Dunk your music: Tribit XSound Go Portable Wireless Speaker review

What’s The Best’s audio expert reviews this portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker – did it survive?

from Tribit
RRP  £39.99
Tribit XSound Go portable wireless speaker in a cup of tea

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

For my money, the Tribit XSound Go is up there with the best speakers a relatively small amount of money can buy. For well under the £50 mark I was expecting the usual mash of conflicting frequencies and tinny bass. But it’s the opposite. I’ve taken this on picnics, into the garden in the rain and, of course, into the shower.

Not only has it performed reliably from my paired iPhone on the other side of the house, but it’s powerful enough to cut through the sound of a power shower with ease. The bass response is way beyond what I expected for the size of the XSound Go and the highs and mids really pop. I particularly appreciate its soundbar-like design and sheer weightiness at around 370g, too.

Even at the highest volume, the speaker was never unlistenable, just a little rough around the edges. It’s survived submersion, a couple of drops onto concrete and even a cup of tea.

Battery life is excellent, providing a full day of listening after a 4-hour charge. The rubberised exterior is prone to marks and fingerprints, but that’s a small price to pay for such a small yet powerful waterproof speaker. Find out more with my full review, below.

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Tribit

Pros

  • Impressive well-rounded sound quality, especially bass
  • Reliable, long-lasting battery life and reasonable charge times
  • Durable and waterproof (IPX7 rated)

Cons

  • The black buttons can be hard to see in low light
Drivers2x 8W drivers
Audio power16W total output
ConnectivityBluetooth, 3.5mm aux-in
Battery lifeUp to 24 hours
Charging timeApproximately 4 hours
WaterproofingIPX7 rated
Dimensions56 x 59 x 170 mm (HxWxL)
Weight370g

Tribit XSound Go Portable Wireless Speaker review

Testing small Bluetooth speakers like this often results in a sharp intake of breath as I prepare for terrible bass and tinny sound. This time, I was impressed by the Tribit XSound Go. Within minutes I had it connected to my iPhone and playing everything from 90s chillout to 70s rock.

Taking it into the shower, kitchen and garden for exposure to heat, rain and hot running water resulted in reliable playback – even underwater. The sound quality surprised me too. It’s very well balanced with a decent bass response thanks to Tribit’s passive radiators. It has two 8W drivers. To my ears, they exceed the sum of their parts, making it an excellent small Bluetooth speaker for sound quality. It’s probably one of the best size-to-power portables I’ve tested.

My final test, which the Tribit XSound Go passed with flying colours, was the tea dunk. Although Tribit’s instructions don’t explicitly say ‘Do not soak in tea’ I wouldn’t recommend doing that. I did though, all in the name of science. It continued to play Tea For One by Led Zeppelin all the way through and it still works perfectly. This is one of the best waterproof speakers out there. And that IPX7 waterproofing is very evident, with a black rubberised finish on all but the metal grill.

The buttons are raised symbols for power, Bluetooth, volume and playback. I love the multifunction play button for pausing and skipping back and forth using multiple clicks. As they’re black, I did find that they were hard to see in low light – but that got easier as I became more familiar with the device.

I got around 24 hours of playback on a single charge, but that varied a little depending on volume levels. It has a couple of extra tricks up its sleeve too: A 3.5mm aux-in and stereo pairing. If you have two of these speakers, they can both be paired with the same device for better stereo separation.

Verdict: Big sound from a small waterproof speaker – buy one.

Tribit XSound Go portable wireless speaker in the shower
©Chris Duffill, What's The Best

What’s good?

If you want a great balance between power and true portability with an amazing bass response, I think the Tribit XSound Go is a bit of a superstar. This speaker is surprisingly weighty and powerful, with a very well-rounded sound profile for something the size of a can of Red Bull. It certainly qualifies as a great budget-friendly Bluetooth speaker for students and adventurous types alike.

I found pairing the speaker with my iPhone and iPad was fast and seamless. It was also reliable with excellent range. I could take it into the garden with my phone over 40ft away without issues – other than the phone needing to be in line-of-sight of the speaker. Battery life and charging times (24 hours and 4 hours respectively) were more or less accurate, depending on how loud your music is.

