For years Beyerdynamic has designed some of the most reliable studio headphones on the market. Bluetooth isn’t new to Beyerdynamic, as they’ve previously released wireless products like the Lagoon ANC and Amiron, but the Free Byrd is their first true wireless earphone from them. They go for the same price as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 at $249, so let’s see if the Free Byrd stacks up on its own.
What You Get
- FREE BYRD
- USB CABLE
- 5 PAIRS OF SILICONE EAR TIPS IN SIZES XS-XL
- 3 PAIRS OF FOAM EAR TIPS IN SIZES S-L
- CHARGING CASE
Look and Feel
Part of the initial appeal of most products is their style, and most of the popular true wireless earphones have that part down. There are so many great parts about the Free Byrd, but unfortunately, its style isn’t one of them. The earpieces themselves look large and bulgy, and that’s also how they feel in the ear. I still listened to the Free Byrd for many hours without feeling ear fatigue or any considerable discomfort, but the way the housing sits above your ear canal is a bit unnatural. Knowing the price, they also just appear way too plasticky and toy-like.
Design and Functionality
The driver of the Free Byrd has a voluminous response, giving you ample gain with just enough headroom to set you at a comfortable loudness. Built-in dual Qualcomm cVc mics are also built into this design and give the Free Byrd the ability to answer phone calls and use ANC. These aren’t the best qualities of these wireless earphones, especially not when considering what the competition is, but their inclusion is still used in a worthwhile way. A true wireless staple that is used to great effect is the touch controls, which have a bit of delayed feedback but are still responsive.
Like many great wireless products, a companion app grants the Free Byrd a couple more features that are worth noting. One of those features is actually something quite rare. In addition to an in-app EQ, the MIY app offers a special sound personalization option where you can take a hearing test that tunes the sound profile to your ears. The process doesn’t take longer than two minutes and it is worth trying to see if you can spot any differences.
Version 5.2 is supported here, with fast pairing and great range. I had a few instances of channel imbalance, but the connection was mostly stable and would instantly resolve any interference that could be had. AAC, SBC, and aptX Adaptive are the CODECS available with the Free Byrd.
With a whopping eleven hours of playtime off a single charge, this is one of the meatiest batteries on a set of true wireless earphones. This doesn’t even include the additional charges from the case, which can provide a total of thirty hours of playback time. Ten minutes of charge can give you more than an hour of listening.
One of the trademarks of Beyerdynamic is their professional sound presentation. That is something rarely echoed in Bluetooth headphones, although some have come close, including Beyerdynamic’s own Amiron model. True wireless earbuds aren’t necessarily where I would go for pro sound, but the Free Byrd delivers as close as it can get in the soundstage department. I didn’t find these earphones to be that wide, but the organization of sound elements is what I found most exceptional.
The layering on the Free Byrd is its most surprising aspect, giving you clear performances in a dimensional space. Not a ton of its stage felt open, but the Free Byrd’s interior headspace works to bring focus to the imaging, rather than muddy it with overwhelming resonance. The spaces are mostly filled in, but the Free Byrd places all the sound elements in places that are easy to localize. It is not a quality I find in most true wireless products, so in that way the Free Byrd is special.
When the full scale of the bass starts to reveal itself, the Free Bryd can be a powerhouse. Not only is the complete tone of the bass realized, but then it reaches quite deep. The whole bass sections of songs are presented with great clarity and deliver a gratifying punch. The bass guitar on “Ancient Lullaby” by Matisyahu is displayed in its entirety, with vibrating textures coming through for extra coloration. Some of the bass frequencies pulsate outward, causing a feeling of warmth throughout that is very enjoyable. It is also dynamic in how much the bass gives you according to the track, never overwhelming you with its timbre.
The Free Byrd keeps its energy in the midrange, with clear instrumentals and vocals to enjoy. None of the fidelity feels harmed by the extended bass, and it lets the sound elements breathe more naturally in the sound signature. They don’t have as much of a pop in their frequency content as the bass does, but their more relaxed nature allows for a more realistic tonal balance that feels like it’s on brand for Beyerdynamic.
I am really impressed by Beyerdynamic’s ability to translate their crisp treble response onto a set of true wireless earphones like the Free Byrd. The Free Byrd might actually have the most height to it that I’ve heard on a true wireless, as it extends so nicely with vocals, cymbals, and shakers. It’s the most open and freeing this sound signature feels, and it results in some flavorful highs. There’s also a delicateness to the details here, which gives you some slight sparkle that goes down smoothly.
In some ways, this is one of the best-sounding true wireless earphones out there, with some of the most intriguing special features like their sound personalization. From the strong, meaty bass to the delicate, sweet treble, the Free Byrd gives you almost everything you would ask for in a true wireless made by a brand like Beyerdynamic. In other ways, the plasticky build feels a little cheap for the price, and the ANC and call clarity don’t perform as their competition does. If you can look past some of its flaws, then the Free Byrd has a ton of value for pure sound quality.
The Beyerdynamic Free Byrd is available at Audio46.
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