We have reviewed a number of Braven’s audio products in the past — their Bluetooth speakers have consistently earned solid recommendations over the past year or so. It was for this reason that we were excited to try their new Flye Sport line of in-ear Bluetooth headphones. First up is the entry-level model, simply called the Flye Sport ($49). Though we think the Flye Sport does many things right, our review units suffered from a fatal flaw that may be a dealbreaker for some users.
The Flye Sport comes with a standard set of accessories — three sets of comfortable silicone ear tips, a charging cable, and a zippered storage bag. Along the flat, truly tangle-free cable are two modules — a three-button control pod with a charging port and a second module that we assume holds the battery and other electronics. The Flye Sport is available in four colorways; our review unit came in gray with red accents. The gray looks a bit plasticky, but the subtle red outline on its control and battery housings is a classy way to add a little bit of color to an otherwise very neutral-looking headphone.
Using the Flye Sport was a bit of a mixed bag. They’re light and comfortable, with driver housings that are shaped perfectly for a secure fit inside the ear. Three button control pod hangs from the right ear, with the familiar-but-not-MFi control scheme. The buttons are covered in silicone, clicky and easy to discern without looking. We were able to get decent battery life out of the Flye Sport, though not quite the 12 hours that Braven advertises. The battery module proved a bit problematic — while moving the heavier components away from the ears to the base of the neck is a great way to improve comfort, we found that the mass in the center of the cable had a tendency to flop onto one side of the neck and get stuck, pulling on the opposite ear when we turned our heads. We’re sure that not everyone will have this issue, but a shorter cable would probably eliminate the risk.
Where the Flye Sport really fell down, unfortunately, is with its sound. We liked the V-shaped sound signature for workouts, and found the upper mids and highs satisfyingly punchy. However, there seems to be a problem with the Flye Sport’s bass reproduction. Our first review unit was distorting badly to the point of being unusable. Braven quickly supplied a replacement which, although better, had similar distortion with some low frequencies. We listened to the Flye Sport for a few weeks, hoping that the drivers would break in and smooth out, but unfortunately that day never came. We can’t say whether this issue will be present in all Flye Sport units or whether we just had bad luck, but we think low-end is very important for a sport headphone. The Flye Sport is affordable with a secure and comfortable fit but, based on what we heard, it’s very hard to recommend.
Company and Price
Model: Flye Sport