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Tronsmart Trip review: portable speakers under $30 don't get better than this

This speaker is so cheap, it's almost too good to be true.

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker
(Image: © Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

Our Verdict

The Tronsmart Trip portable speaker is the embodiment of the term "cheap and cheerful." You get a sweet set of specs like Bluetooth 5.3, IPX7 water resistance, USB-C charging, and more, for the cost of a steak dinner. Admittedly, there are some caveats, but the speaker's price-to-feature ratio is impeccable.

For

  • Bluetooth 5.3 with good range
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Four vibrant colorways
  • Built-in mic with Google Assistant and Siri support
  • USB-C and audio ports with both cables included
  • Filthy cheap

Against

  • No companion app support
  • Bass isn't as heavy as I would've liked
  • Takes 3 hours to charge up

As audio technology advances, it continues to push the boundaries of what we currently perceive as normal. Bluetooth speakers have gotten more compact, gained portability, improved audio quality, and even become rugged as of late. Brands have started to play around with components such as the form factor and materials used.

Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Tronsmart's latest foray into the world of wireless speakers is a budget device. It's so refreshing to see companies trying to challenge price as a factor to overcome, in addition to other features such as quality and size. Just like cheap Android phones, affordable accessories are also getting better and better by the minute.

The Tronsmart Trip aims to compete with the most capable portable Bluetooth speakers under $50. To make things more challenging, the price is even more competitive because it falls under the $30 price range. Upon receiving the device, my first thoughts were somewhere along the lines of "How bad can this be?" and then they morphed into "How is this possible?" real quick.

Price and availability

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker

(Image credit: Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

The Tronsmart Trip launched globally in April 2022, going on sale across popular platforms like Amazon a few months later. You can get this portable Bluetooth speaker from the official Tronsmart website or other retailers for anywhere between $22 to $30.

Depending on where you buy it from, the Tronsmart Trip speaker officially comes in a mix of six funky, plain, and patterned shades. The main colorways are red, black, grey, blue, orange, and camouflage. Unfortunately, the orange and camo finishes are yet to make their way to the store shelves anywhere.

What you'll appreciate

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker

(Image credit: Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

Unlike most of Tronsmart's plain-Jane cheap Bluetooth speakers, the Tronsmart Trip makes a bold statement. Although I tested out the black variant, there are a handful of vibrant color combos available. Those bright reds and blues pair wonderfully with the compact, modern, and minimalist look of the Bluetooth speaker.

I love the rugged woven fabric exterior of the Trip speaker. There's a handy nylon strap protruding from one end of the portable audio device. Just like the entire body of the speaker, the handle is incredibly sturdy. 

You just know it won't easily tear in the wild if you hang it in your tent while camping or attach it to your bike. Since the Tronsmart Trip touts a robust IPX7 waterproof rating, you can take it outdoors without any reservations.

The Tronsmart Trip makes a bold statement and it touts a robust IPX7 waterproof rating.

The budget speaker is also super lightweight and has a really tiny footprint. You can easily slip this rectangular Bluetooth accessory into your travel backpack. The speaker's immunity to rainfalls and dunks in pools of water make it great for the shower as well. No, I am not embarrassed to admit that it also makes for a fantastic pretend mic during jam sessions in the bath.

In my review of the larger Tronsmart Bang party speaker, I pointed out a recurring issue across most of the brand's audio gear. The buttons used to be undiscernible alongside the hardware's design, but thankfully, the Trip speaker resolves that issue. 

Props to Tronsmart for fixing that! Regardless of the colorway you choose, the hue of the buttons contrasts with the body so you can sport them clearly. For instance, the black model of the Trip speaker has grey accents, making it easy to spot all the controls.

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker

(Image credit: Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

Tronsmart equipped the Trip speaker with a blend of new-fangled specs, while still trying to keep the costs as low as possible. This effectively makes it the first portable speaker that I have used with the latest Bluetooth 5.3 profile in it. Thanks to the newest version of Bluetooth, Tronsmart Trip sports a really wide range — 59 feet to be exact.

It also has a built-in mic and smart assistant integration that allows you to use your speaker hands-free with Google Assistant and Siri. 

The 10W Bluetooth speaker produces crisp sound and it gets pretty loud. The audio quality is incredibly well-balanced, and you won't face issues at max volume levels. For outdoor use, the sound quality and loudness is good enough for most people. You also get Tronsmart's proprietary SoundPulse technology, allowing you to sync up to 100 Trip speakers together.

