Jaybird Freedom Sprint Bluetooth Earphones

Manufacturer Description

The Freedom Sprint wireless buds feature premium wireless music and calls, with warm bass tuned to eliminate listener fatigue during long workouts.

Features

  • Light-weight, high integrity case construction
  • Sealed against sweat and moisture
  • Rubberized overmolded sealed buttons
  • Tangle-free flat cord – 50 cm long (19.7 in)
  • Audio Specs
    • Noise-isolation – No
    • Impedance – 32 Ohm
    • Output – 15mW RMS (with level limit)
    • Total Harmonic Distortion <5% (1KHz, 10mW)
    • Protocol – BT 2.0, A2DP, Handsfree, Headset
    • Speaker sensitivity – 117 +-3dB At 1KHz
    • Audio Format – 16-bit Stereo
  • Bluetooth Specs
    • Tx Power – Bluetooth Class 2.1+EDR
    • Codec – SBC Range – 10 meters/33 feet
    • Frequency Band – 2.4 GHz
    • Response Bandwidth 20-20000Hz
    • No of Paired Devices – 2
    • Pairing passkey: 0000
    • Compatible Products – Any A2DP Bluetooth stereo device including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows, Blackberry Phones, Moto Actv, iPod nano (now features Bluetooth connectivity), PC, Mac and gaming devices.
  • Microphone Specs
    • Type – 4mm omni-directional
    • Sensitivity – -34 dB + /-3dB (1KHz, 0dB = 1V/Pa)
  • Battery Specs
    • Music Play Time – 4.5 Hrs*
    • Talk Time – 5 Hrs*
    • Standby Time – 100 Hrs*
    • Charging Time – 2 hrs
    • Charging – USB (included)
    • Type – 100 mAh Lithium Polymer
    • * May vary dependent on usage & device
  • Size – 16 mm wide (0.6 in), 33 mm height (1.3 in), 8 mm depth (0.3 in)
  • Weight – 10 g (0.4 oz)
  • Button Controls
    • AVRCP Music Controls (Play/pause, next, back)
    • Call Controls (answer, end, reject call)
    • General (Volume, pair, power)
  • In The Box
    • JF4 Freedom Sprint Bluetooth Buds
    • 3 pair secure fit ear cushions
    • 3 pair eartips
    • USB Cable
    • Optional ear hooks
    • Premium carry case
    • User Manual
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Lifetime Warranty Against Sweat
  • Retail – $130

YMMV Review

This summer I reviewed a pair of Bluetooth earphones for the first time and to be honest I was underwhelmed. Going to the Outdoor Retailer Show, I was hesitant to try another pair. At the show, I stopped by the Jaybird booth and told them my experience, and they said theirs would not have these issues. A bit later I decided to contact Jaybird and see if I could put them to the test. Jaybird supplied me with a pair of Freedom Sprint as a media sample for this review.

From the Front - Click to See Larger

From the Front – Click to See Larger

Jaybird is a fast-growing company located in Salt Lake City Utah. They specialize on earphones for active sport. Apart from this little tidbit, I must say it is hard to find out much more than that on the company.

Testing

Similar to the Jabra Sport earphones I tested before, I tested the Jaybirds running, cycling, working around the house, and lounging around. Most of the use was with my iPhone, but I also paired it to my laptop for some occasional use. I tested the Freedom Sprint’s both inside and out.

From the Back - Click to See Larger

From the Back – Click to See Larger

Design ★★★☆☆

Appearance (15%) ★★½☆☆

Construction (35%) ★★★☆☆

Features (25%) ★★★★☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Weight (15%) ★★★☆☆

When it comes to electronics, there is a lot going on in a small package. I am not going to cover it all here but will rather go over the things most people will want to know. If you want to know more, most of the details are above in the bullet points. The Jaybird Freedom Sprint is an update to the original Freedom Earphones. On the update, they have kept many of the same features in a smaller package and with some minor upgrades. They also relocated the multi-function button for increased usability. The only drawback to this smaller design is a shorter battery life, but this is only in comparison. The Freedom Sprint is similar looking to the original but in a smaller design.

From the Side - Click to See Larger

From the Side – Click to See Larger

The Jaybird Freedom Sprint can connect to your digital device via Bluetooth. If you are not familiar with Bluetooth, it is a wireless technology that exchanges data over short distances. It uses short-wavelength radio transmissions creating personal area networks with high levels of security. The Jaybird Freedom Sprint uses this technology to connect the earbuds to your device for wireless listening. Indoors the radio signals are able to bounce off ceilings and walls so the reception range is much larger than outdoors. Jaybird gives a range of up to 10 meters (33 feet) indoors while outside is a different story. You will need to keep the device closer to be able to pick up the signal. The receiver on the earphone is located on the right side. This is important as the Bluetooth signal cannot transfer through water, and this means it cannot connect through your body. Most manufacturers suggest having your device on your body, and in particular, they recommend on the arm for best performance.

