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3.5 out of 5 stars
JayBird Freedom Bluetooth Earbuds, Retail Packaging, Midnight Black
Color Name: Midnight BlackChange
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425 of 443 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2011
Color Name: Midnight BlackVerified Purchase
I have had the freedom JB-200 predecessor to these headphones for about 18 months. I loved the comfort of the JB-200; although I had to buy Acoustibuds to really get them to fit well. The JB-200 fit behind your ear, so the weight of the earphone was carried by the top of your ear, which is comfortable. I soak my clothes with sweat when I workout, prior to the jaybird jb-200 earphones I shorted out 2 other sweat-proof labeled headphones, including the hd-s9 motorolas. I loved the JB-200 earphones, I would have bought another pair, but they were end-of-lifed, and the freedom-fj3 is the replacement. My JB-200s broke because I am not careful with them, i dropped them several times, even once from 20 feet up onto concrete; I was not surprised when they finally broke.

I have worn the new freedom-fj3s 4 times. 1st with medium standard inserts, 2nd with medium deep plug inserts, 3rd with small deep plug inserts and gecko outer ear holders, 4th with medium standard inserts and small gecko outer ear holders. ... there are many options.

The 4th wearing with the normal plugs and the gecko strips was the most comfortable, but still bothered my ear. Maybe I will get used to it; definitely not as comfortable as the JB-200s.

The freedom fj3 do not fall out if you are using one of the gecko strips or the deep plugs.

I have not yet shorted them out from excessive sweat. (but even the hd-s9s lasted about 15 workouts till they started shorting out, so I'll make an update in a month.)

Sound quality: about the same as the JB-200. Base is a little weak, celerity is a little muffled, I would give them a 6/10 on sound ... if I didn't' sweat so much, the Motorola hd-s9's were far better sound, I would give them a 9/10.

Battery-life: more than 3 hours my longest workout so far with them).

I hope I find a more comfortable way to wear the freedom-fj3 earphones. I need music to get the most out of my workouts, and I prefer bluetooth. This seems like the best option currently available

UPDATE: owned for 2 months now

battery life seems to be about 5-6 hours (2 workouts at about 2.5 hours ea, battery wears out just about this time)

Comfort, I have found for me, I use the outer ear grips and the black earbuds, very comfortable. I am very happy with this purchase. I sweat a great deal when I workout, Jaybird is the only manufacture I have found which is waterproof enough not to burn out from the sweat. ... ooh, also I found my cell (android evo 4g) has an equilizer function. By editing the sound I am now much happier with the high range on these headphones.

Update 11 months: still work perfectly, no issues. I use them about 3 times a week while working out. I sweat heavily while working out but these do not short out... after i found the ear pieces which fit best, i have been happy with the fit. My only complaint would be i dislike the feeling of the cord on the back of my neck, so i let the cord hang under my chin instead.

Update: 1 year... exactly to the day! ... some failure on the headphones. The led is solid red, but the blue led still blinks. The headphones will still pair, +/- buttons stopped working as well. All was working fine until it wasn't.

Left an email for jaybird support. I will post the results.

Even if i cant get these fixed, I will still buy another pair; I still think they are the best sweat-proof bluetooth headphones.

>>>> support told me to follow warranty and RMA info on the site. Warranty is 1 year, so I am outside of this. I bought a replacement pair, these work well. If I get another year out of these with the abuse I put them through, I will be satisfied.

UPDATE: 2.5 years on the 2nd pair. These still work with no issue. I use the 3-4 time per week for running, cycling, weight-lifitng. Sometimes when running I have trouble keeping them in my ears; the sweat and the impact makes them want to come out. Still, I put a little pressure on them about every 1/2 mile, and they stay in.

Still very happy with the purchase.

**Recommendation: The case these come with is less than useless; it comes open to easily. For 2$ I bought a tin Gift card holder from Home Depot. This gift card holder looks like a tiny tool box, and is the prefect size to store the headphones safely. This may be why this pair has lasted me 2.5 years, when my first pair lasted 1 year...
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202 of 215 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2011
Color Name: Midnight BlackVerified Purchase
First, I have owned all three of these products. The reason I list the Nokia BH-505 is because they are my baseline for fit, bluetooth reliability and sound. They are in no way sweat-proof, but they do offer unrivaled signal and offer very good fit due to their extreme light weight and in-ear design.

