did not sound as great with movies/television programs but worked well for the intended purpose. Ultimately, I left the EQ mode on Movie mode, unless playing the Nintendo Switch and then I turned it to Game Mode. I found very little reason to utilize the music modes and did not favor the news mode at all.
I pressed the source button until BT was displayed on the LCD and a female announcer voiced “Pairing.” I picked up my iPhone 13 Pro Max, navigated to Bluetooth, to Settings, and then selected Tribit Soundbar from the list. The female voice announced the paired connection and I navigated to the audiocheck.net website to test the bass. When I selected the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz), the male announcer vocalized each 10Hz increase. Starting at 10Hz, I heard a minor rumble at 30Hz and then a good vibration-rumble at around 40Hz. I used my phone volume toggle to increase/decrease the sound and was pleased with the sensitivity/speed of the changes. When I tested the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz), I was able to hear the high pitched ringing sound at 15Khz, which was on par with my ability to hear. I listened to several songs from Queen, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and Pentatonics. My kids liked the ability to dance to Kids Bop in the living room, while my wife liked the ability to listen to Pandora while at home during the day.
If I had to rate the wireless home speaker against my television, I would rate the sound at 9/10. However, there were some limitations that the soundbar had that were unexpected. First, I loved the layout of the remote but did not like that the range seemed to drop off after about five feet. Additionally, the line of sight seemed to be quite linear and distorted when angled to the side. Having been remote for our television growing up, this feels like a first-world problem. However, with the advancement of modern technology, I expect more of my tech. Next, I did not like that the soundbar struggled at lower volumes. During the day, and when meaning to utilize plenty of sound, the wireless home speaker did succeed. However, at night, or when trying to enjoy nonchild programming, the wireless home speaker seemed to have loud and louder as the main options. I found that it was just as easy to turn off the wireless home speaker at night than to struggle with the sound. Next, the bass was a bit underwhelming when compared to devices with a dedicated subwoofer. However, at the ~$120 price point, the device was meant to output sound and it succeeded at that process. The extra EQ modes may be useful to some, but I did not find much use for the music/news modes. Lastly, I did not like that I was unable to dim or to turn off the front-facing LCD display.
The lackluster built-in TV speakers of my Sony TV were not able to provide adequate sound for my living room. To combat the issue, I chose to add a soundbar to upgrade the output. The single unit Tribit Soundbar thus had some pretty big shoes to fill. Although the wireless home speaker was not as powerful as some of the multi-speaker setups that I have utilized, including soundbar/subwoofer combinations, I found the Tribit Soundbar did enhance my television and movie viewing experience without being overpowering. The easy setup process, combined with tabletop or wall mounting modes, plus the ability to pair via HDMI, USB-A, Coaxial, Optical, and Bluetooth awarded points to the Tribit soundbar. The soundbar lost a few points in remote sensitivity, in the limited stair-step volume increments, and the need to use the proprietary remote. The bass was full but missed out on the 20Hz-50Hz frequency range.
Despite the semi-critical review, I loved that I was able to pair the wireless home speaker via HDMI, OPTICAL, and Bluetooth. I liked the Movie EQ mode but wished that I had more control of the volume and the ability to use universal remote functions. Overall I would rate the sound at 8/10, connection options 9/10, packaging 9/10, remote function 8/10, and cost 9/10. Interestingly, a quick Amazon search found an extra $30 savings as of the writing of this review. At sub $100, my ratings would increase. This device is perfect for a dorm room, for a kids bedroom, for a small living room/apartment, and maybe even for a kids playroom. If you are looking for audiophile-grade output, multifunction surround, etc., a single-unit soundbar is likely not even on your radar. As a fan of Tribit speakers, I was truly excited to test the soundbar. There were many features to be proud about, but a few tweaks will make the device a best-in-class device.