Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Jaybird Freedom Review

Bluetooth headphones on joggers and gym goers are a common sight these days. It’s a great companion for working out. Jaybird is a familiar brand in this space, and their latest Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth headphones, or buds as they call it, aims to strike the right balance with great sound, comfort, and style.

The Jaybird Freedom was first showcased at CES in January this year, and after the brand was acquired by Logitech, it’s now ready to ship.

In a nutshell, the Jaybird Freedom is diminutive, elegantly designed, Bluetooth headphones with inline remote and microphone. They’re easy to fit even in small ears, and is work in a variety of wearing styles. It’s sweat-proof, of course.

Jaybird Fredom

There’s quite a bunch of accessories included in the box. First off, you get three sets of silicone ear tips, three sets of foam tips, three ear wings, two wire clips (for easy cable management), and one crocodile clip (for attaching to your shirt).

A charging base, as well as a short USB cable is also included. Finally, there’s also a nice carrying pouch to contain the Jaybird Freedom.

Jaybird Fredom

There used to be another Jaybird Freedom before this year’s version. If you happen to be familiar with that older one, well the buds on this new one is sleeker, slimmer, and has a more rounded off design. They’re small enough that you can wear the new Jaybird Freedom under a helmet. That’s how earbuds ought to fit, in your year instead of outside your year.

Jaybird Freedom

The inline unit is down the cable from the right side bud. It’s quite a sizeable, and perhaps a little heavy. That’s at least party because the batteries are housed within them, not inside the ear buds.

I often complain about minuscule inline remotes because of the difficulty in locating and telling apart the individual remote buttons. In the case of the Jaybird Freedom’s large inline unit, the buttons are very easy to locate and use. You probably won’t fumble with this remote and press the wrong button.

Jaybird Freedom

The battery in the headphones are good for around 4 hours of use. To charge, you attach the charging base, which interestingly, also includes its own battery which is good for another 4 hours. That means it’s good enough to attach the Jaybird Freedom to its charging dock, without connecting any USB cable, and let the charging dock top up the battery in the headphones.

Jaybird Freedom

This way, you can let your headphones charge while you carry it around in your bag. Then, at the end of the day, connect the USB cable to replenish the batteries on both the dock and the headphones.

There are different ways to wear the Jaybird Freedom, and you also get the choice between silicone tips and form tips.

I do love memory foams. The problem with Jaybird’s foam tips is that they’re using the sport foam variety. I suppose it makes sense given this is a sports headphone. But the sport foam seems to lack that memory part that I like, and which makes memory foams so comfortable to use.

Jaybird Freedom

The foam tips didn’t work for me, so I had to work with the silicone tips. They work as they should, and they work better in my ears that the form ones did.

Now, the fun part is to decide how you want to wear the Jaybird Freedom. You see, you have a couple of options. You could just stuff them in your ears, wires running downward, either under your chin or behind your neck.

Jaybird Freedom

This isn’t very secure, because of the weight of the inline remote unit. That’s where the ear wings come in. Now, trying to get the right ear wing size, and figuring out how to wear it properly could take some time. I’m not good with naming the various parts of my ear, and even if I did, you probably prefer looking at a photo. So the photo below shows how the ear wing is supposed to fit.

Jaybird Freedom

Some folks prefer an over-the-ear wearing style, as shown in the next photo. I ordinarily prefer wearing my headphones this way too. For the Jaybird Freedom, however, the weight of the inline remote unit makes this style not so comfortable, at least not for me.

Jaybird Freedom

Now, I’ve to tell you this, I keep talking about the weight of that inline remote unit. If you’re out running, or doing any sort of vigorous activity, that thing is going to bounce around a lot, and it will dislodge the ear buds. Hence, the cable clips are really important, and you need to use them to help carry and secure the cables.

A proper fit, as much as a secure fit, is really important. You won’t get the right sound if the headphones don’t fit properly.

Sound quality is decent. It’s quite middling, if I had to be critical about it. But one has to bear in mind that the Jaybird Freedom is a Bluetooth headphones designed for sports. You do get decent bass presence. The mids and highs are smooth, easy to listen, though lacking a bit of detail.

However, as I said, this is a sports headphone. If you’re running, those little details don’t matter. The bottom line is that the sound quality is good for what the headphones are designed for.

In terms of features, the Jaybird Freedom connects to two Bluetooth sources simultaneously, and voice prompts make it easy to use the device.

Jaybird’s MySound app, available for Android and iOS, allows you to fine tune your EQ settings, as well as provide battery level status.

The Jaybird Freedom should be available in Singapore at all Jaybird authorised resellers around 9 September for a MSRP of S$259. It’s available in gold (as seen in this review), carbon, blaze (red) and ocean (blue) colours.

Conclusion

For the fitness types, the Jaybird Freedom is a great Bluetooth headphone that combines comfort, sound and style.

Pros:

  • Sleek, slim design
  • Good sound quality (for sports)

Cons:

  • Inline remote unit is heavy

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