The Free Byrd is Beyerdynamic's first pair of earbuds, and it wants to take on Apple's AirPods Pro in the premium earbuds space. Beyerdynamic is a German audio company best known for its headphones and microphones. In addition, its product portfolio also includes wired earphones that cost up to $1000.
Apple's AirPods are the most popular earbuds brand but are not necessarily the best. Apple faces stiff competition in the earbuds market from competitors such as Sony, Samsung, Huawei and Google, to name a few. However, the advantage Apple has over products from these brands is that its AirPods work best with its products.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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The Free Byrd earbuds have a closed-fit design like the AirPods Pro. However, they are shaped like round pebbles, angled and have a stemless design, unlike Apple's earbuds. In addition, the earbuds, which are rated IPX4 for protection against sweat and splashes, are pretty big and heavy at seven grams per bud. The AirPods Pro also has an IPX4 rating, but they are lighter as each one weighs 5.4 grams. Beyerdynamic sells the Free Byrd in two color options — Black and Gray (more like off-white) — with a matching charging case. On the other hand, users can only purchase the AirPods Pro in white.
The Free Byrds Have An 11-hour Battery Life
Beyerdynamic doesn't say what the size of the drivers in each earbud is, but it describes them as "powerful." It says they each have three microphones, support aptX Adaptive, SBC and AAC codecs. And also use Qualcomm's dual two-mic cVc technology for noise cancellation during calls. On the other hand, the AirPods Pro is fitted with 11mm drivers, has two microphones per earbud and supports AAC and SBC codecs. Both earbuds have touch controls, and while the AirPods support hands-free Siri, the Free Byrd comes with Alexa built-in but is certified to work with Google Assistant and Siri.
Apple and Beyerdynamics have equipped the earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) with a transparency mode to let ambient sound in when required. Nevertheless, the AirPods have the upper hand as noise cancellation dynamically adjusts. Apple's earbuds also have a feature called Adaptive EQ which tunes the music to the shape of the listener's ears. The Free Byrds connect via Bluetooth 5.2, support Google Fast Pair, and have a Find My feature that allows owners to check their last known location. In contrast, the AirPods connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and instantly pair to Apple devices, including the Apple Watch. It also has automatic switching and a Find My feature to locate them when lost.
Battery life is where the Free Byrds shine, as they can last up to 11 hours on a single charge. With the charging case, the total battery life is 30 hours. On the other hand, the AirPods Pro has a battery life of five hours (4.5 hours with ANC on) and a total of 24 hours with the charging case. The Free Byrds's charging case supports both USB-C wired charging and Qi wireless charging, while the AirPods Pro's MagSafe case has a lightning port for wired charging and also supports wireless charging. In addition, Beyerdynamics ships its earbuds with five pairs of silicone ear tips and three pairs of foam ear tips, while Apple bundles the AirPods Pro with three pairs of silicone ear tips. The Free Byrd also has a companion app that owners can use to create a personalized sound profile.
With both pairs of earbuds priced at $249, the choice depends on several factors. The Free Byrd earbuds support more codecs and have superior battery life. Furthermore, despite their compatibility with iOS devices, they work best with Android devices. On the other hand, the AirPods Pro is lighter, has dynamic ANC and is best suited for use with Apple devices.
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Habeeb enjoys writing about the consumer technology space and has a keen interest in wearables, Android smartphones and tablets, and Chromebooks. When he's not writing, he's catching up on the latest TV shows and movies.More From Habeeb Onawole