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Tribit XFree Tune Review

Offers a decent listening experience for a relatively low price, but certainly doesn't stand out in any aspect
Tribit XFree Tune
Credit: Tribit
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Price:   $40 List | $42.99 at Amazon
Pros:  In inexpensive, reasonably good sound quality, portable
Cons:  Poor noise isolation, not comfortable for large ears/heads
Manufacturer:   Tribit
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Feb 12, 2019
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Sound Quality - 30% 6
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 4
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • User Friendliness - 10% 6
  • Portability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Tribit XFree Tune is a step up from the listening experience of earbuds for a reasonably low price. However, a lack of great sound isolation and a fit that is only comfortable for people with small ears make these headphones less than ideal for many people. Bottom line, if you have small ears and find the XFree Tune on sale, it might be a good option. Otherwise, there are probably better choices available.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Tribit XFree Tune
This Product
Tribit XFree Tune
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $40 List$350 List
$348.00 at Amazon
$400 List
$379.00 at Amazon
$250 List
$194.13 at Amazon
$60 List
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Pros In inexpensive, reasonably good sound quality, portableSuperb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most peopleExcellent sound quality, field-leading noise cancellation, comfortableGreat sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly featuresInexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortable
Cons Poor noise isolation, not comfortable for large ears/headsExpensiveExpensiveExpensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the fieldLacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller heads
Bottom Line Offers a decent listening experience for a relatively low price, but certainly doesn't stand out in any aspectTop-notch in terms of both noise cancellation and sound quality, it's hard to find a better listening experiencePillowy comfort and one of the best personal listening experiences we've enjoyed from any devicePremium cans that offer unique features on top of great sound quality and noise cancellationImpressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfort
Rating Categories Tribit XFree Tune Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelli... Jabra Elite 85h Soundcore Life Q20
Sound Quality (30%)
6.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Noise Isolation (25%)
4.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
Comfort (25%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
User Friendliness (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Portability (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Tribit XFree Tune Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelli... Jabra Elite 85h Soundcore Life Q20
Type Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear
Noise cancelling No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer reported battery life (hours) 40 30 20 36 40
Measured weight (ounces) 10.3 8.8 9.2 10.5 9.3
Included case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Lined drawstring pouch
App No Yes Yes Yes No
Earcup padding cover material Leatherette Foamed urethane/leatherette Leather Leatherette Leatherette
Charging cable length (inches) N/A 7.9" 42" 12" 40"
Microphone for voice? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth version 4.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Onboard buttons Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling Volume, change track, take/make calls Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls, toggle between sound modes Volume, multifunction, power, NC

Our Analysis and Test Results

The XFree Tune isn't a bad pair of headphones, but it fails to convincingly separate itself from the rest of the field in any capacity. Music fans shopping on a budget, or those that don't care too much about sound quality and just want a cheap pair of headphones can both find better options elsewhere.

Performance Comparison


The XFree headphones are decent headphones without any truly...
The XFree headphones are decent headphones without any truly standout features.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Sound Quality


This is one area where the XFree Tune turned in a relatively good performance, earning an around average score.

In our testing the XFree Tune was able to produce decent clarity, with most compositions sounding relatively well defined and separated. However, it does tend to muddle some of the finer details in more complex movements. Also, certain voices on podcasts do have a very slight hiss to them.

The XFree Tune sounds good, but falls well short of exceptional.
The XFree Tune sounds good, but falls well short of exceptional.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

When it comes to bass power, the XFree Tune is on the lower end of the spectrum. It has enough punch to satisfyingly anchor most music, but it lacks that deep, well-defined bass that can really bring a song to the next level.

Noise Isolation


Lacking any sort of active noise cancellation, the XFree Tune fell towards the back of the pack in our noise isolation testing.

Most of the non-active noise-canceling models we've tested fall into the same bucket, providing decent noise isolation if you play music loud, but offering nothing more than a muffling effect if you play music quietly.

If you want over-ear headphones so you can listen to music while you work in a coffee shop and not be too disturbed by the noises around you, the XFree Tune will likely work. With music on a moderate volume we could still faintly make out the clicking of our keyboards, but conversations and glasses tinkering farther away were muffled enough that we didn't find them distracting.

We could still hear our own typing when listening to music on a...
We could still hear our own typing when listening to music on a moderate volume with the XFree Tune, but it was quite muffled.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

However, if you're looking for noise isolation that will improve how your music sounds, the XFree Tune isn't going to pass muster. It fails to offer a secluded enough listening experience that the finer points of music can shine through. For that, you need active noise cancellation.

Comfort


The XFree Tune falls into the trap of skimping on size and padding to present a slimmer profile, which results in too little space for larger-sized ears.


If your head and ears fall on the smaller end of the spectrum, chances are you're going to find the XFree Tune quite comfortable. If your head size is average, chances are you might notice some hot spots on the edges of your ears, and that the headband will be a bit on the snug side. If you have a larger head your ears are likely going to feel scrunched on the top and bottom, and the combo of slightly more rigid cushioning and a tighter headband may lead to an uncomfortable amount of pressure.

The padding is slightly stiffer than that of most other models.
The padding is slightly stiffer than that of most other models.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


The XFree Tune offers the kind of user experience you'd expect from a pair of headphones. A long press on the power button turns the headphones on and off, and with a short press, it functions as a play/pause button. A set of volume buttons on the back of the right earcup raise and lower the volume with a single press, and can skip tracks with a quick double press.


To enter Bluetooth pairing mode you must hold the power button down for 3 seconds. We didn't have any issues with pairing the Tribit XFree Tune to our various wireless devices.

Portability


The XFree Tune is quite portable, earning one of the highest scores in this metric.


The earcups of the Tribit XFree Tune fold up, creating quite a small package that easily fits into the included semi-rigid carrying case. The headphones themselves weigh just over 10 ounces, which puts them right in line with their competitors. The manufacturer boasts a 40-hour battery life, which is much longer than many competing budget models.

The XFree Tune folded up into its carrying case.
The XFree Tune folded up into its carrying case.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The XFree Tune is oddly positioned in that we would suggest most people either spend a little more on the better-sounding headphones. However, if you have a smaller head and find the XFree Tune on sale, it's a worthwhile purchase.

Conclusion


The Tribit XFree Tune is a decent pair of budget headphones, but we would only recommend buying them if you find a sale, and if your head is at least on the smaller end of average.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata