JBL Free X BT
The Free X are ergonomically shaped, angled and come with a choice of earplugs and two types of gel pads. These ensure a secure hold in the ear so that the headphones do not fall out even with faster, jerking movements. At the same time, good wearing comfort is achieved, which also lasts for longer periods of time, especially since the in-ears with their low weight of 7 grams per side is barely noticeable. Another advantage is that the Free X are well-embedded and do not protrude far, making it easy to place under a cap without creating pressure problems. The visual appearance during wear is rather simple and discreet, whereby the design of the in-ears also meets fashion-conscious requirements. Of practical benefit is that the water-repellent properties of the robust and well-worked system simplify care and cleaning, especially since there is protection against weather-related moisture.
The Free X power supply is based on fast-charging, 85 mAh lithium-ion batteries that run for up to four hours. This is increased by the associated transport case, which serves as a charging station and has an additional capacity of 1,500 mAh, up to 24 hours. When the in-ears battery is exhausted, you can use the quick-charge function, which will allow you to use the Bluetooth headphones for one hour after 15 minutes of charging. A full charge, however, takes up to two hours to complete. Given the handy case format and a low overall weight of 99 grams, the coherent concept offers a considerable uptime. The case, like the in-ears themselves, is primarily made of plastic, but it also looks good and stable enough. A short USB charging cable for the case is included.
The wireless system supports the Bluetooth 4.2 standard and stacks up in a field test with various Android and iOS devices, with ranges of up to twelve meters with good stability. A coupling of the in-ears takes place automatically with the removal from the transport case. This switches the headphones on and puts them into pairing mode, and then turns them off as soon as they are in the charger. Alternatively, switching on and off as well as coupling can also be carried out manually by pressing and holding the button integrated into the surface in each case. It should be noted, however, that the connection to the Bluetooth transmitter is made exclusively on the right earphone, so this should first be turned on and put into pairing mode. The left one connects automatically to the right side.
The buttons of the in-ears are also used to control device functions and are easy to perceive. While the right side can be used to start and stop playback and accept calls, title navigation is possible with the left button. It can be jumped back by a simple press and double-click, which works well in practice. It is also helpful to know that the transport box contains instructions for remote control in the form of small icons so that the button assignment is directly visible. The disadvantage, however, is that the in-ears have no volume control and this must be done on the device. When calling, the Free X automatically switch to a so-called mono playback mode on the right earbud, which seems to take some getting used to.
The extended frequency response of the in-ears from 10 – 22,000 Hz offers powerful basses that extend into the low bass range and an appealingly clear, airy sound without any noticeable drop in the highs. The overall sound is harmonious and round, has a warm sound character and, in view of the existing bass foundation, also makes listening fun with hip-hop, R’n’B and electronic music. Since mid and high are not dominated by well-defined bass and a spacious stage is offered, there is great stylistic flexibility. The Free X is also suitable for alternative and rock, pop, soul and jazz and classical music. In this respect, the system is ideal as an all-rounder with a convincing sound quality, which also has no low output.
●︎ Type: Truly Wireless In-ear Headphone
●︎ Connectivity: Wireless
●︎ Frequency response: 10Hz-22kHz
●︎ Sensitivity: < 9.5dBm
●︎ Microphone: Yes
●︎ Battery: Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V, 85mAh)
●︎ Color: Black
●︎ Dynamic drivers: 5.6 mm
●︎ Ear tip material: Silicon
●︎ Bluetooth version: 4.2
●︎ Number of drivers per ear: 1
●︎ Impedance (ohms): 16
●︎ Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.3AVRCP V1.6, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2
●︎ Bluetooth transmitter power: <9.5 dbm
●︎ Bluetooth frequency: 2.40