Review: Tribit FlyBuds C1 – Perfection on Paper

The Tribit FlyBuds C1 are equipped with a powerful Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and other cutting-edge technologies.
The Tribit FlyBuds C1 are equipped with a powerful Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and other cutting-edge technologies.

With a powerful Qualcomm Bluetooth chip, CVC 8.0, and aptX codec support, the Tribit FlyBuds C1 could be the perfect option for audio enthusiasts.

Thank you, Kate Zheng from Tribit, for sending me the FlyBuds C1 true wireless earbuds in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
General Usage 81.5
Audiophile Usage 90.7

Score Breakdown

84.6
What We Like
  • Comfortable fit
  • Great detail retrieval capability
  • Non-fatiguing sound
  • Sensitive and responsive control on both earbuds
  • Well-extended and smooth highs
  • Transparent mids
  • Fresh physical appearance from the metallic-like finish
  • aptX codec support for better audio quality
What We Don't Like
  • Intermittent signal drop-off
  • Insufficient grip force due to the smooth surface

Where to Buy

The Tribit FlyBuds C1 is available on:

Introduction

Tribit debuted into the audio industry in 2017, with their unique signature sound – resonating bass, solid treble, and balance all around. Their pursuit of audio perfection is made possible through a talented team of sound engineers and design maestros.

”Tribit was born with a singular focus: to bring great beats to the masses. So turn up the volume on your Tribit, and immerse yourself in the soundwaves and tempos of the best hits all around. Because with Tribit, you’re plugging into an experience.” – Tribit brand concept

Armed with the latest and most powerful Qualcomm Bluetooth chip, Tribit introduced the FlyBuds C1 to the audio industry. According to Tribit, the FlyBuds C1 have better transmission capability, with a connectivity boost as compared to the last generation, making for a serious leap forward in performance.

The Tribit FlyBuds C1 are equipped with a powerful Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and other cutting-edge technologies.
The Tribit FlyBuds C1 are equipped with a powerful Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and other cutting-edge technologies.

Case

Battery

  • Battery Life: 48 hours
  • Connector: USB Type-C
  • Wireless Charging: No

I was surprised that the pocket-friendly sized case is able to provide up to four charges to the earbuds (up to 48 hours). For my daily commute of an hour to my office, this can last me around two to three weeks per full charge. Amazing, right?

Being an experienced consumer electronics company, Tribit understands which charging interface will be well-received by consumers. The USB Type-C port supports fast charging and it only takes 2 hours to fully charge the case.

Tribit utilizes a USB Type-C charging port on FlyBuds C1.
Tribit utilizes a USB Type-C charging port on FlyBuds C1.

UX

  • Can be open easily with one hand: Yes
  • Pass the shake test: Yes
  • Light Indicators: Display battery level and charging status

The case can be easily opened with a single hand. This design is convenient for me when I am on public transport and my other hand is occupied with a bag or support handle.

The lid is magnetic and it prevents the case from opening when you put it in a bag. The earbuds are secured with an even stronger magnet. The earbuds have a good level of protrusion from their seats in the case, making access easy.

They don’t fly out from the case even if I shake it while it’s open. Tested and proven!

The case can be opened easily with just one hand.
The case can be opened easily with just one hand.

Design

  • Shape of the case: Squarish with rounded sides
  • Material: Plastics
  • Build Quality: Average

Similar to recent releases from AUKEY and EarFun, the Tribit FlyBuds C1 charging case has a certain resemblance to the one included with the Apple AirPods Pro. While the shape and size are similar, Tribit did it better – the surface of the case is matte, instead of the AirPods’ smooth surface, improving the overall grip.

AUKEY EP-N5 (left) and Tribit FlyBuds C1 (right) have a similar charging case design as the Apple AirPods Pro.
AUKEY EP-N5 (left) and Tribit FlyBuds C1 (right) have a similar charging case design as the Apple AirPods Pro.

Portability

  • Weight: 50g (With earbuds inside)
  • Volume: 6 x 4.5 x 2.5 = 67.5cm cu (~4.12 in cu)
  • Portability: Great

The Tribit FlyBuds C1 have good portability with their lightweight and small volume case. I can put it in my pocket and move around without any difficulty or irritation. I even bring it with me for my daily jogging session.

The pocket-friendly case is lightweight and small in volume.
The pocket-friendly case is lightweight and small in volume.

Earbuds

Battery

  • Battery Life: 12 hrs
  • Charge Time (15mins): 120 mins playback time (calculated based on 1.5 hrs for full charge)

This could be the game-changer for TWS – for each full charge, the FlyBuds C1 can provide 12 continuous hours of playback. To fully charge the earbuds from flat to full, it takes only 1.5 hours! This is extremely useful for travellers.

I will bring the FlyBuds C1 with me when I travel by bus to the most northern part of Malaysia from Singapore. The journey is around 12 hours and the FlyBuds C1 will be my partner for the journey.

I can use my AirPods Pro protective case on Tribit FlyBuds C1. They are really similar in terms of size and design!
I can use my AirPods Pro protective case on Tribit FlyBuds C1. They are really similar in terms of size and design!

UX

  • Control Mechanism: Mechanical
  • Control Symmetry on both earbud: Yes
  • Mono Use: Yes for both sides
  • Voice Assistant can be triggered with earbuds

Tribit patented their own earphone-handle interface. Users can press the highly sensitive button for full-featured controls. All the basic functions, such as volume control, changing of tracks, voice assistant, and play/pause can be done on the earbuds.

To a lot of users, this mechanical button control mechanism may seem to be “outdated”. However, I feel this design is very user-friendly, especially during exercising, because I can accurately press the button without the need for “trial-and-error” to activate touch sensors.

