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Jaybird - Freedom F5 In-Ear Wireless Headphones - Carbon
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- MICRO-SIZED METAL BUDS – The Freedom Headphones by Jaybird have sandblasted, injection-molded metal parts for premium comfort and fashion. The smaller housing doesn’t affect signal performance and can remove distortion, giving you crystal-clear audio wherever you go
- UNIVERSAL SECURE FIT – The patented silicone ear fins securely attach to the top and back/lower surface areas of the ear for a snug fit, locking the earbuds in during workouts and intense physical activities
- SWEAT-PROOF – Built to last with a sleek yet rugged design, the Freedom Wireless Headphones are great for sports, workouts, and all weather conditions. Their hydrophobic nano-coating will keep moisture away, whether it's sweat, rain, or snow
- PERSONALIZED SOUNDS – The MySound App allows you to tweak and customize the sound of your Freedom headphones for a personalized experience, and save them for later as a profile
- HASSLE-FREE CHARGING – With just 20 minutes of charging, you get an extra hour of playtime. With up to 8 hours of total battery life, you’ll never miss a beat!
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|Sold By||Synergy™||Jake's Warehouse Deals||Amazon.com||JLab Store||OxygenFriendly|
|Item Dimensions||5 x 2.2 x 7.3 in||2.1 x 5 x 7.25 in||1 x 1.12 x 1.12 in||5 x 2 x 7.5 in||2.1 x 5 x 7.25 in|
|Item Weight||0.55 lb||0.5 lb||0.8 ounces||1 lb||0.5 lb|
Take control of your life with the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Headphones! This revolutionary set of wireless headphones combines cutting-edge engineering and technology with a sleek look and a host of useful features to bring your audio listening experience to the next level.
Jaybird combines style, comfort, and function in one package: the Freedom. Designed to be as small as possible without sacrificing style or features, these headphones are incredibly versatile and are ideal for both leisure listening and pumping you up during a workout. They are also great for business travelers who need to be constantly updated with the latest news without the hassle of wires and faulty connectivity. The in-ear speaker design has been significantly reduced by 20% and houses an enhanced 6mm driver for subtle lows and a booming bass. The smaller frame is more convenient to handle and offers a comfortable fit for different ear sizes. These earbuds can even be worn with helmets. The control panel features a raised button for easy access and intuitive controls. Take calls and adjust the volume without any hassle! The hydrophobic nano-coating also makes the whole earbud waterproof, preventing sweat, snow, and rain from affecting your sound quality!
A wide variety of customized fit options are already included inside the box. The patented silicone ear fins (S, M, L) securely keep the buds inside your ears or can be used to hang them over the top. Lift the cord off your neck for a comfortable workout experience! Also, the Comply memory foam ear tips are designed to provide maximum noise isolation and comfort. They lock in the earbuds for a super secure fit, whether you’re on a calm jog, riding an MTB trail, or rushing to your next big meeting.
Additionally, the MySound app allows you to tweak every aspect of your sound: from the rumbling lows to the sweetest highs! Customize every little detail with the easy-to-understand interface. Compatible with iOS 9+ and Android 4.4+, your customized presets are saved directly onto the Freedom buds, carrying over to any music device or streaming service/app you use. Listen the way you want to or discover how your favorite athletes and artists enjoy their music through their custom sound profiles. Also, the Multipoint feature allows you to simultaneously pair and connect the Freedom buds to two different Bluetooth devices. Listen to your music through your laptop while still answering calls on your phone with the bud controller. You can also share your music with your spotter or workout buddy, as two separate buds can connect to the same Bluetooth device, eliminating the need to share earphones. You can even connect to your smartwatch and leave your smartphone at home!
With the Jaybird Freedom Headphones’ on-the-go clip charger, you’ll be ready for any adventure. These earbuds are great for people with active lives or who just want a micro wireless headphone that works! The Freedom lets you do more of what you want to do.
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-While there are a ton of options for fitting them to your ears, regardless of the tips and attachments, nothing seems to stay very well. This could just be my retarded ears.
-As stated in other reviews, they've moved the internals out of the earbud specifically and down to the mic and buttons. This makes one side pretty heavy and again makes the earbuds fall out more.
