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Jaybird Freedom Sprint Headphones Review: Bluetooth Wireless Headset

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Life is just getting more complex - even when you're running away.

For instance, it used to be that one pair of headphones would suffice for everything, but now almost every activity requires a different headset. Gaming, driving, commuting, actually listening to stuff - all of these have dedicated gadgets designed to fit the occasion best.

Jaybird's new Freedom Sprint Bluetooth headphones (£129) also have a niche in mind - namely the horrible, hot, painful bits of your life when you're forced to run for some reason.

Whether it's actual exercise or running away from an angry bear, these are the headphones designed to fit most securely and not get in your way.

In design they reflect that task well. These are simple, understated headphones, with none of the overblown chintz of some other brands. They are light, black, plastic and lightly adorned with decoration, and while other headphones will give you a more 'premium' experience (whatever that means), they look the part. And frankly if you demand Kevlar-coated headphones to go to the gym, you're an idiot.

The Freedom Sprints also come with a bizarre-looking set of "secure fit sports ear cushions", which appear like little rubberised velociraptor claws but are actually designed to hold the ear buds in place. Which they do, even if it takes more than a few tries to learn how to actually get them on.

At 40% smaller than their predecessors, and with 4.5 hours of playback (100 hours standby) the Sprints are nicely specced for the average marathon. They also feature a built-in microphone for taking calls, on-ear controls and charge over USB. Pairing up with your phone or iPod is simple, and caused us no issues. Audio quality could be a bit better - this is Bluetooth after all - but they're more than fine for the gym or the trail. It's also worth noting that the cable, which hangs onto your neck as you run, isn't annoying. So there you are.

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Luckily, the Sprints also come with a lifetime warranty against sweat damage. That's fortunate because you're going to be using these an awful lot - if you're the gadget minded exerciser for whom they're intended. If you're not into running, or you just want a Bluetooth headset for normal use, you might want to look elsewhere - the battery life alone is a bit of a killer.

But if you want a light, unobtrusive and high quality pair of headphones for exercising - and you already have a Bluetooth device in mind with which to use them (the new iPod Nano for instance) - you can't go far wrong.

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