Tribit has built up a strong reputation in the past few years by delivering some of the better-sounding affordable Bluetooth headphones and portable speakers in recent memory. A good case in point is the , a budget take on Bose's excellent speaker. It's one of the best-sounding pocket-size speakers I've heard and retails for . Now, with its new StormBox Pro ($120), Tribit is taking aim at ( ).
To celebrate the launch of the new speaker (and presumably to get some people to buy it and review it on Amazon), Tribit is offering a special "launch" deal to CNET users. If you apply the code CNETSBPRO at checkout at Amazon, you get 35% off, bringing the price down to $78. The deal ends at midnight PT on April 24.
I recently got my hands on a review sample and can tell you that's a very solid Bluetooth speaker that can play loud and has punchy bass for a speaker its size. In fact, the speaker is equipped with a bass-boost button labeled XBass that indeed makes the speaker produce more bass. Why you'd ever turn it off, I don't know. But that's usually the case with speakers that have a bass-boost button -- they simply don't sound as good sans bass boost, so I'm not sure what the point of the button is except to market the speaker as having an extra bass mode.
While the StormBox Micro actually sounds pretty close to the Bose SoundLink Micro, I can't say that the Stormbox Pro sounds as good as the Bose SoundlLink Revolve Plus, which is due for an upgrade this year. The Bose just sounds a little fuller with a bit more detail and bass definition and better overall tonal balance. The Bose also has a swankier design although the StormBox Pro is fully waterproof and dustproof with an IPX67 rating and seems pretty sturdy. Its battery life is also very good (it's rated at 24 hours at 50% volume).
The Bose costs a lot more, particularly after you use the code CNETSBPRO on the StormBox Pro at checkout (it's a little more than three times the price). And if you're just looking for a mobile speaker that you plan on using outdoors a lot, you should be happy with the StormBox Pro. I like thefor around $100 (it does sound a little better than this speaker), but the StormBox Pro does have that convenient carrying handle integrated into its design.
I should note that Gizmodo reported that the speaker made a "popping sound" when its volume was cranked to the max. I did not experience that in my tests, but I would recommend only taking the volume up to around 85% because smaller speakers like this -- even though they can play loud -- tend to distort a bit at their max volumes. Also, your battery life will drop if you crank the volume.