Tribit QuietPlus Wireless Headphone REVIEW | Mac Sources9.7
Enjoy many of the headphone features you love without spending a fortune.
The Tribit QuietPlus Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones arrived in a 5 7/8 inches wide by 7 5/8 inches tall by 3 5/8 inches thick retail package. Brilliantly, the company chose to use a similar orange color to those of orange traffic cones. Relying on our nearly innate knowledge of safety colors, our eyes are drawn to the cautionary hues of red, orange and yellow. Along the top left of the white cover, you will find the Tribit title “Unleash the true sound” in the negative space of an orange rectangle. Just slightly below the title, you will find the bold-black “QuietPlus” product name and then “Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphone” in the eye-drawing orange coloration. I loved the contrasting black/orange colors against the white background but the main focus had to be the 3 3/4 by 5 1/4 inches tall image of the headphones with surrounding orange pixelation. Combining the photo-quality image with the orange on white color scheme created a visually appealing cover for this product. The orange-colored top and side panels further added to the visual focus of the white cover and back panel.
Rotating the product 90 degrees clockwise, the side panel displayed their firstname.lastname@example.org email address and two QR codes, which linked to their Facebook and tribitaudil.com website. The opposing side panel provided four white-colored, 5/8 inches diameter product icons: Long Battery Life, Foldable, Hybrid Noise Cancelling, and Superior Sound. The top panel and bottom panels were devoid of writing, but the bottom panel had a small sticker detailing some of the legal jargon for Qualcomm/aptX. The vibrant white reverse panel enjoyed many of the perks as the cover but without any splashes of color. By perusing the surface, you can identify the BTH100 model number, several of the traditional product manufacturing labels, SCU stickers, “Made in China” logo, Qualcomm aptX icon, and the product specifications: Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP Bluetooth profiles, Qualcomm aptX/AAC/SBC Codecs, 30 hour playback time, 3 hour charging time, Li-Polymer battery, 5V/1A input, and 260g weight. In a masterclass of product marketing, Tribit provided everything that I needed about the product. They did not require embellishment and I do not believe that they could have added or removed anything from the experience to amplify the excitement to dig into the product.
I opened the lid of the packaging and removed the sole item within the box, the 7 1/2 inches long by 5 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches thick black oval Tribit carrying case. I gripped the rubberized zipper pull, unzipped the 18 1/4 inches long water-resistant zipper, and opened up the clamshell case. The top half of the case had an elastic hemi-partition with Velcro, which helped to contain the hexalingual instruction manual, 39 1/2 inches long USB-A to USB-C cable, and 48 1/2 inches long 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable. Before using the headphones, I plugged the USB-A to USB-C cable into a wall outlet and perused the instruction manual. With my ability to read a single language, I can only attest to the quality of the English section, which was listed first in the manual. It appeared that each of the six languages was allotted eight pages. The first page detailed the product packing list, while the second page showed the base of the right earcup. The right earcup had a power button flanked by a volume + button and volume — button, and then a noise-canceling switch closer to the lower face of the earcup. Along the inferior aspect of the right earcup, you will find the 3.5mm input port. Directly adjacent to the 3.5mm port, you will find the USB-C charging port, followed by the microphone port. The third panel detailed the mechanism to turn on/off the headphones (1s hold to turn on, 3-second hold when on to power off the device). To pair the device, start with the headphones powered off, hold the power button for three seconds, navigate to your smart device, select Settings, then Bluetooth and then choose “Tribit QuitePlus” from the list. The manual did not detail the vocal call-outs for “Power On,” “Pairing,” “Connected,” nor power-off but it did detail the button layout on page six. I loved that a short press of the volume buttons allowed the volume to increase/decrease, whereas the central power button served as a multifunction button: play/pause/answer call/hang-up call, double press to advance, triple press to precede, hold for 1 second for voice assistant, or for three seconds to reject a call. The last few pages of the instruction manual detailed the three hour charging time, how to reset the headphones, and an FCC statement.
When the 9.1 oz headphones were fully charged, the LED changed from a flashing red to a solid Blue. I removed the headphones from the USB-C charger and placed the charging cable back into the carrying case (15.59 oz weight with all included accessories/headphones). The folded headphones had a 7-inch diameter semicircular headpiece with a 1/2 inches thick headrest. When I deployed the headphones, I was pleased to find that each of the foldable hinges expanded an inch to accommodate larger head sizes. Distally, the earcups slanted slightly to better match the shape of our ears. The right earcup, as illustrated in the instruction manual, was the master side and had all of the buttons. The left earcup, on the other hand, did not have any functional capabilities. Each of the 3 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 1 1/4 inches thick earcups was given a 5/8 inches thick foam earpad. Looking along the inner surface of each of the speakers, you will find an “L” or “R” respectively. When I aligned the correct earcup to the correct ear, I was surprised to find that each of the ear cups was capable of rotating 45 degrees (counterclockwise left and clockwise right). Even before I placed the device over my ears, I knew that they were going to rest comfortably upon my head. Honestly, I was immediately infatuated.
Pleased with the quality of the packaging and the build of the device, I navigated to the audiocheck.net website to test the sound parameters. I like to use the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10–200 Hz) first because it tends to showcase one of the main limitations of headphones, namely the bass. I used the device in both ANC-on and ANC-off modes and was pleased with the ability to feel/hear strong bass starting around 20Hz. Next, I used the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22–8 kHz) and was able to hear the high-pitched ringing test tone at 15kHz, which was on par with my native ability to hear. Unfortunately, we lose the ability to hear higher frequencies earlier than lower frequencies as we age. Most 30–40-year-old adults can hear around 14kHz, whereas children can sometimes pick up into the 18–20kHz range. Thus, it is imperative that we avoid as much sound pollution/trauma as possible, to protect our hearing. The sad truth is that when it is gone, it is gone forever. To test the Left/Right/Center programming, I used the website and the “Headphone Check” app. I was pleased to find that the headphones appropriately programmed.
