When Apple first released their AirPods in 2016, many people were quite skeptical about the design and audio quality. At the price that Apple is selling AirPods, it seems to be a high risk for an unproven technology. Fast forward four year later, and there are now plenty of companies producing true wireless earbuds – the wireless earbuds with no cable, making them truly wireless. Now you can find true wireless earbuds for different budgets – from the ultra expensive to the super cheap. xFyro ARIA are mid-range true wireless earbuds that promise plenty of features. Let’s see how they perform.
The xFyro ARIA look nothing like the Apple AirPods. They don’t have the stem and are shaped like a squarish button. They come with a hook that you can latch to the interior of the ear to prevent them from dropping. For those who prefer the AirPods design, you will be disappointed by these. I do find they look more like a gigantic ear plug than a stylish earphone.
Luckily, unlike other earbuds of the same design, the necks of the earbuds are shorter which makes them a tad bit more comfortable to wear. And the hook is useful in keeping the earbuds in place. I wore them for long hours, and during my 5km jog, they did not fall out once.
One thing that I didn’t like about this earbud design is the button. Instead of a touch surface, it makes use of a button to control your music on both earbuds. When the earbuds are already deep into your ear canal, pressing the button actually hurts your ear, as it requires you to exert further pressure on your ear.
There is a small LED opening at the bottom of each earbud that shows the pairing status. The only issue with this is that the LED lights are not easily visible. You have to hold them at a flat 90 degrees and at eye level to see if they are blinking a red or blue light. This can be frustrating when you are pairing the earbuds with your phone.
For the charging case, it is round in shape and uses a micro USB port for charging. I do prefer it to using a USB-C port, though, so I don’t have to carry another micro USB cable in my bag.
The battery indicator light is located in the interior, so you will have to open the case to see how much battery is left in the case. Also, the case doesn’t charge the earbuds by default. There is a button inside the case which you have to press down to activate the charging mode. When the button is up, the case will just be a storage case for the earbuds.
Most of the true wireless earbuds that I have used are very easy to pair with my devices. But for xFyro ARIA, it just doesn’t work. When you first take them out of their case, you have to press and hold the button on both earbuds to go into pairing mode (the LED light flickers red and blue). Once the left earbud pairs with the right, its LED turns to blue. The right earbud continues to flicker red and blue, and you have to pair it with your phone (or other Bluetooth devices). It can be frustrating if you don’t do it in the correct sequence. If you connect your phone too early to the right earbud, it will not pair with the left.
Even then after the first pairing, subsequently when you take the earbuds out of the case, it doesn’t always connect to your device automatically. Sometimes it takes several tries to succeed.
Making it worse is the small LED opening that makes it difficult to see the pairing status.
xFyro makes use of Bluetooth 5.0 connection, which means the connection is strong, stable and can last over a longer distance. In my office I can move around from room to room and there is no break in the connection.
Regardless of its small size, the sound quality is surprisingly good. When listening to orchestra music by Yanni, the bass is powerful with crisp mid-highs. While it is not top audiophile quality, it is definitely better than those cheaper entry-level earbuds. Is it as good as the AirPods? I would say it is comparable. The earbuds come with a 16mm driver, which also explain its powerful bass and mid-highs.
xFyro claims it comes with ambient noise cancellation. Don’t confuse this with active noise cancellation because it doesn’t come with ANC. The noise cancellation is passive, and it is mainly because the earbuds is deep into your ear canal, and the silicone covers the ear canal fully to prevent noise from entering. It does, however, have noise isolation technology that allows you to listen to the music clearly, even when there is noise. And I think that is pretty awesome.
Most earbuds only come with a maximum of five hours usage on a single use and 20 hours with the case. ARIA promises eight hours and up to 32 hours with case, though I only managed to get about seven hours of usage. It is still impressive, though.
The strongest point of xFyro ARIA is the audio quality and great battery life. If this is your primary concern, then xFyro ARIA are the ones for you.