Tribit XFree Tune Wireless Headphones are a prime example of why you should not judge a book by its cover.
When I look for a pair of headphones, I require two must-have features. I do not tend to care about the look, nor the color but they must be comfortable to wear. I want to enjoy the experience and to ultimately forget that they are placed atop my head. I look for ear-cup fit; I look for headband fit and for the comfort of listening while lying in bed. Comfort is the most important feature of a choice pair of headphones because no matter the sound quality, if they are not comfortable, I will move on. Once I find a comfortable pair of headphones, they must pass through my gambit of tests. Fit first, sound second. This is the way I have always tested headphones and earphones. If a device meets and exceeds my expectations with these two features, everything else is a bonus.
The Tribit Wireless Headphones arrived in an unremarkable 6 3/8 inches wide by 6 5/8 inches tall by 3 3/8 inches thick retail package. The subdued matte white cover background contrasted the black ink diagram of the headphones, the bold black “XFREE TUNE” along the top right and the block text “Wireless Headphones” along the bottom right. I did appreciate the “Tribit” splash of orange, at the top left of the cover, as this did jazz up the checkerboard colors. Rotating the packaging 90 degrees clockwise, you will see the orange color as the background and a white “Tribit,” at the center. I wish that this would have been the overall color scheme because the orange proved to be more visually stimulating. Rotating the packaging another ninety degrees, Tribit continued the cover theme onto the back panel. You can peruse the black text on white background detailing the specifications: Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP1.2, AVRCP1.4, HSP1.2, HFP1.6 profiles, 20Hz-20kHz frequency, 10mW speaker, >85dB and up to 24 hours playtime on 3 hours of charge. The box lists the dimensions as 190mm by 80mm by 180mm and 288 grams. For the scientific and international community, we can understand the metric system and the weight of 288 paperclips. For those of us using the American System, the headphones weighed 10 ounces and measured 7 1/2 inches tall by 7 inches wide by 3 1/8 inches wide (ear-cup). The opposing side used the same orange background as the top/bottom and side and displayed the www.tribitaudio.com email and the email@example.com email address. The top and bottom were devoid of any writing or images.
To access the headphones, open the pull tab along the back of the packaging. You will find the headphones nestled snugly inside of a clear molded plastic shell. The headphones will fold inward for portability and were shipped in the folded position. When I opened the headphones, I enjoyed the pleasing click feel. The expandable section maintained its positioning and the ear cuffs fit comfortably around my ears. On the chrome colored hinges, you can find the L and R side localizing icons. Along the inside of the earphones, Tribit generously included a 1/2 inch thick comfortable foam headband. Of the two ear-cups, the right side was the functional center for the headphones. The placement of the buttons was well thought out, with the “multifunction” button towards the front and the volume up/next track and volume down/previous track towards the rear. It is easier to push the two buttons with your thumb than with your index finger. I did not find a reason to criticize the button placement. Located along the bottom of the right 3 3/4 inches tall ear cup, you will find the USB-micro input port. You will also find the microphone and LED indicator at the bottom of the right cup. The only feature you will find on the left ear-cup is the 3.5mm input jack. Beneath the thin plastic inner shell, you will find a short 11 5/8 USB-A to USB-micro charging cable, a generous 48 1/2 inches long 3.5mm to 3.5mm jack and 5 1/8 inches tall by 3 1/8 inches tall multi-lingual instruction manual.
To start, you will need to fully charge the headphone, which only took about an hour. Along the inside of the earphones, Tribit thankfully included a 1/2 inch thick foam headband. Each ear can bask in the comfortable ar cups and when ready, hold the front multifunction button until you hear a female voice announce “power on.” Continue to hold the button, and you will hear the same female voice announce “pairing.” To pair, simply navigate to settings on your smart device, select Bluetooth and choose “Tribit Xfree Tune” from the list and the female voice will announce “paired,” The instruction manual named the headphones the IC-BTH70, provided the same specifications as the reverse face of the packaging and detailed the button mechanics. I appreciated the short/long press choice that Tribit chose for this pair of headphones. To change the track, you will need to hold the button for two seconds. I have tested a few other products that reversed the button functions, and the sound was difficult to control. If an incoming call arrives, you can press the MFB button once to answer it and again to hang it up. If you hold the button for two seconds, you can reject the call. If you double press the button, you will redial the last number called. If you hold both the +/- buttons together you can activate Siri voice assistant.
To test the sound of the headphones, I first checked the Low Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) and High Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Tests (22-8 kHz) with Audiocheck.net. The headphones range listed proved to be accurate. I was incredibly surprised to hear the rumbling bass at 20Hz and to continue throughout the low test. The lows were strong and full and the highs were rich and vibrant. The left/right/central channels were correct, the buttons activated the sound, and made/received phone calls as detailed in the manual. When I turned to my test tracks, I was shocked at how well these headphones tackled the tracks. Additionally, the Bluetooth 4.1 settings allowed for quick control changes and a standard 10-meter range. I was able to place my iPad Pro 10.5″ on my main floor and I enjoyed sound in my basement. The opening bass line of Holly Coles “Train Song” staged the sound incredibly well, allowing you to imagine the fingers bouncing off the base. Coupled with her sultry voice, the Tribid headphones showcased the “Train Song incredibly well.” The cacophony of sounds presented in “Why so Serious? Joker Theme” from Dark Knight Rises was actually enjoyable with the Tribit speakers. The entire song embodies the Joker Theme and builds up to my favorite moment at about 3:28, when the building sounds give way to bass. With an alternating left/right stereo deep bass run, the authors have captured an audio interpretation of helicopter rotors. The Gladiator Soundtrack, the Far and Away Soundtrack, The Rent Soundtrack, and The Braveheart Soundtrack shone brightly through the Tribit headphones. Yosi Horikawa Wandering Bubbles showcased the strong staging of the headphones.
I liked that the microphone was located just on the jawline. This did not seem to enhance/capture ambient sounds like some of the devices that have a monitor along the cord of the device. Phone calls were clear, and the vocals were crisp, similar to the song tests above. Using Movies Anywhere, Amazon Prime Video and a variety of Youtube videos, I found that there was no lag between video and sound. With testing completed, I found myself wanting to listen to more and more music. CCR, Alabama, Toto “Rosanna,” Beach Boys, Enya, Anthem Lights, and Pentatonix sounded phenomenal. There was no included equalizer app, but I did not feel like I was missing one. The full bass enhanced all of my favorite selections. I felt like I was listening to Johnny Cash, and Josh Turner in concert, while using these headphones. Excitedly, the Tribit headphones packed a one-two punch as they also did not suffer from lack of visual appeal. I appreciated the black headphones and black earphone cups, which were intelligently enhanced with chrome accents. I enjoyed the linear slits on the back of the ear cups, as well as the Tribit silver logo resting amid each ear cup. The design perfectly enhanced the feel of the headphones. The comfortable headrest, coupled with the soft plush ear-cups, provided me with an enjoyable testing experience. I have used the headphones over the past two weeks, listening for roughly 2 hours per day and I have only charged the headphones once. The 24-hour battery life is easily attainable with volume levels set to around 40%. Simply placing the headphones on charge overnight, you will likely never have to worry about dead headphones.
The rich, full sound and the deep bass was the highlight of the testing. I would rate this pair of headphones at 5/5 stars based on comfort, sound, and price.
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