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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Breathability
    9. Cable
    10. Front
    11. Angled
    12. Side
    13. Rear
    14. Top
  4. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Frequency Response Consistency
    5. Raw Frequency Response
    6. Soundstage
    7. Imaging
    8. Total Harmonic Distortion
  5. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  6. Microphone
    1. Recording Quality
    2. Noise Handling
  7. Active Features
    1. Wireless Range
    2. Latency
    3. Battery
    4. App Support
  8. In the box
  9. Conclusion
  10. Q&A
Reviewed on Jun 06, 2017 , Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Jaybird Freedom Wireless Earbuds
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.5
Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.8
Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.6
Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
8.1
Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.8
Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Balanced Armature

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.

This Headphones is currently our best Mid-Range Earbuds / In-Ear Headphones.
Pros
  • Great passive noise isolation.
  • Minimal leakage.
  • Stable and portable design.
Cons
  • The in-ear fit is uncomfortable for some.
  • Charging clip is bulky and inconvenient.

Test Results
Design 7.4
Sound 6.7
Isolation 8.1
Microphone 6.3
Active Features 6.1
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.

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7.4

Design

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Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Design Picture

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.

Style
Jaybird Freedom Design Picture 2

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.

7.0 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Jaybird Freedom Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0 lbs

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.

7.2 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Jaybird Freedom Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : No

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.

7.5 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Jaybird Freedom Stability Picture

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.

9.4 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Portability Picture
L : 2.3 "
W : 1.6 "
H : 0.5 "
Volume : 2 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

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.

5.5 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Jaybird Freedom Case Picture
Type :
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

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.

6.5 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Jaybird Freedom Build Quality Picture

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.

9.3 Breathability
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What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Breathability Before Picture Jaybird Freedom Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.7 C

Cable
Jaybird Freedom Cable Picture
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

Comes with a USB charging cable and a Micro-USB adapter.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
6.7

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Jaybird Freedom Frequency Response

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

8.7 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.87 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.03 dB
Mid-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.23 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.01 dB

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.

8.5 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.99 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.88 dB
Mid-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.86 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.8 dB

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.

8.0 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.5 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.52 dB
Mid-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.87 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-6.66 dB

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.

9.2 Frequency Response Consistency
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What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Consistency L Jaybird Freedom Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.17 dB

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.

1.7 Soundstage
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What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
12 dB
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
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What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
0.5
Correlated Crosstalk
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What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

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.

5.3 Imaging
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What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Jaybird Freedom Phase Response
Phase Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in the phase, from the ideal flat response.
When it matters: When an accurate and transparent imaging is desired.
Good value: <60°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
125.46 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
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What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <0.3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.12 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.8 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <90°
Noticeable difference: 30°
:
11.78 °

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.

6.5 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.16
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
39.127

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.

8.1

Isolation

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Score components:

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.

7.5 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-21.79 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-7.65 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-18.04 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-40.52 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
16.29 dB

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.

9.5 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
24.35 dB

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.

6.3

Microphone

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What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
6.4 Recording Quality
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What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
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What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
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What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
329.38 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
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What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
2.51 dB
HFE
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What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
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What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
4.043
Gain
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What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
39.8 dB

6.2 Noise Handling
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What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Jaybird Freedom SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
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What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
14.87 dB

6.1

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

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.

7.6 Wireless Range
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Type
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What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth 4.1
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
38 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
177 ft
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
No

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.

2.9 Latency
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What it is: The latency is how long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Base Latency
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What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
179 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

5.8 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
4.1 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.5 hrs
Auto-off
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
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What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

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.

7.0 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Jaybird Freedom App Picture
App Name : Jaybird MySound
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
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What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Parametric + Presets
ANC control
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What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
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What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
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What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

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 In the box Picture

  • Jaybird Freedom Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
  • Stability tips (x4 sizes)
  • USB charging cable
  • Carrying pouch

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.5Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The Jaybird Freedom's are good headphones for everyday casual use. They have a sleek wireless design that's stable enough for working out and to use on your daily commute thanks to their high, passive noise isolation. Unfortunately, they're not as sturdy as the other Jaybird models and they have a relatively short battery life since using them with the charging clip makes them a bit unstable.
6.8Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Above-average for critical listening. They have a decent audio reproduction with a good bass, mid and treble response. However, due to their closed in-ear design, they have a poor Soundstage. That and their subpar imaging performance means they won't be the ideal headphones for more critical listeners but their overall sound quality is good enough for most.
7.6Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Good for the commuting. They're portable and passively isolate from ambient noise better than some noise canceling headphones. However, you have to find the right fit and get a good seal.
8.1Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
The Jaybird X3 are great headphones for sports. They have a lightweight and portable design that's easy to have on you at all times. They're also stable enough to workout with provided you can achieve a good fit with the extra foam and wingtips. Unfortunately, you can't run with them with the charging clip on the in-line remote as they become quickly unstable.
7.8Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Great for office use. They isolate well and barely leak. This makes them suitable to use in a lively or quiet office environment.
Below-average for home theater. They have more latency than the Jaybird X2 but perform slightly better than the X3. Unfortunately, this latency makes them less suitable for watching movies and their in-ear design won't be as comfortable for everyone, especially for watching long videos.
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Questions & Answers

2 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
0
Since you're pretty much recommending this model (Jaybird Freedom F5), you could do one more helpful thing for everyone: Adjust the built-in parametric EQ using MySound so that it matches your target response as close as possible, and then make that sound profile available to the public, which can be done in the MySound app itself, I think. I pretty much ignore the "Soundstage" portion of the reviews because I've never heard anything like realistic imaging from any headphone without resorting to a Smyth Realiser or something similar. And I imagine that it would really be distracting without a head tracker. For me, it's best for "soundstage" not to call undue attention to itself. But what could really be done is to optimize the frequency response, which does affect the sound quality in a big way--perhaps the biggest single factor. That said, I'm going to assume that the measurements for this model were made using the pictured Comply foam tips. Typically, insertion depth-dependent resonances are damped out by the foam and you don't see the kind of spikes that you see in the frequency response like in your measurements for the Jaybird X3. (I'm going to guess that those were made with the silicone tips.) So if you published MySound settings for the Comply foam, the results would likely be more repeatable than for silicone. And it would probably help more folks than if you did the same with full-size headphones, which are affected by individual listeners' pinnae and the diffraction effects that come with them. It would make great starting point for further adjustments than from the stock sound. BTW, I'd love to see you guys measure the JBL Everest Elite 750NC. That too, has a built-in EQ, plus it has TruNote Auto Sound Calibration that supposedly makes the response close to the Harman Target on each individual wearer.

Thanks for your suggestion. We have thought about publishing correction curves for our measurements, but at the moment is not our highest priority task.

It's true that headphones, in general, don't have a very good Soundstage at the moment. But still, some perform better than others in the Soundstage department. Also, depending on the use, Soundstage with head-tracking could actually be more distracting than a Soundstage with no head-tracking.

Both the X3 and Freedom were measured using silicon tips. We are aware of some variations in the Treble Range across humans, both with over-ears and in-ears, and we are thinking of ways to account for that.

We have already measured the Elite 700. Do you know what the different between the 700 and 750 is? We couldn't find any useful information on the JBL's website.

0
Hey, with that dummy head, I'd expect some impulse response graphs. square waves please!
Thanks for suggestions. Adding square waves would be a bit redundant since we already score the Bass Range separately. But adding impulse response is something that we have on our road-map, and will add it at some point in the future.
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