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Let’s say you were given the opportunity to get on a plane at this exact moment. You don’t have much time to prepare and can only take a few necessities with you. What are those items?
Mine are my passport, phone, credit card and a pair of headphones. I don’t ever travel without a pair of headphones, much less leave the house without it.
These have been going everywhere with me and maybe they will with you too…
The ISOtunes FREEs were provided for this review. As always, this review contains only my honest views and opinions.
Where to Get ISOtunes FREEs:
- The earbuds
- 3 pairs of ISOtunes Triple Flange Eartips (Small, Medium and Large)
- 3 pairs of ISOtunes TRILOGY Foam Replacement Eartips (Small, Medium and Large)
- Charging case
- USB Type C charging cable
ISOtunes FREE Review
ISOtunes headphones were made for hearing protection. Those who work in workshops, manufacturing, construction and any field that requires using machinery that’s very loud can use these headphones since they meet OSHA and NIOSH requirements and are ANSI certified to be used in the workplace. The ISOtunes FREEs also have a 22 dB NRR.
What does this all mean? Basically for those who don’t necessarily need the hearing protection, it means you can continue listening to your music or podcasts and don’t have to turn up the volume around noisy areas since the headphones block outside noises.
But here’s some info if you’re curious:
- OSHA – Occupational Safety & Health Administration
- ANSI – American National Standards
- NIOSH – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- NRR – Noise Reduction Rating
Directly from ISOtunes:
A Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is a measurement of the ability of a hearing protection device to reduce sound exposure for its wearer. Measured in decibels (dB), the NRR of a hearing protector must be determined in a lab approved by the American National Standards (ANSI) in accordance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). A higher NRR corresponds with a greater noise reduction ability.
I don’t have a workshop and don’t handle handrills or lawnmowers on a daily basis and you might not too. But that doesn’t mean any of the ISOtunes headphones aren’t for you. I’ve found the ISOtunes FREE to be handy for everyday use, and since travel is a big part of my life, it works for travel as well.
Check out this chart to get an idea of noise exposure.
Image Credit: ISOtunes
Who knew squealing pigs could result in hearing loss?
And here’s one in relation to travel:
Image Credit: ISOtunes
- Blocks out noise
- OSHA, NIOSH, ANSI certified/compliant (as mentioned above)
- Super simple to use and set up
- Noise cancelling during phone calls
- 1 year warranty
In a perfect world, you can shut out sounds for full concentration whenever you need to. Putting on the ISOtunes FREEs is the closest you can get to achieving that. If you don’t want distractions on the subway, in the office or while studying, these will block out those distracting noises. I live on a busy street and when putting them on, I don’t hear the consistent sound of cars and I don’t need to turn volume louder if I open the window and an ambulance with sirens blaring drives by.
As for the fit, the ISOtunes FREE comes with three pairs of ISOtunes TRILOGY™ Foam Replacement Eartips. These are memory foam earplugs that block out the noise around you. It also comes with three pairs of ISOtunes Triple Flange Eartips, which have not been tested for noise reduction so you can switch between both types of ear tips for the times that you don’t need hearing protection.
I find the flange ear tips to be more comfortable for everyday use like when walking on the street since I find I can still be aware of noises around me. But for the plane, or other controlled environments like inside the gym or at my desk, I switch to the foam eartips.
The ear tips come in three sizes so you should try both types and a few of the sizes for a few hours at time to see which stays in your ear best. I took it for a run to test its sweat resistant ability and it still stayed secure after all the sweating after my run.
Note: I wouldn’t recommend running with these. I could barely hear anything in my surroundings, which isn’t safe if you’re planning on bringing these to somewhere you’ve never been to before when traveling. So it’s best to use these in controlled environments like at the hotel gym.
The ISOtunes FREE will barely add any weight to your bag. The charging case is super compact and just 3 inches long and one inch wide. Check out how small it is in relation to some other travel essentials. (If you’re worried about losing an earbud, you can purchase single replacements.)
I’ve also had no problem with taking phone calls. If you need to pick up the phone, the earbuds are noise cancelling on both ends, so you and the caller can hear clearly without the background noise.
- Really loud voice when connecting/disconnecting
- Foam part of the TRILOGY eartips occasionally stays in ear
When connecting and disconnecting the earbuds to the phone, the earbuds will say “disconnecting” and “connected” very loudly. Same goes for when it’s turning on or off or when the battery is low. I can hear it say “disconnecting” even without having the earbuds in my ear. When concentrating on a project on my laptop with the earbuds in, I’ve jumped out of surprise when my music suddenly stopped and the voice said “battery low” super loud.
I tried each of the TRILOGY eartip sizes to see which was the best fit for me. During the process in just the first week of using these earbuds, the foam part of the eartip would remain in my ear when I took the earbuds out. So I’d have to take out the foam directly from my ear and replace it back on to the core, which gets annoying and also could result in losing the eartip when taking it out of my ear while I’m on the go.
When I first used the earbuds, the volume seemed quite low. I didn’t find this to be an issue, but it could be for some. It seems low if you’re used to listening to music really loudly. This is due to the SafeMax™ 85dB volume limit.
Direct from ISOtunes:
ISOtunes® signature SafeMax™ Technology ensures that our products won’t damage your hearing, even when used at maximum volume for the full battery life duration. That is why all of our earplug headphones limit the volume output to 85 decibels, making them in line with OSHA and NIOSH standards.
The ISOtunes FREE earbuds aren’t just a pair of earbuds. They are made for hearing protection and blocking out noise.
So if you’re a light sleeper and need to get some rest on a plane, put these on. Or if you find it difficult to concentrate while working or studying, these are also for you. And if you end up doing an activity while traveling that requires hearing protection, you have one with you that’s compact and easy to pack.
ISOtunes FREE Ratings
Where to Get ISOtunes FREEs:
How to Pair and Charge the ISOtunes FREE
If you’ve never used earbuds like these, it’s very simple to set up.
The earbuds come with a charging case. This is a sleek 3 inch long and one inch wide case that can charge the earbuds up to two times (for a total of 14 additional hours) before needing to be plugged into an outlet.