Beyerdynamic is out with its first entrant in true wireless earbuds. With ANC, an up to 11-hour battery life, and app control with personalized audio, the $250 Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds are intended for a premium wireless audio experience. We got to spend some time with the new earbuds. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
First up, let’s take a look at the charging case. With a bit of weight to it and a soft matte black finish, the charging case on the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds looks and feels solid. The lid is tight enough not to flop open or shut from reasonable movements and it offers a satisfying snap when shut.
Up top is a simple Beyerdynamic logo. On the front is another logo with a single status LED light. On the back is a USB-C charging port but the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds also support wireless charging from a Qi-enabled charging pad.
Moving onto the earbuds themselves, they are relatively large overall. The earbuds have a thick shape that sticks out of my ears. Granted, it is using 10mm drivers and has eight hours of battery with ANC on and up to 11 with ANC off – both of which are impressive numbers compared to other true wireless earbuds.
On the outside are a small Beyerdynamic logo, a status LED light, and a touch-capacitive button. There are also a couple of small holes that take care of ANC and the microphone. The earbuds feature an IPX4 weatherproof rating which should be good for light rain and sweat. If rugged dust and water protection are important, though, check out the Jaybird Vista 2 sport earbuds.
Beyerdynamic Free Byrd: Video
I typically prefer physical buttons to touch-capacitive designs, but I found input on the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds to be very responsive. Maybe it’s due to the larger overall size, but I rarely had trouble finding and activating the buttons on these earbuds.
By default, there are controls to play/pause, toggle ANC and transparency mode, adjust volume, skip tracks, call up a voice assistant, and accept or reject phone calls.
Comfort for headphones is very subjective, and it’s taken to the next level with true wireless earbuds. Being a small piece of tech that fits in your ear, the comfort experience is going to differ between every single user.
Beyerdynamic offers one of the most extensive line-ups of removable ear tips that I’ve seen out of the box for true wireless earbuds. Five silicone tips and three foam tips were a welcomed sight to see neatly arranged in the bottom of the packaging. I use earbuds quite often while exercising, and the foam tips were great for rigorous exercise like running.
That being said, I still feel that the Free Byrd earbuds fall short in terms of comfort when compared to some budget earbuds for me. The shape of them has a large flat area right at the end of the portion that sits inside my ear. That flat piece creates quite a bit of pressure for me in my ears.
I also explained what I think is causing this discomfort in my review of the gaming-focused HyperX Cloud Mix Buds. Earbuds that I find to be more comfortable, like the Earfun Free Pro, have a bit longer neck that’s more rounded between the portion that holds the ear tip and the larger body of the earbud.
Once again, that’s going to be totally subjective to the users, but for me and my ears, I found comfort on the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd to be lacking due to that large pressure area.
I was still able to use them for 5K runs, but it wasn’t as comfortable of an experience as the Earfun Free Pro, which for the price, is a big bummer for me.
Connection & Codecs
Using Bluetooth 5.2, so far I’ve had a rock-solid connection on the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds; the aptX adaptive and AAC codecs are great for clear audio. There is also a low-latency mode for mobile gaming or watching media.
Beyerdynamic-Free-Byrd: App control
Through the MIY app, which stands for “Make it Yours,” there is deep audio customization for the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds.
One of the biggest features here is audio personalization. After taking a short hearing test that asks you to hold a button while you can hear a beep throughout different frequencies, the app will create a personalized profile that enhances the frequencies that are hard for your ears to pick up.
If you don’t care for the changes that the personalization makes to the sound, it’s easy enough to dial down the balance of this mode, turn this mode off, or re-test your ears to try and dial it in more.
Additionally, the MIY app has six different EQ modes at the time of this pre-release review. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to create a custom EQ.
Beyerdynamic-Free-Byrd: How do they sound?
In the stock form, though, the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds really do shine when it comes to audio quality. Similar to the MMX100 gaming headsets, it offers a full sound that is a lot of fun to listen to thanks to generous bass.
On paper, the 10mm drivers boast a massive 10-22,000Hz frequency response which goes well above and beyond the standard 20-20,000Hz range we typically see in TWS earbuds.
Overall, the sound is on the darker side with deep impactful bass, clear mids, and smooth highs. Here is where I would love to have a bit more EQ control through the app, as I would love to add the slightest bit of high-end to these for my listening preferences.
For me, they get plenty loud. Most of my listening was done in the 40-45% volume range. Even at 100% volume, the audio was crystal clear with huge bass that never distorted. I couldn’t keep it there very long, but the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds sounded good all the way up to 100% volume.
Stereo separation and sound stage were also impressive on the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds. Hotel California – Live on MTV by the Eagles was an absolute pleasure to listen to. The full low-end hits of the hand percussion matched with crystal clear imaging of guitars, vocals, and the sound of the audience all combined for a great sounding experience.
Though there aren’t any varying levels of sound reduction, ANC performs really well on the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds. Often, when I am running, ANC can cause some very harsh wind noise but I didn’t notice that being much of an issue on these earbuds. It did a great job at reducing the sound from my portable AC unit in my office. Of course, higher frequencies still come through, just like most other ANC systems, but overall I’ve been really impressed with the level of ANC from the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds.
The earbuds also have an auto-pause feature that will pause media when an earbud is removed and resume when the earbud is reinstalled. Additionally, it will turn on the transparency mode to make it even easier to hear what’s going on around you.
Beyerdynamic-Free-Byrd: Mic test
As for the microphone, it’s pretty status quo for true wireless earbuds, which is not great. I made a call while waiting in a busy lobby, and my wife had trouble understanding me on the other end – noting that it sounded quite muffled. If you want to get an idea of how the mic sounds in ideal settings, check out the mic test in our video above.
Battery life and charging
With 11 hours of battery life with ANC off and around 8 with ANC on, the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd earbuds are on the higher end of the spec sheet compared to other earbuds. The charging case will provide an additional 19 hours of battery life and recharging is a breeze thanks to wireless Qi charging.
Beyerdynamic does a lot of things right with the Free Byrd earbuds, but you also have to pay for them. $250 is quite a bit for earbuds considering the state of the budget market, but they do sound great and the ANC is some of the best that I’ve tried in true wireless earbuds. The battery life is also very impressive and will last longer than most of the competition out there.
I do wish that it was more comfortable for my ears and I also wish it had a custom EQ mode that allowed for more subtle tweaks to different frequencies.
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