Enjoy the portable, wireless + USB-C charging, iPX8 waterproof, Wireless Bluetooth from Tribit, without breaking the bank.

The Tribit FlyBuds 1 arrived in a 4 1/8 inches wide by 4 7/8 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches thick clean white retail box.  The main focal point of the cover was the 1 17/32 inches wide by 17/32 inches tall emergency-cone orange rectangle with Tribit Unleash the true sound in the negative space.  Other than a small SKU sticker with the product label, and the orange title, the top, side, and bottom panels were unadorned.  The bottom orange panel had a large sticker with the Tribit FlyBuds 1 name, BTH91 model, SKU/FCC ID numbers, support@tribitaudio.com email address, www.tribitaudio.com website, US/EU/JP addresses, several of the customary product manufacturing labels, and QR codes for Facebook plus the tribitaudio.com website. To access the product, I removed the thin outer plastic and then lifted the white outer box away.  Within the box, I found a 3 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/8 inches tall multi-lingual instruction manual (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese), a small orange/white warranty/thank you card (30-day money-back guarantee, 18-month replacement warranty, Lifetime Support, QR code, email, support address, 1-888-234-5138 phone number Mon-Fri 9a-6p PST USA). 

Beneath the manual, you will find the 2 3/8 inches diameter by 1 3/8 inches tall black Tribit FlyBuds1 charging case, 2 3/4 inches long by 1 3/8 inches wide by 9/16 inches thick accessory box, and accessory ear tip panel (small/medium/large black ear tips, and medium/large tall tips).  Within the accessory box, you will find a 6 1/2 inches long braided wrist lanyard and 12 inches long USB-A to USB-C cable.  Before testing the fit/sound of the FlyBuds1, I perused the instruction manual.  I loved that they used more diagrams than words in their manual but they left out some important information that was included on the website.  For example, I would have loved to know that the earbuds are IPX8 rated and that the earbuds can be used in either ear (more below). The first page showed the product packaging list and the second panel provided a labeled diagram of the Earbuds and charging case.  The third panel showed how to change the ear tips, how to install the earbuds into the ears, and the fourth panel showed how to power on/off the FlyBuds1 Earbuds.  Before charging the device, you will need to remove the thin insulated strips on the earbuds and then replace them into the case.  Per the instruction manual, I left the earbuds/case to charge for a full 80 minutes upon my Ventev Wireless Charge Stand.  If you do not have a wireless charging option, you can also charge the device with the included 12-inches long USB-A to USB-C cable.  The access port is located on the side panel of the charging case. 

Thanks to the quick charging capabilities, 10 minutes of charging can provide up to an hour of listening time.  After a full charge, you can expect six hours (website data) of listening from the earbuds with up to four additional charges from the case.  Through testing of the product, I repeatedly reached at least four hours per charge.  The earbuds powered off when left alone and I typically returned them to the case when not in use.  I never reached the maximum battery life and was pleased with the internal battery of the case.  Over the past 7 days, I have used the earbuds during my commute to/from work, during my lunch, and to enjoy movies/music.  Each day, I likely used the earbuds for approximately four total hours.  Even with this degree of use, the battery indicator showed 25% remaining power.  The convenience of placing the Tribit FlyBuds Case upon my desk wireless charger was quite convenient.  I loved the ability to place my charger upon my desk at work or upon my nightstand.  With that feature, a 5-6 hour charge on the earbuds and the ability to charge them 4 more times, I don’t believe that I will have to worry about running out of power.  

The pairing and connection process proved to be a breeze.  To access and remove the earbuds from the case, open the magnetically attracted lid at the upper hinge (wristlet strap).  I lifted the earbuds from their respective bays, placed them into my ears and rotated them posteriorly to rest within the concha (bowl) of the ear.  A female voice announced “power on,” and then “pairing.” I navigated to Settings, then to Bluetooth and selected Tribit FlyBuds1 from the list.  The female announced “connected.”  If I held one of the earbuds for more than three seconds, the female-voiced “Power off.”  Through this mechanism, you can power off one of the buds, or you can simply place one or both of them back into the battery case.  If you hold the powered off earbud button for three seconds, the female voice will announce “Power on.”  I was pleased with the overall design, with the charging and pairing process.  It appeared that the company had the user in mind when they designed this product.  If the included ear tips do not fit you well, you can select amongst the six included options.  Once you find the best ear tip for your ear, you can short press either of the earbuds to play/pause music or answer/hang up a call.  If you press either of the earbuds twice, you can reject a call or advance to the next song.  If you tap either of the earbuds three times, you can activate your voice assistant.  The buttons were responsive and did not require much pressure into the ear.  Many companies have opted for touch haptic buttons, but the Tribit Flybuds 1 opted for a mechanical button instead.  Per the website, each earbud will respond to only 4.23 ounces of pressure, while others require 5.64 ounces of pressure.  If you have ever used one of the competitor’s products, then you know the eardrum pain as you press the earbud further into your ear canal. They also noted that the mechanical button is more accurate than the touch-press controls and leads to less accidental button presses.  Despite all of the positive features, I have two major complaints about the touch buttons.  First, I missed the ability to return to the previous song. Normally you can double press one or the other earbuds or double press one to proceed and triple press to return, but not with these FlyBuds 1 earbuds.  Second, the only way to change the volume was to press the buttons on your smart device or activate the voice assistant to change the volume.  For example triple press either earbud and then say“set volume 50%,” “volume up,” or “volume down.”  Whether or not that feature is a dealbreaker is for you to decide.

