- Great build quality with solid interface
- Sounds amazing, even at higher volumes
- Not sure if it's a portable speaker or home speaker
Opening the Tibo Sphere 2 and being greeted by what can only be described as the squarest box speaker ever was a little baffling. I never heard of Tibo before this speaker arrived at my door, so was really expecting this to be some kind of round, weird and wacky shaped speaker. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Although a little let down by the fact I was now faced with a box shape, I still found the black version of this speaker to be more than aesthetically pleasing. The speakers and control panels are still round, giving a lovely juxtaposition to the housing that the speakers actually sit in.
Overall the speaker is pretty heavy which does scream good quality already, and that’s before listening to any tracks through it. I love a heavy speaker. Makes things feel a little more premium than the usual plasticy Bluetooth speaker for the beach. The wood feels solid but has a soft touch coating and the buttons and front grille look spot on and very minimalistic.
The six buttons on the left when looking at the Tibo Sphere 2 control pre-set radio stations which can be set via the Tibo app. The right buttons are reserved for things like volume, skip track, changing modes and power.
The aim of the game here is for WiFi purposes. There is built-in Bluetooth if you’re away from the nest as well as an aux in for those without Bluetooth mobile phones. However, this is a WiFi speaker through and through. I read the instructions because I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to connect this thing to WiFi, and unfortunately because of the terrible writing and misinformation, I was none the clearer. The instructions told me to plug in the speaker and click the WPS button on the rear. I did, and nothing. It wasn’t until I started button bashing that I discovered there was a power button on the front. Once I had turned on the speaker, connecting to my WiFi network was seamless and the app picked it up straight away.
Be warned, you have to use your 2.4Ghz network configuration as 5.0Ghz doesn’t work. Once you’ve connected the speaker to the network however it’s fine to swap back. There’s also the opportunity to run the speaker on a wired network via the Ethernet port on the back. Most people I can see though opting for the WiFi service, so go with this. Usual streaming services work including Spotify and Tidal, and can even be used to play music from your own collection via Windows Media Player.
Audio quality through this little speaker is nothing short of superb. Music sounds extremely full and there is a nice amount of bass coming through thanks to the rear firing subwoofer. Lyrics shine through over the top of music. The soundstage isn’t very wide, and although this speaker states that it can play through the left, right, or both channels for stereo sound, the single front firing speaker is the only place where music is released. However, thanks to its multiroom technology, if you have two of these speakers you can play the same track, channeling left and right through separate speakers for a proper stereo setup.
One thing I do question about this speaker is the fact it feels as if it’s been built for the portable speaker market with its carry handle and eight hour battery life. I can’t see much use in messing around with hooking it up to your WiFi network when it’s got Bluetooth and being carried around with you. Music sounds purer and clearer and nicer through WiFi, but still, is this going to be kept in a living room for example? It could work as a portable kitchen speaker. For more information on the Tibo Sphere 2, check out their website.