xFyro ARIA Review – High Expectations & Mixed Execution

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Last Updated: Sep 28, 2020

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In this review, I’ll take a closer look at the xFyro ARIA wireless headphones to see how they compare to Apple AirPods*, Bose SoundSport Free*, Jabra Elite Active 65t*, and Jaybird Run*. If you would like to learn more about wireless sports headphones, check out my complete round-up.

To fund the development of the ARIA ear-buds, xFyro launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo. xFyro’s goal is to build the next generation of wireless sports headphones that address some of the weaknesses other wireless headphones often suffer from, including:

  • Connectivity issue
  • Sound and audio lag
  • Short battery life
  • No support for voice assistants
  • Lack of playback controls

After multiple delays and months of waiting, I finally received my review unit and could put them through a test. The initial set of headphones I received performed disappointingly, but after talking to customer service they sent me a second unit. The new headphones I received worked much better than the first one, which might have been defective.

xFyro ARIA Wireless Headphones Review
xFyro ARIA wireless headphones

Workout Headphones Comparison

Workout Headphones
xFyro ARIA (4/5)
Apple AirPods (5/5)
Bose SoundSport Free (4/5)
Jabra Elite Active 65t (4.5/5)
Jaybird RUN (4/5)

xFyro ARIA vs. Competition

xFyro Apple Bose Jabra Jaybird
Model ARIA AirPods SoundSport Free Elite Active 65t RUN
Water-resistance rating IP67 ✘︎ IPX4 IP56 Sweat & Water
Driver 16mm 5mm 6mm 6mm 6mm
Noise-reduction Passive ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ Passive
Listen time 8h 5h 5h 5h 4h
Battery life 32h 24h 15h 15h 12h
Quick charging 15 minutes for 3 hours 15 minutes for 3 hours 15 minutes for 45 mins 15 minutes for 1.5 hours 5 minutes for 1 hour
Time for a full charge 2h 2h 2h 2h 2h
Voice assistant support
Bluetooth 5.0 4.2 4.1 5.0 4.1
Automatic pairing
Lag-free audio
Design In-Ear Earbuds In-Ear In-Ear In-Ear
Microphone Dual-beamforming Dual-beamforming Wideband-enabled 4 microphones with noise-cancellation Omni-directional
Stereo calling
Price $109.00 $159.00 $199.00 $189.99 $179.99

xFyro ARIA Highlights

Large, 16 mm drivers for superior sound quality 8 hours of listening time 32 hours of total battery life A 15-minute charge gives you another 3 hours of listening time Bluetooth 5.0 for a reliable connection with lag-free audio IP67 water- and dust-resistance Dual-beamforming microphones Ambient noise cancellation Stereo calling Tap-enabled playback controls Automatic pairing when you take them out of the charging case Support for Siri and Google Assistant.

xFyro

Audio and sound quality

The audio quality of these headphones is good, but below what I’m used to from my AirPods or other premium headphones I had tested.

Battery life

xFyro ARIA battery life
xFyro ARIA battery life

The xFyro ARIA are the first genuinely wireless headphones I have reviewed that claim to last 8-hours listening time. Competitive headphones usually tap out between four and five hours. During my testing, the ARIA dropped about 20% in battery charge every three hours while listening to music from my smartphone (iPhone XS).

In addition to the already impressive listening time, you can get up to 32 hours of battery life out of the headphones by recharging them on-the-go using the magnetic charging case.

The charging case xFyro bundles with the ARIA headphones can extend the life of the battery by three hours through a 15-minute charge. That’s on the same level as the Apple AirPods, which have been the quick-charger leader so far.

Connectivity

ARIA Internal Components
ARIA Internal Components

Together with the Jabra Elite Active 65t, the ARIA are among the first wireless headphones that feature Bluetooth 5.0 technology. In comparison to older Bluetooth technology, the chipset used in the ARIA should improve connection reliability, the maximum distance between the headphones and paired devices, as well as data security.

During my tests with the first (defective) unit I had received, I noticed the connection dropping out several times while streaming music. With the second unit, I didn’t experience any significant connectivity issues, so far.

By using the latest wireless technology, xFyro managed to significantly reduce the audio lag that’s common with devices that use older technology.

One of the benefits of that technology is that the playback controls on my Apple Watch are as responsive as they are with my Apple AirPods. So far, all other wireless headphones I have tested experienced a definite lag when changing the volume, for example.

Water-resistance (IP Rating)

As far as water resistance is concerned, xFyro decided to stick with the same IP67 rating the company already used for its previous model, the xFyro xS2.

