ProsAmazing sound quality for the price; great Bluetooth range; premium feel
ConsOnboard buttons could be easier to use; earcups are comfortable but don't breath
All of the Xfree's features wouldn't mean much if its audio quality didn't match up, but we're pleased to share that it sounded quite good, definitely on par with much more expensive wireless headsets we've tested recently. The 40mm drivers really set it apart from the earbuds that you'll typically find in this price range, and the Bluetooth reception was excellent. We had no dropouts during movement, and the headset kept a connection beyond the typical 10 feet that most low-cost Bluetooth headphones provide. We got more than 30 feet away before the connection began to break up. And unlike wireless earbuds that are connected with a wire, there's no scratching sound that comes from the wire brushing up against your neck. In short, the audio quality for music was excellent. We also tested the Xfree in phone calls, and it worked quite well, although the sound was predictably pretty thin compared to music listening. The microphone is built into the headset, rather than being a fold-down boom, which makes it very convenient, but does mean that it's not going to be ideal for things like work-related conference calls and the like, due to its limited sound reproduction range.
As we've already mentioned, the Xfree looks like a much more expensive headset, and the premium styling also carried over to a premium feel. The headset band was very easy to extend and retract while in use, while holding its position effectively. Even better, the headset has a wide range of adjustment to fit many different users, and feels very good when on - the earcups are a nice size, and the band doesn't put undue pressure on the sides of the head. Furthermore, it has a wide range of adjustability, and at its minimum size, it's perfect for young kids, which can't be said about most headsets.
With that being said, the Xfree isn't without its flaws. The controls are a bit confusing and hard to operate. You get just two actual buttons, a multi-function button on the front of the right earcup and volume on the rear. This layout ended up being a bit more awkward than we would have liked. As shown in the accompanying photo, the rear button rocks up and down for volume control. Unfortunately, due to the extremely low-profile of the button, it's hard to get these buttons to actuate with your thumb while wearing them. We therefore tended to brace our fingers on the front of the earcup, which would often lead to an inadvertant press of the "multi-function" button, which acts as the pause button when music is playing or the hangup button when making a call. You can imagine how that ended up working out... not well. Another confusing aspect of the controls is the actual Bluetooth pairing, which requires a three-second press of the multi-function button, but this often just lead to turning the headset on and off.
Another issue we encountered was that the premium-feeling materials ended up having their downsides. The synthetic leather earcups really didn't breath well, which led to sweating. The degree to which this is a problem will vary from user to user, but honestly, we wouldn't recommend this headset for use while exercising. Furthermore, the rubberized plastic surfaces tended to pick up fingerprints and grime a lot easier than typical matte plastic would.
Frankly, we doubt you'll find any Bluetooth headsets that can compare to the Xfree Tune in the under-$50 price range. Yes, there are other options, but the combination of 24-hour battery life, sleek styling, and 40mm drivers for excellent audio is just not going to be on the menu. That's why the Xfree gets a big recommendation from us.
The Tribit Xfree Tune is available for a very affordable $42 from Amazon, as of our publication date.