Nokia BH-505
These are very light weight and have an in-ear earbud design, so the sound is superior to the Motorola S9 or S10. They are also lighter. They are not sweatproof, but I have worn them countless times in the gym when I do my resistance training workouts. I would not wear them during cardio workouts or out running because the greater amount of perspiration would cause them to short out. Their design allows for a larger, stronger bluetooth transceiver, so reception in an open gym is very good. I can routinely be up to 50 feet away from my iPhone4 and the signal doesn't drop out. It's a shame Nokia doesn't make a sweatproof version.

Jabra Sport
I jumped at these the first chance I could, but for a few reasons they ended up getting returned. The compact design is ideal for running or cycling, but the smaller transceiver puts greater restrictions on how far you can be from your music device. In fact, as many users have said before, you can't even wear your device on your left arm - you must place it on your right arm or the signal will drop out. This isn't a major issue for me, because I always use an armband when running so switching to the right arm is no big deal. When cycling, I place the iPhone in a handlebar mount, so signal transmission is not an issue (it is not passing through any part of my body). The fit of these headphones is not an in-ear design. Instead, it is meant to sit just outside the ear canal. This and the added bulk of the over the ear design causes a less secure fit when running and, when cycling, causes a large amount of wind noise/turbulence when cycling more than 10mph. The radio also seems to be of very poor quality as I could not find a single station despite living in a populous area.

Jaybird Freedom
These had everything I needed and nothing I didn't. They had no useless radio adding to the bulk of the units. They feature an earbud design that fit me perfectly with the larger set of buds. The gecko strips don't seem to help the fit for me, but the over-the-ear clips give them added stability when I go cycling or running. The reception seems to be slightly stronger than the Jabra Sport, but still nothing close to the Nokia BH-505s due to the smaller transceiver/antenna. The cord between the two earpieces may be longer than the Jabra, but it comes with a ring that you can move to adjust the effective length. The warranty against sweat is also an added bonus. Although if you look at the definition of a "lifetime" warranty as Jaybird defines it, it is for the average life of the product, which is 2-3 years. Still, this removes any anxiety I may have had about using it on long runs or rides on hot days. This one is the winner in my opinion.
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598 of 650 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2011
Color Name: Midnight Black
I've owned a pair of these earbuds for about a month. I bought them to replace an aging Motorola S9-HD headset. Comparing the two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges as they're completely different physical architectures, but here are a few things that may affect your buying decision of the Jaybird Freedoms.

Let's start with the things that are a plus for this product.

1. They paired with my iPhone easily, and re-pair each morning perfectly without any fenagling or necessity to cycle Bluetooth on and off. This wasn't always true of the Motorola headset.

2. The sound quality is excellent. With one exception that I'll talk about below, these are great for music or spoken word (audio books.)

3. They do appear to be impervious to sweat, although time will have to be the determinate of that. The warranty is for the life of the headset, so if they do go bad from moisture, Jaybird will replace them.

4. They charge really fast. I use them for about 4 hours a week and recharge them after my last run. They're charged and ready for the next week in under an hour. Jaybird only supplies a short USB cable for charging with your computer, but I've connected that cable to an iPhone AC adapter and then the earbuds, and they charge just fine. This will be important if you travel and don't take your laptop with you. Otherwise you won't be able to use them after the battery is exhausted. For the record, the Motorola S9 and S10 come with a plug-in charger, not just a USB cable.

Here are some of the downsides of the Jaybird Freedoms.

1. If you're exercising with an armband to hold your MP3 device, it really needs to be on your right arm. The Bluetooth transmitter for the the earbuds is in the right earbud and putting your device on your left arm will cause intermittent dropouts, especially when you raise your arm, e.g. weights. As soon as you open the package, you'll see a notice about this, but inexplicably, there is nothing on their website or product description that warns you about this limitation. The same warning comes if you're planning on keeping your device in your pocket, so be forewarned that you need to keep your MP3 relatively close to the right earbud.

2. The LED indicator on the right earbud is itsy bitsy teensy weensy. I'd venture to say it's the size of a pinpoint. Why the LED couldn't be more prominent is beyond me, but you'll need to know exactly where it is and what you're looking for in order to see it. I use a lot of electronics, and this is the smallest LED I've ever seen. In addition, there are only two colors (red and blue) so there is no way of knowing the current battery level with the LEDs. I assume the idea was to make the design as elegant as possible, but in my opinion, this is one of those cases of form over function.

3. These need to fit tightly if they're not going to come out, or be constantly fiddled with, during your run. Walking doesn't dislodge them, but running can cause them to slowly work their way out of your ear. I found I had to use the largest earbud and earpiece that came with the Jaybird and they now stay in solidly. I think I have an average size ear, based on other headsets I've used. If you have a large ear canal or ear, these may not work for you. The Motorola S9 and S10 are held in place because they are part of a rigid earphone assembly. My experience with the Motorola is that they would stay in place during a nuclear explosion. Not quite true of the Jaybirds.

