Tribit isn’t the longest-lived audio accessories company on the market by any stretch of the imagination. But, as our reviews have shown on a regular basis, they are among the best. So, when the opportunity arose to review the new Tribit QuietPlus 78 over-ear headphones, that wasn’t an opportunity to be missed. Especially with a price point under $80.
Tribit packed its latest over-ear headphones with a stunning array of features too. You won’t find a dedicated app or associated features, of course. Those are features that typically cost quite a bit more money. But that’s just about the only feature you’ll be missing here. Not only is ANC and support for SBC AAC part of the bundle. There are multiple levels of cancellation to choose from at the click of a button. And that includes a fully ambient mode.
Moreover, Tribit packs in a 3.5mm audio cable for endless listening when Bluetooth 5.0 isn’t going to cut it. Massive audio drivers, a premium build, and an endless battery, on the other hand, make these headphones to beat. Even if you are using wireless connectivity.
So let’s take a closer look at these headphones and see how and where they really stack up to the competition.
This hardware has one or two quirks but looks and feels very expensive
One of the most astounding things about this particular wearable isn’t necessarily audio, although we’ll get to that in a moment. And it isn’t that Tribit includes a hard-shell carry case or 3.5mm audio cable, as it did with my review unit for QuietPlus 78. There are quite a lot of things to love about these over-ear headphones. Especially at this price point. But the biggest perk may actually be the hardware quality.
Setting aside the carry case, which is a soft-touch hard-shell design with a zipper and nylon lanyard loop, the hardware here is so ‘premium’ that it beggars belief. That case, by the way, is small enough to squeeze into even a small bag, let alone a backpack or duffel bag.
That’s because the company started with a solid folding design and materials that are soft-to-the-touch but not squishy for the exterior of the headband. The interior, conversely, is soft with just enough give to make these headphones feel almost weightless. The leathery material extends also to the ear cups, which are softer still on the ears. And a solid metal band resides inside the band to ensure durability over repeated extensions and retractions.
Tribit also includes soft fabric covering the interior of the ear cups, while the exterior features a metal accent ring. The plastics on the exterior and wrapped around everything else, on the other hand, have a textured matte look and feel. And the earcups themselves are on a rotator, so the comfort level is undeniably great when worn.
Put simply, in person these headphones exude a premium look and feel that should make any audio enthusiast happy. The hardware alone feels as though it belongs on headphones that cost several times the cost of Tribit QuietPlus 78.
That, of course, also extends to the plugs and buttons. The buttons are clicky and snappy, with almost no “squish” to speak of. And the ports are too, with no jostle or wiggle. And that not only gives the sense that the ports and buttons will last a long time. It also makes each easier to use. With one noteworthy exception.
Namely, while the ANC/Ambient Mode button is well-placed and easy to use, the remaining multi-function buttons are not well organized.
The issue here isn’t that the buttons aren’t large enough to find or differentiate between. Instead, it’s that they’re placed too close together to be used comfortably. Or, at the very least while learning the functions, too close to make them easy to use individually. Throughout my review of Tribit QuietPlus 78, I frequently found myself accidentally pressing the wrong button. Or accidentally pressing more than one button.
The only other noteworthy complaint on the hardware front is one that we’ll discuss momentarily in the battery segment. But these are the only caveats, and minor ones at that, to what is otherwise otherworldly good hardware. Especially with an asking price at under $100.
Battery life from Tribit QuietPlus 78 is enviable
As noted above, there’s a caveat in the hardware when it comes to charging. Not only did Tribit confusingly opt for MicroUSB instead of USB-C. The company also chose to include a charging cable with Tribit QuietPlus 78 that’s only a few inches long, making charging from anything other than a computer during my review unbelievably irritating.
Or at least it would have been, if not for how long I was able to use the headphones before they needed to be charged.
Now, the conditions of use and the impact of that on battery life are not to be ignored. Battery life is subjective, varying from individual to individual by many factors — from volume to media type to distance from the source device and features. For my test, for instance, I kept my distance at right around 30-feet. Albeit, sometimes with a wall between my source device and the headphones.
I also maintained a volume of around 90-percent for my battery test and kept ANC set at the “high” setting. There are two modes for that and a separate ambient mode. Or both can be turned off for even longer battery life. But we’ll discuss those settings later on. For now, suffice it to say that my use case was at the extreme end of things. I also streamed only the highest audio quality these headphones support during my battery test.
