I’ve personally owned three generations of Jaybirds from the original over the ear Bluetooth JB-200’s to the my last set of Jaybird JF3 Freedoms and from the start I’ve always sold people on how great and ahead of the curve Jaybird was for Bluetooth headphones.
My first generation lasted me a couple years before the rubber started to separate from the housing but that was two solid years of working out, running etc. so they still sold me on the brand. When I went looking for a new pair of ear buds I had already known that they had good battery life, great sound (for BT at the time) and though they cost more than your standard wired buds there was still no real competition to even look at so Jaybird JF3 Freedoms were my next Bluetooth buds to run with.
After picking up the latest generation of BT earbuds which I believe was sometime in 2011 soon after their release I was very pleased with them. They were a different style to the JB-200’s which and though they were not as comfortable and secure they still stayed in place and had great sound and battery life.
Move ahead to 2013 I was still actively using my JF3 Freedoms until they made their way through a full wash and dryer cycle. This was a sad day as they didn’t turn on after letting them dry in a bag of rice for a couple days and I was at a loss as I had not used anything else in so long. At the time funds were not great so I had resorted to Apple’s good old white “corded” ear buds. Sure they had great sound but that cable…. it drove me nuts!
If I remember correctly it was close to a year of not using BT earbuds I randomly came across my good old JF3 Freedoms that were stuffed in drawer and before I threw them out I figured I’d charge them up for the hell of it and see what would happen.
Well BAM!! Oh my god they turned on and worked! SO to my surprise after a year of sitting in a drawer they seemed to have dried up enough that they started to work agin. I was shocked but hey, they worked.
After my JF3 Freedoms started to work again I continued to use them again without any issues what so ever. Audio and battery life was great and I was still using them up until this past summer 2019.
Though I loved the JF3 Freedoms there was one major design that bugged me and that was the cable. If I was doing sit-ups they would grab behind my neck, if I was running or jumping I could always feel the cable moving around. So after nine plus years I figured it was time to look into the so called “True Wireless” market.
I did look into Jaybirds again but at the time I didn’t care for my options. They did have the Jaybird RUN buds but I was concerned about how they would fit and it they would be secure. I did manage to get a hold of a pair and when I tried them they just didn’t feel right. They didn’t fit my ears right and I didn’t get a good vibe.
For the first time in over 11 years I was taking a serious look at other brands which lead me to taking a hard look at Apple PowerBeat Pros.
I first looked at the Apple Airpods but they just didn’t seem like serious earbuds for someone that’s active in any way so I passed by them pretty quick. Next I looked into the PowerBeats Pro as they were just being introduced for pre orders and there was a big buzz surrounding them.
The big seller that pointed me to the new PowerBeats Pro was the H1 chip and how smooth they worked with other Apple products. As an Apple user myself with an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and iMac this was a big selling point. Reviews were looking great for sound comfort so I took a leap and ordered them.
After two plus months of almost daily use I can honestly say they’re amazing earbuds. I normally use them for 3-5hrs at work depending what’s on the go to either listen to music while in the office and running around to taking long conference & video chat calls. They have solid bass, mids and highs and with an average volume of 70% they drown out any sounds around me without being too loud. When it comes to comfort I can go hours with them and at times I’ll walk around without music and forget they’re in my ears.
The one hot topic that seemed to linger with online reviews seemed to be the large case when compared to the Apple Airpod. It’s too big! It’s too bulky! It won’t fit in my pocket!
Well in my opinion this is a non issue. I carry a bag with me to and from work daily with my other devices and I’m in the habit to pull the buds out in the morning and put them away before heading home. They last all day at work and if they don’t get charged up before getting home I know they will easily handle a workout. With great battery life you don’t need to carry the case around with you in your pocket like some had hoped for. If you need that kind of ability look else where.
At the end of the day I’m very happy with my PowerBeats Pro but I still have my Jaybird JF3 Freedoms and they still get used once in a while. They are still solid earbuds and with how old they’re it’s surprising that the battery is still holding such a great charge.
Jaybird is a solid company that IMO was pushing the best of Bluetooth headphones for years and I’m sure down the road I’ll easily pick up a new pair. Maybe it’s time to convince my wife to buy a new pair that I can “test”?