The Tribit XFree Tune are a promising set of mid-range Bluetooth headphones, retailing for about $40 online. The ‘phones sport 40mm drivers, a foldable design and long 24 hour battery life. We enjoyed Tribit’s Bluetooth speaker, so how do their Bluetooth headphones compare? Let’s put them to the test.
Specs & Features
- Dual powerful 40mm SoundStage drivers
- Self-adjusting headband and soft faux leather over-ear cushions
- Foldable space-saving design weighing 288 grams
- 24 hour battery life
- Bluetooth 4.1 + 3.5mm audio
- CVC 6.0 noise cancellation and hands-free calls
These wide headphones are made from a soft-touch plastic in matte black, giving them a neutral and anonymous look. The left earcup has a sealed Micro USB charging port and three tiny buttons, while the right earcup has the 3.5mm audio port.
The faux-leather cushions almost managed to cover my elephantine ears, but stopped just short of the circumference needed. This made them more like on-ear headphones than over-ear.
The headphones fold on either side of the headband, allowing them to take up a little extra space. This folding area is made from cheap metal, which nonetheless provides a weighty feel.
As well as the headphones, you get a Micro USB cable for charging and a metre-long 3.5mm audio cable for older devices (or for when the headphones run out of charge). Unfortunately, no case is provided.
We tested the Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth headphones over the course of a day, using the headphones while travelling from Bristol to London on business and back. We also tested the headphones with our PC afterwards, ensuring that our results weren’t influenced by a single device.
Audio quality: The XFree Tune provided a decent amount of bass for over-ear headphones, but music reproduction wasn’t perfect — it felt as though we were hearing the music from some distance, rather than being right in the thick of the action, with little detail evident. In bassier songs, some buzzing and distortion was evident.
Battery life: The XFree didn’t run out of batteries in our testing despite being left on overnight, lending credence to the claim of 24 hour usability.
Comfort: The headphones didn’t feel particularly comfortable to me, although my smaller-headed companions felt differently. If you have a large head, and particularly if you wear glasses, you may find these headphones uncomfortable for long listening periods. The relatively high weight of these headphones compounds the issue. In general, I couldn’t use the headphones for more than an hour without discomfort.
Connectivity: The headphones retained their connection to a distance of about thirty feet, after which dropouts were annoyingly common. It’s best to use these headphones in the same room as your phone, which is similar to the performance of most other Bluetooth headphones at this price point.
Usability: The headphones come with three buttons on the left earcup, all tiny, rubbery and difficult to feel by touch. The front pair adjusts the volume and allow track skipping, while the rear is the multi-function button for power, pausing, pairing and answering calls. While the buttons of this headset didn’t impress, the folding design did come in useful when packing away the headphones into our bag.
Microphone: The microphone provided on these headphones is serviceable at best, and doesn’t work when you’re connected using the 3.5mm audio cable rather than Bluetooth.
Build quality: The headphones feel extremely well built for their price point, with metal construction evident where the headphones fold up. Combined with the substantial weight of the XFree Tune, I expect that the headphones will survive months or even years of use before giving up the ghost.
These Bluetooth headphones feel surprisingly well built, but they lack oomph, feel uncomfortable to wear for long periods and have poorly designed buttons. For these reasons, we recommend that you look elsewhere.