Tribit implements a mechanical button on the FlyBuds C1, which is unique in this era of touch sensor controls.
Tribit implements a mechanical button on the FlyBuds C1, which is unique in this era of touch sensor controls.

Design

  • Profile: Medium
  • Material: Plastic
  • Comfort: Good
  • Fit: Average

Beyond the case similarity, the earbuds of the FlyBuds C1 resemble the Apple AirPods Pro in other ways. For instance, there is an elongated faceplate, which brings the microphone nearer to the user’s mouth for a better voice pickup.

The earbuds are made of shiny metallic colored plastic, which gives the FlyBuds C1 a fresh and premium physical appearance. However the smooth plastic means that grip is reduced, especially when the user’s hands are sweaty or oily. Based on my experience jogging with the FlyBuds C1, they do not stay in my ears after I start sweating.

The angled nozzle provides a comfortable fit. However, the smooth surface of the earbuds is unable to provide sufficient gripping force when the user sweats.
The angled nozzle provides a comfortable fit. However, the smooth surface of the earbuds is unable to provide sufficient gripping force when the user sweats.

Mic

  • Noise Cancellation: Average
  • Voice Pick-up: Average

One of the main selling points advertised by Tribit for the FlyBuds C1 is the inclusion of quad microphones intended to provide effective voice pickup, combined with cVc 8.0 technology for environment noise canceling (ENC).

However, in reality the noise cancellation is not as effective as promised. The ENC is insufficient to suppress noise from noisy public transport.

Mic demo

Sound

  • Driver: Polyurethane (PU) + polyether ether ketone (PEEK) composite diaphragm 6mm dynamic driver
  • Sound Signature: Balanced
  • Sub-bass: Average
  • Bass: Good
  • Mids: Good
  • Treble: Good
  • Sound Detail: Good

Overall sound quality

The overall sound signature of the FlyBuds C1 can be considered balanced, with a slight touch towards the brighter side. The treble gets slightly more focus as compared to the mids and bass. This treble emphasis gives a spacious presentation with a sufficient amount of air and you will not feel congestion or stuffiness when listening to the FlyBuds C1.

Bass

Powered by a single 6mm dynamic driver, the bass of FlyBuds C1 gives users sufficient rumble. However, I do not think the quantity of the bass is going to satisfy the cravings of bass-head audiophiles.

The bass of FlyBuds C1 punches tightly and has a speedy response. There is no bleeding up into the mids. I consider the bass high-quality as it has a very precise attack and decay, faster than a typical dynamic driver. This enhances the overall detail retrieval capability by controlling the body of the bass, preventing it from being too boomy, or from coloring the overall presentation.

The metallic-like finishing on the surface of earbuds give them a fresh and modern physical appearance.
The metallic-like finishing on the surface of earbuds give them a fresh and modern physical appearance.

Midrange

This is where I love the FlyBuds C1 the most. They present a clear and transparent midrange to the audience with almost zero coloration. Vocals are presented in their most natural form – lively and sweet, thanks to the well-controlled bass.

A lot of true wireless are overly-smooth with colored mids in an attempt to make the overall sound signature more enjoyable and fun to listen to. However, this can make the mids sound unnatural and even out of tone. The FlyBuds C1 are free from this problem.

I have auditioned numerous true wireless earbuds in the market and I find the FlyBuds C1(right) have one of the best midrange, together with Technics EAH-AZ70W (left).
I have auditioned numerous true wireless earbuds in the market and I find the FlyBuds C1(right) have one of the best midrange, together with Technics EAH-AZ70W (left).

Highs

The highs get more emphasis as compared to the midrange and low-end. The highs are smooth and well-extended, but this slight boost does not make the treble knife sharp or piercing. The overall space and air are mostly created by the silky smooth highs, causing the overall presentation to be spacious.

There are four LED lights near the opening of the charging case to indicate the battery level and charging status of the case.
There are four LED lights near the opening of the charging case to indicate the battery level and charging status of the case.

Connectivity

  • Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, and SBC
  • Bluetooth Version: Version 5.2
  • Bluetooth Chip: Qualcomm QCC3040 Bluetooth chip
  • Auto-connect when: Case cover is opened
  • Average drop-outs in an hour: 3 – 4 times
  • Multi-point connection: No

One of the selling points for FlyBuds C1 is the aptX codec support. According to Qualcomm, aptX can support audio encoding up to 16-bit/48kHz sampling rate with 384 kbps of bit rate. This means that the FlyBuds C1 can handle audio files up to CD quality with a minimal level of compression using the aptX codec.

Running on Bluetooth version 5.2, I expected the FlyBuds C1 to have excellent connection stability. However, they disappointed me. While running, I experienced intermittent signal drop-off.

Unfortunately, there is no multipoint connection support for the FlyBuds C1. I have a smartphone and three laptops on my work desk for different purposes. Most of the time, at least two devices will be in use so I prefer wireless audio devices (speakers or earbuds) that can be connected to more than one source.

Tribit's logo is printed on top of the charging case.
Tribit’s logo is printed on top of the charging case.

Waterproof

  • IP Rating: IPX5

The Tribit FlyBuds C1 are definitely suitable for sports usage because of their waterproof rating of IPX5. My primary concerns with the FlyBuds C1 are the intermittent drop-off of signal due to interference and the insufficient grip due to the smooth surface of earbuds.

FlyBuds C1 sit well in my ears when I am not exercising and sweating.
FlyBuds C1 sit well in my ears when I am not exercising and sweating.

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