ISOtunes Xtra Review
Reliable Bluetooth earbuds with fantastic noise isolation for every handyman.
These are wireless noise isolating headphones made for a loud workplace. With ANSI certification and OSHA compliance, these are perfect for protecting your ears during work.
If you regularly work with loud machines or in noisy environments, the ISOtunes earbuds will block the background noise with a 27 dB noise reduction rating.
So, passive noise isolation is excellent, but what about other features?
Find out below.
PROS & CONS
- Fantastic noise isolation
- Waterproof and dust-resistant design (IP45)
- Comfortable for hours
- Good battery life up to 8h
- Better-than-average Bluetooth connectivity
- You can get better sound quality for the price
|Connection:||wireless Bluetooth 4.1|
|Cable length:||7.5 inches on each side (19cm)|
|Microphone & Controls:||yes (in-line)|
|Water-protection:||IP45 (IPX5) waterproof|
|Battery life:||up to 8h|
|Charging time:||under 2h|
|Wireless range:||33ft (10m)|
What’s in the Box?
- ISOtunes Xtra neckband earphones
- 3 pairs of Trilogy® memory foam ear tips
- 3 pairs of silicone double-flange ear tips
- Fabric carrying bag
- Micro-USB charging cable
- User manual
- + 1 year limited warranty
Comfort & Fit
The first time you take them in your hands, you notice they aren’t that heavy even though they have a neckband design (22g according to our digital weight).
And, thanks to super soft memory foam eartips they stay comfortable for hours.
Now they don’t come with any wings or hooks, so you need to wait for the foam eartips to expand to get the best fit.
You wear them around the neck, and each bud has enough wire to move your head freely. Very soon, you’ll forget you’re wearing them.
If you want to take a break, you can simply wear them around your neck like a necklace with the magnet earbuds sticking together.
When it comes to comfort, it’s a good design that fits workers from various professions, but wouldn’t be as good for working out.
Also, the in-line remote and mic are on the right side but to make absolutely sure which bud fits into which ear there are engraved small markings on each.
Another interesting thing are the eartips that come with screw-like thread inside. So, you “screw” the eartips on, plus it makes them stay on better.
Or that’s how they sell more of their own ear tips.
ISOtunes Xtra don’t have noise cancellation, but they do have fantastic passive noise isolation. Read more on that below.
The biggest reason why these offer superior noise isolation is due to massive memory foam eartips.
They’re thick and go deep into your ear canal while staying unobtrusive.
You can choose from 3 sizes of Trilogy® foam ear tips, the bigger you use, the tighter the fit. And, with a better fit, you get better isolation.
In case your workplace requires certified hearing protection, the ISOtunes Xtra are a viable option. They’re OSHA compliant, which makes them good enough by law.
These have a Noise Reduction Rating of 27 dB (ANSI S3.19-1974), which means you can expect up to 27 dB of roar removal (when using machines).
How do they compare to over-ear protective gear?
Compared to over-ear protective gear, the ISOtunes block out a bit less noise but more than comparable in-ear headphones.
Now, it depends on safety ear muffs you use, but if you want maximum hearing protection because you work in a loud environment, then high-quality ear muffs are a better option.
But if you want quality music and solid hearing protection, then the ISOtunes are the better option.
With Bluetooth 4.2, you get reliable wireless performance with the standard range of around 33ft (10m).
You can leave your smartphone somewhere near while your walk and work freely in your workshop.
We tested the strength of Bluetooth connection by putting a wall between our smartphone and the ISOtunes buds.
Many Bluetooth earbuds have problems with a connection through a wall but not the Xtras.
We got no disruption at all. But we put in a second glass wall in between (1 wall + 1 glass wall), and we got a spotty connection (but didn’t disconnect completely).
In the end, Bluetooth works better than on average, and if you get spotty connectivity up close, you probably got a faulty item.
Also, you should know that these don’t support any non-standard Bluetooth codecs just the usual SBC.
The 3.7V lithium-ion battery life is good with up to 8-hour playtime. While many neckband earbuds offer more than that it’s should last you a regular workday.
For those of you who work longer hours, you’ll just have to charge them in between breaks.
Anyways, the noise isolation works whether the battery is dead or not.
You charge it up with a micro-USB cable, and it doesn’t take more than 2 hours.
While it would be nicer if they had USB-C and quick charging, the battery performance is satisfactory.
With the IP45 rating (IPX5) they’re effectively waterproof, sweatproof and resistant to dust and small particles.
You can wash them under water (but not for too long) without damage.
The earbuds themselves are plastic with a flat rubber cable. They’re well put together and have rubber weak point reinforcement.
Also, the neckband is flexible but keeps its shape (covered with rubber).
They seem well built and able to survive the harsh work environment.
As for extra features, the ISOtunes Xtra come with in-line remote control and a noise-cancelling microphone.
You can make phone calls but not when working with the machines. Overall, the mic is better than with comparable wireless earbuds but still not as clear as a boom microphone.
Expect to talk normally during a break or when working on something that doesn’t produce a lot of noise.
Moreover, the 3-button controls work in general fashion. By a combination of pressing and holding the buttons you control songs, volume, play/pause, answer calls/call last number, power on/off as well as use voice dial (if supported by your phone).
Also, for Apple users, the earphones support iOS Bluetooth® battery level indicator.
Can I connect them to 2 devices at the same time?
Yes, you can.
It takes a bit of a process to set everything up but once paired, you can have them connected to 2 Bluetooth devices. There are detailed instructions in the user manual.
Together with a nice selection or eartips (3 pair of memory foam and 3 pair of double flange silicone tips), you also get a soft, fabric carrying bag.
It’s a useful accessory for carrying around the in-ears with the charging cable.
Because safety is the name of the game with these, they’re limited to 85dB of volume. You can’t get more than that to protect your hearing in the long run.
So, they’re not supposed to get as loud, but they still have plenty of output. Max volume is uncomfortably loud therefore you won’t want to listen at it anyway.
Thanks to airtight fit the memory-foam eartips provide, the bass has depth and punch. But they lack in treble detail and clarity.
A keen ear will hear some sibilance at higher volume, so these are no audiophile earbuds.
Nonetheless, for what these are made (as professional hearing protection with music), and considering the price (under $100), you can be more than satisfied with the audio quality.
It’s not like you’ll focus on sonic fidelity while mowing your lawn.
All in all, you’ve probably heard better, but it doesn’t take away from enjoying your favorite music when you go through a workday.
For a price of under $100, you’re getting OSHA-certified hearing protective earbuds with good sound, great comfort, and reliable build-quality.
Compared to over-ear hearing protection that can cost hundreds of dollars (those with Bluetooth) the ISOtunes seem like a more affordable option for a professional or amateur handyman.