Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: a budget Bluetooth speaker with booming, well-rounded sound

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: a budget Bluetooth speaker with booming, well-rounded sound

Tribit XSound Plus 2: Two-minute review

The Tribit XSound Plus 2 is an impressive Bluetooth speaker, especially given its modest price. Into its slight frame, Tribit has managed to squeeze two 15W, neodymium full-range drivers, as well as a battery that it says will last a healthy 24 hours. You also get IPX7 weatherproofing, which means it’ll see off any splashes or showers, and Tribit’s app offers nine-band EQ, enabling you to fully customize the sound. Not bad for $69.99 / £63 (about AU$105).

When it comes to performance, the Tribit Xsound Plus 2 isn’t short of enthusiasm. It’s able to produce a ridiculous amount of sound for a relatively small unit: it can happily fill a room with energetic, full-bodied sound, and doesn’t skimp on detail just because you’re sitting outside the sweet spot of its stereo field. And it can reach ear-splitting volumes if pushed: I’d urge you to use caution when hitting that volume button, lest it upsets your neighbors or audiologist.

But it’s not just a blunt instrument – it’s capable of some surprisingly sophisticated sound for a speaker of the price. Producing decent, well-rounded and expressive mids, as well as pumping bass, it makes certain genres shine. However, higher frequencies don’t fare quite as well as they do with some of the best Bluetooth speakers – these sometimes sound a little thin and fragile, and tracks that lean on a full, treble-heavy mix, can end up feeling a bit glassy.

Fortunately, the Tribit XSound Plus 2 has a secret weapon here. That nine-band EQ means you can tailor the sound it produces to suit your favorite songs and genres, create your own presets, and assign them to one of the three settings on the programmable EQ button atop the speaker. Given how much the sound profile of the speaker can vary though, any genre-hoppers among you might find yourselves needing to chop and change the EQ pretty regularly to ensure it keeps sounding its best.

Design-wise, the XSound Plus 2 is pretty conservative, with a matte-black plastic casing and slightly convex grille. Behind a rubber plug on its rear is a 3.5mm jack to use as a line-in, and a USB-C port for charging the device. There are buttons on the top for turning it on, activating pairing mode, changing the volume, playing, pausing and skipping music, changing EQ presets, and pairing with another Tribit speaker. It’s maybe not quite as robustly built as rivals like the Ultimate Ears Boom 3, so bear that in mind if you’re looking for something that can cope with a proper adventure out in the wilderness.

All things considered, the Tribit XSound Plus 2 can produce sound that its size and – more importantly – its price would belie. If you’re willing to really ride the EQ settings, you can get a lot out of it for such an affordable speaker. But if you’re looking for something that’s a true jack – or, preferably, master – of all trades, you’ll likely want to spend a bit more on something that has more range, like the JBL Flip 6, which you’ll be able to rely on for great sound regardless of the genre you play.

(Image credit: Future)

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: Price & release date

  • Released April 2024
  • Costs $69.99 / £63 (about AU$105)

Released in April 2024, the Tribit XSound Plus 2 is available to buy in both the US and the UK, although it doesn’t seem to be available in Australia at the time of writing.

It’s priced at a very reasonable $69.99 / £63 (around AU$105). Perhaps its closest rival at this size and spec is the JBL Flip 6, which costs $99.95 / £129.99 / AU$149.95; even Tribit’s more pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker, the StormBox Micro 2, costs $59.99 / £54 (about AU$90), making the XSound Plus 2 look like something of a bargain.

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Weight 1.76lbs (798g)
Dimensions 7.81 x 2.62 x 2.76 inches (198.5 x 66.5 x 70mm)
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life 24 hours (at 60% volume with XBass off)
Speaker drivers 2x 15W neodymium full-range drivers
Waterproof rating IPX7

Power, Bluetooth, and volume down button on the top of the Tribit XSound Plus 2

(Image credit: Future)

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: Features

  • Supremely customizable 9-band EQ
  • Rock-solid Bluetooth connection with easy pairing
  • Epic battery life

Surprisingly for a speaker of this price, the Tribit XSound Plus 2 has an impressive feature set. While you’re not going to get top-of-the-range features like lossless audio Dolby Atmos, or fancy automatic room-correction algorithms, this speaker does offer plenty of attributes that rivals twice its price don’t.

