Jaybird Freedom and X3 :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

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I visited Jaybird at IFA 2016 in Berlin, took a look at their Freedom and X2 headsets and was pretty sure I wanted a Freedom headset. It's just tiny and extremely light. But it did not make much sense to test it then, since Jaybird wasn't shipping here yet.

Fast forward to last week and I received an email from the agency offering me test samples. I thought about it for a bit and then replied asking for both. Not only the Freedom but also the X3, successor to the X2. As it turned out that was a smart move.

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Enter the Freedom. Isn't this thing tiny? It ships without the ear gels attached and you have to customize it with one of three sizes of gels, or one of three sizes of memory foam which provide a better seal. And then you can add one of four sizes of fins, that sit inside your ear and push the head of the earpiece in, so it never comes out, no matter what you do.

You have to take your time with this process. Only when you achieve a seal, you will get the full sound experience. If your in-ear-phones sound tinny, chances are it is not the headset but the fit. The good news is that it is very easy to swap gels on these Jaybird headsets, unlike most other designs. So I played with different gels but I could not get them to sound well.

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Somewhat disappointed I tried the X3 and they immediately resonated with me. I stepped up from the medium size gel to the large one and boooom, there was the bass. Add two medium size fins and I had the perfect fit. As it later turned out, the Freedom headset fit just perfect into small ears, while my somewhat larger than normal ears needed the X3. So the red Freedom became the Lady headset, and for the first time ever we found an an in-ear-headset she likes.

Both headsets are sweat-proof and you can wear the wire over the ear or casually just hanging out of your ear. The box contains two clips that let you manage the length of the cable so the headset sits firmly on your head with the wire behind your neck. Great for workouts.

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Both headset connect over Bluetooth to up to two devices at the same time. So they need power and have batteries that last for eight hours. You charge them via 500 mA and 5 V USB. The Freedom has an interesting design. Half of that battery capacity is located in the in-line controller together with three buttons and the mic. The other half is in a tiny box that has a microUSB connector and five pins. You clip it to the controller to get to eight hours or you use the headset without, rendering 4 hours of playback. While you are using them, you can recharge the tiny box separately. If you buy spare adapters, you can have several of them pre-charged for long flights or you can attach one while you charge the other one. The X3 is simpler. The controller contains the eight hour battery and you need to attach a clip that connects the USB wire to the pin holes on the controller.

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The headset are pre-configured with an equalizer setting that provides some "loudness" by raising the bass. You can program them any way you want them to sound through the MySound app. A different sound is just a tap away. There are downloadably profiles and you can also manually set the equalizer any way you want.

These are great products if you want a headset for sports, that is customizable to your needs. Just know that you will need the X3 for larger ears and the Freedom for tiny ears.

Comments

Lustig, diese beiden habe ich tatsächlich in den näheren Auswahl. Dieses Video fand ich als Vergleichsbasis interessant dazu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArPanVn7ZuA (Wenns im Kopfhörer geht sind Jim´s Videos wirklich gut...)
Die BeatsX Wireless fallen bei mir wegen Kabelgeräuschen und dem zu langen Kabel raus. Die B&O H5 halten nicht in meinem Ohr und die Beyerdynamic Byron BT haben mich nicht von den Socken gehauen...
Ich muss wohl doch beide bestellen damit ich entscheiden kann. Ich finde die kleinen Freedom für mich interessanter.... Schaumermal

Bastian Anthon, 2017-02-24 10:21

Ich kann mir nicht helfen, aber die Dinger sehen aus wie von Fun Factory.

Thomas Cloer, 2017-02-24 14:32

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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