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Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Energetic sports buds but lackluster sound

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 has its share of strengths but a few too many weaknesses to be a serious sports rival at the price

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 wireless earbuds and charging case displayed by a pool
(Image: © Regan Coule/Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 has the bass and playtime to keep you exercising for hours, but it requires more conditioning.

Pros

  • +

    Strong battery life

  • +

    Powerful bass

  • +

    Sweat and water resistant

  • +

    Secure fit

  • +

    Responsive touch controls

Cons

  • -

    Bass overwhelms mid and high frequencies

  • -

    Below average ambient sound mode

  • -

    Unsatisfactory call quality

  • -

    Missing some popular features

Tribit MoveBuds H1 specs

Price: $89

Colors: Black

Battery life (rated): 15 hours; 5 hours (charging case)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2

Processor: Not stated

Size: 2.1 x 1.7 x 1.1 inches (per bud), 3.5 x 2.5 x 1.31 (charging case)

Weight: 0.38 ounces (per bud), 1.7 ounces (charging case)

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 is the latest release from the bargain audio manufacturer. These sporty buds carry enticing performance traits for the price, including aptX Bluetooth support, IPX8 water resistance rating, personalized sound via EQ, and some of the longest battery life we've seen from a true wireless model. The inclusion of an ear-gripping design and transparency mode further add to their appeal.

Based on specs alone, the MoveBuds H1 look well positioned to be strong contenders for our cheap wireless earbuds, best running headphones and the best sport headphones categories. 

Unfortunately, several missteps keep the earbuds from leading the pack, such as mediocre ambient sound performance, below par call quality, and average overall sound quality.

Read our full Tribit MoveBuds H1 review to see if these buds are worthy of your consideration.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Price and availability

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 goes for $89 and can be purchased directly from Tribit. Only one color is sold: black. Inside the box are a charging case, USB-C charging cable, six different sized pairs of ear tips, and a user guide.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Design and comfort

  • Sweat and waterproof
  • Bigger-than-average charging case
  • Secure ear-hook design

Protection was a clear focus for Tribit when designing the MoveBuds H1. These buds are composed of solid plastic and feature flexible hooks that conveniently wrap around the ears. Anti-bacterial tips are bundled to minimize any bacterial buildup in your ears caused by sweat, earwax, dirt, and water. Speaking of water, it turns out the MoveBuds H1 can function under up to 5 feet of water for an hour, thanks to the IPX8 water resistance rating.

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 being submerged in water

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging case is large compared to most competitors, but is still smaller than what’s currently considered the biggest in the category: the Beats Powerbeats Pro charging case. Its thickness makes for an uncomfortably tight fit in pockets, though you can always toss it in to a gym bag and not feel weighed down.

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 wireless earbuds displayed in their charging case

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

A secure fit is guaranteed with the hook and gel tips locking the buds on your ears. The buds demonstrated proper stability when running and performing lateral exercises. Having several different sized tips also helps users narrow down the best option for optimal fit; those with large ear canals will be grateful.

Our reviewer testing the Tribit MoveBuds H1's comfort and fit

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The oval sound port molds to the inner part of the ear, resting nicely on the concha during workouts. Fatigue does set in after wearing the buds for longer than 2 hours straight, but a 10-minute break is relieving enough to put them back on.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Controls and digital assistant

  • Extensive control scheme
  • Digital assistant operates smoothly

Tribit programmed a full suite of media controls that are enabled through single/multi-tap and long-hold gestures. Functions include playback, call management, volume, digital assistance, and ambient sound activation. The touch panels register input methods accurately for seamless usability.

It's a shame Tribit doesn’t allow you to customize the control scheme in the accompanying app. Something else that would have worked in the MoveBuds H1’s favor is on-ear detection for auto-pause/play when removing or placing the buds back on your ears.

TheTribit MoveBuds H1's touch sensor on display

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Users can easily turn on their native digital assistant by triple-tapping the left earbud. Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby are all compatible, and work flawlessly. Tribit’s four-mic array is intelligible and picks up vocals with precision, while also offering great noise reduction, so that each AI bot can better acknowledge verbal inquiries in rowdy environments.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Sound quality

  • Punchy, but bloaty sound
  • Hit-or-miss EQ settings
  • Supports aptX AAC, and SBC codecs

The best workout headphones deliver impactful sound to get your engine revved up before an intense workout, and some elite models like the Beats Fit Pro, can even balance out frequencies to suit your listening experience. The MoveBuds H1 accomplishes their goal of pumping out strong, punchy lows, but at some cost to the soundstage, and leaves mid frequencies sound congested with little room to breathe and high treble details are lost.

Before starting a 5K run, I blasted KRS-One’s “Step into a World (Rapture’s Delight)” and felt the banging drum beat bounce off my eardrum, which sent surges of energy through my body with every thump. I was thankful for the kickstart, but also noticed certain details were veiled (the ad-libs were practically absent). Not to mention the melodic hook didn’t sound as serene as it did on the other budget rivals like the recently reviewed $99 JLab Epic Air Sport ANC.

