ISOtunes XTRA review: Continued excellence in noise isolation

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The ISOtunes XTRA, as well as the rest of the range, come with the company’s ISOtunes “TRILOGY” foam tips.

9.2/10 average rating

We’ve had a bit of experience with ISOtunes in the past and came away impressed each time. The ISOtunes XTRA seems to be a follow-up to their self-named buds from 2016, and it is a worthy follow-up. The company also has a variety of other earbuds available, all of which market their noise isolation abilities.

The ISOtunes XTRA, as well as the rest of the range, come with the company’s ISOtunes “TRILOGY” foam tips. These are basically foam tips made with material from **Comply. Now, back in 2016 when ISOtunes first started using Comply tips, they were one of the few. Since then, many other companies have jumped on the bandwagon, which is why the company has named its tips “TRILOGY.” At any rate, this doesn’t make the tips much different, but it’s the same basic idea for noise isolation. Read on for the full review of the ISOtunes XTRA headphones.

**EDITOR’S NOTE: Comply contacted Techaeris to clarify that the TRILOGY foam tips from ISOtunes are not made by them. We regret the error and our readers should know that Comply does not manufacture the TRILOGY tips.

Specifications

The ISOtunes XTRA has the following features and specifications:

  • 8-hour rechargeable battery
  • IP45 dust, water, and sweat resistant
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with 30-foot range
  • 27 dB NRR
  • Steady-state background noise canceling for calls
  • Magnetic multi-function earbuds
  • SafeMax™ 85 dB volume limit
  • OSHA and NIOSH compliant

What’s In The Box

  • ISOtunes XTRA headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • MicroUSB charging cable
  • 4 pairs of ISOtunes TRILOGY tips
  • 3 pairs of silicone double-flanged tips
  • Instruction manual and documentation
ISOtunes XTRA noise isolation
A nice pouch along with extra tips are included.

Design

The ISOtunes XTRA take a lot of design cues from the original headphones from 2016. These still have the magnetic ends letting the two buds click together, which makes it easier for them to stay around your neck. They’re made of high-quality plastics and rubber-like materials. They feel good in the hand and offer a premium build-quality with a rugged feel.

The ISOtunes XTRA were designed with the working individual in mind, such as construction, lawn care workers, and the like. They do have that look about them with the ISOtunes logo emblazoned on either side of the neckband. I never mentioned this in the original review, but I’m not a fan of the loud logo and wish they would tone that down a bit. Still, that is a very subjective complaint.

The ISOtunes XTRA follows the same basic control scheme as the originals. The two boxes on the neckband are where the batteries are located, as well as the MicroUSB port for charging. When you move along the right cable you’ll find the control box which houses the volume controls and the multifunction button.

ISOtunes XTRA noise isolation
Not a fan of the branding

Overall, this is a simple design. I’m not a fan of the loud branding, but the build quality is stellar and these will survive a good beating. The materials all feel of high-quality and the whole unit feels rugged and sturdy. I do wish they would have opted for USB-C for charging but it’s not a dealbreaker.

Ease of Use

Bluetooth devices have been around long enough that most everyone should know how to pair them by now. It’s as simple as holding the multi-function button (MFB) down for around 5-seconds, waiting for the ISOtunes XTRA to go into pairing mode, finding the headphones in Bluetooth settings, and pairing.

Operating the headphones is just as easy. Just hold the MFB down to power them on and continue holding the button a little longer for pairing. The MFB button is also used for answering, ending, and rejecting calls. The volume buttons are used for increasing and decreasing the volume.

The ISOtunes XTRA also has a DualConnect feature that allows you to connect them to two Bluetooth smartphones at once. This is useful if you’re using one for music and the other as your communication device.

Overall, most anyone should be able to operate these headphones with ease. There’s really nothing to them, they are not overly complicated and the controls are easy to figure out.

Magnetic ends on the earbuds help keep these in place.

Sound

The ISOtunes XTRA are suitable for most anyone who is seeking good noise isolation in a pair of earbuds. They do seem to market them towards industry though, given the OSHA compliant rating and decibel ratings on the package. ISOtunes is able to achieve good noise isolation due to its TRILOGY foam tips, which are made with Comply materials. These tips are very much like what you would find in a factory’s ear protection earplugs. This is why noise isolation is great on these earphones.

The TRILOGY foam tips do an excellent job of expanding in your ear and closing off all the gaps which, in turn, closes out the world. Putting these types of earphones in your ears is exactly like putting in a pair of earplugs. The diagram below explains how to get the proper fit to get the best results from these tips.

ISOtunes XTRA noise isolation
How to properly use earplugs.

Once you have the ISOtunes XTRA headphones in your ears and you turn on your tunes, the sound is really amazing. A lot of the quality of sound comes from the noise isolation properties. Because they offer such great noise isolation, the sound is enhanced due to less background noise.

The sound is fairly well balanced here, it’s not unlike the original 2016 headphones but there is some noticeable improvement in clarity and loudness. The bass is slightly beefier in the mix, but the rest of the frequencies feel balanced and well behaved.

Overall, the sound is great, better than the original 2016 version with some nice improvements in the overall sound.

These foam tips really keep the noise isolated well.

Reception/Call Quality

Nothing changes here, as I said in my 2016 review. Reception and call quality are second to none here. The noise-canceling microphone works great and, of course, having that noise isolation in the buds makes calls crystal clear.

Battery Life

The biggest improvement over the 2016 version is battery life. The old version would get you just over 4-hours of battery while these ISOtunes XTRA are advertised at 8-hours. I was able to get just under with an average of 7.25-hours of battery life. This was done with volume at around 50-60%.

Overall, battery life is pretty much as advertised. Your mileage will vary depending on volume, the distance between the headphones and source device, and the strength of the signal.

Price/Value

The ISOtunes XTRA are priced at US$79.99. This is a $19 increase from the 2016 version…BUT, with 50% better battery life and better sound. I think the price is fair for what you’re getting in these.

Wrap Up

ISOtunes has done it again. They’ve managed to provide excellent noise isolation, great sound, awesome battery life, and a great build quality in a nice package. The only complaints I really have are, no USB-C charging and the bold branding. Other than that, these are some great little earbuds with great noise isolation.

*We received a sample of the ISOtunes XTRA for the purposes of this review.

ISOtunes XTRA

US$79.99
9.2

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Sound

9.0/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.0/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Simple design
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Great sound with excellent noise isolation
  • Good battery life
  • Amazing price

Needs work

  • Not a fan of the ISOtunes branding, needs to be more subtle
  • MicroUSB charging instead of USB-C

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