The Jaybird Freedom are great sports headphones that have a more streamlined design than the X2 and X3. They're sufficiently stable for most workout routines and have a decent sound quality. They also block a lot of ambient noise passively and barely leak so you can play your music at higher volumes and not distract anyone around you. Unfortunately, the bulky charging clip is inconvenient and makes the headphones a bit unstable for running when attached.
- Great passive noise isolation.
- Minimal leakage.
- Stable and portable design.
- The in-ear fit is uncomfortable for some.
- Charging clip is bulky and inconvenient.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The Jaybird Freedom Wireless are stable headphones for sports. The earbuds are considerably smaller and more portable than the other Jaybird models. They're also lighter despite having a thicker inline remote. However, the controls are not as responsive as that of the X3, and the charging clip is quite large and heavy. It sways a lot if you leave it connected to the remote, which is not ideal for running and working out.
The Jaybird F5 have a sleeker form factor than the older Jaybird models. The earbuds are smaller and thinner than that of the X3 or X2 since a lot of the electronics was redistributed to the inline remote. Unfortunately, this also makes the in-line remote significantly thicker than the other Jaybird headphones. Overall though they have an understated look that will work for most but also come in brighter color schemes to suit your tastes and preferences.
The Jaybird Freedom are very lightweight in-ear headphones that come with multiple tip sizes to help you find a good fit. They also include foam tips in the box that are a bit more comfortable than the regular silicone tips. However, finding the right fit can take some time and they get a bit tiring after wearing them for a while. If you don't like the fit of in-ears, then some of the same issues will be present with these ones.
The Jaybird Freedom's control scheme is efficient and straightforward. They provide the essential functions; call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The inline remote is not as wide or as responsive as that of the Jaybird X3, but it's simple and easy-to-use.
The Jaybird F5 very breathable headphones. The earbuds are smaller than most in-ears and barely make contact with any part of your ear except when the stability fins are attached. However, even with the stability fins on, they do not cause a big difference in temperature. They trap a little heat within the ear canal but it's negligible and should not make you sweat more than average, which is good for sports.
The Jaybird Freedom F5 are one of most portable Jaybird headphones that we've tested so far. Their earbud design is much thinner than the X3 or the X2, but they have a slightly thicker in-line remote. Unfortunately, if you include the charging accessory, they become less portable, but you most likely won't keep the charging dongle docked when using the headphones.
These headphones come with a carrying pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches and minor water exposure. However, unlike the X2, it's not a solid case, so it won't shield your headphones against impacts or drops. On the upside, this pouch doesn't add much bulk to the headphones, which makes it easy to carry on you at all times.
The Jaybird Freedom are well-built and decently sturdy headphones. The earbuds are lightweight and made of a tough plastic that won't easily break even after multiple drops. However the inline remote feels a bit cheap, and the cable is not as durable as that of the X2 or the X3. Also, some users have experienced issues with the sweat-resistant design when the charging clip is connected. This means they're more likely to get damaged if used while charging.
These headphones are quite stable. They're lightweight, wireless and don't move much once in your ear, provided you get the right fit. This makes them suitable headphones to use at the gym, especially if you use both the foam and wingtips. You can also use the cable management units in the box and make the cable pass behind your ears to further increase their stability if needed.
The Jaybird Freedom are decent sounding closed-back in-ears with a sound nearly identical to that of the X3 and Run. With a proper fit, they can deliver a consistent and extended bass, an excellent mid-range, and a well-balanced treble. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of genres from EDM and hip-hop, to rock and jazz. However, they tend to sound a bit boomy in the bass range and vocals could sound a bit cluttered and recessed in their mid-range. Also, like most other closed-back in-ears, their soundstage tends to be small and perceived as located inside the listener's head.
The bass of the Jaybird Freedom is very good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is great for bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. Low-bass and mid-bass are also virtually flat, indicating a good balance between thump and punch for the bass and kick instruments. The overemphasis in high-bass, however, will be noticeable as it will make the bass sound a bit boomy.
Very good mid-range. The bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis, makes the vocals a bit thick and mixes a bit cluttered. The dip surrounding 800Hz will push the vocals/leads to the back of the mix. However, at about 3dB, these effects will be subtle.
The treble is very good. Low-Treble is a bit inconsistent. The dip surrounding 5KHz hurts the clarity and detail of vocals/leads slightly. They also show a bit of a bump in the sibilance range, but not as bad as the X3 or the Run. However, this could be within the margin of variance for our test unit, and the one you buy may match the X3 and the Run perfectly.
The bass and treble delivery of the Jaybird F5 is very consistent. However, this is assuming the user is able to achieve an air-tight fit and seal using the assortment of the tips that come with the headphones. But, if a proper seal is not achieved, there could be a big drop in the amount of bass that is generated by these in-ears.
The stereo imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is at 0.11, which is among the lowest we have measured. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is well below our audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were decently matched. This is important for accurate placement and localization of objects, such as footsteps and instruments, in the stereo field.
The soundstage of the Jaybird Freedom, like most other in-ears, is poor. This is because to create a large and out-of-head soundstage, the headphones need to activate the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). However, since in-ears bypass the pinna and are inserted directly in the ear-canal, their soundstage will be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head. Also, because of the high isolation, these in-ears won't sound as open and spacious as open earbuds such as the Apple AirPods, Google Pixel Buds, and Bose SoundSport Free.
