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Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth Headphones review: A premium Bluetooth headphone for under $50? Yep

You'll be hard-pressed to find a better sounding full-sized Bluetooth headphone for this little money.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

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I tend not to review many inexpensive over-ear headphones because they usually don't sound all that good. But the Tribit XFree Tune is one of the few exceptions. It sells for $44 online and actually sounds great, is comfortable to wear and seems well built. It also doesn't look cheap. It's AU$129 in Australia, but not available in the UK at time of publication.
Tribit is one of those no-name audio companies that sell a range of stuff on Amazon. But Tribit's $35 mini Bluetooth speaker is one of our go-to choices in the world of ultrabudget wireless speakers, so I thought I'd give these headphones a try. I was pleasantly surprised by how they sounded, and fellow CNET editor Ty Pendlebury and Steve Guttenberg, aka The Audiophiliac, concurred with my assessment. 

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8.3

Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth Headphones

The Good

The Tribit XFree Tune sounds terrific for the money. It's comfortable to wear and seems relatively well built. The headphones fold up to fit into an optional carrying case and battery life is rated at a healthy 24 hours at moderate volume levels.

The Bad

The carrying case boosts the price by $5. The Tribit logo could be less prominent. Amazon product page touts noise-canceling technology but it's only for voice calls, not true active noise-canceling.

The Bottom Line

You won't find better full-sized wireless headphones for under $50 than the Tribit XFree Tune.
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The Tribit XFree Tune doesn't look so different from a Beats headphone but costs way less.

Sarah Tew/CNET

They have good clarity, relatively well-defined bass and sound pretty natural for Bluetooth headphones. There's a touch of treble push, but it's not grating and I was able to listen to the headphones for good chunks of time without experiencing listening fatigue. The bottom line is they sound as good as many Bluetooth headphones that cost three or even four times as much.

They also fold up into a decent enough carrying case and come with a cable if you want to use them in wired mode. And that's the only real annoyance with this product: The bundle with the carrying case costs $5 more, or $49. (The Tribit rep didn't tell me the case wasn't included for $44 until after I shot the video.)
My only design gripe is that the Tribit logo could be downplayed a bit. "Tribit" is one of those names that's hard to take seriously (wave hello, Oontz), so having it plastered in white on the ear cup in a decent sized font doesn't help the headphones' street appeal. But maybe it's cool to be anticool.

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Folded up in their optional carrying case (included as part of a separate bundle).

Sarah Tew/CNET

Besides the logo, you'll find volume controls and the power button on the ear cup. There are no separate transport controls, but pressing and holding the up volume button advances tracks, while doing the same for the down volume button skips back a track. Battery life is rated at a healthy 24 hours at moderate volume levels -- bigger size means more battery capacity than you'll find on tiny wireless earbuds.

For those looking for noise canceling, it's not here (the Amazon product page misleadingly says there's noise-canceling but that refers to CVC 6.0, which only applies to noise canceling for voice calls), but the ear cups passively seal out a fair amount of ambient noise. While these headphones aren't quite as comfortable as a set of Bose full-size headphones (which, of course, cost seven times as much), the ear pads do feature good quality covers and soft, thick foam padding.

Overall the headphones worked reliably -- they use Bluetooth 4.1 -- and paired and repaired with my test phones (iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus) without a problem. They worked OK as a headset for making calls, too -- just don't expect business-class performance.
Add it all up and the Tribit XFree Tune is an excellent bargain. When it comes to headphones, cheap and good usually don't mix. The XFree Tune is an exception. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better sounding full-sized wireless pair of headphones for the money. 

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The volume button also skips tracks forward and back.

Sarah Tew/CNET
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8.3

Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth Headphones

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Sound 8Value 9