Most importantly, it survived a daily soaking in the shower, being left outside in the rain, being dropped into the sink and – yes – being dunked into a large cup of lukewarm tea like an oversized bourbon. For less than £40 right now, I think that the Tribit XSound Go is a compact yet mighty Bluetooth speaker with robust weatherproofing and great sound. Take it away with you as the ideal holiday speaker and it’ll survive everything. It’s one of the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers around.

Tribit XSound Go portable wireless speaker outside in the rain
©Chris Duffill, What's The Best

What’s okay about the Tribit XSound Go?

Don’t get me wrong, for a portable speaker this size the bass is more than respectable. Unlike some, it’s actually there for a start. While it’s satisfying enough with lots of resonance, if you’re expecting room-shaking bass in my opinion you’ll need a larger speaker. But, I think that most people will – like me – be seriously impressed with the sound, volume and bass on offer here as a budget Bluetooth speaker.

Any waterproof speaker that can withstand submersion is going to be rubberised, but the combination of the black colour scheme and the matt black rubber is prone to the usual scuffs and fingermarks. However, if that’s the price of its IPX7 rating and understated looks it’s fine by me – it is a portable speaker after all, so it’s going to take some punishment.

Although I like the inclusion of the lanyard for hanging from handlebars or tents, I think that the soundbar-like front grille would probably get scuffed or dented before long – especially if you’re taking it on outdoor adventures. That said, that grill is extremely tough and inflexible to the touch (and looks great). So, overall, I prefer its looks over more colourful and plastic-looking alternatives that might be more forgiving with marks.

Tribit XSound Go portable wireless speaker in the garden
©Chris Duffill, What's The Best

Any negatives about the Tribit XSound Go?

I do wish that the raised tactile symbols that work as buttons were a different colour (or illuminated) so that they could be made out more easily in low light. As they are, they’re black with only a glossy finish to differentiate them from the rest of the casing. It’s a small-ish nitpick on what is still a highly usable Bluetooth speaker for well under £100, though.

I tested the auxiliary input with my iPod connected with a 3.5mm jack - although, in doing this, the rear port’s waterproof cover has to be left open, alongside the charge port. So, I had to be mindful of this in wet areas.

Sadly, the Tribit app doesn’t yet support the XSound Go for tweaking things like the EQ, but it’s not the end of the world as the sound from this little speaker is very well balanced out of the box. As with many devices these days, there’s no adapter included for charging. But as it uses the universal USB-C type port for 5V of power, it’s compatible with loads of generic adapters – including charging via cable from laptops and PCs.

Tribit XSound Go portable wireless speaker hanging on lanyard in a tree
©Chris Duffill, What's The Best

More items to consider

Soundcore

Rrp: $67.99

Price: $59.99
Drivers2x 8W drivers
Audio power16W total output
ConnectivityBluetooth, 3.5mm aux-in
Battery lifeUp to 24 hours
Charging timeApproximately 4 hours
WaterproofingIPX7 rated
Dimensions56 x 59 x 170 mm (HxWxL)
Weight370g

JBL
Price: $79.95
Alternative retailers
Lowe's$39.97View offer
Walmart$46.49View offer
B&H Photo Video$59.95View offer
Macy's$79.95View offer
Drivers2x 8W drivers
Audio power16W total output
ConnectivityBluetooth, 3.5mm aux-in
Battery lifeUp to 24 hours
Charging timeApproximately 4 hours
WaterproofingIPX7 rated
Dimensions56 x 59 x 170 mm (HxWxL)
Weight370g

Ultimate Ears
Drivers2x 8W drivers
Audio power16W total output
ConnectivityBluetooth, 3.5mm aux-in
Battery lifeUp to 24 hours
Charging timeApproximately 4 hours
WaterproofingIPX7 rated
Dimensions56 x 59 x 170 mm (HxWxL)
Weight370g

Who tested it?

Chris Duffill is one of our Senior Tech Writers. He has a background in media production and videography and is experienced with a wide variety of audiovisual tech. At home, he enjoys both old-school analogue and high-tech multiroom audio, plus surround sound setups for movies and music.

How the product was tested

I tested the Tribit XSound Go every day for around three weeks. It was used as a desktop speaker indoors, in the shower (within range of the shower head), in the kitchen (the drop-into-the-sink test) and outside in various locations and weather conditions. It was also dunked into a cup of tea. It was connected to an iPhone and iPad for playback, and an iPod Nano was used to test the auxiliary jack input.

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Chris Duffillis a Senior Tech Writer and Reviewer for What's The Best. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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