IP67 means that the headphones are protected against dust (6) and water if you submerge them for less than 30 minutes at a depth of less than 1 meter (7). You should probably not take them into the shower because are not 100% waterproof and they may not withstand water jets.

To learn more about the different water- and dust-resistance ratings of wireless headphones, check out my previous review of the best workout headphones for exercise and running.

Ambient noise cancellation & microphone

The ARIA headphones support stereo calling
The ARIA headphones support stereo calling

xFyro designed the ear-tips in a way to completely seal off the ear canal. As a result, the ARIA headphones effectively block ambient noise using what’s called passive noise cancellation. That’s different and less effective than active noise-cancellation that Bose uses for the Bose QuietComfort 35. But active noise cancellation requires extra battery juice and electronics, and as a result, you typically don’t find that feature in wire-free headphones.

xFyro claims that the microphone the company built into the ARIA headphones uses similar dual-beamforming technology that Apple has leveraged for the AirPods. That should result in improved speech quality and less background noise when making phone calls.

The major complaint I had with the first-generation of ARIA headphones was the miserable microphone quality. However, I’m glad to report that the second unit I received worked much better.

I still prefer using my AirPods over the ARIA when making phone calls. However, the microphone of the ARIA is very much usable, even if you are in a noisy environment.

Here is a test recording of the first-generation ARIA vs. the second unit I received. You can clearly tell how much better the microphone worked in the second recording.

Speaking of making calls, the ARIA support stereo calling. That means you can use both earbuds simultaneously when making phone calls. The only other headphones that support stereo calling are Apple’s AirPods. Every other brand supports mono calling, which means you’ll only hear audio in one ear when making phone calls.

Playback controls

Adding playback controls to tiny wireless earbuds is challenging and makes water-proofing them more difficult. Apple was the first company introducing tap controls instead of physical buttons.

Initially, xFyro had planned to follow suit by using only touch sensors to enable playback controls on the ARIA. However, the review unit I received uses regular buttons for playback control.

The original button layout of the xFyro ARIA was confusing, in my opinion – see below.

Right earbud controls:

  • Increase volume: Single click (while playing)
  • Play: Single click (while paused)
  • Pause: Double-click
  • Skip track (forward): Long-press

Left earbud controls:

  • Decrease volume: Single click (while playing)
  • Play: Single click (while paused)
  • Siri/Google Assistant: Double click
  • Skip track (back): Long-press

For the second unit I received, xFyro changed the button layout as shown below. Despite the revamped controls, the updated review unit I received had an old manual that didn’t reflect the actual control layout. If that also happened to you, here is a PDF with the correct layout.

Right earbud controls:

  • Increase volume: Double-click
  • Play: Single click (while paused)
  • Pause: Single click (while playing)
  • Skip track (forward): Press and hold
  • Power on/off: Long-press

Left earbud controls:

  • Decrease volume: Double-click
  • Siri/Google Assistant: Single click
  • Skip track (back): Press and hold
  • Power on/off: Long-press

Apple’s AirPods are, in comparison, more limited and only allow you to assign a single control to each AirPod. For everything else, you have to use Siri, which won’t work if you are offline.

Automatic Pairing

The term automatic pairing is a bit misleading, in my opinion, because the initial pairing of the headphones to your device doesn’t happen automatically. Only Apple’s AirPods are capable of doing that via their tight integration into iOS.

The xFyro ARIA, Jabra Elite Active 65t, and Jaybird RUN on the other hand automatically connect and disconnect when you take them out or put them back into their charging case. Still, that’s an incredibly convenient feature because it means that you won’t have to turn them on and off manually.

The only downside of these earbuds is that they don’t support multi-point connections. So if you want to pair them with multiple devices, you have to switch them into pairing mode each time you want to change the connection.

Support for Voice Assistants

xFyro ARIA key features
xFyro ARIA key features

Much like other earphones, the ARIA provide full support for summoning Siri or the Google Assistant.

Pricing

The xFyro wireless earphones are currently available for pre-order via Indiegogo at a reduced price of $109, which is much cheaper than any of its competitors. Once the funding campaign on Indiegogo has ended, xFyro plans to sell them for $200, which puts them above its competitors.

Frankly, I don’t think these headphones are worth $200, so we shall see if xFyro is planning on following through with that price increase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pair the ARIA with an Android tablet?

Yes, the ARIA work with pretty much all Bluetooth-enabled devices, including iPhone, Android, and various tablets.

Do the ARIA come with memory foam tips?