In spite of all of that, the battery in this wearable took more than 11-hours of listening to get to below 60-percent remaining. And I saw battery life at right around 34 hours. With around an hour of standby bringing the total on-time to 35 hours
Better still, no battery is actually needed in some scenarios. Since Tribit QuietPlus 78 supports 3.5mm audio jack input, these can simply keep on going if the battery dies using the included cable. Just as long as the source device is nearby and has a 3.5mm plug.
For charging, conversely, it took just shy of two hours to get these headphones refueled once they died completely. The sole caveat to this, of course, is that the included charging cable is too short to be really useful. That is unless you plan on charging via a laptop or method other than a wall socket.
Expect great things from these headphones, despite the price
Like battery life, audio quality experiences are typically subjective. But that doesn’t mean there’s no objective way to determine whether the audio quality was great during my review of Tribit QuietPlus 78. Tribit has been a master of offering truly exceptional audio experiences at a budget-friendly price since it first landed on the scene and these headphones are no different.
In terms of arguably the most important audio measurement, namely balance, Tribit QuietPlus 78 excels. Each frequency, in the music I tested these headphones with, hit just as powerfully as the others. With plenty of bass punch to match the sharpness of the highs and the crispness of the mids. There was never a tone that kicked through with any less intensity than the others. Except, of course, where that was intentional.
And the result of that was detailed well-placed sounds that never came across as muddled or overbearing at any pitch. Better still, the bass tones aren’t obnoxiously pounding either. Again, that’s with the exception of where the audio was designed to have that tone. While there wasn’t any app to play around with on the EQ side of things, apps that I use that did have an EQ performed exactly where I expected them to be.
Put another way, for under $100, it just doesn’t get much closer to an audiophile experience than these Tribit headphones can offer. If it can get any closer at all. These are undeniably some of the best sounding can I’ve ever placed on my ears.
With extra features, such as ANC, active, sound from outside of the earphones was all but nonexistent too. Allowing for a truly immersive experience, whether in music, movies, or other media.
However, it is worth noting that the ANC doesn’t work with the mics. So you shouldn’t expect these to be the very best headphones for use on video calls in a noisy environment. The sound is clear enough for that purpose but there are better headphones on the market that are explicitly for that.
Connections, features are strong and Tribit QuietPlus 78 provides all-day listening
Nearly 40-hours of battery life under fairly extreme listening conditions, with regard to the battery, is impressive. After all, the company claims this headset can go up to 49-feet from the source device. And, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, the audio quality isn’t going to drop when you do so. But Tribit QuietPlus 78 was used well beyond that during my review. All thanks to one of its strongest secondary connectivity features. Namely, a 3.5mm audio jack and included cable.
In effect, that means that you don’t even need to worry about battery life at all if you don’t want to. At least, that’ll be the case as long as your source device has a 3.5mm plug. So the listening can continue for as long as you like, even if you don’t happen to have a convenient plug nearby.
Additionally, there are special features to discuss on the audio side of things. Namely, active noise cancellation that’s not only strong enough to keep everything crystal clear. But also adjustable. There are, in fact, two settings for ANC, accessible via a dedicated button on the right ear cup.
During my test, I found the low ANC mode to be more than sufficient for almost any situation. But, in a noisy household with several small children, a puppy, and construction happening right next door, the “high” ANC mode also proved incredibly useful. That managed to drown out just about every noise. Making the listening experience much more immersive and enjoyable. Although the mode didn’t, as mentioned above, help a whole lot on the mic side of the equation.
Conversely, the same button can be pressed yet again to enable an ambient mode. Tribit refers to that as “transparency mode.” That, as its name suggests, actually allows through and amplifies ambient sounds. For example, while cycling it was much easier to both enjoy my music and have situational awareness.
Don’t sleep on these headphones from Tribit
Now, at the beginning of this review, I said we’d take a look at how these stack up to the competition. And, if we’re being honest, as we’ve discussed, they aren’t quite at an audiophile or top-tier level. Especially with regard to mics or the included charging cable — the latter of which is just too short by far. But none of that is really a dealbreaker. In fact, these headphones punch well above their weight in nearly every regard.
By comparison to the competition, especially on price, these headphones are hitting several hundred dollars above their weight. The audio quality, battery life, and charging, as well as included accessories, land them somewhere in the $300 range. But Tribit set the price for QuietPlus 78 at around $80.
Summarily, these are headphones — and this is a company — you should be considering if you’re shopping in the $100 – $200 price bracket at the very least. And more accurately, they should be on your shortlist. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find a better value or a better pair of headphones without spending a considerably larger sum of money.