I admit I heard about Tribit for the first time via a press release announcing the brand’s new sports earphones: the MoveBuds H1. After reviewing a handful of sports headphones lately — Earshots and the SkullCandy Push Ultra — I thought I’d get a review set, to see how they stack up.
Let’s start from the outside in.
As is the case these days, the MoveBuds come in their own stylish case that houses and charges the earphones between uses (the case itself is charged via a USB-C port on the back). Tribit claims the MoveBuds deliver 15 hours of music playback per charge and up to 50 hours with the included charging case – supposedly “the world’s longest earbud battery life”. I can’t tell you if that statement is true, but the MoveBuds certainly didn’t run out of juice during any of my rides, and I tended to take many rides without recharging the case.
As for the case itself, I found it frustrating and tedious. It looks quite sleek, but the surface is so smooth and the notch that helps with opening is so shallow that it’s actually quite difficult to get enough purchase to open the case. A minor grievance, perhaps, but one that added frustration every time I went to take the MoveBuds out or put them away.
Once out of the case, the MoveBuds are quite easy to put on. They have arms that rest over your ears, and they’re also held in place by the buds themselves, which nestle comfortably in your ear canal. I found my ears to cooperate with the default buds that came attached to the MoveBuds H1, but there are five different sizes in the box for you to customize the fit to your liking.
I found the MoveBuds to stay in place every time I rode with them, thanks in large part to the in-ear headphones. The on-ear arms didn’t quite offer the same grip, at least for my ears, but I never felt like the MoveBuds were going to fall out. I also had no problem getting the MoveBuds to play well with the arms of my sunglasses.
Connecting the MoveBuds to my iPhone via Bluetooth was as quick and painless as I had hoped. Using headphones, however, left me a little disappointed.
The MoveBuds are controlled by a flat surface on the outside of each unit. Tap once to play or pause audio (or answer/end a call), tap and hold to change volume (left side for down; right side for up) or power off headset, tap twice times to skip tracks, etc. All the usual stuff you would expect. For me, however, this touch surface proved to be a little too sensitive.
Whenever I needed to adjust the placement of the headphones, it was very easy to inadvertently trigger the control surface, turning the sound on or off unexpectedly. The same was true when handling the headphones before and after wearing them – I often found myself playing, pausing or skipping audio just by having the MoveBuds in my hand.
I got a little familiar with this sensitivity, but a less sensitive surface would have been more to my liking. I also would have preferred some sort of tactile feedback when using this control surface; maybe some click.
On the plus side, the control surface works well when wearing gloves. It works even if you wear gloves and wearing a face covering that rests on the MoveBuds, which I did several times while testing them during the chilly Melbourne autumn.
Being headphones that sit right inside your ear canal, the MoveBuds H1 block some outside noise from reaching your eardrums. You can still hear road noise, approaching vehicles, etc., but in the default setting you don’t get enough as much spatial awareness as you get with other sports headphones on the market, such as the Earshots.
I’ve never felt unsafe or uncomfortable wearing the MoveBuds, especially since I do a lot of my driving away from traffic these days, but if you’d like to hear a little more ambient noise, the “transparency mode” can help you. Kind of.
After activating this mode with a triple tap on the control surface, you get a whole lot of outside noise pumped through the headphones to help improve your spatial awareness. This has a downside for cyclists, however: along with much of that ambient noise comes a whole lot of wind noise, especially at higher speeds.
In terms of actual sound quality, there’s not much to complain about here. You won’t get audiophile quality from headphones that cost less than US$100, but these do an admirable job, especially if you’re just listening to podcasts or sick beats to inspire your workout. Where some competing products offer a much thinner sound, the MoveBuds offer a well-rounded sonic palette.
And finally, it’s worth noting that the MoveBuds are waterproof and sweatproof with an IPX 8 rating. That’s a higher rating than many other products on the market, including the Earshots and Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds. and in fact, a promotional video from Tribit shows the MoveBuds being used while surfing.
According to Tribit’s website, “The MoveBuds H1 headphones can be used normally in water depths of up to 1 meter (3 feet) for up to 30 minutes.” Swimming with the headphones is not recommended, however, because, and I quote, “these headphones are not professional for swimming” and “the Bluetooth signal propagation distance in water is very short, which will cause sound problem ( no sound or sound goes in and out).
Overall, I was impressed with the Tribit MoveBuds H1, especially considering the very reasonable price of US$89.99 (€85 / £72 / around AU$130) – a bit cheaper than the Earshots and definitely the Jabra Elite Active 75t. For me, improvements can be made to the case and the control surface, but if you’re looking for good quality sound for your driving (or racing, surfing or whatever), at a reasonable price, you could do a lot worse. .
For more information visit the Tribit Website.