In a world that's becoming more and more obsessed with true wireless earbuds, it can be easy to forget that there's an entire market out there for neckbud-style earbuds, too. It's a reliable form factor for wireless audio, giving you the convenience of Bluetooth without having to worry about losing individual earbuds and keeping track of a charging case.
That's the style of earbud offered by the Braven Flye Sport, and for such a low price, they get a lot right. In an alternate universe, these might be some of the best affordable wireless earbuds out there. In this world, however, the Braven Flye Sport ultimately come up short due to a design that's put a damper on my time using them.
Should you consider buying these, or possibly look for something else? Let's dive in.
Almost had it
Bottom line: There are a few things that the Braven Flye Sport do really, really well. Sound quality is much better than I had anticipated, the battery is rated for 12 hours of music playback, and having IPX7 water-resistance is a wonderful touch. Unfortunately, the awkward design and poor in-ear fit put a damper on the whole experience.
- Clear, crisp sound
- IPX7 water-resistant
- Long 12-hour battery
- Low price
- Poor weight distribution
- Long wire is uncomfortable
- Loose in-ear fit
- Micro-USB charging
Braven Flye Sport What I like
Going into the Braven Flye Sport, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect for the sound quality department. Outdoors/sports earbuds that are under $50? To be perfectly honest, I didn't have very high expectations. Thankfully, the Braven Flye Sport surprised me for the better.
These certainly aren't earth-shatteringly good headphones and won't be replacing your Sony WH1000XM3s anytime soon, but considering the form factor and price, I'm very pleased with how everything sounds.
Audio is well-balanced, offering a decent amount of bass on the low-end without overpowering everything or making it muddy. Music listed to on the Braven Flye Sport is crisp, clear, and thoroughly enjoyable. No, I'm not an audiophile, but I've established a sense of what sounds good to my ears and what doesn't. The Braven Flye Sport definitely fall into the former camp.
I quite enjoy listening to the Braven Flye Sport, and thankfully, you can do that for quite a while before needing to charge them. You get 12 hours of playback per charge, giving you substantially more endurance compared to more expensive wireless earbuds like the Jaybird X4.
If you're just using the Flye Sport to listen to music at the gym and turn them off when you get home, that 12-hour endurance could easily result in going over a week before needing to dig out your charger. As someone who often forgets to check the battery status of my headphones, being able to keep going and going on one charge is fantastic.
Speaking of the gym, if you get the Braven Flye Sport drenched in sweat or caught out in a rainstorm during an outdoor run, you don't have to worry about them falling apart on you. An IPX7 water-resistance rating protects the buds, making them a great fit for anyone that tends to be a bit rough on their tech.
Lastly, I want to give some praise to the Flye Sport's in-line plack controls. The three buttons can be used for turning the earbuds on/off, pausing/playing music, adjusting your volume, and moving through tracks in a playlist. The buttons are easy to tell apart from one another thanks to their different shapes, have good tactility when pressed, and in general, are just really enjoyable to use.
Braven Flye Sport Where they fall apart
Braven did a lot of good things with the Flye Sport, and I want to make sure those strong suits are well-known. Unfortunately, the rest of this review isn't going to be very positive.
I usually don't have a difficult time wearing earbuds of this style. In fact, the aforementioned Jaybird X4 are some of my favorite earbuds in my ever-growing collection. While the Flye Sport have a similar design, they don't feel nearly as good to wear.
As soon as I took the Flye Sport out of the box, I suspected the design would be a problem. In addition to the in-line playback controls underneath the right earbud, there's another hunk of plastic towards the middle of the cable. This is used to house the Flye Sport's battery, and while it does allow for incredible endurance, it also makes wearing the earbuds very difficult.
I think the idea here was that the battery would rest in the middle between both earbuds when worn, but in reality, it easily shifts to one side or the other as you move. In my testing, this means the Flye Sport are constantly falling out of my ears. Even when just wearing the Flye Sport around my apartment, I found that one of the buds would quickly start to wiggle its way out of my ear — the culprit often being the battery weighing it down.
On top of that, the general design of the earbuds doesn't fit well in my ears. I usually don't have a problem with this. Hell, even the AirPods fit in my ears without any issues. However, I just could not find a comfortable fit with the Flye Sport — even after messing with the different ear and wingtips that are included.
Fueling this fire even more, the cable connecting the earbuds is awkwardly long. Between it freely moving up and down while running/jogging and regularly rubbing against my shirt to further nudge the earbuds out of my ear, it rains even more on a parade that's already soaked.
Finally, before I forget, I do not like that the Flye Sport charge via Micro-USB. It's almost 2020, and having to dig up my old Micro-USB cable when almost all of my other gadgets have transitioned to USB-C is never not annoying.
Braven Flye Sport Should you buy them?
There's no denying that the Braven Flye Sport are a good value. Sound quality is solid, the battery life is long-lasting, and having IPX7 water-resistance is a huge win for anyone with an active lifestyle. Factor all of that together with the price Braven's asking for the earbuds, and they quickly become quite attractive.
Unfortunately, what could have been a phenomenal experience is ruined by the Flye Sport's design. These do not feel good to wear, mainly because I can't find a way to secure the buds in my ears without them falling out moments later. Considering these are designed to be worn on runs, at the gym, hiking, etc., that's a big issue.
You may have better luck than I with the Flye Sport's in-ear fit, but at least for my ears, I'll be moving back to the Flye Sport Rush.
Almost had it
There are a few things that the Braven Flye Sport do really, really well. Sound quality is much better than I had anticipated, the battery is rated for 12 hours of music playback, and having IPX7 water-resistance is a wonderful touch. Unfortunately, the awkward design and poor in-ear fit put a damper on the whole experience.
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