The Jaybird Freedom are a thinner and more portable alternative to the X3 and X2. They're sufficiently stable to exercise with and block a lot of ambient noise passively, as long as you can get a good fit. They also have a decent enough sound quality to satisfy most listeners. Unfortunately, the bulky charging clip is inconvenient and makes the headphones slightly unstable if 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 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The Jaybird Freedom are stable sports headphones with a more streamlined design than the X2 and the X3. The earbuds are considerably smaller, making them 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 working out and running.
The Jaybird Freedom have a sleeker form factor than the other Jaybird headphones we've reviewed so far. 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. However, this also makes the in-line remote significantly thicker than the other models.
The Jaybird Freedom are extremely 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 rubber 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 the Jaybird Freedom.
The 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.
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 Freedoms are the 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 Jaybird freedom's charging accessory they become less portable, but you most likely won't keep the charging dongle docked when using the headphones.
Comes with a carrying pouch that will protect the Freedom from scratches and minor water exposure but 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.
The Jaybird Freedom are decent sounding In-Ears with an excellent Frequency Response. With a proper fit, they can deliver an extended Bass, an excellent Mid Range a well-balanced Treble. However, they tend to sound a bit boomy and muddy in the lower frequencies, their Soundstage and Distortion performance is limited by their form-factor, and our test unit showed a bit of L/R mismatch
Very good Bass Range performance. Low-Bass and Bass are virtually flat, but the right channel is 2dB over our target. The overemphasis in high-bass will be noticeable as it will make the Bass sound boomy.
Very good Mid Range performance. The bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the High-Bass overemphasis, makes the Mid Range a bit muddy. The dip surrounding 800Hz will push the vocals/leads to the back of the mix. However, at about 3dB, these effects will be subtle.
Very good Treble Range performance. 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 most other in-ears.
Excellent consistency. If the user can achieve a proper seal, then these headphones would be very consistent in their delivery. However, 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.
Poor Soundstage. Due to the in-ear design, these headphones don't interact with the pinna, and therefore their Soundstage will be perceived to be located inside the listener's head as opposed to in front. Also, the closed-back design means that these headphones isolate the listener from their environment, creating a closed-up and small Soundstage.
Poor Imaging. There is a moderate amount of phase shift in the Treble Range, which has a small negative impact on the transparency of the sound. Also, our test unit showed more than 2dB of mismatch in amplitude between the L/R which made the stereo image noticeably right-heavy.
Average distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is slightly elevated, especially above 1KHz. On the plus side, the Freedom seem to be handling higher volumes well, since the rise in distortion at higher volumes is within good limits.
The Jaybird Freedom 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.
Good Isolation. They achieve about 8dB of isolation in the Bass Range which although below average is quite impressive for a passive in-ear. In the Mid Range these in-ears are able to achieve more than 18dB of isolation which is good, and in the Treble Range they attenuate outside noise by 40dB which is excellent.
Excellent Leakage performance. These in-ear do not leak below 1KHz which is excellent. The significant portion of the leakage is around 3KHz, which is very narrow range. The overall level of the leakage is very low too.
- 100% SpNR
The Jaybird Freedom have a good wireless range, but they can be a bit laggy when watching videos. They also don't support NFC or any low latency codecs, which is not ideal. They have a slightly short battery life, but on the upside, they don't take long to charge, and you can use them while they are charging. The only problem is that having the charging clip on you at all times can be a hassle and it also adds quite a bit of bulk to the freedom's sleek design.
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. Unfortunately, they lag a bit when watching videos and they don't have NFC for easy pairing.
The battery life of the Freedoms 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 of the Freedom's 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 freedom's sound profile to better match your tastes and mood.
In the box
- Jaybird Freedom Headphones
- Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
- Stability tips (x4 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch