5 January 2017

REVIEW: Jaybird Freedom Wireless Headphones

Free as a bird.

Yes, you can get yourself a pair of sports earphones which emphasise fit over comfort and sound, but why not get a pair you can wear all day long, even when “working out” on the sofa? To try a pair that seem to manage all activities that we get up to daily, we've been keenly listening to the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Headphones.

The headlines here are that these are a very small and compact pair of Bluetooth earbud-type headphones, designed both for intensive activity and also casual listening. You can see from the images, but they are of the bud-to-bud wireless kind, without any dangling dongle or lower neck base unit, as with a pair such as this. This makes them very small and light.

In fact, these are by far the lightest wireless headphones we've ever reviewed, despite the buds and remote control featuring quite a bit of metal. They are also exceptionally thin, with the buds being not that much thicker than the actual wire. The remote is also small, partly because it does not require a Micro USB port for charging, using instead a special contact charger which is also included in the box (along with a short USB wire to plug that into). So yeah... all very slim.

You can, however, beef them up. Included also are three pairs of silicone ear tips, three pairs of Comply Premium Isolation Foam ear tips (the squishy ones that mould to the shape of your ear canal), and four pairs of Secure-fit ear fins, used to better clip the bids into your shell-like. In the box is also the aforementioned charger, a standard cord clip, and two cord management clips which let you fold up the excess wire behind your neck, keeping the headphones as neat and as safe as possible. Oh, and a snap-closing carry pouch, too. Result!

Because of all that, once you have them on it will be difficult to tell you're wearing any headphones at all, as they really are that small and tidy. The lack of excess weight and wires means they are great to run in, but also for more energetic team sports when loose wires would normally be a no-no. They are also very comfortable over prolonged periods, and whether worn up and over the ear, or downwards using one of the fins to keep them in, they fit right, they fit snugly, and they felt very secure.

And the sound? Good stuff here, and despite the small size the drivers in each bud reproduced all genres of music we threw at them very well indeed. The snug fit (especially when using the foam tips) helped to block out ambient sounds, meaning music could be enjoyed at lower and far safer volume levels. Bass reproduction was surprisingly good as well, which is pretty important when most users will be selecting dance tracks to accompany their workouts.

The Jaybird Freedom Wireless Headphones also have their own app, available for iOS and Android. With it you can adjust the sound profile, not just for your current listening experience, but forever. The headphones will sync with the app and then retain the settings, so no matter what device you connect them to, they will always sound right. This is a very nice feature, and it's nice to know you won't have to fiddle about with the equaliser when you move onto a different device.

And let's be honest; they look awesome. They are minimal and pretty, yet also exceptionally functional and practical. The included accessories help to get your own bespoke fit, while the clever cord management clips help to keep anything as tight to your body as possible. Perfect exercise headphones, and excellent sound. Buy.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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