At lower volume levels, the sound became flat and lifeless. I turned the volume all the way down and then slowly increased the sound. At 1 bar, there was essentially no sound output. At two bars, I could barely make out the sound. At three bars, there was a distant flat/lifeless sound. At four bars, there was a clear difference in the quality of the sound output. In fact, there seemed to be a power surge/jolt when moving from three bars to four bars. The difference between four bars and five bars was even more noticeable than the previous level. It was an odd experience to have a surge of sound, rather than a smooth transition. The transition between five and six bars, and then six and seven bars was smoother than the previous levels. However, there was another stair-step experience when I transitioned from eight bars to nine bars. I found the optimal listening volume to be between nine and ten bars. Using the Decibel X app, this produced approximately 60 Decibels of sound, which is far below the 85 DB recommended for 8 hours of listening. Of course, the Decibel X could not know what the sealed ear chamber volume actually registered and thus the nine to ten bar limit was maintained throughout the rest of the tests.
To test the stereo nature of the headphones, I utilized the Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test, my favorite feature of the audiocheck.net website. My children absolutely love this test and continue to jump despite knowing that the knocking will occur. If you want to scare an unsuspecting individual, place a pair of headphones over their ears, activate the test and watch them look over their shoulders. For a similar experience, you can turn to the “Sound Of Silence (3D Binaural Audio)- Simon and Garfunkel Cover-Jarvis Brothers (Ear to Ear). Even though I love the binaural version of the song, I cannot escape my preference for the darker version by Disturbed. As a longtime fan of Queen, I absolutely loved the Rami Malek movie because it rekindled my appreciation of the artistic genius that was Freddy Mercury. I used “Bohemian Rhapsody,” for the left/right call-response nature of the song and used the Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme “Why So Serious” as well. Focusing on the 3:30–4:00 mark, you will hear a deep bass, helicopter-like, whoop, whoop, whoop. If the bass of your speaker/headphones is adequate, you will feel like you are in the rotor wash of a helicopter. If not, you may not feel or hear anything. Up until that point, the cacophony of sounds culminated, peaked, and then dropped away to the deep rumbling sub-bass. Turning to Radiohead “The National Anthem,” I wanted to evaluate the ability of the headphones to reproduce the techie sci-fi sounds of the song. I felt that the bass was crisp, supported and the higher-pitched sounds did not get tinny, nor harsh. I next listened to the bass-heavy “Turn your Lights Down Low” by Bob Marley and the Wailers and enjoyed the club feel of Holly Cole’s “Train Song.” As long as the volume supported the sound, the headphones seemed to faithfully reproduce bass, without over favoring the sound and unbalancing the texture. Without an equalizer, I do not know that I have had a better overall experience.
To test the balance/soundstage and fullness of the headphones, I turned to “Caribbean Blue” by Enya, the Jason Soule “Dragonborn” theme, and “Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold” from The Hobbit. Each of these test pieces provided a solid wall of balanced sound. I did struggle a little to imagine the individual instruments in space. To test this further, I used “Bubbles” from Yoshi Horikawa and enjoyed the sound of bouncing. I felt I was better able to place those sounds than with the other tests above. To test the upper register/tones, I tend to use instrumental heavy songs. Perhaps this is due to my history playing in several music ensembles. I used Holst Suite in Eb, Jupiter, Lincolnshire Posey, and The Washington Post March by Sousa. Additionally, I used my favorite soundtracks, Far and Away, Braveheart, and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves soundtracks to evaluate the blend/balance. I found the soundstaging to be a little weak, but the headphones produced a solid mid and upper range, one that paired nicely with a full bass sound.
The ANC feature did not seem to steal much of the battery but removed some of the outside noises. I listened to music on my porch, while rain was falling and noted a pressured feeling in my ears when the ANC was active. However, the trade-off was well worth the reduction in ambient noise. While using the headphones, my wife noted that there was quite a bit of noise leak, which was audible at about a three-foot distance. In addition to the Amazon Music App, I used Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify. When complete, I tested many of the video Apps to include Movies Anywhere, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube. Unfortunately, there was a substantial lag between sound/audio on YouTube. These were not present in the other apps listed. I used the headphones on average two hours per night over the past 10 days and still have power left over. I was pleased with the battery size, with the shape, the accessories, and with the quality/feel of the headphones, but felt compelled to charge them before running them too low.
To summarize the overall experience, I would give the headphones a 9/10 for sound, 10/10 for comfort, 10/10 for battery life, 9.5/10 for accessories, and 10/10 for packaging. The placement of the microphone worked quite well for phone conversations but the device felt unpolished. As an example, I found it rather odd that you could turn off the device and leave the ANC activated. Instead of conserving energy, this likely would cause the device to drain without you knowing about it. I also thought that it was a little odd to know that the headphones included USB-A to USB-C charging and took roughly 3 hours to charge to full. I feel that they should have provided a USB-C to USB-C cable and programmed the device to accommodate quick charge speeds. I loved that they used the newer Bluetooth V5.0 standards, codes and added a hefty battery. The carry bag will protect the headphones, but it is rather bulky. I missed a carry strap, a lanyard/strap, carabiner,etc. The buttons were easy to access, were intuitive, and quite responsive. The thick padding around the ears and head, paired with the pivoting earcups drastically reduced fatigue. I do not feel that you will be disappointed with this pair of headphones.
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Originally published at https://macsources.com on February 10, 2020.