4. Terrible packaging. I know that Jaybird would dispute this statement, but I had a great deal of trouble figuring out how to open the package and get to the earphones. The clear tape that secures the plastic cover isn't at all evident (it's along the top edge), so it takes some searching to figure out where to slice it to get the plastic cover off the the package. The problem is compounded because the instructions are jammed tightly between the box and the plastic cover, and it needs to be removed to get the plastic off. That's assuming that you've figured out that the black wedge actually is a printed brochure. If the idea was to emulate Apple in elegant packaging, this one is a dismal failure. If the packaging was outsourced to a design firm, I'd fire them tomorrow. Apple wannabes.

I don't know how good Jaybird's customer service is or isn't since I haven't had to use it, but when I tried to submit this review on their website, it never got published. It's interesting since there are several reviews there that tell of problems that customers have had with the headset, including bad wiring and outright failure. If a company is too defensive about customer feedback, especially when they ask for customer reviews, it makes me a bit suspicious about how good their customer service really is, or isn't. From what I can see and have read, they're responsive to defective products, but they're unwillingness to publish a critical overview of their product raises a red flag for me.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2011
Color Name: Midnight Black
I'll preface with the stereotypical "I don't usually do reviews" comment... because it's true. I have been waiting for these headphones for quite some time (since they were announced in early 2010 and subsequently disappeared into the ether). For starters, I have this paired with my Verizon iPhone 4 which is in a crystal iSkin case and I use an Armstrong exercise armband. I exercise both indoors for cardio and strength training and outdoors for running. I will note that I have used a pair of Plantronics and the Motorola S9-HD in the past. The former just sucked and the latter I found to have an insecure fit, poor bluetooth quality and the rubber seal around the ear piece came apart after 3 uses. I returned the S9-HD for a refund and was underwhelmed.

The JF3 headphones are very well packaged and seem to be following the "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" mantra. There is an assortment of optional ear fittings that is so extensive as to defy imagination. It's hard for me to imagine any human ears that will not find some combination that at least "fits"; whether you find it comfortable is obviously an individual issue. I opted for the larger "fins" that are compressible and attached those to my headphones. I can say without a question of a doubt these are both the most secure and comfortable headphones I have ever used for exercise; bluetooth or otherwise. For the past 5 years, I have used Sennheiser sport in-ear headphones that are designed to fit snugly to avoid movement while running. The Jaybirds are better. If you watch the CEO of Jaybird in the video ad for the JF3 headphones running through the streets and then shaking his sweaty head vigorously from side to side while claiming no change in position of the headphones, I can confirm the same thing works for me... I actually did the head shaking just for grins and got the same result in the video. Not bad. I am actually astounded at the combination of comfort and fit... usually if you get something that is that well fitting, it hurts after use... comfortable fit will often equate with being too loose... getting both in one headset is unprecedented in my personal experience.

Caveat on the fit: As mentioned by several other reviews, if you leave the strap hanging behind your head, it can catch on sweaty skin or also make noise when rubbing across your skin. I noted this on my first trial run. I found the solution suggested by another reviewer which involves putting the strap behind the back of my head and pulling the headphones over my ears, rotating them to tuck the strap and fitting them in my ears. This is hard to describe in words, but very easy to do in practice after 1 or 2 attempts. In the end, the headphones are in your ears and the strap goes up and behind your ears instead of laying down behind your neck. This has myriad advantages but, as noted, has eliminated any pulling or noise issues and I find it extremely comfortable.

Typical exercise is a 2-3 mile run and then about 40 minutes of strength training with stretching throughout. Regardless of the position of my head (hyperextension or flexion, turning to the left or right for stretching or to check for cars while outside, etc) the headphones just stay put... it's that simple. I was sure there'd be a catch at some point, but after more than 30 workouts over the past 2+ months, that's been my experience. NOTE: if you run outside, as mentioned on their site and in their documentation, you do need to keep the audio source (my iPhone 4 in this case) above your waist and on the right side. I wear on my right upper arm when outside running. When I tried to wear it on my waist or left arm the sound dropped intermittently and frequently and made it, for my taste, unusable. This is the result of the Bluetooth not having anything to bounce off of (like the walls inside a building). In real life this is a negligible trade-off for all the goodies that come from the headset. In very rare circumstances, if I turn my head far to the left while running outdoors (only happens when crossing a street) the sound might "blip" briefly but then comes back. This is not a common occurrence and would annoy me if it happened even 5 or 6 times on a run. It happens once or twice every few weeks at most and I do not find it to be problematic nor do I find myself wondering if it's going to happen or adjusting the way I turn my head to accomodate for the headphones in any way. I decided early on these were either going to function around the way I exercise or I was sending them back. So far, not an issue. In the gym, I can wear my iPhone on either arm, waist, anywhere else and the sound quality is constant. I have inadvertently left my armband with iPhone on a bench in the locker room, walked around the corner and still had good sound only to realize that I was about 30 feet away.