How it Fits - Click to See Larger

How it Fits – Click to See Larger

The Freedom Sprint connects without a wire, but the individual earbuds connect to each other by a flat wire that runs between the two of them. The cord is tangle free and soft against the skin. Its made to stay in place but not be restrictive. All the controls are on-ear for easier use on the move. There are three buttons on the right ear: a multi-use button, plus button and minus button. The multi-use button can control turning the earphones on and off, starting and pausing the music, and answering or hanging up on a call. The plus button is for increasing the volume or skipping ahead a song. The minus button is the opposite of the plus in that it reduces the volume or skips back a song. Furthermore, located on the right earpiece is the micro USB plug-in and enhanced microphone. The Freedom Sprint has an enhanced microphone and microphone chamber for clearer phone calls.

Jaybird has worked hard to keep the sound quality high on these. The Jaybird Freedom Sprint has been designed to eliminate listener fatigue. It has been tuned with an emphasis on sub-bass, while reducing the mid and extreme treble that increases listener fatigue. The result is a warm thumpy sound that you can crank up without having the fatigue you may have after extended workouts with headphones on. As Jaybird says they want to keep the music motivating you rather than distracting you.

Jaybird Freedom Sprint - Audio

The Freedom Sprint has been made for use in sport. They have been designed with a patented sports ear cushion that hugs into the top, back, and lower surfaces of the ear to provide a secure fit when active. The earphones are able to be custom fit for nearly any individual. The come in three sizes of ear cushion fins and three sizes of sound isolating eartips. This makes for nine custom combinations assuming you are using the same size on each side as even that is adjustable. They also come with an optional over the ear hook if you prefer to wear them like that. With the Jaybird Freedom Sprint, they really are able to customize to nearly anyone’s ear.

The Buttons - Click to See Larger

The Buttons – Click to See Larger

The earphones are designed for sport, and as I mentioned above, to stay secure while active. In sports, you sweat so they have been designed to be sweat proof and even carry a lifetime guarantee against it. To do this, they had to change some of the techniques from the original Freedom. With the use of special gaskets that provide water tight buttons and seals, the button could be moved while still providing the protection from sweat. For the rest of the earphones, there is a one-year limited warranty.

The Freedom Sprint has a battery life of 4 ½ hours, which depends on the device and conditions they are used in. The battery is rechargeable by a micro USB cable that is included. You can plug this into a computer or wall adapter, and charging takes around two hours. While the earbuds do not appear to be sustainable with any of the materials used, at least they are rechargeable, which helps. There is not much about Jaybird as a manufacturer, so I am not able to comment on anything they are doing corporately to be more sustainable. Generally, companies like to mention what they are doing so this leaves me to think there is nothing of note. I will try to update this if anything changes.

Micro USB Port - Click to See Larger

Micro USB Port – Click to See Larger

Fit ★★★★☆

Adjustability (25%) ★★★★☆

Ear Comfort (45%) ★★★★☆

Wire Comfort (30%) ★★★☆☆

With the Jaybird Freedom Sprint, you can definitely customize the fit you prefer. As I mentioned above there are 3 different ear fins and three different eartips to choose from. It takes a little trial and error to figure out what works best for you. I started on the middle size with both and then decided if that felt too big or small until I landed on the sizes that felt most comfortable to me. With the ear fins it does take a little practice putting them on, but you soon get the hang of it. Once I was able to get my sizes the way I want I have been happy with how they have fit. They have been comfortable and stayed in place even when on a run. I have worn these for up to four hours straight and not had any soreness or discomfort.

3 Sizes of Fins - Click to See Larger

3 Sizes of Fins – Click to See Larger

I prefer to wear these without the optional over the ear hook. If you do prefer this way, it can be easily clicked on. An interesting and not really mentioned feature of the ear fins is that since they are attached to a round knob they can actually rotate and further adjust to your ear. There is some rotation play to allow you to set the angle the way you prefer on top of just changing the size. The Freedom Sprint is very lightweight, which makes them nearly unnoticeable when wearing them. If they did not have the wire, you would barely be able to tell you had them on. The wire is soft and flat for more comfort on the neck. I think it is better done than others I have tested as I did not have as much trouble when sweating as I have had with others. I like how it is long so it can sit on the top of you back rather than getting tangled up with a neck cuff. Ultimately, I wish that the wire was not needed but since that is not possible right now, this wire is pretty well done.

One drawback to the design of the Freedom Sprint is the size of them. They are smaller than the original Freedom but still stick out a little. This is not a big issue in warmer weather for most sports but and time you need to wear a helmet or hat then this becomes an issue. Helmet straps are just one of the things that does not integrate very well with these. The other main thing that comes to mind is warm weather hats that cover your ears. If you want to wear one of these hats, you either have to have it above the ear or over the unit which can cause some pain and discomfort, at least it did for me. A smaller design, if possible, would be great.

