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Tong ZhangModerator
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Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds Review
      07/13/16 09:07 PM

The fifth generation of the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds is smaller and sturdier compared to its predecessors. The new design of moving the electronics from the ear buds to the control stick allows for smaller housing and metal protection to withstand the punishment from rigorous workout and training sessions. In fact, Jaybird has recruited some elite athletes to test and promote the Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds. The wireless ear buds offer loud audio, strong bass and decent mids; and the companion app that offers a variety of EQ profiles actually make a difference in the depth and characteristics of the original sound.



Design

From day one, the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds were designed to meet the needs of athletes and exercise enthusiasts during their workout and training sessions. That goal has driven the fifth-gen wireless ear buds to an even smaller and more comfortable form. The speaker diameter is 20% smaller than the previous version, and the tapered design ensures that the ear buds' low profile can accommodate those who wear bike, motorcycle, and ski and snowboarder helmets. The relocation of the electronics from the main housing to the control stick also means that the reinforced housing with metal tips won't interfere with audio signal. The result is the miniaturized ear buds and the many companion tip covers that come with the earphones. I personally like the ear buds with over-the-ear clips that ensure they never fall off of my ears even when I'm running or jumping. However, the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds never fell out when I tested it when I used the exercise bike and rowing machine. Be sure to try all the tips that come in the package including the gel ones, the foam ones and the fan-shaped ones.

Near the right ear-bud, you'll find the control stick that offers three button controls. The center button allows you to play/pause playback, receive and end calls and power on/off the headset. It can also redial the last number when you press it twice. The two volume buttons that flank the center button can also change tracks when you double tap them as well. The Jaybird Freedom also comes with clips that let you shorten the wire that connects the two ear buds, or clip the wire to the back of your shirt; giving you more flexibility on how you want to wear the ear buds. The Jaybird Freedom is sweat proof but not waterproof.



Features

The Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds have built-in Bluetooth 4.0 and works with both mono and stereo profiles. It offers some modern Bluetooth features including pairing with up to 8 devices and connecting with up to 2 devices simultaneously. The headset offers voice prompt for powering on and off, pairing and connecting, warning battery levels and more. It's very easy to pair the headset to smartphones, laptops and even smartwatches. We tested it with several devices and found it easy to work with all of them.

Audio

For ear buds this size, the Jaybird Freedom produces rather loud sound. And if you're an athlete who works out at the gym or in the field, you'll enjoy the big volume on the Jaybird Freedom wireless ear buds. The audio is reasonably clear for mids and highs, and it offers some strong bass. The tuning of the ear buds favors bass, which works well for workout music, dance music and electro and Rap music that have heavy bass. Rock music sounds decent but genres that require high levels of clarity, such as classical and instrumental, don't benefit from this wireless ear buds. The free app gives the ability to tune the EQ and offers some presets, most of which have heavy bass performance.



Battery

The Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds have good battery life for its size. The built-in battery on the control stick offers 4 hours of playtime; and an additional 4 hours of battery life comes from the included charging cradle. You can attach the charging cradle to the control stick when you need that additional battery. Just don't lose it since it's small and easy to misplace. Standby time on the Jaybird Freedom isn't great. It won't last a week of inactivity even though it goes to sleep automatically. The ear buds come with a USB charging cable that works with the charging cradle. It takes a couple of hours to recharge the ear buds.

Conclusion

The new Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds are great for exercise and outdoor activities thanks to the sweat-proof build and small and light design. The wireless buds offer loud sound and strong bass; and you can use the built-in control for media playback and voice calls. The Jaybird Freedom has good battery life thanks to the one-two punch of built-in battery and the charging cradle. It comes with several pairs of ear tips in different sizes, materials and shapes; and the low profile lets you wear the buds under your helmet. We like the five color options for the Jaybird Freedom. Audio clarity isn't the best and the list price is higher than many of its competitors.



Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Very small and light, sweat-proof, loud volume and strong bass, comes in five colors.
What's Not: Mids aren't super clear. Price is on the high end.
Price: $199.95
Website: Jaybird

Reviewed by: Tong Zhang

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