With a history of incredible studio and professional grade headphone products like the DT 990 Pro or the DT 1990 Pro headphones? German born, Beyerdynamic is a brand well established in high end audio products with impeccable standards and great design. Will their first active noise canceling, true wireless headphones carry on that high standard? How will they stack up against Apple’s generation 1 AirPods Pro? Let’s have a look at the Beyerdynamic Free BYRD ANC TWS headphones.
Right off the bat Beyerdynamic wins with eco-friendly 100% recycled packaging. There really isn’t much else to say here. The Free Byrds come in a branded brown cardboard box with cardstock inserts separating the headphones from its manuals, charging cable and ear tips which are all included in the box. Along with the impressive set of 5 color coded silicone and 3 foam ear tips, Beyerdynamic also provides a sizing sheet with their paperwork to indicate the color and sizing. Because I have very small ear canals, I typically use the smallest tips available (Beyerdynamic starts at Extra Small). But in this case, I found a little too much noise leaking out while testing the Active Noise Canceling modes. So I went with the next smallest silicone tips and found them to be better. After some extended testing, I found them to still slip out of my ears on occasion, so I may have to go up even further to a bigger size. That’s why it’s so nice to have a wide selection of tips to sample from.
The Free Byrd headphones (Bluetooth 5.2) also support the latest audio codecs such as Qualcomm® aptX™ Adaptive & AAC as well as a microphone with Qualcomm’s cVc codec for incredible speech detection and active background noise canceling. Alexa voice assistance is built in and Android users can also benefit from Google’s Fast Pair technology. While these are impressive specs, one of this product’s biggest features is that it’s all done with an impressive 11 hours of battery life. Recharging is as simple as placing them back in their sturdy metal QI charging case. Charging can also be done with the included USB C to USB A charging cable. It’s also worth mentioning that a quick 10 minutes back in their case will give you an hour of battery life.
Another one of Free Byrd’s standout features is the Beyerdynamic MIY app. Available on IOS and Android, the app allows you to change ANC modes and sound settings but also provides an impressive degree of customization. The app will offer to run some listening tests to customize your experience based on the style of music you listen to or by testing your hearing and boosting certain frequencies to improve your experience. I definitely recommend running through the tests more than a few times to get a feel for the changes it makes to your favorite music styles. It’s worth mentioning that the Beyerdynamic also included a low-latency gaming mode for gamers on the go.
Active noise canceling can also be controlled by the MIY app and to be fair, I found the Free Byrds to be just okay at noise canceling. Compared to my Apple AirPods Pro (Gen 1), the Airpods win hands down. But the Free Byrds do a fine job at eliminating the important low frequency sounds like public transit, airplane noise and city drone. Higher frequencies tend to creep through a little more when listening with the Free Byrds, but this is always something that can be tweaked and improved through firmware updates. So it’s not a dealbreaker for me.
How do they sound? The Free Byrd headphones sound absolutley fantastic. With 10mm dynamic full range drivers, sound is delivered effortlessly. The soundstage is huge and well balanced. The sound profile is not colored or heavy in any particular direction. Which makes these perfect for virtually any music style. With a balanced sound profile, using the app, listeners can tweak settings for any music style or listening preference. If you need more bass, just visit the MIY app and dial it up! While there is a noticeable lack of a completely customizable EQ, the app more than makes up for that with all of the options available. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that Beyerdynamic won’t add an EQ in at a later date through app updates. Controls are handled by a series of touches or holds to the raised capacitive touch points on the earpieces themselves. The earpieces are also aware that they are in your ears, so removing one will pause audio until the earpiece is replaced back in your ear.
In short, Although late to the true wireless, active noise canceling game, Beyerdynamic delivers a solid product that I am convinced will be popular with a very wide demographic of listeners and audiophiles. With the amount of customization available through the app, its extra long battery life and great sound, the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd is a great sounding product that will be on a lot of christmas lists this year!
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.