Across the top, a band of buttons allows you to control most aspects of the speaker. The power and pairing switches behave exactly how you’d expect, while there’s also a button to toggle between the three assignable EQ presets, and one to toggle Party Mode. There are also volume controls and the play button, which can be tapped once to play / pause, twice to skip forward, and thrice to skip back.

Fire up the Tribit app and not only does it allow you to toggle the speaker’s auto-shutdown feature on and off, it gives you access to a pretty comprehensive EQ. This comes with six pre-programmed presets – XBass, XBass Off, Audiobook, MaxSound Traditional, Rock and Jazz – but also allows you to create your own profiles with its nine-band EQ. As a result, you can seriously customize the sound it produces, based on your tastes and the genre you’re listening to.

By default you can quickly switch between XBass, XBass Off, and Audiobook mode using the physical EQ button on the speaker, with the light above it turning white, off, or blue respectively to indicate which mode you’re in. But what if your tastes extend beyond just ‘bassy’, ‘less bassy’ and ‘books’? Then you’re in luck: you can assign any of the presets, or your custom profiles, to each setting. Personally, as someone with absurdly eclectic tastes, I’m a big fan of any speaker that allows me to quickly fire up dedicated sound profiles for witch house, UK drill, and psychobilly at the press of a button.

Thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.3, the XSound Plus 2 also has rock-solid connectivity. The connection can in theory extend as far as 150 feet and, while I rarely stretched it this far, it was able to cover the full 46-foot length of my apartment through walls without breaking a sweat. And the multi-device pairing that’s built into more recent versions of Bluetooth meant it was always consistently quick to pair and swap between devices – you won’t need to spend 10 minutes forgetting and repairing connections just to get the speaker to swap from your phone to your laptop.

This also means the XSound Plus 2 supports pairing with other Tribit speakers. Once it’s paired with your phone, all you need to do is tap the TWS button on the right-hand side of the speaker and the two speakers form a stereo pair. Alternatively, if you’re just looking to boost the volume for a larger space, you can press the TWS button on a stereo pair to switch the speakers into Party Mode, turning them into an ersatz multi-room setup.

If you throw particularly epic parties, perhaps the XSound Plus 2’s most attractive feature is going to be its battery life, especially for such a small unit. Tribit claims it will last 24 hours at 60% volume, which is a life long enough to make Methuselah envious. Putting this to the test, I set it to play at that volume until it had dropped down from 100% to 60%, which took eight hours and 45 minutes – that means it should last almost 22 hours on a full charge. That’s a little shy of what Tribit promises, but very few Bluetooth speakers are going to give you this much juice, especially for this kind of budget.

Various button controls on top of the Tribit XSound Plus 2

(Image credit: Future)

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: Sound quality

  • Seriously loud, room-filling sound
  • Punchy bass and warm mids…
  • …but you’ll really need to ride the EQ to make some tracks shine

The Tribit XSound Plus 2 offers shockingly good sound considering its cost; both in terms of dynamics and how well rounded its lower frequencies are, it can hold its own against speakers twice its price. It’s tuned to play to its strengths, and it smashes any music that matches its preferred sonic profile. Unfortunately, this also means it can rapidly come unstuck when served something outside its wheelhouse.

Despite its relatively small footprint, it can pack a pretty decent punch when it comes to anything with dynamic bass, especially when you enable XBass. When I dropped Cirrus by Bonobo, I was genuinely impressed by how effortlessly the XSound Plus 2 was able to shift between the punchy kicks and the organic melodies of the kalimbas. The sound felt very cohesive, and while it didn’t have quite the outrageous levels of bass that the more party-focused Bluetooth speakers can muster, the bass response was tight and well-integrated with the rest of the frequency range.

But there are definitely some compromises going on in order to enable such a cohesive, well-integrated sound. Listening to Paul Simon’s vocals and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s choral hook during the intro of Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes feels like you’re being immersed in honey and, when the drums kick in, they rise through the mix without overpowering it. However, I could detect some undeniable sharpness in the treble of elements like those jangly guitar chords, suggesting the XSound Plus 2 is less proficient when it comes to handling transients.