No, the ARIA have rubber ear tips of various sizes. So you can pick the size that best fits your ear canal.

How is the sound signature of the ARIA?

I’m not an audiophile, but I like the sound of these earbuds. It’s lacking some bass and the sound is not very loud. That makes it sometimes hard to hear vocals if you are in a noisy environment, such as an airport.

xFyro ARIA Wireless Earbuds Review

I was genuinely excited to get my hands on the xFyro ARIA headphones because, on paper, they looked better than any other wireless sports headphones on the market.

After having had a chance to test xFyro’s headphones, I think that the company delivered on most of its promises. While the sound of these true wireless earbuds is reasonable, and I like the magnetic charging case, battery life, and comfort, the build quality of the quality of materials xFyro used is slightly below of what I expected.

Based on all the feedback I have received from others and my experience with the first review unit, it appears as if xFyro had some initial manufacturing issues that resulted in defective units being released.

Those problems seem to be fixed now, and I appreciate how quickly the company has responded to those complaints. Overall, I consider the xFyro ARIA solid headphones that are worth a hundred bucks and that have some room for improvement.

Did you order the xFyro ARIA? If so, let me know if you enjoy them, and if you think they are worth the money!

65 thoughts on “xFyro ARIA Review – High Expectations & Mixed Execution”

  1. I just got mine today (out of the blue, I ordered them mid-November 2018) and was really excited to give them a whirl.

    Side note: While awaiting shipping I acquired a pair of 1st gen AirPods and have been generally pleased with them for video conferencing but the audio quality was lacking due to poor fit, and they fall out when eating (so no audiobooks over lunch…).

    Back to the ARIAs. First attempt to pair was silly, they both just blinked blue with no flashing blue/red as the instructions say. Also, no YouTube video as indicated in the instructions. Boo. Anyway, hard power off to both, then turned them on, and in a moment they did as advertised and I paired to my 1st Gen iPad Pro 12.9 (only BT4, not BT5). Sound quality was much better than airpods due to the noise isolation, but they were uncomfortable to wear after an hour or so. Also, viewing YouTube videos had a very noticeable audio lag (you see something explode, and then hear it explode a tick late, etc.).

    Going to swap out ear tips and pair with my iPhone XS Max (BT5) and see if the lag is still there.

    FYI, materials feel significantly “cheaper” than the AirPods…less solid, more plasticky. That’s a right good technical term there.

    Reply
  2. This is a scam, do not buy it! Everyone is waiting for 6-10 months and rather than spend money on proper systems to be able to handle existing customers and tell them when they are going to get their ear buds delivered, they’re spending lots of money on attracting new customers and getting reviews. DON’T fall for it. Read a few comments on the indiegogo page…

    Plenty of great ear buds out there from companies that don’t treat you like sh** once you’ve paid.

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      Almost every Indiegogo campaign I follow these days is called a scam because the product is delayed or doesn’t exactly have the specs that the inventors were shooting for. That’s the risk you take when backing a campaign. Many inventions fail and some come out different to what was planned. That’s not a scam – it’s the nature of the biest. The second set of earbuds I received from xFyro were pretty decent and close to what they advertised.

      I’m sorry if you had a bad experience with the xFyro campaign, but that doesn’t make it a scam.

      Cheers
      Michael

      Reply
      • Hi, I got one of the first ARIAs, and I am experiencing the same issues like you with your first ones. Do you know if I could get new ones? My ARIAs dont even Connect any more :(

        Reply
        • Hi Sebastian: I’d recommend you reach out to xFyro and ask them. I’d assume your headphones are under warranty.

          Reply
  3. I was also fairly disappointed in the purchase of these, except that I managed to snag a discount deal and “only” paid $80.

    That was based on an order date in June 2018…they were just delivered in mid-March 2019. Not acceptable! I never even got a shipment confirmation. They just showed up.

    When I ordered, they appeared to be more advanced than most truly wireless earbuds on the market (discounting the goofy looks of the AirPods). Unfortunately for xFyro, the market doesn’t stand still while you finish the detail work. Now, I would consider them middle-of-the-road on features/capabilities.

    As others have stated, the button controls are not as advertised in the user manual. Here’s what I have been able to figure out:

    Right button, single press to play or pause music

    Left button, single press to start or end voice assistant

    Right button, double press to increase volume

    Left button, double press to decrease volume

    Right button, long press to skip to next track

    Left button, long press to back-up one track

    Either button, hold down to power-off that earbud (they still charge while in the case, if the case is powered-on, but they do not “automatically pair” when you take them back out)

    I actually haven’t tried a phone call yet, but expect those controls to be as written.

