For a long time I had been putting off the purchase of a Bluetooth speaker, even though one would be very handy in this wireless world. I might sit in the garden, or the dining room, or even go upstairs, while still listening to music from our main digital repository. Still, the good ones seemed uncomfortably expensive, and the inexpensive ones seemed (as far as I could tell) cheap. Absent a convincing reason to select one rather than another, I simply put off deciding.
A couple of months ago, though, I set my hand to arrive at a the choice of a speaker; I was tired of not having access to digital music (played through a speaker better than the built-in laptop speakers) outwith the front room. I looked over several websites, read reviews on Amazon, made some relative weightings based on experience in evaluating reviews from various sources, and opted to try the Tribit XSound Go speaker for £28.99.
When it arrived, I noticed a card included with the packaging that promised Tribit would send $1 to UNICEF if I posted an online review. ‘Fine,’ I thought, ‘I’ll give it a while to listen carefully, and then I’ll post a review.’ This is that review, Tribit people, and bless you for your generosity. My assessment to follow is not at all biased by my appreciation of this way of soliciting feedback.
I noticed first, and most easily, that the high end was fine; the speaker could handle some very subtle treble sounds impressively. The midrange sounded clear and very good as well. The catch for small speakers, though, comes at the low end. The laws of physics militate against good low end reproduction for small (and inexpensive) speakers. I tried several cuts, adjusted the bass frequencies to pull them out a bit for extra attention, and listened carefully. The answer is positive, but with a caution. The XSound Go does very well at representing the bass end on recordings that have been mastered (or remastered) in the digital era. In fact, I have been astonished at the bass from the speaker on some recordings. On the other hand, older recordings (digitisations), perhaps 128kbps sampling, sound more like old 45s playing on your teenage portable record player. That’s 0% the Tribit’s fault — it’s the XSound Go revealing clearly a distinction that computer speakers don’t make as obvious.
So my conclusion is, The Tribit XSound Go is a very good speaker for the money. Indeed, the XSound Go is so good that I can’t understand wanting a more expensive Bluetooth speaker — I just can’t imagine an incremental benefit in sound reproduction that would be worth spending more for a device such as this. Top marks to the Tribit XSound Go.
Disclaimer: I paid for the speaker myself, and have had no contact from the company (though I will email them to nudge them to send the dollar to UNESCO).