Bluetooth headphones can't sound that good, right? That was my experience until the JF3. I'm not an audiophile, but I appreciate good sound and I do NOT appreciate bad sound! While my previous Sennheiser headphones offered better sound, it wasn't by much. I was stunned by the sound quality of these headphones which vastly exceeds ANYTHING I have experienced with bluetooth headphones or headsets in quality of music sound. I'm not sure what they did hear or if I just got a "magic" set of these bad boys, but the sound is good.

Battery life is pretty decent giving me about 6+ hours of use, though I never checked how much I'm supposed to get based on their advertising. I just recharge every weekend and I'm good to go. The carrying case is mediocre and not a big selling point. It is a hard case with a nice closure system which is good and works to protect the headphones though a bit of fumbling is required to get them snugly inside the case. Overall, a minor plus from the company, but nothing to write home about. I cannot comment much on phone call quality. I have only answered 2 or 3 phone calls while working out and the listener didn't comment one way or the other. When I was in a very noisy place in the gym, a listener commented they couldn't hear me well... but I couldn't hear me well either! So, hard to say. I don't do a lot of phone calling with these. I got them to work out, wanting good sound with a comfortable fit and no wires dangling around... phone calls are a secondary priority for me... I got everything I was hoping for and then some. The final test will be durability and customer service. If these last a long time and/or the company promptly addresses any problems that might arise, then it's a slam dunk. Only time will tell. Overall, VERY pleased.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
Color Name: Midnight BlackVerified Purchase
I have had these earbuds for about 45 days now. I wanted to give my self a chance to really experience running with them before writing a review. To start off lets make a list of all pros, then ill move on to the cons.

Pros:
1- Shipped very fast, and arrived in a really nice box with tons of information. It wouldn't really matter who you are or what you decide to pair these earbuds with there are instructions included for it. No need to search endlessly on the internet. In fact, I had ZERO problems pairing, I didn't even need to enter the 4 digit code the instructions provided.

2- Jaybirds have 3 different ways to stay in place while exercising or just doing work around the house. The least effective of these is just to find the correct fitting bud pieces for your ear canal. They will stay in place until you turn your head suddenly or if jogging. The next level would be to also include the in ear tabs that grip inside the folds of your ear. For me this is the perfect combination, I have never had the buds fall out as long as I was using the in ear tabs. But for those people who want an even more sure fix, they also include an over the ear hook that can be used in combination with everything else.

3- With the little buttons on the right side you can manipulate your play list pretty effectively, obviously you cannot scroll through music like you can on your music player but you can skip, go back, repeat etc. You can also change music volume with little effort.

4- Comfort. I typically run between 5 and 12 miles a day depending on my workout, plus I then cross train by lifting weights. I can have the buds in my ear for nearly 3 hours depending on my workout, with a lot of other earbuds I experienced some ear fatigue and had to remove the buds. I thought that would be the case with the Jaybirds, but they are surprisingly comfortable. The longest I ever had them in my ear was from a full charge on a car ride until the battery was completely depleted, about 5-6 hours.

5- Sweat proof. I sweat a lot when I work out and run. I've ruined probably 3 or four other brands of buds because of sweat. I really liked the warranty provided by the manufacturer against sweat.

Cons-

1- If you are an audiophile, you will think these buds are not worth the money spent. Just realize that you didn't buy them to have the best audio while you run, you bought them to RUN, to be motivated while you run.

2- USB charging cord provided is a little short.