I found it interesting that each of the 0.14-ounce earbuds had an “L” and an “R,” inscribed on the button, when they were designed to allow you to place either earbud into either ear or into either of the charging wells.  The device does not know which ear you placed it into, however.  So, if you know how the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” should sound in stereo, it may be a little odd.  For most people, the ability to have universal ear fit may be quite appealing.  Simply remove the earbud from the well and place it into your ear and do not worry about left versus right.  The minimalistic earbuds provide a sleek profile and fit comfortably within my ear.  I prefer earbuds that do not stick out too far, as I can enjoy them when lying on my side.  Modern, sleek, and visually appealing, I was surprised by the battery life and the idea that they were IPX8 rated. To test that, I submerged the earbuds in sink water over a three hour period.  I shook them dry, blotted them with a towel, and replaced them into the charging case.  After about 30 minutes of charging, I placed them back into my ears and found that they worked flawlessly.  With that rating, these would be perfect for pool/swimming activities and for enjoyment in a  hot tub.  With the added ear tips, the Tribit FlyBuds 1 should fit most people’s ear canals.  Furthermore, thanks to the tips, the minimal ear fatigue will allow for prolonged enjoyment of the Earbuds. 

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The Earbuds connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and promised quick connection with up to a 30foot, 10-12 meter range.  I read multiple reviews that noted some Bluetooth interference issues.  I tested the Bluetooth function in my driveway and in my 2 story home with walkout basement and found minimal connectivity issues.  I jumped rope, I rode my bike, I twisted my head side to see and physically tried to shake the devices out of my ears.  Throughout these tests, I did not experience any interference/popping or issues with fit or function.  I tried connecting the Tribit FlyBuds 1 with my iPad Pro 11”, with my iPhone 11 Pro Max, with my sons iPad Mini 5, with my wife’s iPhone 7, and with our old iPad Air 2.  The size/shape/quick charging capabilities of the Earbuds/Case allowed for easy pocketability.

With the above evaluation completed, I wanted to test the quality of the sound. If you have read any of my earbud/headphone reviews, then you know that I typically start with a parameter evaluation and then turn to my typical test tracks.  Navigating to the audiocheck.net website, I selected the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) to test the bass.  The male announcer started at 10Hz and I was able to hear the bass at 20Hz and the wave increased with each 10Hz.  With the audible range of humans from 20Hz-20kHz (*), I was pleased with the bass output of the 8.2mm drivers.  Even though the range is listed at 20kHz, we lose our higher frequency hearing as we age.  Using the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz), I was able to hear the high pitched buzzing sound starting around 15 kHz, which was typical for my ability to hear.  Most adult males in their 30’s-40’s can hear 13-15kHz.  As we experience sound trauma, our ability to hear diminishes. To test the Left/Right/Center, I used the Left/Right (Stereo) Sound Test. If placed into the correct ears, the Left/Right/Center programming was coded properly. The final test that I employ is the “Original Binaural Recording” on the Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test page.  With the popularity of 8D Audio and binaural recording, the knocking sounds feel too real sometimes.  To further test the stereo nature of the headphones, you can use “Bohemian Rhapsody” or you can type 8D Audio into a google search. I love to use the 8D Sound of Silence from Disturbed, Gladiator “In the Air Tonight,” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.  One of my absolute favorite binaural recordings is “Sound Of Silence (3D Binaural Audio)- Simon and Garfunkel Cover-Jarvis Brothers (Ear to Ear).

During these initial tests, I found the bass to be adequate but wished that I had the ability to increase/decrease the blend with an equalizer.  Unfortunately, the earbuds did well for classical/instrumental music and for some pop music but did not do well for R&B or Rock.  If I did not know the price, I would have pegged these earbuds to be in the $59.99 to $79.99 range.  They do not have ANC, they do not have volume control, they do not have the ability to reverse track but they are waterproof, they have a functional/desirable design, and shockingly,  they retail for only $39.99.  I would not expect wireless charging, USB-C charging, Quick Charging, 30-hour life, waterproof IPX8, 6 sets of earbuds, a 5-hour earbud duration, or the wrist lanyard for that price.  I used the earbuds to listen to music through Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, and listened to Audible books.  Even though there was no active noise canceling, the in-ear system added a nice level of passive noise reduction.  To round out my testing, I used the following selections: “Bright Lights Bigger City” by CeeLo Green, “Train Song” by Holly Cole,” “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” from The Hobbit, the Gladiator Soundtrack, Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme “Why So Serious,” “What a day that will by By Gospel Plowboys, Home Free “Ring of Fire,” “Chain Breaker” by Gaither Vocal Band, Bob Marley and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” Radiohead “The National Anthem,” “Caribbean Blue” by Enya, the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Soundtrack, Far and Away Soundtrack and Braveheart soundtracks.  

The mid/upper sounds never got tinny or harsh but I would have liked some additional bass for many of the tracks. I feel that the Tribit FlyBuds 1 did a fairly good job at sound recreation and had no lag for Amazon Prime Video, Movies Anywhere, VUDU, HULU, and Netflix.  Unfortunately, like many other wireless earbuds, there was a significant lag when using YouTube. To summarize my experience, I was pleased with the appearance, the shape, the feel, the battery life, and the weight of the earbuds.  The Bluetooth range proved to be more than adequate but they lacked some button control.  Overall, I would rate the Tribit FlyBuds 1 at 8.5/10 for sound, 10/10 for comfort, 10/10 for battery life, 9/10 for accessories, 10/10 for charging capabilities, and 10/10 for packaging.  If you are looking for a feature-packed sub $40 pair of earphones, you will be hard-pressed to find a better deal. 

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