Back in February we reviewed the Triby Bluetooth speaker and family hub and came away pretty impressed. The company reached out to us again and asked if we’d like to take a look at Triby one more time. This time, they told me, Triby has a new trick up its sleeve. After some wheeling and dealing, Invoxia and Amazon have agreed to bring Alexa integration into Triby making this Bluetooth speaker/family hub something much more than before. Read on to see why the Triby from Invoxia earned a spot in our Top Picks of 2016.
When I first saw the Triby my first time with it, it took some time for the design to really grow on me. This time it was like welcoming an old friend home. It’s a minimal but utilitarian design made with very premium materials and feels very solid. My wife and I personally love the way Triby looks and it’s a nice decorative piece to have on the refrigerator. Of course design is a personal thing so you may or may not like how Invoxia has chosen to make the Triby, but looks aren’t everything. Overall the design remains the same and we still love it.
Ease Of Use
Still just as simple to use as before by downloading the Triby app for iPhone and using it as the primary interactive device for Triby. From the app you can call Triby and talk using Wi-Fi instead of cellular data. This gives you a great option if you happen to be stuck in a building with no cell signal but Wi-Fi is available. The Triby can also call two pre-programmed numbers, in our case it is mommy and daddy. This is great for when the kids want to call you and they don’t have a phone to do so.
Interactive doodles and messages are still a part of Triby and one of the more fun things especially for kids. You can draw a doodle or type a message on your phone, send it to Triby and it will appear on the e-ink screen. Triby gives a notification by popping out its yellow flag. The person at Triby can push the flag in sending notification back that the message was received, or the person at Triby can send an emoticon as a response. Doodles are one of the best things about Triby and you could get carried away, especially the first few weeks of having one.
Triby also has two radio preset buttons, and the Triby app allows you to program radio stations found within the app to each button. You can listen to those stations through the excellent speakers on board. You can also stream Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and many others over Bluetooth to Triby, a great function as well. It’s very easy to use Triby and there’s literally very little setup involved.
The big news for Triby and the reason why we’re doing this revisit review is Invoxia’s deal with Amazon in bringing Alexa Integration into Triby. Most people are familiar with the Amazon Echo and the Alexa voice assistant. Invoxia’s Triby is the first non-Amazon speaker to integrate Alexa and most everything you can do with the Echo you can do with the Triby.
You can tell Alexa to play music from Amazon Prime, or ask it to play a playlist from your Prime Music. You can create shopping lists and create timers (my wife loves the timer feature), you can add items to your Amazon cart. Triby and Alexa will also control your smart devices like turning your smart lighting on and off or adjusting your smart thermostat.
Voice accuracy is pretty amazing as well. Using four digital microphones and noise echo cancellation technology, Triby creates a beam to capture voices while eliminating background noise from up to 15 feet away. I’ve been able to ask Alexa questions from the living room while it is on the refrigerator in the kitchen.
Invoxia realizes that privacy is a concern as well and has built in privacy functions where no audio is sent to the cloud until Triby hears the wake word and the mics shut down after you’ve gotten what you want from Alexa.
The Amazon Echo and the Amazon Alexa products are all great products but it’s great to see Amazon work with other manufactures to bring Alexa integration to a more diverse array of products. Hopefully we’ll see more collaborations like this, and this added functionality to Triby makes this already awesome device even more awesome.
— Amazon Echo (@amazonecho) April 28, 2016
“As a company with a specialty in creating speakers and telecoms devices, we are excited by the world of possibilities consumer products like Triby offer families to improve their lives,” said Sébastien de la Bastie, Managing Director of Invoxia. “Our expertise in far field voice capture and connected devices helped us integrate the Alexa Voice Service quickly, and now the already multi-functional Triby becomes even more versatile and intelligent, giving people access to continually evolving cloud-based content and services.”
“As one of our first Alexa Fund companies, it’s great to see Triby offer their customers Alexa integration today,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “We believe voice is the most natural way to interact with technology in your home, which is one reason we’ve made access to the Alexa Voice Service available to device makers and developers for free.”
In my last review I mentioned that the Triby’s sound wasn’t up to par with some other premium options out on the market. Invoxia contacted me about my last review and asked what issues I had with the sound. I reassured them that the sound wasn’t horrible and it’s certainly worth the $199 price point for this speaker on top all the other features. I’m not sure if Invoxia did a firmware update and improved the sound, but there is a noticeable improvement in the sound quality of this speaker. While it still isn’t going to be a party speaker due to its size, this thing is plenty loud enough to handle entertaining the family with great quality sound.
Excellent reception and call quality and probably my wife’s favorite feature. Being able to reach me via Triby over Wi-Fi without having to pull a phone out is really a great convenience for her.
Invoxia advertises up to one month battery life and it really depends on how much you use it of course. Last time I got around 20 days of battery life. I haven’t had that long with this unit but the battery hasn’t needed a charge since the first initial charge from taking it out of the box. I’m more than certain battery life will be at 20 days or better. Although if you use Alexa a lot, battery life will diminish, probably best to have it plugged in if on your fridge.
For $199 you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. With the new Alexa Integration the Triby is an excellent value and one of our Top Picks for 2016.
If you want Alexa Integration, Wi-Fi calling, doodles, and a unique designed speaker, the Triby is something you need to buy.