STEREO GUIDE Verdict
+ balanced reproduction
+ deep, rich and crisp bass
+ secure hold during sports thanks to underwire
- does not sit comfortably in all ears
- not so clean at higher volumes
Sound: naturalness / transparency7.4
Sound: Bass / Dynamics9.0
Practice / Connectivity8.4
Price / Performance9.2
Tribit’s smallest mobile Bluetooth speaker, the Stormbox Micro 2, gave us pretty much of a surprise during the review process. So we were pretty curious how the in-ear phones would perform. However, the Tribit MoveBuds H1 are pretty much the biggest True Wireless earbuds (TWS) we’ve ever come across. Well, they are declared as sports headphones. So they are not only supposed to be extremely waterproof (IPX8). In terms of maximum battery life without recharging – 15 hours – they aim for the title as best in class, as well as in terms of a secure hold during sports activities.
The latter is guaranteed by a large earclip that is passed around the outer ears. To make sure no one mistakes this for a historical hearing aid, the enclosure itself is quite hefty and decorated with a turbine motif. Other features as well might be attractive for urban athletes: A transparency mode for road traffic, antibacterial rubber adapters and resistance to salt water as well as sweat.
Connection and technology
For playing music, the MoveBuds H1 offer the latest Bluetooth version 5.2. The integration of both AAC and Apt-X codecs also ensure maximum digital sound quality for both iOS and Android users.
One battery charge is supposed to allow a playback time of up to 15 hours without recharging. The manufacturer promises a total of 65 hours of music including recharging in the case. That would be a record. However, this comes with the downside of a record-sized case, in which each the two earbuds are stored on the opposite side. This is neither intuitive nor very comfortable. The battery state is displayed in detail by four LEDs, as one might rarely charge the MoveBuds H1 at all. By the way, the case itself is not waterproof.
Usability and operation
Even though the hooks give the MoveBuds H1 a secure hold: For acoustic reasons, they still have to sit tight in the ear canal. To ensure this, the manufacturer supplies five different sizes of rubber adaptors. With this, it fits most ears without any problems. However, when trying to place the MoveBuds tightly into the ear canal, you also quickly notice that its plastic channel is actually quite thick. So don’t apply too much force or it might hurt. Moreover, not all ear shapes were suitable for the shape of the Tribit. So better try yourself!
Because of the rather exalted earpieces that are wide at the capsules, the MoveBuds H1 naturally do not look inconspicuous. And also stick out quite far, so that neither lying down is possible nor any activity where you could grab your ears. What makes no sense anyway: The surfaces of the capsules are touch-sensitive control surfaces. When inserting and removing them, it is not so easy not to touch them. The manufacturer has also overloaded the feature set quite a bit. Knowing all the details by heart on which side you have to perform a triple tap to activate the voice assistant and a 2-second hold to increase the volume is good, you have to have memorized the user manual several times.
The free Tribit app, which is available for iOS and Android, definitely helps with this. After all, it also contains the full manual. And some functions that you can’t get via touch combinations. Thus, in addition to 24 somewhat cutely named EQ presets, you can also generate your own EQ curves. The app can also control the intensity of the transparency mode, which is really handy for street noise and announcements on the train.
Balanced sound plus rich bass
In most cases, you can do without the equalizer. Which is an adulation for an earpiece at that price level: The Tribit Movebuds H1 sound balanced and full-fledged right away and do not show any obvious weaknesses in the listening test. Only a very slight background noise diminished the positive impression, especially since it also showed a tendency to level changes and channel imbalance. But when the music is on, you quickly forget about it. The MoveBuds H1 reproduce voices surprisingly natural and clean, albeit in a somewhat compact ambience and with a clear tendency towards in-the-head localization.
The bass reproduction is especially worth mentioning: Deep, rich, sometimes slightly dominant, but kicking and crisp. The playfulness in the bass reaches a level that even several times more expensive in-ears often do not match. Even on bass-rich tracks, the Tribits never seem bloated or boomy, but simply convincing.
However, the bass level in relation to other frequencies is also clearly dependent on the fit of the earpieces, and that in turn on the shape of the ear canal: if they close off the ear canal tightly, they sound massive; if they are only in contact, it tends to be leaner and crisper.
The same applies to the tonal balance, which changes slightly depending on the angle and sometimes obscures the highest trebles a bit. However, the Tribit never leave the balanced range. One should not expect outstanding audiophile resolution, airiness or three-dimensionality from them. And at higher levels, they show a certain tendency to lose cleanliness, depending on the music. But that remains within reason and doesn’t diminish the joy of a lot of joy and rich beats for a small budget at all.
Alternatives and market environment
We had not yet tested explicit sports headphones, and the Tribit MoveBuds H1 offer an all-around recommendable value for the low price. However, if possible, you should check if they really sit comfortably in your own ear canal without pressing or leaving a gap (which would have a lasting effect on the bass). Those who want a bit more vivid preformance and punch might prefer the JBL Tune 230 NC, which even offers noise-canceling for the identical price. The Panasonic RZ-S 300W plays a bit more reserved and refined in this class.
Specifications Tribit MoveBuds H1
- Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: 90 Euro
- Type: In-ear
- Transducer principle: dynamic
- Weight: 10 g each, charging case: 50 g
- Features: IPX8 waterproof, ear hook, 15hours battery life case-independent
- More at: www.tribit.com