Some songs clash with the XSound Plus 2’s processing, coming off much worse. Initially, when I played Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac, I was rather taken aback – it sounded tinnier than my hearing after a week-long festival. Both the high-mids and trebles sounded surprisingly brittle and, unlike with other genres, the band’s leaner soft-rock sound didn’t serve up enough bass to stop things from sounding seriously top-heavy. Playing the same song on the JBL Charge 5 really showed me what I was missing – the tom tom fills that were almost entirely neutered on the XSound Plus 2 added much more body. Clearly the cohesive sound the Tribit delivers while playing some genres means that certain frequencies are ducked and, to me, those low-mids seem to be one of the areas that are squeezed out.

This is where those EQ settings come in handy. When I flipped the XSound Plus 2 to its rock setting, Fleetwood Mac’s breakup anthem sounded much more like the song I recognized – the treble had a bit more oomph across the spectrum, while the bass was less subby, prioritizing the register of those toms and bass kicks. And finding the right setting can make other tracks shine too: Kamasi Washington’s Clair de Lune already sounded solid, but when I popped it into jazz mode, it gave due deference to that double bass, while giving more timbral depth to rest of the instruments, particularly that sultry trombone solo.

Ultimately, though, there isn’t any set-it-and-forget-it EQ setting that shows all tracks off in their best light. That may be less of an issue if you tend to only listen to one or two specific genres, but if you have diverse tastes or chop and change a lot, you may find yourself having to pull out the app more often than you’d like to ensure you’re getting the absolute best sound for your favorite tunes.

Given that it only has two forward-facing drivers, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical about the kind of presence that the XSound Plus 2 could deliver. But blow me down: it’s actually a solid little performer when it comes to soundstage. Naturally, it’s very much a point source of sound, but I tried sitting with it at a range of angles, and I didn’t find that the audio suffered when I was outside of the optimum stereo field. Even with the speaker pointing directly away from me, the treble didn’t significantly diminish, so when you have guests round they won’t all be jostling for the one seat from which they can actually hear the tunes playing.

And it’s just absurdly loud when you push it. Not only could it happily fill my living room with sound – which is no small feat given that I have cavernously high ceilings – but while running the above battery test at 60% volume in our offices, I could still hear it two rooms away despite the fact that it was wrapped in a jumper, stuffed in my rucksack, and in a room with acoustic damping on the walls. Inevitably, there’s a fair amount of distortion when you really crank it up to its eardrum-melting maximum, but you’re never going to be left wanting when it comes to sheer volume.

  • Sound quality score: 3.5/5

Tribit XSound Plus 2 with attached lanyard on gray surface

(Image credit: Future)

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: Design

  • Pleasant (if slightly anodyne) matte plastic finish
  • IPX7 rating protects it from rain and puddles
  • Lanyard feels a bit flimsy for a speaker of this weight

All told, the Tribit XSound Plus 2 is a likeable enough package. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not an objet d’art, but equally it doesn’t look conspicuously cheap. It’s far from the most flamboyantly hued Bluetooth speaker ever: your choices here are black or… erm… black. But plenty of brands offer brightly colored speakers; the XSound Plus 2 is clearly aiming for a subtler aesthetic, and I’d say it nails it.

Its body is made of a matte-black plastic that feels pleasingly soft to the touch, while the round curves on its rear make it comfortable to grasp in a single hand. On the front of the device, the drivers are covered by a convex metal grille, which is a bit more visually distinguishable than the cloth-covered cylinders that seem pretty much ubiquitous these day. If there’s any speaker the Tribit resembles, it’s the Beats Pill, but less rounded overall.

If you’re wanting to take the Tribit XSound Plus 2 into the great outdoors, it will easily be able to handle the elements. Thanks to its IPX7 rating, it should be able to cope with being dunked in water up to 3ft / 1m for up to 30 minutes, which means it’ll shrug off splashes with the enthusiasm of a golden retriever. But, beyond this, it’s probably not as hardy as some of its rivals: it’s not been tested for dust and grit ingress, and I’d argue its relatively dainty build won’t handle accidental drops quite as well as more robust portable speakers on the market.

