Fairbuds XL headphones

Are you able to use them via cable without BT or Battery? (maybe also with 3,5mm headphone jack adapter)
I read, that it isn’t possible?
For me, this would be interesting in case of input lag for gaming…and also in general a must have feature.


I asked a question about direct monitoring in another thread about the Fairphone in-ears. They have a function called “Voice through” that allows you to hear ambient noise and your own voice. I’m assuming this is the same feature called “Ambient mode” on the Fairbuds XL.

With the in-ears this feature cannot be used in online conferences with Zoom or Jitsi Meet. My question to those who use the new Fairbuds XL is whether this is possible with them or not. For your information: The functions for switching noise canceling and “Voice through” on and off are deactivated for online conferences, both with the Fairphone and with the Ipad pro. You can test it if you start a meeting in https://meet.jit.si.

I bought the in-ears in the hope of being able to hear my voice directly through the microphone at conferences, is that possible with the Fairbuds XL?

If not, does anyone know the reason why these features are being shut down? Is it due to the hardware or software, is there any workaround?

I tested this with Zoom and with Jitsi Meet, in Jitsi I was able to get the “Voice through” mode on the iPad once, the second time it was also switched off automatically as soon as I dialed into the conference. In Zoom I never got the “Voice through”.

Hello dblake: You are one who alraedy got the fairbuds in this Thread.
Maybe it’s possible for You to test wether the Ambience mode works in Videoconferences like zoom or jitsi? that would be great!!!:slightly_smiling_face:

I can confirm you can do that (listen to music via Bluetooth while charging with USB-C). Unlike the Bose ones that I owned until now. I can’t comment on the battery yet (just got them yesterday).

That’s a bit subjective. I think the Bose headphones sound slightly better, or I prefer it. Bose sound is a bit clearer but not as heavy and loud as the Fairbuds XL. They are also lighter and easier to wear. I can’t comment on the noise canceling yet (WFH, and it’s quiet in my office). You are not missing out much if you get this instead of the Quiet Comforts. The sound quality is comparable, and the difference is a matter of preference. There is a Short Circuit video about them, and they discuss the lab tests for sound/mics, and they say they sound OK (not the best, not the worse). I’ve been a Bose user since QC15, and I now switch between Bose 700 and Fairbuds XL without feeling a big difference.

Yes. It seems like it’s possible with Fairbuds XL. I can switch between Ambient Sound & Noise Cancelling On/OFF while on the call. The ambient sound during the meeting sounds the same as it does when I’m not in a meeting. I can hear my voice picked up by the mics and amplified a bit via the headphones.


Nice style of music for the test =)

6 posts were split to a new topic: :de: Fairpbuds XL Kopfhörer

:de: german article at:

fairbuds1 - golem.de, german article

pretty devastating

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That Golem test is quite a contrast compared to the other much more favorable ones I have seen so far.
Anyway, I ordered mine now and will try it out for myself.


According to the golem.de test report, it shows what you can expect. Solid in all areas. One or the other can certainly be fixed with a firmware update. As I said… can be fixed, if I see the updates running here I would only buy the headphones if the problems were fixed.


I don’t see it that way. They compare them to a pair of Sony headphones that costs 100 euro more than the Fairbuds. That Sony pair sold for twice the price of the Fairbuds last year. That pair is Sony’s 5th generation in this segment (took them 3 generation just to get ANC right). Sony have more bass by default, so if they say the bass is weaker than a Sony, it’s not saying much.

You can get subjectively better headphones for the same money, but if you care about the values behind Fairphone, you will not sacrifice a lot if you chose Fairbus XL over others.

I needed a second pair for my PC and I was planning to get another Bose (QC 45) when these came out. I bought them as soon as I could and I don’t regret my decision. I was expecting them to be worse than they are. They sound quite OK. No regrets so far.

The article is right in some areas:

  • app is pretty useless as it is - I hope they’ll fix it with software updates (equalizer will be nice)
  • they are a bit heavier than competition (that’s the cost to have them repairable)
  • multi device connectivity doesn’t work, but the pairing is very smooth (I usually repair them when I switch devices and it takes a few seconds)

I can’t comment on ANC or transparency mode too much since I haven’t really tested that.


