It’s been just six years since the very first true wireless earphones jumped from movie fiction to reality, but now they’re everywhere and seemingly made by every company with a consumer audio department. One notable absence has been German audio veterans Beyerdynamic, until now.
Like other premium audio holdouts, Beyerdynamic seems to have delayed its entry into the true wireless earphone space until the necessary technologies had matured enough to offer its customers a top-notch listening experience.
As such the Free Byrd earbuds feature sound personalization technology called MOSAYC – Attention to Detail with Mimi Sound Personalization. Available via a companion mobile app, MOSAYC puts the user through a two-minute listening test and then tweaks the sound and settings to suit the individual hearing profile, before saving that profile directly to the earphones.
A number of EQ presets are also available in the app for fine tuning to personal tastes, and over-the-air updates promise to keep the buds up to date.
The earphones pair with a music source over Bluetooth 5.2 with support for aptX Adaptive and AAC codecs. Google Fast Pair enables super-quick connection to Android devices, and listeners can switch between up to six paired sources without needing to power off. The Free Byrds are certified compatible with Alexa and Siri voice assistants, and Beyerdynamic has cooked in a low latency mode for mobile gamers, too.
Within each earbud’s roughly guitar-pick-like housing is a 10-mm dynamic driver that delivers “legendary Beyerdynamic audio” across a frequency range of 10 Hz to 22 kHz. And IPX4 splash resistance means that these Byrds should survive a sweaty workout at the gym or a dash for cover during a sudden downpour.
There’s digital active noise cancellation with an included transparency mode available on tap, and Qualcomm’s cVc speech enhancement technology makes for improved vocal clarity during phone calls via two microphones on each earpiece.
Listeners can look forward to 11 hours of music playback per bud with the ANC off, or eight hours with it powered on, and if the music does stop abruptly while out and about, a quick charge of 10 minutes offers over an hour’s runtime. The accompanying charging case holds enough juice for an extra 19 hours of earbud usage, and can be topped up over USB-C or Qi wireless pads.
The Free Byrd true wireless earphones are available now for US$249, and come supplied with five pairs of silicone ear tips and three foam tips to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
That will make these buds cheaper than the impressive NuraTrue Pro true wireless earphones when they go on general sale, though we can’t say whether they’ll be a match for Nura’s excellent sound personalization chops without actually trying them out for ourselves. The Free Byrds are also less expensive than Sony’s ANC champs, the WF-1000XM4 buds, but about the same as Sennheiser’s latest Momentums.
Product page: Free Byrd
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