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Dóttir Freedom On-Grid Review

Verdict

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The Dóttir truly wireless sports headphones are certainly fit to stay put for rigorous workouts and offer good battery life and useful active noise cancellation for the price. Sound-wise, they prioritise power and bass, which comes at the expense of delivering something that might appeal to audiophiles that also spend big time in the gym. You can find better sounding headphones for around this price, but if fit, powerful sound and those extras appeal, there are still things to like about the Dóttir as a workout companion

Introduction

Dóttir is a new headphone brand on the scene, built by two giants in the CrossFit game who became fed up when the sports headphones they turned to for training continually failed to go the distance.

So it launched a set of in-ear headphones clearly inspired by the Beats Powerbeats Pro, prioritising a secure fit, big sound but also offering better protection against moisture and sweat as well as delivering big battery life too.

Priced at £119.99, the Dóttir is cheaper than the Powerbeats Pro and other truly wireless sports earbuds like the Jabra Elite 7 Active and Jaybird Vista 2. So it has every chance of being a pair to consider heading into the gym or out for a run.

The Dóttir in-ear ANC headphones are available to buy in two colours for £119.99 / $150 from the Dóttir website.

Design

  • IPX7 water resistant rating
  • Built-in touch and physical controls

It doesn’t take long to see the Dóttir headphones take heavy design inspiration from the Powerbeats Pro, adopting a similar earhook-style with even the main casing around the same size and thickness. Unlike the Powerbeats, these sit differently on the ears all while still offering a nicely clamped fit around the top of ear.

With your pick of ash grey or white colours, each earbud weighs 9.32g and having worn these on runs, indoor rows and home workouts, they haven’t weighed heavy in or on the ears. Those ear hooks do their job of keeping the headphones in place even when I really started to get a good sweat on. It’s always useful to have the option to use them independently, if you like to keep an ear free.

Dottir Freedom On-Grid being held in hand

On the subject of sweat, these carry an IPX7 water resistant rating, making them suitable to submersion in water up to 1 metre for 30 metres. What that rating is there for is to tell you it’s good to hold up against big sweat and maybe getting caught up in a rain shower on a run. Yes, you could technically go swimming with them, but Bluetooth and water don’t really mix.

The eartips straight out of the box worked for me in terms of getting a good strong seal, but if they don’t, there’s a generous 12 pairs of silicone ear tips that should make sure you do find something that sits snugly in.

Dottir Freedom On-Grid being worn

In terms of controls, you’re getting both a mix of physical and touch controls on both sides of the headphones. There are two physical buttons on either side that let you adjust volume and skip tracks, and then the touch controls are tied to enabling and disabling active noise cancellation and transparency modes. I always favour physical buttons on sports headphones and these ones worked fine on the whole.

The only real issue I found here is that while it was easy to crank the volume up, the buttons assigned to turning volume down felt a bit stiff and unresponsive on occasions. Assigning touch controls to hearing modes is a smart move as I usually stuck to the same mode before tackling a workout or a run. It’s the volume and track skipping I like to be able to have quick and easy access to and that’s what you get here.

Dottir Freedom On-Grid charging case

Then we have to talk about the case, which features a barbell-inspired design to further feed into the founder’s love of all things gym and lifting related. It’s not the most pocket-friendly case, but does stand out and offers a well protected home for the headphones, which clip nicely in place.

Features

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Transparency mode available
  • No EQ
  • Microphone to take calls

You do get the offer of active noise cancellation and transparency modes, with the former certainly working better indoors than outdoors. You’re still going to have to contend with battling the wind whether it’s for listening to your music, accessing your smart assistant or handling calls.

The transparency mode works fine too in terms of giving priority to exterior sounds, but it would be nice to be able to adjust the amount of sound let in and out, which is on offer on other sports buds that offer transparency modes.

On the connectivity front, I don’t have any complaints. I used them with an iPhone, Android smartphone and a Macbook Air and didn’t suffer any dropouts. You’re getting a good 10 metre Bluetooth range here too, so if you’re in the gym and need to be slightly away from your phone you’re well covered.

Dottir Freedom On-Grid in-between weights

On the battery front, the Dóttir performs well on the whole with no sign of a concerning drop-off in testing. Each bud packs 70maH capacity batteries and together can deliver up to 12 hours battery with ANC turned off and 8 hours with it turned on. I largely used them with ANC enabled and an hour’s worth of running or working out at home saw battery drop by around 10%. That’s similar to what I’ve seen from other truly wireless sports earbuds with ANC.

It takes over an hour to charge them from 0-100% with the USB-C charging case, but I didn’t get near to that as the charging case can offer 5 full charges, and you also have a quick charge mode that gets you an hour’s playtime from 10 minutes of charging.

Sound quality

  • Big on bass
  • Not the most balanced presentation

So I’ve established these are sports headphones that can stay put, but when they’re in place how do they sound? Well, I’d say it’s a case of going big on power, offering a thumping, bass-heavy sound profile, but that bass is definitely more on the muddy side than I’d like, even at moderate volumes.

Dottir Freedom On-Grid earbuds

There are sizable 13mm dynamic drivers that power performance, and ultimately, if you’re hoping for something well balanced with detailed mids and sparkling treble, you’re definitely not going to get that with this pair. You’ll get this kind of power from Powerbeats or the Jabra Elite 7 Active, but you’ll also get something more balanced sounding overall.

Fortunately, if you’re not big into your bassy sounds, which these headphones are clearly built for, they did offer good clarity for listening to podcasts or watching workout videos as I did at times sitting on a rowing machine. Overall sound quality lacks polish, and there’s no EQ in a companion app to tweak what they deliver on the audio front either.

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Should you buy it?

You want earbuds that don’t budge The earhook design on the Dóttir makes sure these are buds that don’t move even when things get sweaty.

You want exceptional sound These buds are built for big, powerful tracks, which leaves it lacking in the detail and clarity departments.

Final Thoughts

The Dóttir earbuds with their Beats Powerbeats Pro-aping look are buds that do not budge even when you up the workout intensity. Sound-wise, there’s a bigger emphasis on power, which comes at the expense of offering something more balanced and better catered to people who don’t like to exercise to thumping playlists. The ANC support and battery life are solid for the price and as a package they make strong workout companions that just might not be best suited to audiophile ears.

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Tested with real world use

Test over several days

FAQs

Can use the Dóttir headphones for swimming?

You could, but Bluetooth connectivity could drop in and out

What Bluetooth codecs do the Dóttir Freedom On-Grid support?

SBC, PCM, AAC, aptX, aptX HD

Full specs

UK RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
IP rating
Battery Hours
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Release Date
Audio Resolution
Driver (s)
Noise Cancellation?
Connectivity
Colours
Frequency Range
Headphone Type

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