review

TIBO Choros Multi-room Audio System: Choros Tap, Choros 4 & Choros 6

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Wireless multi-room audio speakers are a different breed of wireless speakers that use your home Wifi network to connect, letting you stream music from multiple speakers at the same time.
Some multi-room audio systems like the TIBO Choros speakers even feature Bluetooth and a line-in input so you can use the TIBO speakers as a regular bluetooth speaker and/or connect them directly to a TV to beef up its sound system.
With the TIBO Choros multiroom audio pack, you can listen to your Music Share (NAS) or music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, or Napster anywhere in your home and play the same music in every room via the TIBO Audio mobile app, available on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
What makes the TIBO Choros multiroom audio system nifty is the dual WiFi and high resolution audio streaming via Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, as well as being able to pick up and store Internet radio stations.
TIBO currently offers the multi-room Choros audio pack which consists of three speakers, namely the Choros Tap, Choros 4 and Choros 6 though you can add as many as 16 TIBO speakers
The smallest TIBO speaker is the Choros Porta, which is compact but packs a punching sound plis it also incorporates bluetooth and line-in audio modes.
The Choros Porta speaker features DLNA so you are able to browse music from your phone and stream music from the Internet.
The total output power of the TIBO Choros Porta speaker is 25 watts which is supplied by a class D amplifier via a set of 2-inch cone tweeters and one woofer with a frequency response that ranges between 200Hz and 15kHz.
Like all the TIBO speakers, the Choros Porta features a line-in port on the back of the speaker so you can hook it up to a laptop, TV, etc.
leather-like carry handle
In terms of volume, the Choros Porta is as loud as the Choros Tap (85dB) and can be driven much easier from the line-in input thanks to even lower impedance (4 ohms).
The Choros Porta speaker is powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries which can last between 6 to 8 hours depending on volume level.
Charging is done via micro USB cable connection with a maximum input charge of 5V/1A so full charge takes 3 hours.
Choros Porta weighs 1.1kg and measures 9.1cm long 9.1cm wide and 21cm high
swede-like drawstring pouch included with Choros Porta
The TIBO Choros Tap is a mains-powered speaker with Amazon Alexa built in, 30 watts of power output and wide frequency response ranging between 180Hz and 15KHz. 
The sound quality is very good thanks to also integrating a set of 2-inch tweeters and a stiff cone woofer which delivers even crispier bass. 
The Choros Tap also delivers high resolution audio streaming via Bluetooth 4.0 aptX and even better sound quality via the line-in audio input. 
The TIBO Choros Tap can be driven very loud thanks to extremely low impedance (6 ohms) and fairly high volume sensitivity (88 dB).
weighs 1.4kg and measures 11.5cm long, 11.5cm wide and 16.5 high
printed lettering embedded in the rubberized bottom
The TIBO Choros 6 speaker features one 5.25-inch woofer, two rear bass ports and two 0.75-inch dome tweeters and it's by far the most powerful TIBO speaker that comes with the Choros multi-room audio pack.
The Choros 6 delivers 80 watts of RMS power supplied by a class D amplifier which makes the Choros 6 much lighter in weight since there isn't a huge transformer like you get with conventional class A amplifiers.
The TIBO Choros 6 speaker shares a similar low impedance rating as the Choros Porta (5 ohms) and a similar volume sensitivity as the Choros Tap (85dB) with a much narrower frequency response range (60Hz and 20KHz) that is more natural sounding and more balanced across the audio spectrum. 
The  TIBO Choros 6 is also the biggest speaker in the TIBO audio pack, weighing 4kg and measuring 20cm long, 20cm wide and 28 high. 
Just like the Choros 4, the Choros 6 also uses wall electricity power and features a dedicated on/off switch on the back of the unit so you can power off the unit manually.
five Internet radio presets
The TIBO Choros 4 speaker integrates a 2-inch woofer, rear bass port and two 2-inch dome tweeters which produce better sound quality than the cone tweeters in the Choros Porta. 
The TIBO Choros 4 delivers 40 watts of RMS power that is also supplied by the same class D amplifier found in all TIBO speakers. 
The Choros 4 is effectively a smaller version of the Choros 6 with similar specifications, including 4 ohms impedance rating and 88 dB volume sensitivity.
The Choros 4 frequency response range is between 100Hz and 20KHz, making the treble upper range higher than the Choros Tap and Choros Porta, both of which are the bassiest speakers in the TIBO Choros multiroom speaker audio pack. 
At 1.9kg, the TIBO Choros 4 speaker is also twice as light as the Choros 6 and measures 14cm long, 14cm wide and 22.5cm high. 
The TIBO speakers have the same speaker/tweeter arrangement with the tweeters on either side of the unit to deliver the treble, and the woofer dead on the center, delivering the bass. 
The speakers are covered by grey fabric mesh with thick rubberized bottom and black high gloss touch sensitive user control panel on top.
The TIBO Audio mobile app is a companion feature included with the TIBO Choros multiroom audio pack and while it isn't needed in order to operate the speakers the TIBO app is needed for multi-room mode. The app also comes handy not only for remotely controlling playback, but also for browsing Internet radio stations.
With the TIBO app, you can also select a sound source, manage all the speakers, store up to five Internet radio pre-sets, check current playing song, adjust volume and add more speakers. 
The TIBO enhances the overall functionality of the TIBO speakers, letting you connect via your wireless router although the TIBO app only supports the 2.4GHz wireless band.
This means, if you don't have a 2.4GHz only router you will have to change your router settings to broadcast only on 2.4GHz because most dual band routers are set by default to operate on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless bands. 
Limiting a dual band router to only 2.4GHz is counterproductive especially if you share your Internet connection with other people so with devices that don't support wireless dual band there is the workaround of using a powerline adapter kit to connect to your router wirelessly so you can then access the powerline adapter settings and change the Wifi band to 2.4GHz only without having to change it at the router.
The overall design of the TIBO app is simple, consisting of three screens that are easy to navigate by swiping left and right. 
The functionality of the TIBO app though is a little buggy. Even after setting the 2.4Ghz band on the router the TIBO app isn't able to find the speakers though this could be because the app is still registering a dual band router. 
Luckily though, the TIBO app has an alternate way to connect to the speakers by directly connecting to the TIBO speakers Wifi hotspot and entering the password smart-audio.
Once you have added the TIBO speakers you can then group them together from the TIBO app by dragging and dropping speakers on top of each other.
You can also group all the speakers together by pressing the GROUP button on one TIBO speaker which then pairs/connects automatically with the other TIBO speakers. 
You can merge two TIBO speakers and control the stereo (left/right) volume output as well as left and right volume independently. It's nice that the TIBO app also displays the battery life percentage for the portable TIBO Choros Porta speaker.
If you have a TIBO Choros Tap you also have access to Alexa so you can use your voice to play music via its built-in near-field microphone which is intended for close distances (less than 1 meter) unlike Amazon's Echo far-field voice recognition which features seven microphones capable of voice recognition speech up to 10 meters.
To Setup Alexa you need to download the Alexa app to your phone and connect your Amazon account. Besides controlling music playback via Alexa you can also control smart devices like Phillips hue light bulbs. Alexa is activated when tapping on the microphone button so Alexa will not answer when you say Alexa like with the Echo Dot.
You can rename devices on the TIBO app which is handy for a multi-room setup so you can tell which speaker is located where.
The main three screens on the TIBO app include the device list screen which is the screen where you can add up to 16 TIBO speakers and the player screen which lets you add songs/radio stations, loop/shuffle tracks, play/pause tracks, skip tracks, control volume and access your music playlist. 
The third screen is the main menu where you select the audio source, browse music on your phone, browse internet radio stations (TuneIn, iHeartRadio, etc), browse online music streaming services (i.e. Spotify, Tidal) and view the Alexa settings. The main menu screen also shows a bluetooth and line-in so you can change the source mode remotely. 
While Spotify and Tidal apps are compatible with the TIBO app, Deezer, GooglePlay Music and Apple Music are not compatible with TIBO app unless you use the ‘AirPlay’ (iOS devices) function to stream these services over your Wifi network, or stream via Bluetooth (android devices) 
The Choros Porta, Choros Tap, Choros 4 and Choros 6 speakers have a physical line-in socket on the back. The Choros 4 and Choros 6 speakers also feature a 5V/1A USB output for charging devices which is nice.
The TIBO app has good functionality but there is potential for improvement by adding EQ settings and surround sound, as well as the ability to power down the speakers and turn down the loudness of the audio prompts. That said, the TIBO app is being updated regularly which is good to know.
There is a power saving mode on all TIBO speakers where the speakers go into standby mode after 10 minutes of no audio signal being detected, although sometimes the speakers can go into standby mode a lot sooner when the volume is very low.

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