Jaybird Freedom 2.
The Freedom 2 is an update to 2016’s Freedom Bluetooth earbuds, but it literally has just one change (well, technically 2) from the original. As far as I can tell, everything else from its design, to its remote, its charging clip, and even its drivers are identical.
Thankfully, the Freedom was an excellent sports headphone, and the Freedom 2 inherits its sonic characteristics. It does lean heavily towards the bass, but I find that great at getting the old heart pumping during a workout. Bluetooth connectivity rarely skipped out on me, if at all.
So what’s new? The SpeedFit cable management system; two larger plastic bits that make it quicker to tighten/loosen the cord. I wear it loosely under-ear during commutes, which makes taking calls easier. For runs, I’d tighten them for a really snug, over-ear fit.
I’ve read complaints from the original Freedom that the remote unit is too large, but it never bothered me. I even tried running with the extended battery clip attached. Because the cord held everything tightly to my head, I’d forget they were even there. The Freedom 2 lasted around 4 hours and 20 minutes at 50 percent volume, which isn’t the longest, but I think Jaybird hit a sweet spot in terms of size and battery capacity. The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 305 for example, boasts a 6-hour charge, but as a tradeoff , has a comically large control unit. Truly, it’s hard having to go back to clipping your headset to prevent it jangling about after using Jaybird’s SpeedFit implementation.
The Freedom 2 also comes with a new set of soft ear tips with integrated fins; the original Freedom featured separate tips and fins for more mix and match options. Luckily, the tips from both generation earbuds are interchangeable. For me, I loved the insulation it provided. It was so good at blocking ambient noise that I found myself rarely having the need to adjust volume when moving between indoors and outdoors. On the downside, it stuck to my ears like a leech and the suction made wearing the Freedom 2 uncomfortable over long periods.
At $239, the Freedom 2 is cheaper than the Freedom ($259) when it was launched, so you’re getting everything the Freedom had to offer plus the SpeedFit cable, which I find myself missing now that I’ve returned my review set.
The SpeedFit cable is really the only thing that separates the Freedom from the Freedom 2.
AT A GLANCE
20Hz - 20kHz
4 hours (+ 4 hours with charging clip)
23.4 x 22.4 x 6.2 mm (W x H x D)
WEIGHT (without tips/fins)
One of the best Bluetooth sport earbuds you can get your hands on today.