On a side note, Golem also spelled out the spare part prices:

Spare part Price
Speaker Right* 80 Euros
Speaker Left 40 Euros
Battery 20 Euros
Headband Base 20 Euros
Headband 20 Euros
Headband Cover 20 Euros
Ear Cushion 15 Euros
Speaker to Speaker Cable 15 Euros
Speaker Cover 6 Euros

* includes controls and chip

What sits where (picture from shop.fairphone.com)


I think the idea is okay. I care about sustainability. I don’t use wireless headphones on my PC. I use a Sennheiser headset with a Creative Soundblaster Z for this. I would never wear over-ear headphones outside. Seems a bit silly and I also wear glasses. If you want to wear something like that, you’re welcome. I don’t rate that. I would only wear in-ears myself. I never needed things like ANC and transparency mode. For me it’s like the lane assistant in a car, it is switched off immediately. That’s okay for the price. If Fairphone fixes the problems mentioned, these are solid headphones. Nobody needs to justify why they buy the headphones, what you have to be careful of today is always to buy the first version of something before you have read a review about it.

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By the way, there are also many more photos of the device in the aforementioned (German language) Golem review, not just in green, but also the black version. However, no new clues as to @oli.sax’s question “Where are the microphones?”. I now tend to suspect some of them in the dark gap in the speakers between solid green and speckled green plastic.

I always used headphones with mic; this type:

So I’m wondering if the Fairphone XL will fit my needs :thinking:

Anyway as always, I’ll consider buying it the day I’ll need new ones, and not buying new right now because “it’s new !” :wink:
Maybe if I wait some months/year I can buy a second-hand one half price on this forum… Honestly up to now I bought gamer’s headsets for around 25€, not 250€ :angel:


It’s working fine for me, having both my FP4 and my old phone connected to them, although it can only receive audio input from one source at a time, so if I have music playing via one source but then start playing something with sound on the other source, it will switch to playing the second source (some apps, e.g. Spotify, also automatically pause when it’s being switched away from).
It’s not going to be useful if you want audio from two sources at the same time, but if you have two devices that you both use regularly, it is easy to have both connected and it will just play the audio from whichever device you’re using at that time.

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Each speaker has a sort of oval shaped hole, seen in this picture on the top left of the earcuff.
If I have ANC or Ambient mode on and rub over these holes, I can hear it (in ANC it’s trying to cancel that out, in Ambient it’s amplifying it, but as it’s not real sound normally audible to me, it is noticeable in either case), so there are at least microphones in there, but I don’t know how many are in each hole.
I also haven’t been able to discover any additional microphones in this way.
The “hole” between the buttons and the “hole” behind the USB C port are LEDs, but the one in front I’m not sure about, it may be a microphone aimed at recording your voice (as it’s slightly to the front if you wear them as intended and aimed down, which is roughly the direction where your mouth would be).

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Good to hear. I spent zero time debugging. I think the multi-device connectivity it’s a hit-or-miss depending on your devices. I have issues even with the Bose 700, that’s the real reason I bought the Fairbuds XL.

Not sure why, but OS X (work laptop) is very clingy when it comes to audio and never lets Windows (personal PC) grab the audio.

Most probably it’s an OS X issue, not a Fairbuds issue.

hope the ANC is better than the TWS earbuds :slight_smile:

I don’t know about the TWS earbuds, but the ANC in Fairbuds XL does a pretty poor job, unfortunately. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I have a question about the USB-C to 3.5mm plug cable. I already have a similar cable for the “other” direction, i.e. from my Fairphone USB-C port to my headphone’s 3.5mm input plug (8yr old Teufel Mute). Would that cable work equivalently to connect the Fairbuds to inflight entertainment on a commercial aircraft (or any other 3.5mm audio source)? I’m pondering whether to get the Fairbuds XL, but my next trip is coming up soon, so I don’t know if there’s enough time to order the cable separately if it turns out the cable I have doesn’t do the job…

Regarding the location of the microphones I have guessed the same.
Maybe the more tech savvy people around here can gather some information from the picture that is shown in the Heise article.
Here is the large version of this picture:

Probably just one of the six microphones is used for the headset functionality.

But maybe we will find some explanation on iFixIT soon?