Pros

Great sound quality; high quality materials; good battery life; ultra-low price

Cons

Takes a while to charge

Star Rating

Tribit

Introduction

Given that billions of people now have a Bluetooth-enabled audio player (i.e. their smartphone) at their side 24 hours a day, it's a good bet that many of these folks would enjoy having a Bluetooth speaker to turn their phones into a portable music system. In light of the fact that most music is now streamed (and therefore pretty compressed), it makes sense to look at the lower-end of the market for good values. Looking to carve out a niche for itself, established accessory manufacturer iClever launched its Tribit line in 2017 to cater to style- and cost-conscious smartphone owners, and we've already tested Tribit's excellent XFree Tune Bluetooth Headset, and now we're taking its portable speaker for a whirl.

Tribit has taken a page out of the Beats book in its design approach to the XSound Go. Clearly reminiscent of the Beats Pill that debuted in 2012, and has since been iterated many time, the biggest difference is the price tag: around $30, versus $130 for the current Pill+. The big question, of course, is whether it can compete, but one clue to whether Bluetooth speakers have been just a tad overpriced over the years was proven when Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014. Surely, it wouldn't have done so if there weren't a pretty good margin on brand-name Bluetooth products at the time. Back then, most Bluetooth speakers were pegged at $200, so clearly, things have changed at least a little bit.

So, does the XSound Go punch above its price class? Read on to find out!

We'd like to extend a special thank you to Tribit for providing us with a review sample of the Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speaker.

Description and Features

The XSound Go has a fairly standard industrial design, as we've already made clear, meaning it blends in with a lot of the products out on the market today. That's a far cry from the the XSound Go's predecessor, the iClever BTS-09, which we previously reviewed and thought looked a whole lot like a UFO! The good news is that the "pill" design is pretty well-optimized for speakers at this point, and truly makes sense from both a portability and performance standpoint.

Measuring about 6.75" wide and both 2.25" deep and tall, the XSound Go isn't quite pocketable, but it's certainly easy to fit in just about any bag. Then again, it might weigh you down a bit; it came in at 13.4 ounces on our scale, or nearly a full pound. You can definitely feel its heft when you pick it up. Now, the truth is that most of the weight is probably the battery, and while Tribit hasn't published its capacity, it's most certainly pretty large. Tribit claims that the XSound Go will run for 24 hours at medium volumes, and we have no doubt that this is correct. We didn't have to recharge the XSound Go during our entire testing period, but we and it certainly did have to wait a while for it to charge up prior to testing. In fact, it took so long to charge that we thought our charger wasn't working (you have to supply your own, by the way). Plan on charging the XSound Go for 4-5 hours every time it runs out of juice.

The big battery isn't the XSound Go's only distinguishing feature. It's also waterproof, and it's also coated in a very classy matte rubber finish that looks great, provides a nice amount of grip, doesn't pick up fingerprints, and probably offers a bit of shock-proofing too. It also has four small molded-in feet, which provide surprisingly good grip thatnks to that matte rubber material. Another great feature is Bluetooth 4.2, which really is a generational leap versus older protocols. Tribit claims that the XSound Go has a range of 66 feet, and as far as we could tell, this was quite accurate. While previous speakers and headsets we've tested wouldn't work through a single wall or more than 30 feet away even in clear view, we could take the XSound Go across the house and it would still work. Impressive!

In the box, you get the speaker and two accessories: a USB cable for charging, and a lanyard for tying around the XSound Go's built-in loop. Truth be told, this lanyard looks suspiciously like a shoelace, and given the weight of the XSound Go, we don't think anyone's going to have it hanging off their wrist while in use. While the speaker has a 3.5" aux in port, it doesn't include a cable, and with most devices having Bluetooth nowadays, we expect few people would use it anyway, so this is a fair cost savings.

Overall, we were pretty impressed with the features offered by the XSound Go, but ultimately, it has to perform to get a passing grade. Based on the dual 6W speakers it carries on board, it should pack a punch, but you'll have to read on to see how it did!

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