3- Carrying case is kinda small, and cheap feeling. I thought the case would be sufficient at first, but if you wrap the cords up to fit in the case provided they can develop some bend memory after a little while, so I usually just let the cords hang out of the case while the two buds are in to prevent training the cord.
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73 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2012
Color Name: Midnight BlackVerified Purchase
I purchased these on March 24th. I typically wore these earbuds for 3 to 4 hours a day, 4 or 5 days a week. Needless to say, I would need to plug them in and charge them often. After 2 months of use, the receptacle for the charging cable on the headset became loose, and would no longer charge. I exchanged them, assuming they were defective, and went about my business the same way with the new pair, taking extra care when plugging them in to charge. Now, almost 2 months later, the same problem occurs with the replacement pair. I decided to disassemble them to see if I could fix them. The cable plugs into the socket on the headset, which is attached directly to the circuit board inside. When plugging the cable in, it bottoms out on the socket before becoming fully engaged. This act puts stress on the tiny posts holding the socket in place every time the cable is inserted. After repeated use, the posts give way, and the socket becomes dislodged, and they will no longer charge. In my opinion, something costing this much should be designed and manufactured in a way that will withstand normal use. There are other reviews here mentioning the inability to charge the unit, and I would guess the same thing has happened to them.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
Color Name: Midnight Black
On first arrival of my earbuds I was disappointed with the sound quality, but I figured that must be because of it being bluetooth so I decided to continue using them. I haven't had any of the troubles other people have with fitting them in my ear either.
My only real problem is that my first set of earbuds' power button broke and would no longer turn on. I contacted jaybird and they readily sent me a brand new set complete with new tips and everything. Excellent customer support. However, my new set of earbuds will no longer charge. About a week after receiving my replacement I started having to play with the usb cable to get the charge light to come on. Now It simply won't charge at all. I'm very disappointed that a rather expensive set of earbuds do not work after a few weeks of light use.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
Color Name: Midnight Black
I had been looking for a pair of Bluetooth wireless earbuds and ended up buying these spontaneously when I forgot my earphones at the gym. Initial impression was there was a lot of money put into the packaging...and after 3 days, the realization is that they put more money into the packaging than the product. I was impressed with the ease of connecting them to my iPhone 4 and that it was charged already. Sounds quality was great while working out and on the treadmill but when I used it to call someone, their response was I sounded like I was in a washing machine. Second day of using it, used it again to place a call and again, complains were made about not being able to hear me but it was nice that I could use them to listen to movies on my MacBook Pro as well as my phone...so far so good. Then there was day 3...I charged it via my computer and went to use them only to realize that the right earbud didn't work and the quality in the left ear wasn't good either. I power it off and on again, look at the cheap wire to see if it helps, no use. I contact Jaybird's support via Live Chat and am told to return it that it is probably a defective set but now, after reading other reviews, it seems to be consistent of poor quality manufacturing.

If I wasn't so spontaneous, I probably would have bought another pair after doing better research and it is possible these will be returned for better quality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2014
Color Name: Midnight Black
Great overall product with fantastic sound, sweatproof, bluetooth and phone call quality. However, I've had two pair of JayBird Freedom Earbuds develop a "shake" (in the right earbud). Would recommend upgrading to the JayBird BlueBird X if you will use these wireless headphones for vigorous exercise or running.
Pros: Great sound quality, bluetooth/wireless function great for workouts, truly sweatproof (I use them running 3-5x week and have worn them in light rain conditions). Great call quality in for phone calls. Have even taken calls while running. Light weight and stylish. Charge quickly. Easy to pair bluetooth w/ iPhone. Secure fit (utilizing the upper ear rubber piece), I use them while running.
- Customer Service: Helpful and friendly, they replaced both my original JF3's (with a JF4) and the second pair of JF4's that developed a "shake" in the right earbud. Although, I considered upgrading to a pair of BlueBird X's (smaller, lighter, has a cord minder for over the ear wear and more secure fit, and has an improved Bluetooth signal), JayBird only offered me an "in store" credit of $70 to upgrade my replacements (cost in their store was $169.99, $40 more expensive than can be found on Amazon).
Cons: Developed a "shake" in the right earbud of both the JF3 and the newer JF4 after about 2-3 months of running workouts. I believe a part comes loose in the housing that controls power and volume. Although, they replaced both sets for free (I paid shipping back defective pairs), I hope they fix the "shake" problem in future JF versions. Bluetooth function only works with the paired device if the phone is on the right side of the body (ie, in an armband). If the paired device you're streaming music from is in your pocket (front or rear) or on the left side of body, the signal is choppy and/or may not even work. Although the earbuds are wireless (via bluetooth) the earbuds are connected with a sturdy cord. However, when sweating the cord often sticks to the back of my neck and pulls at the earbuds (at least while running or during more active exercise).
Recommended use: Great for less active workouts at the gym (probably won't develop the "shake problem" I've experienced with two sets of JF3 and JF4's. Great for hands free calls via Bluetooth in the car, at home or while walking around. Great for listing to music (again, must have the paired device on your right side, where the wireless antenna is.)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
Color Name: Midnight BlackVerified Purchase
I received these on December 28th. As of January 7th they would no longer charge. I used them maybe six times on the treadmill under normal conditions. Very unhappy with this purchase.
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