-The Mic is rotten. I've paired to my iphone 6s and have been told numerous times that the person on the other end of the line can't hear me. In addition to this, any touching of the mic is pretty audibly present. Let's put it this way, if i'm in the car with the windows up and have the AC on, i can't use this headset to talk on the phone.
-This new battery attachment that doubles as the charger is a pretty dumb idea. Again, it's pretty small and clips onto the mic/button area, and if i lose this, the headset can't be charged and if you use your headphone as much as i do you're always having to carry it around with you increasing to possibility of losing it.
-While on mic, Audio cuts out pretty often as well.
Overall, I'd stick to the earlier X2's. The price point for this hardware led me to believe it was a much better product than what i received.
Some things to consider:
1. The standard battery time is 4 hours; you can get another 4 using the battery clip
2. The battery clip is NOT sweatproof and if you sweat while it's attached and it damages the headphones, it won't be covered by warranty
3. The ONLY way you can charge these is with the battery clip; if you forget it at home or lose it, there is literally no way to recharge these. They're planning to sell additional battery clips at some point for $24.95 but that's pretty expensive considering how much these already cost
4. The basic remote on these is considerably bigger and heavier than the X1 or X2; adding the battery clip makes the remote roughly the same size and weight as a AA battery (see pics)
5. These are super hard to fit properly; I tried every combination of foam and silicone plus the various 'fins' but never got them to fit well. Once you attach the battery clip, these will be almost impossible to wear.
6. Bluetooth is not great; if I put my phone in my front left pocket (same side as the remote), the audio stutters like a scratched CD
I really really wanted to like these - the buds are incredibly small, which is cool - but for half the price, you can get the X2 which are easier to fit, have double the battery life without any easy-to-lose extra pieces and have better Bluetooth connection.
These are currently the best-performing wireless workout earbuds on the market and I expect will remain so for the next year or two. That said, they have some caveats which I attempt to thoroughly detail in order to help others know what to expect with them. For some, these caveats may be bothersome or even a deal-breaker; for me, they’re perfectly acceptable, and I think I tend to be a bit on the picky side. If $200 isn’t a sizeable purchase to you, I’d say go ahead and give these a shot. Regardless, if you like to know what you’re getting into ahead of time, read on.
Since I’m pretty excited about these new “wireless” earbuds and not too confident that these will get a full and proper review, I hope my input here will help others make a better decision on whether to invest in these $200 earbuds. I am in no way affiliated with or invested in Jaybird or Logitech (who now owns Jaybird LLC), I was in no way asked to review them, and I paid full price for this product through Jaybird’s site. I would love to be one of the reviewers who get discounts and pre-release opportunities, but I guess I'm just not one of the cool kids (yet).
Luckily, I happened across an article about the new Freedom Wireless buds the day they were announced and released, so I was able to order them from Jaybird’s site before they sold out (or at least they seem sold out since my second order has been pending processing for four days). I decided on the white/gold color, which looks just as great as in the pictures. I immediately began putting them to the test, and so far they’ve passed with flying colors. Although they have some room for improvement (everything does), they are simply the best workout earbuds out there right now, and I expect they will be for quite some time.
For comparative reference of my personal experience, I’ve been regularly and heavily using the BlueBuds X for workouts over the past two years. I use them for weight training, boxing (heavy bag work), basketball, and hiking steep mountains. They fit well enough, only come out when the foam tips start to tear, and have decent/acceptable sound quality. But they left me wanting a more compact, lightweight, and better sounding product. After a few frustrating weeks of trying to give the Bragi Dash a legitimate chance, I went right back to using the BlueBuds.
And then the new Freedom buds came. The refined design is much more aesthetically pleasing and also slightly improves on comfort over the BlueBuds due to the smaller design of the cord and earbuds. Some of the pre-release reviews complained about the weight of the controls, and I expect this is from being used with the cord dangling below the ears rather than over and behind them. I don’t know who in their right mind would want to wear wireless earbuds like that, but everyone has differently shaped ears, so perhaps that was more comfortable to them. Anyhow, holding the two products in my hands, the weight difference is negligible, and if anything the Freedom buds distribute the weight more evenly than the BlueBuds. While being worn, I really don’t notice any significant difference in weight between the two.
