If you are in the market for wireless earbuds, the first question you must ask yourself is: tethered or truly wireless? No matter how you answer, Jaybird has you covered. Alongside the release of their first truly wireless earbuds - Jaybird Run, Jaybird also released their new and improved Freedom 2, which builds off their already popular Freedom wireless sport headphones.
True to Jaybird nature, the Freedom 2 is geared towards athletes, runners, and exercise enthusiasts who are looking for quality headphones that can keep up with them. Key selling features include secure-fit with use of the SpeedFit cord management system and interchangeable tip/fins, sweatproof and water-resistant, customizable sound with the use of the MySound App, up to 8 hours of play time, and the ability to control music and take calls wirelessly with the inline remote and microphone. As with Jaybird X3, the Freedom 2 are equipped with Bluetooth 4.1, multi-point, which allows the Jaybird Freedom 2 to be paired with up to 8 devices at any given time.
One of the of the most notable changes over its predecessor is the new integrated cord management system that Jaybird has dubbed SpeedFit. This, combined with the variety of tip/fins included with the Freedom 2, allow for a quick and easy customizable fit.
Additionally, Jaybird made some minor changes to the charging clip/battery pack which now offers users the ability to charge on the go. With the improvements comes an increased price tag. Jaybird is selling the Freedom 2 for $149.99, which includes a one-year limited warranty. While most of the changes are improvements over their predecessor, there are some drawbacks as well.
Sleek packaging puts the micro-sized earbuds on full display. The Freedom 2 is packed with the smallest size of tip/fins already on.
Upon removing the top layer of packaging, you will find the quick start guide as well as the carrying case which includes several accessories.
As with all other Jaybird products, finding the perfect fit is important. To make this possible, Jaybird includes four size variations of combined tip/fins. Jaybird also includes their charging clip and the accompanying USB 2.0 charging cable as well as a shirt clip and carrying case. Unlike the past, the charging clip and cable are no longer tethered together. This allows the user to charge on the go.
The Freedom 2 earbuds are among the lightest available on the market. Making them some of the most comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. As with most earbuds, finding the perfect fit can take some effort. This is inevitably true with the Freedom 2. However, Jaybird offers a variety of wearing option, and with the new SpeedFit technology, the process is certainly faster than before. Not only does the quick start guide offer tips to ensure a proper, comfortable fit, the MySound app also offers some guidance.
The SpeedFit cord management system allows you to easily switch from under-ear fit to over-ear fit and secures the excess cord in a matter of seconds. This ensures the excess cord sits tight on the back of your head. If you choose to wear the Freedom 2 in the under-ear fit, the SpeedFit system, along with the shirt clip, offers the ability to keep the cord secure.
With the release of the Freedom 2, Jaybird combined the tips and fins into one interchangeable option rather than having three tip sizes to choose from and three fin sizes to choose from. Although the tips/fins are made with a much softer material, making them more flexible than in the past, the combined tip/fin setup means you may find a tip size that works for you, but the fins might not be quite right. However, with past Jaybird products, I had an issue with the fins and tips not staying secure on the earbuds during sweaty workouts, this isn't the case with the new combined tip/fin combo.
I prefer to wear earbuds in the over-ear fit, securing the cord and remote close to my head. This allows me easy access to the controls without worrying about the cord bouncing around during some of my more vigorous workouts. Jaybird suggests finding the right tip/fin combo while wearing the earbuds in the under-ear style, then spinning the earbud around and placing the cord over the ear. To shorten the cord, grab the two SpeedFit "clips" and pull away from one another.
Although this was an easy process, I did notice some issues with the SpeedFit system. Mainly that the "clips" seemed to loosen throughout my workout. The old cord management system was time-consuming and somewhat frustrating to get the perfect fit; however, once you got it, you never had to worry about readjusting it. That is not the case with the new SpeedFit system. Although it is incredibly simple to use, I had to tighten the fit a few times throughout my workout. Additionally, the clips would get caught when turning my head from side to side, pulling the earbuds loose from my ears.
Jaybird followed the adage "If it's not broke, don't fix it" when it comes to their sound quality. As with their current lineup of products, the Freedom 2 sound is completely customizable through the MySound application available in the App Store and Google Play. If you're not sure what you like, Jaybird MySound offers listeners plenty of preset options to choose from.
However, for those listeners looking for a specific sound quality, MySound is for you. The app allows you to customize the EQ settings of your earbuds, creating your own unique sound profiles. Those profiles can then be saved to your earbuds, making it easy to switch between sounds based on what you're in the mood for.
Setting up the Freedom 2 earbuds and pairing them with my phone proved to be an easy process. The quick start guide included in the box gave a simple rundown of the how the inline remote works, allowing me to use the earbuds almost immediately. Since the Jaybirds are capable of being paired with up to 8 devices at any given time, I also paired them with my Apple Watch; this allows me to quickly switch between my music source with little interruptions.
Wearing the earbuds in the over the ear fit, the inline remote was easily accessible and simple to use. The center button turns on the earbuds, at which time a voice indicates that the earbuds are powered on, connected, and gives a battery percentage. A single press on the center button will play/pause music and answer/end a call. Single presses on the volume up and down buttons, adjust the volume accordingly. While a one-second press on the volume up/down buttons will skip tracks forward/backward. The backside of the inline remote gives access to the proprietary charging connection.
The battery life of the Freedom 2 is on par with its predecessor; however, Jaybird now offers the ability to charge on the go with their new charging clip/battery pack. This will add four hours of play time for a total of 8 hours. Of course, this does add some extra weight to the inline remote, and the battery pack is quite small, making it easy to misplace. However, the ability to charge while still using the earbuds steps up the wireless game - way to go Jaybird.
The ability to truly charge on the go with the new battery pack
Accompanying MySound app allowing users to customize sound preferences
Ability to pair with multiple devices
SpeedFit "clips" add bulk and seemed to loosen throughout workout
Combined tip/fin setup doesn't allow for as many fit options as in the past
Charging clip and battery pack are rather small, making them easy to misplace
Jaybird has been the to-go brand for avid exercise enthusiast that are looking for customizable fit and sound; the Freedom 2 earbuds continue to meet this need. Unfortunately, the changes made over its predecessor don't really justify the increased price tag.
At $149.99, the Freedom 2 are among the most expensive tethered sport earbuds on the market. However, if you're planning to put in a solid day on the trails or at the gym, these are the best option for you as the lightweight construction and improved battery life, make the Freedom 2 one of the best options for all-day wear.
The Bottom Line: Jaybird's Freedom 2 are the best wireless earbuds on the market if you're looking for all day comfort and a battery that can keep up.
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