Tribit’s fantastic StormBox Blast, plasma vs. OLED vs. LED-LCD televisions

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 46, 2022

Tribit StormBox Blast speaker: With the holidays coming up I will be highlighting gift ideas over the next few weeks, starting with this very fine portable speaker from Tribit.

Though Tribit markets the StormBox Blast as a “party speaker” with a colorful lightshow and powerful bass, I found it to be an exceptionally good high fidelity speaker. I had positive expectations given that Tribit is a company that tends to get it right when it comes to presenting accurate, high-quality sound, but these expectations were dramatically exceeded.

When I first heard the StormBox Blast my reaction was “wow.” It just plain sounds good in the way of some of my most popular audio recommendations, playing in the same sonic league as much more expensive high-end offerings while being portable and battery-powered. The sound is crisp, clear, and has just the right amount of warmth, with excellent separation of all of the instruments and vocalists. The StormBox Blast also sounds great with all kinds of music, the hallmark of the very best speakers. I listened with everything from Broadway soundtracks to hard rock to country to talk radio and it sounded absolutely fantastic across the board, effortlessly filling the room with beautiful music.

The StormBox Blast plugs directly into the wall with a standard two-prong plug on a removable cord, with no bulky adapters to manage. Battery life is 30 hours and it can be used to charge portable devices via a USB-C connection. It is also IPX7 waterproof and the sound can be tweaked with an available app. While these features undoubtedly add value, the most important thing to remember is the remarkable sound is the reason to buy this speaker.

When I review something new I avoid looking at user or professional reviews so I can form my own opinion free of outside influence. After extended listening I checked Amazon to see what owners had to say, and I saw 5 gold stars and a 4.8/5 rating with over 350 verified reviews. It seems that owners are just as enthusiastic as I am.

If you are a hi-fi fan or just want a great-sounding speaker for use almost anywhere, don’t let the “party speaker” monicker scare you off. If you like pulsing multicolored lights you can leave the lightshow turned on and enjoy one of the most colorful and dynamic presentations on the market. If not, just turn the feature off and swoon to the beautiful sound. The StormBox Blast lists for $259.99, but sales and coupons bring the price down to $174.99 on Amazon and $149.99 on Tribit.com, where a discount is applied at checkout.

Q. I saw an advertisement for a Mini-LED TV. What is a Mini-LED TV and is it better than OLED or plasma?

-J.L., St. Paul, MN

A. Mini-LED means there are many thousands (25,000 or more) of LEDs providing the backlight for the television, illuminating an LCD panel from behind to create the image. (A more proper way to refer to these TVs is “LED-LCD” since they use an LCD panel that is illuminated with an LED light source, and LEDs do not create the image.) Most LED-LCD TVs have lighting that comes from the edges or from a few dozen zones directly behind the LCD panel. Mini-LED offers the best possible contrast and overall performance in LED-LCD sets.

OLED and plasma has each pixel create its own light, the theoretical ultimate. Image quality comparisons come down to the specific TVs being compared, though OLED is widely considered the best but at a higher cost and with a risk of burn-in not found in LED-LCD sets.