Real Audio Freedom, But At What Cost?

Jaybird Run.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Jaybird Run.

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During Jaybird’s launch cycle late last year, the Run caught my attention more than the Freedom 2 as it was their first attempt at true wireless buds. I really liked the design too. It looked a little blocky, but the silver trimmings gave it a hint of class, and they weren’t just for show. They’re the external antennas supposedly to help improve connectivity.

Using the Run, I found that they don’t fit as large as they look, and stays in place like a champ. Even the Freedom 2s popped out once or twice (due to my excessive sweating). The only time I’d drop either side of the Run was to snag them on my shirt at the end of a workout as I forget they’re still in my ear.

To further explain my surprise with the Run, it’s because the actual fit is rather poor compared with the Freedom 2. Each bud is much larger and heavier, they seem to just “sit” at the edge of my ear canal with no suction effect holding them in, and the thin fins don’t seem to lock onto any part of my ear. And yet, they magically won’t drop off ! Being true wireless earbuds, the Run is all about convenience. Once paired, you practically have no need to press any button ever again. Take them out of the charging case and they automatically turn on and link with your phone; put them back in to disconnect and shut off . You’ll get about four hours of playback, with two extra charges from the case. It also features fast charging, with an hour of playback for just five minutes of charging.

Audio-wise, the Run is more neutral than the bassheavy Freedom 2. While you can tweak its sound signature with the Jaybird app, my bigger concern was its lack of noise isolation. This meant a lot of volume juggling between indoors and outdoors. The highs also start to distort around the 70 percent volume mark.

Remember the silver external antenna rings? They didn’t actually help at all. The Run is still plagued by connectivity issues. Taking the Run for a run in town was a test of patience as playback was constantly interrupted with connectivity and re-syncing issues between left and right buds.

Ironically, the Run sounds and works best indoors, in a quiet environment, just like a neutral, open-backed headphone, rather than the sporty, outdoor product it aims to be.

Classy true wireless buds, but connectivity issues hamper overall listening experience.
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The case has a habit of popping open in your bag, inconveniently syncing the buds to your phone even when they’re not in use.



16 Ohm


20Hz - 20kHz


6 mm


Bluetooth 4.1


4 hours (+ 8 hours withcharging case)


14.3 x 19.5 x 19 mm (W x H x D)

WEIGHT (per bud without tips and fins)

6.83 g

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