One piece of running gear that is more important than some people give credit to is a pair of headphones. Music can have just as strong of an effect on an individual’s running performance as their shoes.
However, people are much more willing to pay more for a high-end pair of running shoes than they are for high-end running earbuds. This is a shame a runner who only uses the stock pair of earbuds that come with their smartphone misses out on most of the sound spectrum.
The Jaybird Freedom 5 is a product designed to introduce runners to what they’re missing. Thanks to its Bluetooth compatibility, tangled wires won’t be a concern while wearing them. They also offer a fantastic battery life and a variety of swappable buds to provide optimum comfort for a range of ear sizes and shapes. No matter if the wearer is running, cross-training, or just relaxing, the Jaybird Freedom 5 provides a luxurious listening experience.
It’s a similar design principle to wrap-around sunglasses or earplugs, which provide the same benefits of convenience, comfort, and ergonomics. Because of this, these headphones are perfect for running or training in a gym.
Something important to note about the Jaybird Freedom 5 is that while it is sweat-proof, it isn’t entirely waterproof.
Engaging in strenuous physical exertion while wearing them will be fine because its resistance to sweat will prevent damage. But, by no means should the Jaybird Freedom 5 be used while swimming or while taking a shower.
Without a physical headphone jack, these earbuds will require a charge to use. However, the ease with which both the buds and the additional battery pack can be charged makes up for the slight inconvenience.
While it does add a bit more weight to the headphones, this feature is a convenient one. It allows the wearer to use them for an entire day without charging. These earbuds also come with a small clip that can be used to attach it to the wearer’s shirt collar.
Hardware aside, the most advanced feature offered by the Jaybird Freedom 5 is its companion app. Designed around all Jaybird listening products, their MySound app can be installed on both Android and Apple devices.
This app allows the user to finetune the EQ settings for their Jaybird headphones, providing the option to adjust the volume. These settings are then saved to the headphones, not the app, meaning that they will keep those settings even when synced with a different listening device.
With the option to either use a preset sound equalization or set up a custom one, a decent amount of variability is possible.
For the most part, the Jaybird Freedom 5’s hardware is up to par with its impressive software. Designed for use during intense exercises, they offer a high volume that will drown out any background noise.
The Jaybird sound quality offers impressive highs and lows, with bass, in particular, being adequately boosted. However, the mids are somewhat lackluster in comparison.
Sound isolation is a mixed bag, depending on which of the customizable buds the wearer uses. The silicone models are better at preventing sound leakage than the ones made of foam.
For starters, Bluetooth can be a fickle way for pairing devices that are susceptible to interference. With a functional range of ten meters, this isn’t a concern if the user keeps their device in their pocket. However, the potential for signal disruption is present regardless.
Bluetooth also doesn’t provide the same level of sound quality that a physical connection does. This means serious audio freaks are going to be disappointed with the loss in fidelity.
Some customers are inevitably going to be extremely frustrated at the limitations of this product. The way in which it connects to a listening device will make it impossible to use on some older MP3 players.
However, customers who are willing to put up with these relatively minor inconveniences should appreciate the streamlined and lightweight design.
Right off the bat, the shorter cable length of these headphones avoids many of the common pitfalls of exercising while wearing earbuds. Wearers of the Jaybird Freedom 5 don’t have to worry about this cable tangling in knots, snagging on their clothes, or getting yanked out of the jack on their listening device.
The small inline remote can be placed on a part of the wearer’s body that is unobtrusive while still being easily accessible. This makes on-the-fly volume adjustments a breeze. While the included charging dock can add some extra weight to this remote, the addition of a small clip allows wearers to provide these headphones with a stronger grip to their shirt.
It’s the accumulation of small features and design quirks like these that give this product such an excellent level of comfort for the wearer.
The designers of the Jaybird Freedom 5 attempted to implement some fashionable elements into their product. Despite the fact that their particular style of listening accessory has become somewhat dated.
The buds that are supposed to be inserted into the user’s ears are shaped with a subtle curve and taper, meant primarily for ergonomics. The use of metal for this portion helps it to look a bit more fashionable. The Gold color scheme, in particular, benefits the most from this effect.
Speaking of color schemes, this product comes with several of them. They range from variations on black and white to more vivid incorporations of red and blue. All of the included swappable buds have intricate detailing and can be stored in a small bag. In a word, the aesthetic of the Jaybird Freedom 5 is minimalist.
The Jaybird Freedom 5 is somewhat flimsier than a more solidly designed pair of headphones. However, breakage shouldn't occur unless the wearer is excessively careless during their exercise routine.
The one part of this product’s entire package that is most likely to break is the small clothing clip since it is the only portion made entirely of plastic. The manufacturers do offer a warranty, but it only covers one to two years and can be voided easily.
Unfortunately, devices that require Bluetooth synchronization is going to come with usability hurdles. This is due to the pairing process being prone to disconnection. However, when judging this product as a pair of wireless headphones and as a Bluetooth compatible device, they are relatively simple to operate.
Something that is very helpful in this regard is the companion app. This allows the user to change certain settings and makes it much easier to operate this device’s advanced features. The shorter cable makes these earbuds more convenient to use as well since it prevents them from becoming tangled.
However, the fact remains that the wireless functionality of the Jaybird Freedom 5 is inherently obtuse and can lead to frustration.
This means that they will need to be charged and that they can’t be powered through the listening device they are connected to. However, Jaybird did their best to make the charging process simple and intuitive.
The charging dock for the Freedom 5 is small and clips right onto its inline remote, which allows it to double as an external battery pack. This charging dock connects via a Micro-USB cable, making it easy to charge it with a wall outlet or PC. Although the included charge cable is very short, this can be easily replaced with a much longer one if necessary.
However, the price for these earbuds has dropped over time to a much more reasonable price tag that is below $100 and usually includes free shipping. Due to the perks of this product and in spite of its shortcomings, this new price makes it very easy to justify picking up a pair.
- Short cable for wrapping around the back of the head
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Swappable earbuds made from foam and silicone
- Micro-USB charging dock doubles as battery pack
- 4 hour battery life, 8 hours with attached battery pack
- Small clip for increased stability
Anyone who enjoys running and training that wants a pair of wireless, perspiration-resistant headphones with excellent sound quality will love these earbuds. While an avid swimmer who wants something simple that can plug into a cheap MP3 player is going to be disappointed.