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Tronsmart Bang Max review: lots of power at a special price

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At first sight

Expert evaluation


Excellent stereo image Guitar and microphone inputs for street parties or karaoke Impressive bass


Only supports SBC codec Heavy Some distortion at higher volume

Our verdict

The Tronsmart Bang Max Bluetooth speaker offers exceptional value and excellent stereo image even at high volume.

Price at time of review

Launch price: 169.99; MSRP: $229.99

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Tronsmart has made a name for itself with Bluetooth speakers that aim to compete with some of the best-reviewed brands in the industry. The Shenzen-based Chinese manufacturer has embraced a throwback aesthetic with a futuristic ’80s-style logo and builds speakers that punch well above their weight.

The company’s latest addition is the Tronsmart Bang Max, a powerful outdoor speaker packed with features and with impressive battery life. The Bang Max has a lot in common with the $499 JBL Boombox 3 and manages to hold its own against a speaker that retails for more than twice as much.

This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best Bluetooth speakers.

Build quality Tronsmart Bang Max

The Bang Max is a beast, measuring 10.24 x 18.5 x 7.83 inches HxW D and weighing 13.2 pounds. A sturdy handle makes it easy to carry, but it’s not a speaker you’ll enjoy lugging a mile from the car to the beach if you have a terrible parking situation. The unit has a

IPX6 waterproof rating, so it will survive trips to the beach or pool, as long as you don’t submerge the speaker.

origin 1The 13.2-pound Tronsmart Bang Max brings the noise with two 30-watt woofers, two 20-watt mid-tweeters, and two 10-watt tweeters.

James Barber/Foundry

There’s a three-way active speaker system with two 30-watt woofers, two 20W midrange tweeters, and two 10W tweeters. There are also two passive radiators, one on each end of its enclosure. This setup generates 130W of dynamic power, and the speaker is large enough to deliver a true stereo image. The unit uses Bluetooth 5.3 and supports the SBC codec, but none of the high-resolution codecs (e.g. aptX or LDAC).

Most of the barrel is covered by a fabric grille, but on the front of the unit is a silicone control strip that features a power button, a Bluetooth indicator, volume up and down buttons, and a multifunction button play/pause that also answers phone calls.

One SoundPulse button activates Tronsmart’s custom digital signal processing technology. That DSP promises to soften harsh noises and improve the speaker’s stereo soundstage. More on that in a bit.

The strip also includes a stereo pairing button, allowing you to pair the Bang Max to one side of a stereo pair with another Bang Max speaker. This is usually a welcome feature on smaller speakers, but the stereo image of This speaker is good enough that you can’t imagine needing it.

origin 1The Tronsmart Bang Max wireless speaker control strip features buttons for power, volume, play/pause, SoundPulse EQ, stereo pairing, multi-speaker setup, and reverb.

James Barber/Foundry

There’s also a TuneConn button for users who want to daisy chain up to 100 compatible Tronsmart speakers. If you find yourself in a family or friend group full of Tronsmart devotees, you can create a truly impressive effect with enough speakers.

The back of the speaker has a series of inputs along the bottom that offer options beyond Bluetooth for music playback. There’s a microSD card slot, a USB slot, and a 3.5mm aux-in port. There is also a DC power input for charging.

The speaker also features a pair of ΒΌ-inch inputs. One can hold a microphone or guitar jack and the other is for a microphone only. Each input has its own volume knob and gain control. This means you can use the Bang Max as a karaoke speaker for singing along to your favorite tunes, or you can set it up as a portable PA for sidewalk performances. An Echo button on the front control panel can add reverb effects.

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James Barber/Foundry

Tronsmart promises 24 hours of battery life with Bang Max, but you won’t get that much if you push the volume to maximum levels. I listened for more than 20 hours at about 75 dB and the battery level lights on the left end of the control strip still show 25% charge. The speaker comes with a 15V power supply and a full charge takes approximately 5.5 hours.

