There’s no denying that listening to some motivating tunes can help make the time fly by, when you’re working out or going for a run. Probably just about everyone who has ever worn a personal music device when doing so, however, has had this happen at least once: you go to move your arm, and it catches on your earphone cord, causing your earphones to be violently yanked out. JayBird’s new JF3 Freedom Bluetooth Buds are designed to keep that from happening.
As the name implies, the earphones receive an audio signal via Bluetooth from a separate MP3 player, mobile phone, or other digital audio device – the earphones and that device must be electronically paired with one another before the first use, which users can do themselves. Any device that is stereo Bluetooth-enabled should be compatible, although Jaybird also sells an adapter for those that aren’t (such as the iPod classic). A built-in mic also allows the user’s voice to be transmitted to the device, should it be a phone.
Once the JF3s are ready to go, the only cord that users have to contend with is a short one that goes around behind their neck, from ear to ear. Because people tend to move around a lot when they’re working out, the earphones also come with honey comb-patterned silicone ear cushions. These are designed to comfortably keep the phones in place, reportedly providing “a balanced amount of resistance against the back bowl of the ear (top, back and bottom).” Each kit comes with three sizes of ear cushions, and of ear tips.
Music functions such as volume, play, pause, next and back can be controlled with buttons on the earphones, as can the answering or rejecting of phone calls. Depending on where the paired audio device is being worn, however, it might just be easier to use its controls.
In order to lessen listener fatigue, sub-bass is emphasized, while the not as ear-friendly mid-ranges and extreme treble are minimized. Should the user be a heavy sweater, the JF3s are also sealed against moisture. Six hours of listening time are reportedly possible, on one two-hour charge of the lihium-polymer battery. The JF3 Freedom Bluetooth Buds sell for US$99, and are available through the jaybirdgear.com website