Finding the right headphones for the gym seems impossible. The Monster iSport Freedoms might just be the perfect sports headphones. Freedoms are on-ear Bluetooth headphones, there’s no cable to get in your way and you don’t have to worry about earbuds falling out of your ear. There’s a seriously impressive battery life complimented by some serious sound quality. There’s also built-in headphone controls, a microphone, an optional headphone cable included, and water/sweat resistance. These aren’t just great gym headphones, these are great everyday headphones for the gym.
Freedoms are on-ear headphones, and fairly standard in form-factor. They have a tri-folding design with a similar form to many of the headphones on the market these days. The main differentiator is that instead of cloth or (faux) leather earcups and cushioning, they use a anti-microbial rubber that’s optimized for handling sweat and moisture. It’s just as comfortable and way easier to wipe sweat off of. The entire build is water resistant. They’re comfortable enough for every day use, but even better, they don’t feel gross when you’re profusely perspiring.
Freedoms are Bluetooth so there’s no cable required, but nicely enough Monster included a cable complete with ControlTalk and microphone. When you’re using Freedoms with bluetooth, there’s a built-in microphone on the headphones and even track and volume controls built into the right ear cup. There’s individual track buttons and volume buttons, you don’t have to double click or triple click.
Compatibility is an amazing thing. Freedom charges with a standard micro-USB cable and also uses a standard headphone cable. The battery seems to last forever, and its close with a 30 hour battery life. When the battery finally dies you can pop in the audio cable and keep rocking out.
Freedom is powered by “Pure Monster Sound”; they use advanced bluetooth (Apt-X + AAC) to wirelessly stream a full frequency response in high quality and with virtually no delay. This also makes the Bluetooth superb for phone calls. Over wired or wireless, the sound quality is awesome. These are possibly the best gym/sports headphones we’ve ever heard, and they stack up really nicely against other headphones in the same price range. The lows can get really bassy, the mids are really clear and well balanced, and the highs are pretty precise too. It’s a really balanced audio experience with a bit more emphasis on the low-ends. There’s no distortion at high volumes, and they get really loud.
The headphones create a tight seal around your ear. The noise isolation is good, but you can still hear some background noise. For gym headphones, this is definitely a good thing, you’ll want to be somewhat aware of your surroundings. At the gym they’re fantastic, they stay on perfectly while running and during most exercise. The only exception is sit-ups or crunches where you’re tilting your head back and forward. They’re a bit top heavy and they can fall out of place depending how vigorous your workout is.
The appearance of the Monster iSport Freedoms is just as loud as the audio. For now they’re only built in a neon green with black accents. At $249.95 – they’re quite expensive, but when you break down the features, it’s not outrageous. The battery life is the longest we’ve seen on Bluetooth headphones. They’re water-resistant, sweat-resistant, and bacteria-resistant. The audio quality is amazing. There’s built-in controls with a microphone, and they stay on fantastically at the gym (with the exception of sit-ups or similar movement). As a bonus, they come with a carrying case, an audio cable, and charge with standard micro-USB. Once you can get past the price tag, they’ll quickly become your favorite device. The Monster iSport Freedom on-ear headphones are currently available from Best Buy for $249.95.
The Good: Stylish, 30 hour battery, Bluetooth and also wired, built-in controls with microphone, water-resistant, anti-microbial, comfortable, stay on well(with one exception), and includes carrying pouch.
The Bad: Expensive. Top heavy – can fall out of place from situps or similar exercise.