The little Tronsmart speaker's ports include a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB-C charging port. You don't have to worry about purchasing compatible audio and USB-C cables as the brand thoughtfully includes them in the box.  It's a subtle touch, but one that I really appreciate as this increases the overall value prospect of this $30 speaker.

The uptime is no joke either, giving you 20 hours of playback if you're mindful of the volume levels. Going all out will still give you around 10 hours of usage.

What you'll dislike

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker

(Image credit: Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

With a device so cheap, I find it really hard to complain about the lack of upscale features. The Tronsmart Trip is a brilliant, value-packed Bluetooth speaker, but I do see space for a few more improvements that could make it the ultimate budget speaker.

For example, the device has no app support which was a bummer. I like to manage my devices from my Android phone, especially audio accessories like speakers and wireless earbuds. One of the reasons for that is that it's nice to have a customizable equalizer in-app.

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker

(Image credit: Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

In the case of the Tronsmart Trip, I felt like the bass just wasn't deep enough for my prissy ears. I should mention that this review is coming in hot on the heels of higher end audio gear like Huawei's Sound Joy and Tribit's XSound Mega

The affordable Tronsmart Trip's soundstage didn't feel like it could blast the very soul out of my body. Having used countless audio gadgets in the past, I know fiddling around with the equalizer would've tuned it to my liking.

While I'm glad that Tronsmart added USB-C charging to the portable Trip speaker, it still needs more oomph in the charging department. You see, the charging speed itself is limited to 15W. This results in a tedious three-hour timeframe to charge it fully when flat dead. To put things in perspective, we're talking about topping up a teensy 2,000mAh cell.

Competition

JBL Go 3

(Image credit: Harman Kardon)

What a wonderful world we live in. A few crispy tenners can fetch you some spectacular Bluetooth speakers, complete with RGB lighting and rugged waterproofing in some cases.

With $40 in your pocket, you can purchase the JBL Go 2, which also comes in red, black, and blue shades just like the Tronsmart Trip. It boasts a similar squarish form factor, heavy-duty fabric covering, and the same IPX7 waterproof rating. The battery specs aren't as good though, with an average uptime of five hours paired with an ancient micro-USB port.

JBL has already launched the newer JBL Go 3 with upgraded IP67 water and dust resistance, five assorted colorways, and USB-C charging. The price is closer to $50 though, and you still get the only five hours of playback time.

Other worthy alternatives to the cheap Trip speaker include the OontZ Angle Solo, which has a wider 100-foot Bluetooth range and a similar rugged design. It costs even lesser than Tronsmart's offering, but you'll have to settle for an IPX5 splash-proof rating, a shorter 10-hour battery life, and the dreadful micro-USB port once again.

Tronsmart's own Groove 2 outdoor speaker also competes with the Tronsmart Trip. It costs the same as the Trip speaker, but you get RGB lights, better bass, an IPX7 rating, and USB-C charging. Needless to say, the fancy color-changing lights strain the Tronsmart Groove 2's lifespan quite a bit, and the rugged portable speaker weighs much more, too.

Should you buy it?

Tronsmart Trip portable speaker

(Image credit: Farhan Bin Enayet / Android Central)

You should buy this if...

  • You've only got $30 to spare
  • You need a lightweight outdoor speaker
  • You want an IPX7 waterproof rating
  • You like vibrant colored portable speakers
  • You want USB-C charging and an audio jack

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You need dust resistance in your speaker
  • You want something with incredible bass
  • You can't forgo a companion app

The Tronsmart Trip is gunning for a very specific niche within the Bluetooth speaker market. If you're on a tight budget, this Bluetooth 5.3 enabled audio gear will make you very happy. It's hard to find another speaker that sports a USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack, with the cables included, for the price.

It's not even a boring budget device, even if the bass isn't on the premium tier. You can't ask for mind-blowing sound quality when spending such less money. The color options look snazzy and the Trip speaker is built to endure. To add to that, it has a stellar battery life for something so small and lightweight.

You should definitely buy it if you're thinking about it. Pro tip: Tronsmart's products are always on sale, so you can score one for even cheaper if you comb through the listings online. For $30, the Tronsmart Trip does it's best to satisfy.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Namerah Saud Fatmi

Namerah Saud Fatmi is a contributing writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on Twitter @NamerahS.