And that last point really makes me question one design choice. The XSound Plus 2 comes with a lanyard on one end that allows you to wrap it around a wrist or attach it to a backpack, but it feels pretty flimsy, especially given the speaker’s 1.76lbs / 0.8kg weight – leaving it dangling and pirouetting around at the end of this string felt like I was hanging a $70 speaker from a 50¢ cord. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to hold in a single hand or stick in a pocket that I never really needed to trust the Tribit to this tenuous lifeline.

Removable tab on reverse side of the Tribit XSound Plus 2 open to reveal an AUX and USB-C port

(Image credit: Future)

Tribit XSound Plus 2 review: Value

  • Produces sound almost as good as speakers twice its price
  • Offers a broader range of features than many budget rivals
  • IPX7 weatherproofing make it a wise purchase for outdoor use

With the Tribit XSound Plus 2, you’re getting a lot of speaker for not very much money. The features it offers exceed what I’d expect for a speaker at this price. Sure, you’re not getting cutting-edge features like lossless audio or Dolby Atmos, but its EQ settings are super-customizable, and the ability to network multiple speakers together should give you a much more impressive soundstage than you’d get from one single $140 / £130 / AU$200 speaker.

And design-wise, its utilitarian looks are still pleasing enough, while that IPX7 rating will shrug off most of what the great outdoors can throw at it, making it a wise purchase for anyone looking for a cheap, durable speaker to take trekking or camping.

Admittedly, it’s hardly the most neutral listen, and this does cause some inconsistencies, depending on what you’re listening to. In comparison, the similarly sized JBL Flip 6 offers superior sound – but it also costs more than double the price. So in terms of bang for your buck, you’re getting a pretty sweet deal here.

Should you buy the Tribit XSound Plus 2?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Attributes Notes Rating
Features A great variety of features, especially that 9-band EQ. And its battery life is epic. 4/5
Sound quality Sounds better than it has a right to at this price… but you’ll absolutely need that EQ to make every genre sound its best. 3.5/5
Design It’s not going to set the design world alight but it’s a well-made package, with the weather-proofing and a solid-enough build to take the odd knock here and there. 4/5
Value You’re not going to find sound and features this good without paying at least twice as much – an absolute bargain. 4.5/5

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Tribit Xsound Plus 2 review: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell – Column 0 Tribit Xsound Plus 2 JBL Flip 6 Tribit Stormbox Micro 2
Price $69.99 / £63 (around AU$105) $99.95 / £129.99 / AU$149.95 $59.99 / £54.00 / AU$98.12
Weight 1.76lbs / 798g 1.21lb / 550g 11.2oz / 315g
Dimensions 7.81 x 2.62 x 2.76 inches / 198.5 x 66.5 x 70mm 7 x 2.6 x 2.8 inches / 178 x 68 x 72mm 3.93 x 3.93 x 1.69 inches / 99.8 x 99.8 x 42.9mm
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.1 Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life 24 hours (at 60% volume with XBass off) 12 hours 12 hours
Speaker drivers 2x 15W neodymium full-range drivers racetrack-shaped woofer, tweeter, passive bass radiators 10W 48mm driver
Waterproof rating IPX7 IP67 IP67

How I tested the Tribit Xsound Plus 2

  • I tested for two weeks, and I tested it against the JBL Charge 5
  • I used it in the office and at home
  •  listened to Spotify, Apple Music and Pocket Casts on an iPhone 13 Pro and a MacBook Pro 16-inch (2019)

I tested the Tribit XSound Plus 2 over the course of two weeks. Not only did I listen to a wide range of different genres and styles on it, but I also tested it using TechRadar’s reference playlist, which helped me assess the speaker’s full range and how it handled specific frequencies.

As well as connecting the XSound Plus 2 to multiple devices, including my iPhone 13 Pro and my MacBook Pro, I also directly compared how it performed relative to the JBL Charge 5, testing each speaker side by side. To test the speaker’s battery life, I set it to play continuously at 60% volume, and measured the battery drop over time.

I’ve been reviewing gadgets and technology for nearly 10 years, particularly headphones, speakers, and music hardware. I also regularly produce audio and music in my spare time, giving me a strong understanding of sound dynamics and frequencies.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed: June 2024