3 Sizes of Eartips - Click to See Larger

3 Sizes of Eartips – Click to See Larger

Performance ★★★½☆

Battery Life (25%) ★★★½☆

Connectivity (25%) ★★★★☆

Durability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Ease of Use/Setup (15%) ★★★½☆

Sound Quality (20%) ★★★☆☆

Sound quality on the Freedom Sprint seems to be solid. I say that as I find it hard sometime to tell a huge difference between small earphones. That being said I do feel like I get all the notes and percussion I normally get when listening to my favorite songs. Jaybird says they have adjusted the sound profile to create less listener fatigue when listening and to be honest I cannot tell much difference. This does not mean that it is not true just that I have not noticed listening fatigue before so it is hard to quantify and difference. I would be curious if anyone else has been able to tell a difference when using these. If you are reading this review and have some experience here, please comment below. I would be interested to hear your thoughts. One thing I can say is that when wearing these you cannot hear much ambient noise. They are not noise cancelling but are nearly so, they block a lot of the outside sound.

I do not know what it is about shiny parts on electronics, but it does not make me feel like they will be durable. After a couple of months of using them, the Freedom Sprint has held up well to it all. Even though they are shiny they have not had any issues. I do make sure to use the included case when I stuff them in my pack, and I am sure that helps them survive longer when I am not using them. As far as when on I have used them in plenty of hot and sweaty workouts without issue. Thus far they have been sweat proof and to a small extent waterproof. I have had a little rain to test them in, not much. Even the ear fins and eartips have held up well. I have had some other earbuds where the eartips wore out over time, but it normally took a lot of use before that happened. Those also did not come with a tough case. =)

The battery life is said to differ depending on the device and location you are using it in. I was pleasantly surprised that when paired to my iPhone I got 4-5 hours of use before needing a recharge. This is better than other Bluetooth earphones I have tested. When the battery does get low, it will start to beep at you in short intervals. I am not sure how long it will do this as I could not handle the beeps for very long before I had to stop listening. It will drive you mad. What is really cool is that it only takes about two hours to recharge them. I used both my computer and a wall adapter with good results. The micro USB works well. There is a small hidden led light to help you know when the unit is still charging, while small it is easy to see when you figure out where it is. Red when needing a charge and nothing once charged, nice and simple. The buttons are also fairly easy to use. The only one that took some time to get the hang of was the multi use button when it came to turning on the unit and pairing it to my device. About 20% of the time I managed to mess it up and had to do it again. The key is holding down the button for the appropriate amount of time.

Hard Case - Click to See Larger

Hard Case – Click to See Larger

The last thing I want to address with the Jaybird Freedom Sprint’s is the connectivity. This is very important as it really is the whole purpose behind a pair of these compared to a wired pair. In my previous experience, this is where the earphones let me down and the whole reason behind testing the Jaybird’s was they should be better. It is important to know where the receiver is as that will make a difference in the connection. The Jaybird’s have theirs on the right ear, so I took that in mind while I tested. Indoors the connection is money. Since Bluetooth can bounce off walls and ceilings, I was easily able to get 30+ feet of connectivity with these. The real test is outdoors.

Most companies recommend having your device on your arm for best reception which I find annoying. I think that if I am going to wear my phone on my arm, then why go with a wireless earphone in the first place. I prefer to carry my phone in a backpack, at my waist, or in a pocket as it is much more comfortable to me. This is when the previous pair struggled. With the Jaybird’s, I had much better success. I could keep my phone in a waist pack, chest pock, right hand pocket, and even a backpack without many issues. It was not perfect, but the sound would only cut out or less than a second occasionally and that normally corresponded to me turning my head or something like that. It got to the point that I knew when it would happen. They were not random. So while Bluetooth does have some limitations, it was nice to have a pair of earphones that performed better and more consistent.

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, I liked the Jaybird Freedom Sprint much better than the previous pair I tested. The connectivity is ultimately what is most important, and these seem to have a larger range then the other pair. Furthermore, if they do cut out, it is for less than a second rather than an extended period. I also really like the options for customizing your fit. This is nice, not only because one size does not fit all, but you can even have two different-sized ears. They have been easy to use, for the most part, and have a solid 4 ½ hour life on a full charge. My main complaint with these would be the design. As they are a little bulky, it makes them much more difficult to use with helmets, hats, and other instances where thing s will be near your ear. For example, I would love to use them on the slopes, but under a helmet does not work. The Jaybird Freedom Sprint Earphones retail for $129, which is a bit more than some others, but they are also a bit better, in my opinion. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • 4 ½ plus battery life
  • Only takes 2 hours to charge
  • Lots of custom fit options
  • Sounds quality seems good
  • Gets good enough reception to work at waist level or in a pack

Cons

  • A bit more expensive, you get what you pay for
  • Size makes use with a helmet or winter hat more difficult
  • Wire in the back is not bad but I would prefer to lose that too

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About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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