The sound quality is the biggest reason I had to get these and try them right away. I’m always searching for better audio products, and I’ve spent a lot of time with the Audio Technica ATH-M50, Sennheiser Momentum, V-Moda M-100, and Hifiman HE-400, -400i, -500, and -560. I was skeptical that the new drivers would be huge improvements over the BlueBuds, but they really are. The Freedom Wireless buds finally give compact wireless audio comparable and competitive sound quality to the lower end of the wired audio products out there. They even sound better (more balanced and detailed) than the similarly priced Beats and Bose wired earbuds that I’ve heard.
But out of the box, they need work. Spend some time and do your due diligence and try on a variety of tips to get a good seal, otherwise they WILL fall out, and they WON’T sound right. I used the medium foam Comply tip on the left bud and the large foam tip on the right bud for the first few days, then switched to the isolation tips that I’ve always used on the BlueBuds. They are so, so much easier to take on and off these smaller buds than they are on the BlueBuds. My fiancée used the reverse sizes of mine, then actually pulled the small soft gel tips off of her Bose SoundSport wired earbuds and put them on these for a surprisingly great fit. Those appear to be the Bose StayHear tips which Amazon sells separately.
Additionally, the stock sound signature of these needs help. Before adjusting the EQ (which is easily done with Jaybird’s new MySound app, or in the sound settings in certain phones), the treble is just terrible. I mean, simply awful – I don’t think I’ve ever heard the upper end of a headphone encroach on the rest of the sound spectrum so much. Luckily, this was easily and drastically improved by lightly reducing the “high range” and also slightly increasing the low and mid ranges in the Signature part of the app. But everyone has their own preferences, so spend some time playing around with it a bit.
The first reviewer of these described the sound quality as “amazing,” which I can get on board with given that this tiny package houses the drivers, power source, battery, and wireless chip and still performs so well. But their claim that the “Bass response is very accurate” I have to disagree with; even with just a bit of bass boost, they get very noticeably murky and bloated. Actually, they’re definitely on the punchy/boomy side of neutral without any EQing at all (which I think most people, including myself, prefer). But saying that the “mids and highs are also responsive” simply doesn’t MEAN anything – I mean, in the sense that they exist, yes, they are responsive. They do admirably well with instrument separation and performance in general, but they’re not as super detailed or textured as wired earphones, nor should they be expected to be. All in all, they sound great, and as Jaybird suggests in their marketing, for the vast majority of listeners these could totally suffice as a daily driver, not just for their convenience and portability, but for their audio quality as well.
Some reviews have noted poor connection issues with their units. I, like most people, absolutely cannot stand it when the music starts cutting out. If the source (your phone, most likely) is stable and within line of sight to the Freedom buds, they will have a strong and reliable connection. For example, setting my phone (S7 Edge, for reference) on the bench ~10 feet behind the basketball court lets me freely run the court with at least a 50-60 foot distance before cutting out (yes, really – I’m confident they have surpassed 60 feet on multiple occasions).
However, losing direct line of sight or having a moving source disrupts the connection significantly. If I set my phone on the kitchen counter and walk into the next room ~15 feet away, it will start to cut out. If I’m hiking with my phone in my pocket, it will cut out considerably. If my phone is in a loose pocket in my backpack, it will cut out. But if it’s in a secure backpack pocket that holds it in place, it has a mostly stable connection. Depending on your activity, expect your experience to similarly vary.
Charging/Battery: (Initial reaction)
The charging and battery life I’m still getting used to. Jaybird claims 4 hours in the buds plus 4 hours in the battery/charger, but I don’t think I’ve quite managed to reach that yet. I haven’t timed it yet, but after going through several full recharges, I’m pretty confident that I haven’t gotten a full 8 hours of use between charges. An interesting quirk of the 5-pin battery/charger/thing is that while connected to the earbuds, I haven’t been able to also get sound to playback. This may be by design, but disappointing nonetheless. Also, it’s a rather snug fit, but seems to be loosening up a bit so it’s not so scary prying the thing off of the controls and worrying about damaging the cable. To clarify what the first reviewer said, it DOES use a standard micro-USB cable (included, of course), and it recharges pretty quickly. I’ll update this if/when I get some accurate figures on charging and usage.
