Tribit X1 True Wireless Earbuds push boundaries in price and size, while also delivering on sound where it really counts.
Tribit Audio is a well-known brand in the world of audio accessories, having consistently released high-fidelity, high-quality earbuds, headphones, and speakers since its founding. I's latest product, the Tribit X1 True Wireless Earbuds push the boundaries of size and usability while maintaining that high standard the brand is renowned for. What's more, although pricing starts out a retail well below the typical cost of laudable listening devices at just $60, they can often be found during sales for as low as $40. After having tried a pair out, courtesy of the company, there are at least one or two areas where improvement is still needed. However, it's also easy to see that the work put into these firmly places them as some of the highest value earbuds in the world.
These are Tribit Audio's smallest pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones to-date. The company doesn't list the exact size or metrics of the earbuds themselves but the protective battery case is listed as being 48.26 x 33.02 x 43.18 on Amazon and the overall package, earbuds included, weighs in at 40grams according to the included manual. Meanwhile, by comparison to other true wireless headphones we've reviewed, they are substantially smaller and the difference in weight is just barely enough to be noticeable. Moving on to perhaps the most important aspects of any media listening device, audio is streamed via Bluetooth 5.0, with support for A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP and 20hz to 20Khz over dual 6mm drivers that also support 3D stereo sound. Behind that is CVC 6.0 algorithms on the mic side. The 800mAh charging case powers up via micro USB at a claimed time-to-charged of around two hours. The individual buds can last an hour on a 15-minute charge and take around 30-45 minutes to power up. Draining the earbuds – 50mAh per bud – will vary based on volume and other factors but, on average, provide around three hours of listening time.
In The Box
Opening the box, buyers are first presented with the two earbuds themselves packed alongside the charging case in two layers of foam. To the side of that is a smaller box which contains the exceptionally short, flat-style charging cable – there's no wall adapter here but the battery charges optimally at a fairly standard 5V/1A – and silicone earbud tips. There are a total of three sizes in that package, including small, medium, and large. After peeling all of that away, the remaining items include a foldout user manual, helpful for working out the multi-function button actions and what the LED lights mean. Last, Tribit includes, as with every product we've tested from the brand, a warranty card as well as a card indicating that the company donates a dollar to UNICEF with every purchase. The latter of those also vows to donate a dollar for every consumer that leaves a review on any of its official channels.
Hardware and Build Quality
On the hardware front, there's not necessarily anything special about these earbuds except that they are so much smaller than others in their category. The battery charging case, for example, fit easily in the palms of our hands, with quite a bit of room to spare. Build quality is just about average as well but that isn't really a bad thing. They certainly feel as though they'll take a beating and keep on playing under most circumstances and they are "splash-proof" so they should be more than capable of handling sweat or the rain without issue. The dual ridged silicone tips are comfortable and do a good job of canceling out most noise and the entire build is comprised of plastics with the exception of the copper charging tips. Similarly, the plastic charging box feels sturdy and, although magnets are used to hold the lid closed, won't stop working just because the lid happens to get snapped off either. That's because magnets also hold the earbuds in place during charging and those are strong enough that even shaking the case strongly doesn't budge them out of place. In any case, the aesthetic is understated with matte blacks and white or blue LEDs accenting everything.
Setting that aside the hardware is also well-equipped in terms of features. The led lighting around the top of the earbuds light up and that can be seen through the lid while the charging process is ongoing and then those turn off when charging is complete. The box has its own small LED which flashes blue to indicate charge level. The single button on each earbud controls functionality for every circumstance, similar to nearly every other true wireless headset. Holding the button for more than two seconds turns the device on while turning off requires four seconds. Of course, they also turn off or on automatically once placed in or taken out of the charging box. Pressing the button does require some pressure but isn't uncomfortable. That can also be pressed to control music and control phone call as well as controlling Google Assistant and other AI helpers via voice simply by saying "Hey, Google" or similar – as long as a smartphone is connected.
In terms of sound quality, these are certainly not at an audiophile level but that's to be expected with consideration for the pricing. They're also punching well above their weight with one caveat. Namely, they need to be positioned correctly and wearers need to try out the different sized tips to ensure they're using the proper size for their own ears. With how small these earbuds are, finding the right fit makes an enormous difference. For context, when we initially popped open the box and tried out a few songs from across any genre ranging from R&B to 'Nu' metal, the quality was not so good, in fact, we thought they might be defective. In fact, we also noted that some reviews written on these had a similar experience but that the company had responded to request that users find their correct size and try again. So that's what we did.
The improvements to quality were immediate and profound. The balance is exceptional, first and foremost. However, bass packs plenty of punch and can certainly be felt where intended. Highs and lows don't wash that out but also don't get lost in the mix at all regardless of genre. That's just about as good as one can ask for in any pair of headphones and it shines through as well as it would in headphones that cost twice or three times as much money.
Battery Life & Connectivity
Battery life works about as well as advertised, although we did note a drop of around a half hour or so when the volume was turned up and distance increased to near maximum between the earbuds and our source device. The LEDs on the charging case, meanwhile, aren't necessarily the most helpful. Only serve to show the percentage while charging is ongoing. For context, it has a single blue LED that blinks four times every two seconds indicates that is three-quarters full while a solid light means that charging is complete. Things step down by quarters from there, with a single blink every two seconds showing that the capacity is only 25-percent filled or less.
Meanwhile, there doesn't appear to really be a way to determine how many charges are left while out and about. As long as a user is vigilant enough to charge them up every day or two, that shouldn't become a problem but it is just slightly annoying – though it would be more-so if these weren't so good for the price. The earbuds themselves use their LEDs to show when the device is charging – showing a white light-ring and turning off when charging is complete. Despite being advertised to take as much as an hour, our average charge time from the first warning that the battery was low – delivered via a built-in robotic voice – was only just over 30-minutes to full. Thankfully, that voice didn't repeat often enough to become annoying, which is a refreshing change from other headphones. Charging the box takes right around two hours.
In terms of connectivity, that's solid up to 33ft in open space, as expected. However, we also noticed issues in one or two cases on one device – an HTC U11 – where audio would cut out if another electronic passed between the headphones and sourced device in close proximity. That's not at all a big issue and we didn't notice the same issue at all with any other handsets but it is worth pointing out all the same. A single earbud can be used by itself but that only applies to the left earbud – with the right bud acting as a slave to the first. Bearing that in mind, the connection between the two can hang if media is playing when the second earbud is taken off of the charger before connecting. Connections aside from that circumstance are nearly instantaneous and reconnections are as well.
The only real drawbacks we noticed with these earbuds stemmed primarily from their biggest advantage – their size and weight. The audio quality is, of course, great here but the average consumer isn't necessarily looking for the best audio. Instead, a lot of focus is placed on battery life, comfort, wearability, price, and similar features. On that front, the Tribit X1 True Wireless Earbuds both excel and hold their own. The small size means that weight is kept down and long-term wearing isn't uncomfortable but also that the battery size has been reduced and that it is a somewhat more finicky process to find the perfect position for above-average audio quality. Two to three hours – or slightly above – isn't at all bad by any stretch of the imagination since it's just about on par with nearly every other true wireless earbud on the market. That's especially true with consideration for the well-balanced dual 6mm drivers and for the overall cost. Bearing that in mind, anybody who happens to be looking for a new pair of Bluetooth earbuds would be hard pressed to find a better value at or below 60.Tribit X1 True Wireless Earbuds - $39.99 - Amazon