Jaybird Freedom Wireless
The fifth-generation Jaybird Freedom’s biggest feature happens to be its smallest detail – instead of traditional-looking round buds with lumpy housings, the new Freedom Wireless earpieces uses a tapered stem-like design. It is accentuated by a touch of sand-blasted metal along the bend leading into the ears. Physically, it has a low visual profile, and it doesn’t look very fashion- forward nor does it stand out amongst the usual in-ear headphones.
The wireless aspect of the whole device, however, sells the Freedom’s form factor very well. The ear bud housing is nowhere as bulky as the older Freedom Sprint or the Jaybird X2, as the Freedom Wireless headphones opted to have the bulk of the controls on a pill-shaped controller along its cable. Combined with its thin cable, the Freedom Wireless appeals to folks who like subtlety, which is a nice move away from typically gaudy sports ear buds.
The Freedom Wireless did not compromise its fit or comfort to achieve a stealthy look. The slim profile of its entirety plays well into the lightweight, fuss-free user experience, and the controller doesn’t throw the ear bud’s balance oﬀ when worn, but its placement proves a little challenging for head-turning if you’re wearing a collared top. Besides the memory-foam and silicone ear buds in three diﬀerent sizes, Jaybird also provides optional ear fins that help secure the buds during rigorous movement. Expectedly, the device is sweat-resistant. Pairing the device to your phone is a simple process. It uses a Bluetooth connection, and the Jaybird Freedom is active once it’s linked up.
By default, the Jaybird Freedom uses a flat sound profile. This is highly customizable via their proprietary MySound app, which acts a repository of customized equalizer settings that are made by Jaybird, or submitted by users. Jaybird decidedly includes the audio setting preferences of significant athletes as a selectable EQ, but we preferred the user-submitted ones instead. Sound equalizer settings can be tweaked to a user’s specific preference too. By simply moving any of the five data point dots on its adjustable graph, it’s easy to attain a preferred audio profile (it’s even easier if you start from a ready-made setting and add your own flavor to that). While most audio products have their app as a nice-to-have tweak, the MySound app is instead instrumental to the Freedom, as it significantly alters its audio performance.
Sound quality of the Freedom Wireless has its hits and misses. As a whole, the adjustable equalizer played a huge part in making how one’s Freedom Wireless can become a truly personal audio device for everyone with unique audio tastes. That said, the Freedom Wireless doesn’t soar as high: audio within the higher end of the treble frequencies were slighted with mild distortion, and the bass definitely lacked a true punch. Still, it was amazing at handling the broader middle scale, with distinctive clarity that sounded clean. The Freedom Wireless should satisfy the general listening crowd with its neutral audio capabilities and highly flexible sound signature. We tried a series of EQ settings across our panel of typical review tracks and Hotel California by The Eagles certainly stood out, since we didn’t expect something so compact to have a tangible soundstage.
All in all, the Jaybird Freedom Wireless fulfills its part as an active lifestyle audio wearable in unique ways. It managed to make your generic wireless headphones better with smarter design, and it held up in the app aspect, where such wireless devices tend to not capitalize on. Packaged into a simple, classy design, with decent audio quality and ease of use, it’s hard to dislike the Freedom Wireless.
AT A GLANCE
iOS 9 or later (except iPad 2) Android 4.4 or later
4 Hours + 4 Hours from charging clip
20 – 20,000Hz