Using the Tronsmart app

The Tronsmart app is packed with features. From the settings panel, you can update the speaker’s firmware, disconnect it from a source via a button, access the user manual, or set a time for the speaker to automatically turn off.

The app’s home screen has a battery level indicator, a volume slider, and buttons for play/pause, skip forward, and go back. There’s an equalizer settings panel and a controller panel that lets you switch between inputs, activate stereo pairing and broadcast modes, and turn off the speaker from the app. This is a killer feature that should be standard on every Bluetooth speaker and is especially welcome when using a speaker that can cover such a large area. There are also control buttons for the Bang Max’s flashing lights.

The Tronsmart Bang Max puts on a light show

origin 1The Tronsmart Bang Max wireless speaker features light rings around the passive radiator at each end.

James Barber/Foundry

Another feature that deserves praise is Tronsmart’s decision to ditch the built-in light show worn out by default. The lights are in a circle on each end on the outside of the passive radiators. There are only three LED modes with this speaker: Carousel, Deep Breath, and Fashion Party. The carousel pulses and scrolls through all the available colors. Deep Breath flows at a slower pace, but still in time with the beat. Fashion Party features lights racing around the circle as they change color with each full rotation.

Three is exactly the right number of light show options. Speaker manufacturers that give you six or more are simply making it harder to decide, especially because it’s hard to keep track of the small differences between options once you have so many choices.

I listen to the Tronsmart Bang Max

Once I started listening to the Tronsmart Bang Max, I simply left the speaker’s SoundPulse DSP turned on. Has SoundPulse altered the music mixes in any noticeable way? Sure, but it was a more immersive listening experience when I was involved in outdoor activities. The Bang Max just wants to party and has no desire to be a reference speaker for critical listening.

SoundPulse is just one of the equalization options built into the Tronsmart app. There is also the default EQ (flat), Deep Bass, Rock, Classical and a custom setting option. I played around with the custom settings until I found an EQ that I thought was perfect, but ultimately preferred the SoundPulse option when I went back. The deep bass engulfs all the mids and highs, creating a muffled, dull-sounding playing experience. The rock and classical settings seemed completely superfluous; I couldn’t hear a significant difference when using these EQ settings.

origin 1The Tronsmart Bang Max wireless speaker includes microphone and guitar inputs on the rear panel.

James Barber/Foundry

The real EQ choice appears to be between Default and SoundPulse (hence the button on the front of the unit), although the custom EQ settings will interest those who think so Have to try editing the audio to your standards.

Tronsmart promises that the Bang Max will reach 110 dB of volume. I hit that number on my decibel meter, but the audio started distorting above about 98 dB. That’s enough volume for most people. If you’re looking for something above that level, you should really look at speakers with giant cabinets, like the Soundbooks go or the Sony SRS-XV800 tower speaker.

origin 1The Tronsmart app for iOS and Android allows users to see the battery level, set the volume and choose inputs.

James Barber/Foundry

The Bang Max pumps out an impressive amount of bass, and that boom extends an even more impressive distance. That will be too much bass for some listeners who prefer jazz, classical, or acoustic music to pop, hip hop, or rock, but I wasn’t bothered by the compromise.

Should you buy the Tronsmart Bang Max?

The Bang Max is an exceptional value. When compared side-by-side with the JBL Boombox 3, I could detect a little more definition in the upper-midrange, and based on the sound, I’d opt for the JBL if all things were equal.

Except they’re not the same. Listening to the Bang Max when JBL wasn’t around, I didn’t miss the Boombox 3. Add in the fact that the Tronsmart Bang Max costs less than half what JBL charges and adds the light show and karaoke features, and you don’t you really have a competition. What Tronsmart can’t yet offer is the kind of brand familiarity that will impress your neighbors at a backyard barbecue. That could change if the company continues to ship such good speakers at such low prices.