Jaybird has grown to be a popular headphones brand after its successful Jaybird X earbuds. I reviewed the Jaybird X2 a few months back and loved the treble clarity and responsive bass. The Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Buds is now officially available in Singapore with local warranty and I received a review unit for tryouts and share my opinion.
The Jaybird Freedom earbud housing is insanely small, and the entire housing is made of metal, which offers a mix of sports and style. The removable ear fins ensure you get the best fit. The package includes 3 sets of silicon buds and 3 sets of Comply foam tips. Turning on the earbuds, I am greeted with a spirited female voice followed by a cliche music jingle.
Unlike the X2 where the earbuds are angled, I can wear the Freedom over-ear or under-ear style by adjusting the ear fins without changing the L-R channel orientation.
Wearing over-ear means the in-line control is right at the back of the ears. Cable clips allows me to tighten the wires to hug it against my neck so that it does not tug as I move my head.
Thanks to its small housing and huge ear fins, the Jaybird Freedom feels next to nothing wearing it.
MySound Smartphone App
The Jaybird Freedom is not just about the earphones. The companion MySound app tells you the remaining battery, in real time, and allows customising of EQ sound profile. The interesting thing is that Jaybird created a community to share the sound profile so you can browse and listen to how famous athletes listen to their Jaybirds. It’s literally putting yourself in their heads. I love the ability to customise my EQ profile with title, description and photo.
The Jaybird Freedom can connect up to 2 audio devices at the same time, and remembers up to 8 paired devices. I can now enjoy music from my dedicated audio player, Sony NWZ-A15, while connected to my smartphone, ready for incoming calls. Jaybird even supports connecting 2 Freedom headsets to a single audio device to share music.
Testing with flat setting, the audio sounds bright and transparent with slightly elevated bass response. Compared to the Jaybird X2, the treble of the Jaybird Freedom is more comfortable and the bass less heavy. Treble details are delivered effortlessly without paying too much attention, and the bass boom level is also just right without sounding too overwhelming. Sibilance is very well-controlled even at high volumes.
Having said that, you can use the MySound app to tune the EQ to your hearts delight using the 5-point to shape the graph. One nice feature on the app is that while tuning the EQ graph, there is an option to navigate your EQ history prior to saving. My preferred tuning is to elevate the mid bass to add warmth to the sound which makes it less tiring to listen. And it appears the Freedom is pretty capable of tweaking the treble and bass levels, thanks to the good audio drivers to start with. Using the app, I can quickly select EQ profiles to suit the songs on my playlist.
Try not to boost the upper bass as it may bloat up the sound. Oh, in case you are wondering, the app does not recognise other Bluetooth audio headphones, so you cannot apply the EQ settings to non-supported earbuds.
The one small drawback of such a compact earbuds is battery life. The Jaybird Freedom can only manage 4 hours playtime in one charge. There is a workaround: the charging clip is a mini powerbank that can charge the earbuds to give another 4 hours to match the X2. You can simply attach the clip to the in-line remote permanently to match the X2 battery life. The earphones will read out the remaining battery when it hits below 20%.
It takes 2.5 hours to charge up the earphones. Or if you are in a hurry, a 20 minute charge with the USB cable will give you 1 hour play on the earbuds and another 1 hour from the charging clip.
Verdict: The New Best Wireless Earphones
The Jaybird Freedom is the earphones to get if you love detailed treble for a start, and from there you can adjust the sound using the MySound app, making the Freedom easily anyone’s favourite earphones for sports or for fashion. Coupled with the flexible wearing options, connectivity features, and great styling, this is currently the best and most versatile earphones to own.
The Jaybird Freedom is not just about freedom from wires, but also freedom from choice: you can make the headset fit your needs. Use it in any way you want: for sports or for fashion, over-ear or under-ear, soft or heavy bass, warm or bright treble, connect to 1 or 2 devices, listen alone or share audio with another Freedom earphones. Highly recommended for the upcoming year-end gifting season, it retails in Singapore at S$259 with four colors: Gold, Carbon (Black), Blaze (Red, this review unit) and Ocean (Blue).
For detailed specs and online user guide, head over to the official product website: http://www.jaybirdsport.com/freedom-bluetooth-headphones/