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xFyro ARIA Review – High Expectations & Mixed Execution

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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!

About the Author Michael Kummer

I was born and raised in Austria. I speak German, English, and Spanish. Since moving to the U.S., I have lived and worked in the greater Atlanta area. In my twenties, I was a professional 100m sprinter. These days I do mostly CrossFit. I'm a technologist and Apple fan. I love science and don't believe anything unless there is proof. I follow a Ketogenic Paleo diet and intermittently fast every day. I'm married and have two trilingual kids. My goal with this blog is to share what I learn so that you can spend time on something else. Check out my latest Diet, Fitness, and Technology articles.

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  • Daniel Klein says:

    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.

    • 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.

      • charlie says:

        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.

  • Miki says:

    Thanks for the review ?
    Do you know if the ARIA will support Multipoint Bluetooth connections?

  • OS says:

    Does it charge with usb-c or the old school usb?

  • JC says:

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

    • 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.

      • JC says:

        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.)

      • Sam says:

        How does warranty work are they supporting cash on delivery

  • Gabriel says:

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

    • 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.

  • Rick says:

    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

  • SAI MANOJ KUMAR BABU says:

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

  • Shubham says:

    I got a advertising on Instagram that aria earbuds at 14$ is that fake or real???

  • Tommy D.. says:

    Do we know how many devices these can connect to at once?

  • Ton says:

    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.

  • Charles says:

    Hi Michael,
    Do you know whether ARIA would support AptX or not – and which CSR chipset it uses?
    Thanks!

  • Vilgot Rydberg says:

    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

  • philip says:

    do you know the date that this product will become available to pre-order?

  • Alexander Feht says:

    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.

    • 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.

  • Thomas Duncan says:

    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

  • Rakesh chodhari says:

    Hi how much more days till you receive your unit for reviewing

  • Rakesh chodhari says:

    What about now have you got any shipping date as the first batch is already shipped??

    • 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.

  • Philip says:

    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 :)

    • 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!

  • Cliff Nichols says:

    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.

    • Michael Kummer says:

      Hi Cliff! I tend to agree with your concerns now that I have finally received my review unit.