One of the most popular Bluetooth headphones on the market, especially for athletes, the Jaybird X2 earbuds have a sequel. The aptly named Jaybird X3 earbuds are brand new and deliver some impressive new features. In fact, many pundits are calling one of its best features the price. While Jaybird X2 debuted a couple of years ago at $179.95, the more advanced Jaybird X3 are just $129.95. (That said, the X2 buds are now on sale for around $80.)
Still, when all you really need out of a product is sound, it’s sometimes hard to tell what could have improved over the previous generation. Make no mistake though that the Jaybird X3 wireless earbuds are a significant step forward from the X2. Here are four key differences between the two models.
The Jaybird X3 wireless headphones have been redesigned and repackaged in a smaller shell than before. Notably, they don’t stick out of the ear as much. This means they are much more comfortable for people who wear hats or earmuffs. They won’t fall out of your ear or poke the hat anymore. The feature is especially important for winter athletes, snowboarders, ice skaters and the like.
The X2 by comparison still do have a small bump that sticks out of the ear. Customers had previously complained about this, so the new X3 should make a significant difference.
Jaybird has a remarkable new app called MySound that lets you customize the EQ and sound profile of your X3 earbuds. Either use the default profile, create your own, or choose from a variety of presets to get unique feels from each of them. Jaybird even has athletes like Jesse Thomas and Lauren Fleshman on board having picked his own preference.
The best part about the MySound app though is once you choose your favorite sound profile, it stays with your earbuds, not with the device you’re using. So if you pick a sound profile on your iPhone and switch your earbuds over to get sound from your Mac, it’ll keep that same sound profile and not revert back if you’re on a new device. You can also save multiple presets and switch between them at any time.
The MySound app is only compatible with the Jaybird X3 and Jaybird Freedom headphones. It’s free for iOS and Android.
Bluetooth 4.1 offers tremendous advantages in the Jaybird X3. The X2 only supported Bluetooth 2.1, a large step back. Bluetooth 4.1 is first and foremost more battery-efficient thanks to Bluetooth low energy.
It also offers more practical features. It allows you to pair your Jaybird X3 to two devices at once without having to unpair. You can stream music from your laptop and simultaneously hear the phone ring from your iPhone. Plus, my favorite feature of Bluetooth 4 and on is the ability to see the device’s charge on iPhone and Android. On iOS, for instance, you can see the battery indicator in the status bar as well as in iOS 10 widgets. It’s much easier than just hoping and praying your Jaybird X2 aren’t close to dying.
Proprietary Charging Port
The inflexibility of a proprietary charging port is something to think about if you’re a frequent traveler.
While we’re comparing reasons to buy the Jaybird X3 over the Jaybird X2, it’s worth pointing out an important downside. While Jaybird X2 charged conveniently with a standard micro-USB cable, the X3 charges with a proprietary charging port. It does use a micro-USB cable, but you need to attach the included clip for compatibility. If you lose that clip, you’re out of luck charging your X3 headphones. It’s also one extra piece you need to bring when you travel anywhere.
It’s not a huge gripe compared to the rest of the great features, but the inflexibility of a proprietary charging port is something to think about if you’re a frequent traveler.