Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Jaybird in any way, and this unit was borrowed from a friend. This review would be my honest opinion about this product.
I previously owned a pair of Jaybird Bluebuds X and after it died on me, I was on a lookout for another pair of Bluetooth earphones for use during my workout sessions. Without a high budget, I dismissed the idea of these sexy earphones and looked further for a pair of cheaper ones within my budget of 100 dollars. Fortunately for me, a friend agreed to lend me a pair to try out since he has too many earphones.
When I first got my hands on it, it felt like a déjà vu experience with my Klipsch X10’s but with a Bluetooth cable. These are small and light and they feature a slender shell much like the Klipsch X10/11’s giving off a sleek and premium look to it. These are made of metal and the sand-blasted finish do really make them feel and look “atas” (local slang for upmarket) They are passed to me in a nice small pouch with a magnetic closure and a smooth and soft touch to the exterior.
The earphones have a 3-button remote and mic on the right side of the cable and a cable management plastic piece to keep the excess cables flat and folded at the back of your neck. I used the medium sized silicon tips for my review but included in the package are the usual 2 types of silicon tips of 3 sizes, 4 sizes of silicon ear fins, and also a comply sports foam tips that are supposed to “stay” in your ears but to me, they are a bit more fragile than the isolation and comfort comply tips.
This pair of earphones are able to be worn down cable or over the ears.
My experience from using this pair of earphones with the cables “down” is that there seem to be too much friction at the base of the neck and when I turn my head during my commute on the train or bus, the earphones tend to get “stuck” and becomes slightly dislodged. With that I wasn’t able to focus on my music and tend to have to keep adjusting it. Wearing the earphones this way is not possible during exercise as I feel that the increased movement causes the earphones to get dislodged further. Previously with the Bluebuds X, they are mostly worn over ear and I can’t compare with the Freedoms.
Over the ear
This is the style of wearing that I use most of the time, especially while working out. They seem to fit better, stay better on my ear and also don’t have the problem of the friction on my neck. However, as the distance of the base of the right earbud and the remote is quite short, when I wear it over the ear, the remote tends to sit on top of my ear and it might not be as secure as I want it to be. When I wear my spectacles together with the earphones, there will be some discomfort due to the number of things congested at the top of my ear and whenever I shift or take out my spectacles, the earphone will be shifted slightly. Using the accessories like the rubber fins was a bit fiddly was a hit or miss but they stayed in my ears securely once they are fitted properly and would stay on even during my HIIT Workout.
This earphones was used with my iphone 7 plus and the source of music was from Spotify Premium on Extreme setting
Touted to have a “enhanced” 6mm driver, the sound of these are surprisingly unflattering, with the lack of bass and a veil on the highs. They seem to have slightly laid back mids too. IMHO, they have a similar sound signature to the original bluebuds ex but with slightly less bass quantity. However, music was still enjoyable with these as it sounded quite detailed and also not congested and messy on EDM tracks during the workout. Listening to Kodaline and Jay chou songs on them was also a pleasure.
However, the MySound app on my iphone was able to tune the earphones to my preference, ever so slightly but critically. With some tweaks, the bass was increased and also the highs sounded more crisp. I believe this is a smart move by Jaybird as we all hear sound differently and being able to adjust the sound to our ears would make many people happy. I would think that this app would be made available for our Android friends too!
The charger provided was a snap on dongle, which is able to give the earphones some extra juice when you’re out and it goes out of power. I found the snap on dongle a good solution as it reduces the need for a micro usb port and in turn allowed for a smaller earphone footprint.
Connectivity wise, they were easy to pair, easy to install the app, and drop outs happened but not as common as when I first used the Bluebuds X. Generally did not spoil my listening experience.
To sum it up, I believe these are a pair of premium quality Bluetooth earphones but costing a good 179.99 on the Jaybirds website, the price would make many think twice. These can be one of the best sounding and also lightest sports earphones I’ve tested thus far.