Jaybird has really been making some serious waves with its with its current-model X2 wireless IEM ($179). A simple yet elegant solve for delay issues between wireless earpieces, the tethered IEMs supply the go juice and connectivity module from within a hardwired cable across the back of the head. Targeted at an active lifestyle audience, the company is going to expand the line even further with even more products firmly aimed at durability, sweat resistance and compact sizing.
The new product on show at CES is called the Freedom. With a street price of $199, the tiny wireless earphone has a pretty deep feature set for a very mainstream cost. The Freedom is water-resistant (a representative told me that you can’t swim with it yet) and offers 100 ft of range from the source. The battery life is rated for 4 hours of use, but a tiny attachable battery extension will give it an additional 4 hours of playback time.
The housing on the Freedom freakishly small compared to the ever-growing size of multi-driver BA technologies that grace the high end of the hobby. The intent here is to ensure minimal impact for rigorous movement and also a low profile for wearing under helmets and the like. A detachable brace similar to the X2 will come with the Freedom to ensure that it stays in place during exercise.
Perhaps even more impressive is the Jaybird’s efforts on the software front. The company was also showcasing a MySound mobile app that allows for custom EQ adjustment to the earphone. Here’s the kicker though: the EQ settings stay native inside the IEM. So once you make the adjustments, they stay with you regardless of what playback software you use. Very innovative.
Specs on the big new tiny include Bluetooth 4.0, paring up to 8 devices and a metal inline remote. There will be 5 color options available when it ships in May. There will also be another update to the product line called the X3, which is expected to be ready by the spring. The X3 body should be more of a reflection of the current X2 design with a slightly slimmer profile.
Jaybird X2 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013HSW4SM/
More info: http://www.jaybirdsport.com