PowerBeats3 vs. Jaybird X3 Wireless Headphones: Which is Better for the Gym?

George Tinari

There is no doubt that when it comes to working out, wireless headphones are way better than wired. That’s also approximately 634 percent more accurate if you own an iPhone 7. But once you come to that conclusion, you still have to pick the best wireless headphones for the job. Gym headphones need to be at least water-resistant, durable and extra snug in your ears. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt if they sounded good too.

Jaybird has established a name for itself, but Beats work seamlessly with Apple devices.
Jaybird has established a name for itself, but Beats work seamlessly with Apple devices.

Today we’re taking a look at two of the top contenders for wireless workout earbuds. The first is the Beats PowerBeats3 and the second is the Jaybird X3s. Both are brand new and sport the latest technology. Let’s find out if Apple’s famous W1 chip in the PowerBeats3 can outweigh the X3’s sound quality and price advantage.

Here’s a good deal on the Beats PowerBeats3 on Amazon. You can also check out the Jaybird X3 Wireless ones.

Jaybird X3 Headphones are Inexpensive with Great Fit

The new Jaybird X3 is the successor to the X2, both of which are great pairs of wireless earbuds. In fact, we made a detailed comparison of the two so you can see what’s new. One of the X3’s signature features is the MySound app that lets you find a comfortable fit for the EQ or “sound profile” of your earbuds.

If you don’t like the sound out of the box, you can make adjustments to bump up the bass, boost the mids or just choose from a variety of presets. Plus, these changes stay with the earbuds as they pair and unpair with different devices.

The reversible design lets you wear the cable under the ear or over depending on your preference.

Photo: Jaybird Sport
Photo: Jaybird Sport

They’re also extremely flexible when it comes to fit. Out of the box, you get six different pairs of ear tips: three sizes of silicone and three sizes of the comply isolation or foam. If you have issues with the silicone, you can switch to the foam which should fill your ear much better and keep the X3s locked in.

Plus, you get three sizes of ear fins for added support in the ear. To top it off, the reversible design lets you wear the cable under the ear or over depending on your preference. It’s pretty hard to not find a comfortable fit.

By comparison, the Powerbeats3 includes silicone ear tips only, but they do come in four size options instead of three. Beats also does not have any equivalent to Jaybird’s MySound app for sound customization.

Photo: Jaybird Sport
Photo: Jaybird Sport

The X3s are also completely sweat-resistant and durable so you should be able to get these things fairly wet after a workout with no worry. In fact, they should work through several workouts since the headphones get an impressive 8-hour battery life.

That’s not as much as the PowerBeats3, but the bare minimum for gym goers should be 7 hours — about a week’s worth of workouts — and the X3s surpass that.

Last but not least, the price is a strong suit for Jaybird X3. These sell for only $129.95 compared to the much more expensive PowerBeats3 at $199.95.

PowerBeats3 Offer Excellent Battery Life and Connectivity

Jaybird X3 has good battery life with 8 hours of usage, but PowerBeats3 has great battery life with a full 12 hours. Plus, a quick five-minute charge with the PowerBeats gets you an hour of listening. Jaybird promises the same for 15 minutes.

Photo: Apple/Beats
Photo: Apple/Beats

The stellar battery life is thanks to the new Apple W1 chip exclusive to only a few products like the PowerBeats3. It’s excellent for sipping power instead of chugging it.

The chip is also the reason PowerBeats3 works incredibly with Apple devices. Just hold them up to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac and your device will automatically ask you to connect. Plus, you can switch connectivity between devices instantly thanks to iCloud. PowerBeats3 also works with Android and any other Bluetooth-enabled device, just not as seamlessly.

A quick five-minute charge with the PowerBeats gets you an hour of listening.

Photo: Apple/Beats
Photo: Apple/Beats

PowerBeats3 like the X3s are sweat-resistant, but also claim to be fully water resistant. This shouldn’t make much difference in practical use, but hopefully, it means the Beats are slightly more versatile.

Speaking of versatility, a major advantage is that PowerBeats3 uses micro-USB to charge. Since Jaybird X3 uses a proprietary charger, if you lose it, you’re out of luck. At least you can pick up micro-USB anywhere, making the PowerBeats more ideal for travel.

Also, don’t forget to check out this cool noise canceling headphone from Sony on Amazon.

Verdict: Jaybird X3

The comparison might have been closer to a draw if both were priced similarly.

The Jaybird X3 headphones are ultimately just a perfect little package of awesome for the price. At $130, you’re getting great sound quality, flexible comfort options, good battery life and cool features like the MySound app, but with the PowerBeats3 at $70 more, X3 takes the cake.

That said, if you love the extra battery life or seamless integration with Apple, you might think the high price of the PowerBeats3 is worth it. Those are the only major benefits, though, and Jaybird X3 still gets good battery life and works through standard Bluetooth with all devices.

Jaybird has made arguably one of the best wireless sports headphones with the X3s and, fortunately for us, they’re affordable too.

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George Tinari

Written By

George Tinari

George Tinari has written about technology for over seven years: guides, how-tos, news, reviews and more. He's usually sitting in front of his laptop, eating, listening to music or singing along loudly to said music. You can also follow him on Twitter @gtinari if you need more complaints and sarcasm in your timeline.