Review: Tribit XFree Tune Wireless Headphones (Hardware)
Though the market lately has been inundated with earbuds and headphones at low to mid-range prices, Tribit's XFree Tune still manages to emerge as having stand-out quality. After roughly 30 hours of use, here's why I think so.
While the packaging included with Tribit's headphones is minimalistic, opening it up reveals that all the package's contents are protected inside by the included case anyway. Said case is surprisingly roomy and has a nice hard-shelled structure to it. Which I only mention because I have bought other pairs of headphones which for some reason included an almost too-small carrying case. Thankfully not an issue here. Also included are a 3.5mm cable, micro USB cable for charging, instruction manual, warranty card, and a card promising a donation to UNICEF for each product review received. The warranty is quite generous, promising a 30-day money back guarantee, an 18 month replacement policy, and a lifetime support guarantee. It remains to be seen if Tribit as a company can live up to all of this, but these are solidly-built headphones which have already stood up to some punishment on my part, so I don't expect I'll be requiring warranty services any time soon. The headphones themselves came with roughly a 50% charge out of the box, which lasted me a bit over 20 hours on its own.
Music to my Ears
Naturally, what matters most in a pair of headphones is both how it sounds and how it feels when worn at length. I'm happy to say that the XFree Tune passes in both categories with flying colors. As ever with headphones, large drivers are important, 40mm in this case, but that's only half the story. Frequency response has to be tuned properly, and this pair of headphones is near-flawless in that regard. While it does favor bass and low tones ever so slightly, it still responds nicely to the vast majority of high-pitched sounds as well; making the experience just as enjoyable listening to metal/hard rock as it is listening to electronica. The volume here is also not an issue, as these come in at about 10% louder than most of my other similarly-priced pairs of headphones. There is no discernible drop in audio quality when switching from bluetooth to 3.5mm, either.
On comfort, I have no complaints whatsoever. Both the ear pads and the padding on the head strap are a type of faux or synthetic leather which feels great against the head. The padding is thick, but not overly so. While it can get warm faster than other materials during a workout, these headphones are surprisingly breathable despite being a closed-ear design, which helps alleviate that issue a bit. Size of the headband is of course adjustable; I was able to fit it over a hat, and the track in-between the top of the headband and the ear cups is a sturdy metal material. At 288g, they don't feel cheap by any means and they do have some weight to them, but I certainly wouldn't call them overly heavy or cumbersome.
Along the edge of the right-side ear cup are all the in-line controls. The power button is also the button used for bluetooth pairing, and once paired, it further functions as the play/pause button for music playback. The volume up and volume down buttons can similarly be held for two seconds to skip either forward or back one track. Further still, all the buttons have more functions when paired with a smart phone, even the option to activate Siri for iPhone users. Underneath the right ear cup is the micro USB charging port covered by a small rubber attachment. Near it is the indicator LED, which can turn one of three colors depending on the headphones' current status. Next to that, the tiny hole for microphone input, and here's where there's a bit of trouble in paradise: the microphone quality is not great. If I'm being realistic with my expectations, it's not terrible either, but it is the one aspect that feels cheaped out on. Lastly, on the bottom of the left ear cup, is the 3.5mm port.
Aesthetically, the headphones are sleek and understated, with a black and silver theme. Odd as it may sound, the outsides of the ear cups are very pleasant to the touch, the result of the tiny metal meshing behind the evenly-cut recessed slats. I've already spoken to the overall build quality, but I must reiterate that this looks and feels like premium hardware.
At around $40 USD, and with overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, Tribit undeniably has a competitor on their hands with the XFree Tune. These both sound better and are more comfortable than my other similarly-priced pairs of headphones, not to mention being more solidly built. There may be better options out there for gaming-focused headsets, particularly when it comes to microphone quality, but as all-purpose headphones I expect to get a ton of use out of these.
Where To Buy
+ Exceptional battery life (40 hours)
+ Stay put during exercise
+ Deep bass
+ Sturdy build quality
- Built-in microphone isn't great
out of 10
I have no qualms with recommending the XFree Tune headphones for a variety of use cases, and the sound quality is excellent. Some gamers might be miffed by the mediocre mic, but in the face of the overall quality you're getting here and at the price point you're getting it at, I think it becomes a minor issue worth overlooking.