The harmonic distortion performance is average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is slightly elevated, especially above 1KHz. On the plus side, they seem to be handling higher volumes well, since the rise in distortion at higher volumes is within good limits. This suggests that they may be able to take a good amount of EQ boost in the bass range before distorting.
The Jaybird Freedom Wireless passively isolate better than some active noise canceling headphones. They block enough ambient noise to be a good option to use in loud environments. This makes them suitable for commuting and traveling. They also barely leak so even if you listen to your audio at higher-than-average volumes, you will not distract the people around you.
The Jaybird F5 provide a good passive isolation. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieve about 8dB of isolation similar to the X3, Run, and BeatsX. Although this is below-average, it is still quite impressive for a passive in-ear. In the mid range, which is important for isolating speech, these in-ears are able to achieve a good 18dB of isolation. In the treble range, which is occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they attenuate outside noise by 40dB, which is excellent.
The leakage performance is excellent. These in-ears do not leak below 1KHz, which is great. The significant portion of the leakage is around 3KHz, which is very narrow range. The level of the leakage is very low too. Overall, the leakage of these headphones won't be noticeable to people around you, unless you are blasting your music and are in a very quiet environment. And even in that situation, the sound leaking out the headphones will be very thin.
The performance of the Jaybird Freedom's integrated microphone is mediocre. Voice recorded/transmitted with their mic will sound noticeably thin and muffled. However, speech would still be easily understandable in quiet environments. In noisy situations however, they to struggle to separate speech from ambient noise, even in moderately loud environments such as a busy street.
The recording quality of the mic is mediocre. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 330Hz indicates a voice that sounds thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz results in a speech that is noticeably muffled and lacking presence. However, this doesn't have a big negative effect on the speech intelligibility, since that is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-3KHz range.
- 100% SpNR
The mic is mediocre at noise handling. In our test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 15dB, which is below average. This suggests that they are best suited for quiet environments and may struggle in moderate and loud places.
The Jaybird Freedom have a slightly short battery life, but on the upside, they don't take long to charge. The charging clip also provides an additional 4 hours of power, and you can use them while they're charging. This would be convenient if the bulky charging clip didn't reduce their stability. On the other hand, the MySound app provides a great parametric equalizer and community-oriented experience. It's lacking a few features but overall it's an above-average app that lets you personalize your jaybirds to sound the way you want.
The battery life of the Jaybird F5 is just above 4 hours. They also charge relatively fast, 20 mins of charging giving you up to 1 hours of listening. Charging clip also adds another 4 hours to the battery life which makes the battery performance slightly better than that of the X3 as long as you don't mind having the somewhat bulky dongle dangling from the inline remote. On the upside, you can charge them with the charging clip while using them although they will briefly shut off for safety purposes.
Jaybird MySound is a community-oriented app that lets you share presets for the Freedom and the X3. It also has an excellent parametric equalizer. While they lack some additional features like room effects and an in-app player, the app feels useful and allows you to personalize your sound profile to better match your tastes and mood.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Jaybird Freedom Wireless have a good wireless range, but can be slightly laggy when watching videos due to their relatively high latency. They also do not support NFC, multi-device pairing or any low latency codecs, which is not ideal. On the upside pairing with most Bluetooth devices is fairly easy.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
These headphones do not have multi-device pairing and do not support NFC but they're fairly easy to pair with most Bluetooth devices.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
The Jaybird Freedom have no wired option. If you want a good sounding wired in-ear, then check the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These headphones do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, they won't be as portable or as suitable for sports as the Jaybird F5.
The Jaybird Freedom have a good wireless range. They reached just above 35 ft when we measured their obstructed range by leaving the Bluetooth source in another room. They also have an excellent range in direct line of sight for a compact in-ear headphone.
The Jaybird Freedom have quite a bit of latency which will be noticeable when watching videos. It's not more than most typical Bluetooth headphones but it won't be ideal for gaming and watching movies.
In the box
- Jaybird Freedom Headphones
- Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
- Stability tips (x4 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch
Compared to other Headphones
The Jaybird Freedom Wireless are a more lightweight and portable version of the Jaybird design. They're great sports headphones and also have a good customizable app. However, their battery performance and charging clip could and should have been improved.
The Beats X are a better-sounding alternative to the Jaybird Freedom Wireless. They're versatile wireless in-ears, with a stable fit for sports and a great wireless range. They also have a better battery life than the F5 with a convenient quick charge feature. However, they're a bit more optimized for iOS so they won't be as convenient for Android users. However, they lack a fully featured app like MySound for the Jaybirds. If you want a more customizable sound profile and a more portable design, go for the Freedoms but for most use cases, the BeatsX are a bit better.
The Jaybird X3 Wireless are good sports headphones with slightly bulkier design than the Jaybird F5. They're versatile enough for most use cases and have a longer continuous playtime thanks to their better battery life. They're also a bit better-built and more durable. For sports, the Jaybird Freedoms are the better, cheaper option but for day-to-day casual use, the longer battery life and better build quality of the X3 will be more appealing for some.
The Apple AirPods are truly wireless headphones with a decent sound and good active features. However, they're more optimized for iOS so they won't be as good as the Freedoms for Android users and they're also not as stable due to their one-size-fits-all design.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are good sports headphones with an above-average sound and a more comfortable fit than the Jaybird Freedom Wireless. They're a bit bulkier, have a bit more latency and a worse app but If sound quality is the most important factor for you, get the SoundSport Wireless. However, if you want a more customizable headphone, then the F5 would be the better option.