    I inquired, after ordering, if multi-point Bluetooth connections would be possible and was told it would not be. I have confirmed this to be true. Even more disappointing is that you can’t “steal” the connection from one device to another as I enjoyed with my BeatsX earbuds. Instead, you need to disable Bluetooth on the first device and wait for the ARIAs to say “Pairing”. Then initiate a connection on the second device. It’s workable, if you are prepared for it. But, it can prove to be a pain if you forget to “unpair” from the tablet in your backpack and need to use them with your phone.

    Audio quality is marginal, but I will say it is improving as the drivers break-in.

    Fit for me is fine, and I can get a good seal with minimal fuss and no obvious worry about them falling out. I even removed the rubber loops and found them more comfortable, but YMMV. I also tried them while laying on a pillow, and was completely comfortable.

    Reply
  4. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for the review! Just got my pair on the mail. I’m somewhat disappointed as well, though maybe for different reasons.

    I didn’t have problems using the mic for a phone call at the airport, which is a plus. No complaints on connectivity or battery life either. However, I feel the bass response of the xFyro as not as good as competing ear buds; they seem to be optimized for spoken voice, rather than music. I use Spotify for my music and, for the life of me, I’m unable to get the controls to do what they’re supposed to… they function very similarly to the Airpods.

    And, honestly, if I had known I would have to wait half a year after the estimated delivery date… I would’ve just gone with the Airpods. They missed a birthday (2 months after deliv date), anniversary, Christmas, and New Year…

    Reply
  5. I just received mine. I’ve been using the Bose earbuds but the wire is annoying and I wanted to try a pair I could use when swimming. I have had them for only 3 days but am frustrated with the audio dropping out when paired with my MS Surface… haven’t had an issue when paired with my iPhone. Button controls are confusing – the only thing I have successfully been able to accomplish with the buttons is to power on/off, pause and un-pause play by pressing the right earbud button and that’s it. Pressing the left one brings up voice calling option but haven’t figured that out. Volume isn’t affected by buttons. Wish the voice didn’t sound like a tinny computerized woman’s voice with strange accent. Sound was good when it played but not exceptional. Hoping to have a positive edit to this post in a few days – if I figure out what I’m doing wrong (assuming that the problem is user error).

    Reply
  6. I just got mine and the majority of the functions listed in the user manual don’t function as written. I have not been able to control the volume at all using the touch controls. Every-time I push once it just tries to voice dial. The volume is ok, but no base. They do fit pretty well and in a super quiet environment people could hear me. Haven’t tried to talk on them outside or in a noisy environment. I have tried / purchased several crowd funded headphones and none have been close to what was advertised. I got a pair of $39 ones on Amazon and they have been the best so far. So darn disappointed in these too. The case is a very nice small size. Xyfro seems to have no support via the web or phone.

    Reply
  7. Completely agree. They don’t worth the price at all. If I can add something, the sound quality is incredibly low, as too low is the maximum volume allowed. Not to speak about the inexistent bass and the dry-out high sounds.

    Reply
  8. Ordered 3 pairs only got 2 overs 6 months after I ordered. Super short battery life 3-4 hours barely after charging for a full evening. Very uncomfortable for long periods of wearing time and easily fall out if your active. Haven’t tried water yet but I’ve read the sound stops and restarts if your submerged. I couldn’t imainge them staying in very well while swimming and them being wet as they don’t fit very securely as is.

    Reply
  9. Hi Michael
    I would never recommend those earbuds.
    I am am waiting for more that 4 months of delivery and never got it. According to customers that revived them the battery time is 2-3 hours and a lot of disconnections . Please go to the Indiegogo page and read the comments.

    Reply
    • Hi Shlomy: Thanks for your feedback! I’m supposed to receive my ARIA shortly and will test them then. Based on my findings, I’ll update my review and recommendation.

      Reply
    • The battery life of mine is actually much better than expected and advertised. But the ARIA fall short in many other areas – see my updated review.

      Reply
  10. I’ve received mine. VERY disappointing. Issues with build quality, connectivity, connection drop outs, poor microphone and worst of all, considering the 16mm driver, the sound quality is really thin, with almost no bass. I’d question the so-called superior tech supposedly inside these…they work less well than my 3 year old Philips ‘wired’ wireless buds. Save your money and go elsewhere. $100 of disappointing. Oh, and reporting issues you have to go via Indiegogo and not Aria direct and its taken them two weeks to reply..and then its just a ‘we’re gathering all feedback to submit to Xfyro engineers’. Really poor.