KRS-One's “Step into a World (Rapture’s Delight)” playing on the Tribit MoveBuds H1

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The low end becomes a bit overzealous when diving into tracks with heavy mid-bass presence. I found the introductory bassline on Alice in Chains’ “Would?” to be heavily reverberated, though I was pleased with the clearer bass response on The Killers’ “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” but the vocals took a hit in clarity.

These buds are set to the Default EQ right out the box, though you can change this in the Tribit app by selecting from seven other settings: Customized, Bass, Classical, Hip Hop, Jazz, Popular, and Rock. If only they were better engineered. You’ll get some extra kick out of the low end when enabling Bass and Hip Hop, but everything else sounds like shoddy attempts at sound personalization. I tried indulging in some Herbie Hancock during recovery time and the Jazz EQ was dull; the hi-hats and trumpet lacked depth and sharpness on “Tell Me A Bedtime Story.”

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 Equalizer with multiple settings

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

AAC, SBC, and aptX are available for high-quality streaming over mobile devices.

The MoveBuds H1 don't carry noise cancellation tech but manages to passively isolate external sounds very effectively. Rarely was I distracted when listening to music in noisy environments like the kitchen or backyard gazebo. Not even the loud construction taking place next door broke my concentration. 

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Special features and app

  • Lacks a wide feature set
  • Disappointing ambient sound mode
  • Users must create an account to use

The Tribit app isn’t stacked with features like Jabra Sound+ or Zepp control apps, although it does offer battery level indicators for each bud, along with the aforementioned EQs and a Transparency Mode. I used the latter during runs, and it increased my awareness by allowing some noise into the soundscape, but not everything sounded distinctive. For instance, Jabra’s HearThrough mode allows me to hear vocals clearly, whereas Tribit’s mode barely lets in any chatter at all. Specific ambient noises like the sound of a dog barking and landscaping tools in operation weren’t brought to my attention either, making the Tribit's transparency mode a bit of a let down.  

The Tribit MoveBuds H1 connected to the Tribit app

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The app does get credit for its clean, striking appearance. Navigation is easy too. However, I find it shifty that Tribit requires you to create an account to enable you to use the app.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Battery life and charging case

  • Category-leading battery life
  • No quick charging

Tribit wasn’t kidding when stating the MoveBuds H1 comes with the “world's longest battery life.” The spec sheet says 15 hours of music playback per charge. It’s roughly 13.5 hours when factoring in high volume and Transparency Mode. The Epic Air Sport ANC claims the same playtime per charge, but it taps out at 12.5 hours with ANC off. You’re also getting more than double the playtime of any AirPods model (5 to 6 hours).

USB-C charging on the Tribit MoveBuds H1

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging case can hold up to 55 hours when fully charged. No complaints here. But wireless charging doesn’t come part of the deal.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Call quality and connectivity

  • Muffled call quality
  • Stable connectivity

Inexpensive earbuds usually don’t make for great calling headsets and this is true of the MoveBuds H1. According to Tribit, these buds employ an “upgraded 4 mic CVC 8.0 configuration with noise reduction technology” to create crystal-clear call quality. That’s not what I got. 

Despite calls sounding loud and clear, muffling was a serious issue on all voice and video calls. My wife could only make sense of what I said if she found an isolated quiet spot — anywhere else resulted in unsatisfactory call quality and conversations needed to be continued over text.

A video call being taken on the Tribit MoveBuds H1

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Luckily, Bluetooth 5.2 performs up to speed for a reliable wireless experience. Range is slightly higher than advertised; you can get up to 40 feet in wide-open spaces instead of 32 feet. Connectivity is super-fast with the buds pairing to your last recognized devices the moment you open the charging case.

Advanced features like Google Fast Pair and multipoint technology (pairing to two devices simultaneously) are not available.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 review: Verdict

Where does the MoveBuds H1 fall among the top sporty wireless earbuds? It’s not a category leader, nor is it the top selection under $100. However, it provides enough performance to draw attention, and will appeal to fitness buffs looking to stuff it into a gym bag without needing to worry about regular recharges between workouts.   

Bass dominates the sound profile, producing lively lows that can help to stimulate a second wind when you're struggling to finish workouts. The touch controls work much better than you would expect, and the damage-proof aesthetics and secure fit give these buds a long shelf life.

At the same time, the MoveBuds H1 are flawed. The uneven frequency range won’t get the most from certain music genres and call quality handling and Transparency Mode need work as well.

At $89, it’s an attractive consideration at the price, but is up against strong competition such as the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC costing just $10 more.

Check out more reviews of the best headphones and wireless earbuds based on our testing. 

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.