Charging/Battery: (Two-week update)
After completely draining the earbuds and the battery/charger unit, it took 90-100 minutes to fully recharge from a standard wall outlet (I was getting a snack so didn’t catch the exact minute). Completely draining just the earbuds (which took three attempts of powering back on after they had turned themselves off) and recharging from the fully-charged battery unit as one would on the go, it took 92 minutes to fully charge the earbuds. The unit provided an additional 8% charge to the buds beyond the full recharge before becoming fully drained. I still haven’t measured the longevity of playback, but will update accordingly if I do.
Connecting the charging unit to the earbuds while music is playing disconnects the Bluetooth connection (and thus also audio playback) entirely. The earbuds may then be powered back on to resume playback, and will continue to recharge. I personally wouldn’t even consider working out or being seen in public while the charging unit is connected, but for casual housework or similar activity it works perfectly fine. The charging unit is very lightweight, so having it connected looks heavier and bulkier than it really feels. But it still looks kind of ridiculous.
Some have noted concern with the possibility of losing or damaging the proprietary charging unit, which is understandable. It’s small enough to make this a valid concern, but I always keep it in a small pouch in my backpack or on my desk and am really not worried about it whatsoever. Even if Jaybird doesn’t have the unit for sale yet (which they absolutely should, because it would be nice for many to have an additional recharge on the go as well), I imagine it can be replaced simply by contacting their customer support.
I will admit that five days is a bit short to be so confident about these, and I’ll update this review accordingly should anything noteworthy arise. I’ve already put these through several rounds of weights, boxing, and basketball and they fit at least as snugly as the BlueBuds even using the included “sport” foam tips rather than the even better fitting isolation tips. They feel better, they look better, and most importantly, they sound much better. Are they worth $200, though? To me, absolutely yes. That said, if you can find the BlueBuds X for around half off their original retail price, those are definitely going to be a better value for a lot of people. Are the new Freedom Wireless buds worth 2-3 times the cost of the BlueBuds? In terms of price-performance or cost-satisfaction ratios, for most people, I don’t think so; but for the more picky audio enthusiasts like me, just for the improvement in audio quality alone, I would say most certainly yes. And in my opinion, the clincher is that I don’t see anything else being capable of matching or exceeding the performance and quality of this product any time in the next year or two. Jaybird really knocked it out of the park with these.
Feel free to leave comments and questions, and I'll do my best to answer in a timely manner.
Updated 6/12/16 with better formatting and additional content.
First, thank you to all who have shown this review to be helpful. For those it hasn't helped, sorry I didn't address what you were looking for. Again, feel free to leave a question if there's something I can help answer.
I would like to add a couple quick notes, the first of which should've been included from the start: the volume on these has a couple quirks. The first quirk is that the on/off messages are just a few decibels too loud in my opinion; not quite uncomfortably loud and certainly not an unsafe level, but just loud enough that I don't put the earbuds all the way in until after the greeting message, and I pull them out before I turn them off. The second quirk is that with iOS devices, the volume control is synced between the phone/iPod and the earbud volume controls, whereas with my Android device the two are separate and work in conjunction of each other. That is to say, volume controls on the earbuds and on my S7 can be used to create a greater range of volume, including a notably lower minimum volume from that of my iPod Touch.
The next note is that the audio quality differs greatly between use in different devices. The quality of the DAC (audio chip) in my S7 is very apparently superior to that of the DAC in my iPod. The difference with these earbuds is much more apparent to me than I have ever noticed with using wired headphones between the devices; though I can distinctly hear the differences, these earbuds benefit much more greatly from a connection to a good quality DAC. I haven't compared the connection/signal strength between different devices, but my above impressions otherwise remain the same.
Unfortunately, I'm sending them back.
I've been going crazy trying to figure out why the sound skips so much. I kept thinking it had to do with interference from other bluetooth sources or other things around me. That's until i read the review and realized everyone else was having the same issue.
It's almost like any movement causes them to skip like a scratched cd. Running, even when cycling.
SUCH A SHAME!!!