I didn’t know I desperately needed something like Triby in my life until I had it hanging amidst the cheesy magnets and grammar school art masterpieces on my refrigerator door.
The design is reminiscent of an old school transistor radio but the portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker has a splash-proof and dirt-proof aluminum body and 2.9” e-ink display that makes it undeniably a 21st century product.
Additionally, it can serve as a digital assistant, play your favorite tunes from various Internet radio services, stream local radio stations, and act as a hands-free speakerphone and connected message board. I’m pretty sure your great-grandad’s Broksonic couldn’t do THAT.
Triby is the first non-Amazon product to be Alexa-enabled. What’s Alexa you ask? Well, my droogs, the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is an intelligent and scalable cloud service that adds voice-enabled experiences to any connected product with a microphone and speaker.
In short, you give the device verbal commands using “Alexa” as the wake word and the Internet connected speaker does your bidding.
Four digital microphones along with noise and echo cancellation algorithms accurately captured my voice from more than 10 feet away and Invoxia, the company that designed and manufactures Triby, claims the mics will work from up to 15 feet away.
Every request for weather, traffic and sports information was accurate and delivered with minimal delay. I found myself sorely tempted to ask Alexa to order me a Domino’s Pizza but after taking a look at my waistline, decided against it. One note, the Alexa service did have trouble with instructions offered up by my kids.
Using Triby as a hands-free speakerphone for VoIP calls was easy when using its companion smartphone app (available for both Android and iOS) or when paired with a mobile device.
A feature that I particularly enjoy are the large buttons flanking the left and right sides of the display. The phone shaped keys can be programmed with contact numbers for VoIP calls and the buttons on the right can accommodate Spotify playlists or radio station streams. Not a revolutionary idea but a nice touch when you are preparing a meal and just want to make a quick call or change the music options.
And those options are plentiful on Triby. Alexa accessed my Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn accounts without a hitch.
The gadget is small but it sounds big. Two 1.4” transducers and a 2.5” x 2” passive radiator for bass amplification, along with the sound-shaping algorithms programmed into Triby, provide a surprisingly satisfying audio experience.
You can send doodles, short messages and emoji characters to the the display, also from the companion app, and a yellow plastic flag will pop out from the side of Triby alerting you to the arrival of a message. Pushing the plastic flag back in acknowledges receipt of the message.
If you want Triby to better match your décor you can trick it out with multicolored rubber protective bumpers that can be removed for washing and cleaning. Again, not a crucial detail but a nice one.
I honestly didn’t want to like Triby. I already have multiple bluetooth speakers and I was not thrilled with the idea of using another device powered by a rechargeable battery. Alexa on the Triby does not offer full Spotify support or access to Pandora and at $199, it is not an insignificant purchase. But the device is easy to setup and even without Alexa, the sheer convenience and fun factor would make Triby enticing enough for me to whip out the plastic at Amazon or the Invoxia web store.
Fun, convenient, good sound quality and a sturdy build. What’s not to like?