The handsfree functions worked well. People with whom I spoke on the phone found me clear enough.
Operationally there were few wrinkles. Both buttons were fairly light, so they could be pressed confidently and effectively without placing undue stress on my ears. Those few wrinkles mostly concerned the volume. At one point some content started which was way too loud. You reduce the volume by pressing the button on the left bud. My hand darted to the button and stabbed it a few times, only to find that doing that invoked Google Assistant. You have to pause between presses.
Meanwhile, pausing playback is not achieved by using the normal single press on the right-hand button, but by double-pressing it. That took a bit of getting used to, so I frequently found myself turning up the level a notch when what I really meant to do was pause playback. If these become your only or main buds, you’ll soon acclimatise yourself to that slightly different functionality. And it’s a worthwhile trade-off to get the benefit of having volume control in the buds.
I also would have liked some feedback on the battery level. The buds use a female voice to tell when they’re connecting and so on, but as the battery depletes, they give no indication of the charge status. Nor did my phone’s Bluetooth connection display.
There was no way I could get eight hours of use out of them. Closer to four was my experience before an insistent beeping tone and voice telling me to charge them started up. That continued for a few minutes before they shut down.
Amongst the advantages of Bluetooth 5.0 is the incorporation of LE – Low Energy – into the core capabilities along with and longer range. Of course, Bluetooth frequencies in the 2.4GHz band go only where they’ll go – typically, not through water – and LE typically means less power in them. So, when I put my phone (Huawei P30 Pro, which supports Bluetooth 5.0) on my usual front yard rock and went for a walk, I easily got close to 50 metres away without any loss of signal. Well, until I turned my head. Once my head was in the signal path, the sound stopped. No doubt to the bemusement of my neighbours, I spent a while taking a step here, a step there, walking backwards, turning my head, to work out the range.
It turned out to be quite reliable beyond twenty-five metres, except when I had my head just so, thereby blocking the signal. I had to get back to just on ten metres to keep the connection, regardless of head orientation.
Throughout normal use, with the phone in my pocket, the connection was completely solid. Pressing buttons often involved a moment of the sound losing sync briefly between the buds, but it would always come back within a second or two.
The xFyro Aria earbuds are fine units, practical and respectable sounding. If you don’t mind buying from overseas, they represent very good value for money.