Beyerdynamic has thrown its hat into the true wireless earbuds ring. The Free Byrd are the headphone specialist's first truly wireless model, and it looks like they could be a contender.
For the uninitiated, Beyerdynamic has seen great success with both in-ear and over-ear headphones at both premium and budget ends of the market. Its Soul Byrd wired in-ears are consistently ranked one of our favourite budget models, while the Amiron and Amiron Wireless are superb over-ears. All three models earned five stars from us.
So what of the Free Byrd? They pack active noise cancellation (ANC), with a tap of the earbuds activating a transparency mode to let in outside sound. Battery life is impressive – with ANC on, you get eight hours from the buds, or a total of 24 hours using the charging case. Switch ANC off, and those numbers rise to 11 and 30, respectively. That equals the superb Sony WF-1000XM4, though not quite as much as the (non-ANC) Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus.
They can handle aptX Adaptive and AAC codecs, and come with five sizes of silicone earpieces, plus another three foam ones for sporting activities. They're IPX4 splashproof too, so should hold up during exercise in the rain.
Qualcomm cVc technology should help call quality, while Google Fast Pair will let them connect to your device wirelessly in the blink of an eye. Bluetooth 5.2 comes as standard, and they play nice with the Alexa and Siri voice assistants.
Wearing their audio heritage on their sleeve, they have a design that's reminiscent of a guitar pick. And a low latency mode should minimise the lag between on-screen action and the corresponding sound reaching your ears.
The app can perform a hearing test and then tweak the buds' output to suit your hearing, so you get a completely personalised experience. Or there are equaliser presets to choose from.
They're available now in black or grey for $249 (about £200, AU$360).
In truth, there's nothing here we haven't seen before. But given Beyerdynamic's heritage and great track record, we're excited to give these an audition.
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