I'll be honest: the first time we contacted to verify the new Tribit X-Boom, I did not expect much from him. I had never heard of the company, and the design seemed a bit cartoonish. In addition to all that, the price of $ 69.99 was much lower than the competition models of companies like UE and JBL. But after using it, I learned that the phrase "do not judge a book by its cover" is quite appropriate here.
Do not get me wrong; the X-Boom is not perfect. I still think the design is a bit strange, and it's pretty sterile in terms of features. However, in areas that matter, this can make the speakers that cost twice as much ridicule.
Design, hardware and battery
There are many things that I like about X-Boom, but design is not one of them. This definitely follows the function on the form, with its tough look and the three large, cartoonish buttons. That's fine, but I can not help thinking that the gigantic white front buttons could have been made a little more aesthetically pleasing. However, the buttons themselves (volume up, play / pause and volume down) are pleasant and tactile. I'm not a fan of the silicone strap that he wears, which does not seem to be removable. I prefer the Ultimate Ears approach of a metal ring hidden at the bottom. That said, you could cut it if it really bothered you.
Behind, from top to bottom, there is a power button, four small circles to indicate the battery level, a Bluetooth sync button, an "XBASS" button (guess what that does) and , finally, a giant flap that covers the auxiliary charging and Micro-USB ports. That flap is necessary for IPX7 water resistance (but not dust), which most speakers in this category have. Unfortunately, it is actually quite difficult to achieve, even with the longest nails, but I suppose it is better than the speaker that receives water inside.
The top and bottom have an interesting party trick: they visually clash with the bass, just like with the actual speakers. As expected, they do not move much with low volumes, but they really start to shake when turned on, especially when you press the XBASS button.
Although I like the functionality offered by this design, the X-Boom can not be considered a voyeur. On the other hand, that is not an important consideration for most people when they are looking to buy a Bluetooth speaker.
Like most of these speakers, the X-Boom is recharged with a Micro-USB cable (a really nasty one is included in the box). The entrance is rated at 5V / 2A, so that happens pretty fast, but you'll have to deal with a huge flap on it (and the auxiliary port) every time. I understand that this is due to water resistance, but this is almost impossible to open if you do not have longer nails. Usually I had to grab something to open the lid.
Tribit claims that the 5,200mAh battery of the X-Boom will last up to 20 hours. Given that the battery has almost twice the capacity of the BOOM 2 package of 2,800mAh, whose EU demands 15 hours, I have no problem believing it. But, as always, battery life will vary depending on volume, downtime and other factors, making it difficult to give a difficult number. However, I can tell you that I did not worry about the battery life of the X-Boom when I carry it out.
Sound and features
This is where the X-Boom really shines. My baselines for speakers in this category are the latest generation BLAST BLAST and BOOM speakers from UE, so be prepared to make comparisons with them. I am pleased to say that the X-Boom compares very favorably with those, although it costs considerably less than them.
The sound of the X-Boom is very clear and balanced. Neither the BOOM 2 of UE nor the BLAST accumulate to the X-Boom in this aspect, although they become noticeably noisier. Having said that, the X-Boom is still quite noisy, and the sound quality in those high volumes for any of these speakers is not pretty anyway. The 360-degree design and the dual 12 W drivers allow the sound to go in all directions, but it still sounds great for a single listener.
The bass in the X-Boom, especially with the XBASS option activated, is pretty formidable. Neither the BOOM 2 nor the BLAST can match it, and I would say that the blows it produces are even with the bigger and much more expensive MEGABLAST. This speaker pierces well above its size and price range.
The unit that I initially received had some serious latency issues; Within 1-2 minutes of playing a video, the audio will be delayed quite a bit. This seemed a little strange to me, but Tribit told us that the first units were shipped with this defective firmware, and would continue until the old stock runs out in about a week. After asking about this, Tribit sent an updated firmware file. Flashing was a bit heavy work, but it ended up fixing latency.
For this reason, if you buy an X-Boom now (or less than a week after this review was published), you probably have to flash the new firmware. This is a big drawback since it requires a Windows machine, but here are the instructions, here is the firmware file, and here is the necessary tool to update the firmware.
Only the X-Boom has two real characteristics. The first is something that I have already mentioned several times: the XBASS button. This button really increases the bass considerably, and I like that Tribit has turned it into a convenient button on the speaker. That is much easier than having to grab your phone and search an application.
The other feature is the ability to daisy-chain two X-Booms; unfortunately, I could not prove this because I only have one. As there is no complementary application, there is no equalization, no integration with Alexa, no remote control functions, etc. None of those features really matters to me (and probably the majority of consumers), but given the number of EU owners who got mad at the removal of some, there are clearly people out there who care about them.
The Tribit X-Boom is a fantastic Bluetooth speaker. If all you care about is the pure audio quality for the money, this is a great purchase at $ 69.99. I'm not a big fan of design, but that's not really a consideration for buyers of Bluetooth speakers, and it's very functional. It also lacks features that have some of the biggest names, as well as a complementary application, but most people do not use them anyway. Latency is a big problem with the first units, but wait a week or so and that should not be a problem. We have also included the previous files for that.
What really matters is the quality of the audio, and the X-Boom scores high in all aspects of that department. The sound is clear, the bass really sounds and becomes loud enough. In addition, the XBASS button is conveniently located and really works. And however trivial it may seem, the physical "shock" of the upper and lower parts is quite good for my eyes.
Should I buy it? Yes. The MSRP of $ 69.99 of the X-Boom is much lower than, for example, the UE BOOM 2 and BLAST. But even though both can be obtained now for around $ 100, often even less, I would still go for the X-Boom if it was my money. Somehow, Tribit managed to make the X-Boom compete face to face with larger and much more expensive speakers on the market. Ultimate Ears has just removed several features from the BOOM line anyway, so the difference in features is not as great as it once was anyway. If you are in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, I doubt that much closer to the bang-for-money this offers.
Tribit currently offers a 15% discount for its first anniversary, bringing the price to a better price $ 59.49. Use the code XBOOM828 when paying from now until September 29 to get the deal. However, keep in mind that the first units will be shipped with the defective firmware, so I would try to wait until the last days to collect one.