    Reply
  11. Dear Michael, I just want to know if this is a sponsored article? I think it is a bit misleading to call something a review which is solely based on marketing statements. I really like the idea of this headphones, but I am a little bit doubtful when it comes to kickstarter/indigogo campains.
    No offence, but I think you should state it more clearly (in the heading), that this are just assumptions.

    Regards from Austria, Philip :)

    Reply
    • I didn’t get paid to write the article, but I was promised an actual review unit once they start shipping (now…ish). I did mention in the third paragraph, however, that I’m not in possession of the headphones yet: “As of June 2018 it’ll still be 1-2 months before I’ll receive a review unit of the ARIA headphones and until then, this review is based on specifications”

      There is no space in the heading to convey this information, and frankly, it’s counter-productive from an SEO perspective :)

      Liebe Grüsse aus Atlanta!

      Reply
    • I have been trying to get a date from xFyro, but so far without success. I’ll make sure to update the article and send an announcement via my newsletter once I do. So make sure to check back or sign up.

      Reply
  12. Hey. I purchased a pair of buds on 9/12/18. I am looking through my emails and cannot find any confirmation. I looked at my bank statement and saw that $109 was deducted. Just wondering how I can track this. Thanks. Tommy

    Reply
  13. I am very much considerinng jumping in on the early-bird in Indiegogo, but the sound quality is going to be HUGE for me. I can’t pull the trigger until I know. Will you have your review pair before the campaign ends for early adopters? I’m also understandably concerned with xFyro as a brand. Most of their headphones have questionable quality per Amazon reviews, and they have also never shown up in any top 10 reviews/lists before. Seems risky.

    Reply
    • Hi Alexander,

      I have not received a firm delivery date on my review unit. But I can tell you that the previous xFyro headphones I had, did not have any quality issues and the sound was as expected.

      Reply
  14. Hi,
    Im wondering if the noice comes after the video when watching video. The only earbuds I know that dont do this is the AirPods

    Reply
  15. Hey there Michael,
    I was wondering if you have received the Aria already? Looking forward to hear some feedback from someone who have use it.

    Reply
  16. this is very useful. i just placed my order. looking forward to receiving it soon and share the experience.

    Reply
  17. Any idea if these are too bulky to lay my head on a pillow with them on? I like to fall asleep to audiobooks and currently use a cheapie pair from amazon that don’t bother me laying on a pillow, but the 8 hours of the ARIA really is enticing. Also how sensitive are the touch controls? I don’t want to have to worry about making a phone call in the middle of the night with an accidental press (always wondered why this feature couldn’t be disabled).

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Rick,

      I’ll let you know as soon as I have gotten some hands-on experience with the ARIA. So stay tuned!

      Reply
    • Hi Rick! The ARIA stick out too far from my ears and so I don’t think you’d be able to sleep with them.

      Reply
  18. Hi Michael Would it be possible to swim with the waterproof earbuds, with the head completely submerged in water?

    Reply
    • You can submerge the ARIA for up to 30 minutes in water at a depth of 1 meter. So technically, swimming should be fine, but the force of the water may still lead to water entering the headphones. So casual swimming is likely ok, competitive swimming and high speeds could be an issue.

      Reply
  19. Do these provide an audio pass-though option, where you are able to hear sound from your environment through the earbuds?

    Reply
    • They are not noise-canceling, only noise isolating, so I don’t think they’ll have voice pass-through. But you should still be able to hear, at least while not playing music.

      Reply
      • Thanks. I found comments on their indiegogo page that pretty much confirm your answer, too. (xFyro dodged the question without answering it, so I’ll take that as confirmation that they don’t have the feature.)

        Reply
  20. Hi Michael! As usual, a great review for understanding if only a pre-release review.

    What I want to know from your actual product review when it comes, is how these xFYRO ear buds will do with wind noise while cycling. Since I cycle for exercise, that’s the most important thing for me and I haven’t found any in-ear or ear buds that don’t create a lot of wind noise.

    Reply
    • Hi Daniel,

      I suspect the ARIA will perform similarly to other in-ear headphones that provide passive noise-cancellation by sealing off the ear canal. In fact, using headphones of that type, I haven’t had any issues with wind noise while biking. But I’ll make sure to try them on the bike and share my finding in the article.

      Reply
      • There is a simple device that reduces wind noise: it’s called Cat Ears. Fuzzy wraps applied to the helmet strap just in front of the ears. Works surprisingly well.

        Reply

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