Fairbuds XL headphones

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.

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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?


Fairbuds XL spare parts are now available in the Fairphone spare parts shop:


How come the headphones support proprietary codecs but not the open source royalty free OPUS codec that was added with Android 13?

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I just received mine this week in the black colour. Overall I like the headphones though I hope they can be improved in time with firmware updates. The app is poor and I think that needs tweaking. Add a proper EQ for example. Finding the right Bluetooth transmitter has helped my situation as my U Green transmitter only worked properly for 8 hours then not. I got myself a Avantree Plus transmitter and that problem is solved. I would also like to see a choice of ear cushion sizes.

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Welcome to the forum and thanks for your input.

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The XL buds are fine. I really appriciate the repairability, through i never had any issues with the repairability of headphones earlier. The previous inear Fairbuds are a disaster though.
The app isnt open source, which could mean the that the longterm longlivety of the useability of the headphones isn’t that good.
Also i hope and expect some modularity for the headphones in the near future.
Larger earpieces for those that want it.
An upgradeable earpice with an additional usc-c slot to conect an usb-c mircophone to use as an good headset. Not being usable as a decent headset is a big minus.

Also would be nice if Fairphone releases the dimensions of the circuitboard then maybe maybe some 3-rd party circuitboards would come to the market. That would be cool.
The modularity of the XL is something that the XL buds has some true advantage if the would go that route. To be able to customise your headphone the way you like it, could also appeal to people that isnt into the whole right to repair and sustainability and in that way atleast expose them to the concepts of right-to-repair and sustainability of consumer electronics.


The missing extended mic is also for me a reason not to buy it. Hopfully it can be added soon, as I am in need of a proper headset for online meetings.


Just some random experiences having just received the Fairbuds XL today.

So far I have only tried them with my old MacPro (2009) desktop computer tower. Some of the following observations might sound trivial to the experts here, but to me there were some surprising findings given the Fairbuds are connecting to a 14 y.o. outdated desktop computer here.

  • All music playback functionality appears to work. The Fairbuds joystick button can control the computer volume without problems and also skipping forward and back between tracks and pausing. However …
  • Minimum volume level via USB cable(s) is quite high (computer’s USB-A out to extension cable’s or keyboard’s USB-A out to Fairbuds USB-C in ) and forces me to tune down volume not just on the computer output, but additionally in each media program as well, unlike through bluetooth (lower minimum volume level).
  • Most surprising for me: The sound differs a lot depending on whether it’s transferred via USB cable or via Bluetooth. The cable sound has less bass while the bluetooth sound has much more bass.
  • Nice find: If both connections are there, I can easily choose any of the two:
  • NEW find (28 July 2023): I received the USB-C-to-Audiojack cable today. Nicer sound (from old DENON receiver DRA-365RD) than with the USB-A-to-USB-C cable and works (as promised by Fairphone) without battery. Just switching on the Fairbuds XL (battery back in, of course) amplifies the volume level.
    BUT when (USB-C-to-AJ) plugged into the Fairbuds XL, the latter refuse to bluetooth-connect to the computer (original source of sound). When plugging in USB-C-to-AJ whilst bluetooth playing back, the bluetooth connection stops.

I have hardly tested it yet on any of the Fairphones I have here, just to the point where I could briefly test the four EQ presets on the Fairbuds app on my FP3+ running /e/OS. “Tokyo” is the “bassiest”.


I would like an external battery charger to charge spare batteries.
At the moment charging a spare is a real pain in the ass.

Check out this thread:

I have not tried mine on the Fairbuds XL battery, yet. But I see no reason why it shouldn’t work.
As I just realized checking the linked thread: I have actually tested it with the Fairbuds XL battery and it worked just fine. :see_no_evil:
Beware, though, that all those universal chargers usually don’t charge to 100% but maybe around 80% at most.

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I can await its invention. I may just keep my second for when this one kicks the bucket.

New testing, a third, indirect way to connect to the same audio source:

Plastic snapped

Perhaps using recycled plastic wasn’t the best idea. Mine has snapped while adjusting on my head.
Very brittle plastic.