It's 2020, and wireless earphones are a dime a dozen in the market — from the typical neckbands to the truly wireless earphones to ones supporting high-resolution Bluetooth codec. However, when it comes to buying earphones meant for the gym, the numbers are a little disappointing.
Jaybird is one of the makers that focuses on making audio accessories for the gym, and the Jaybird Vista and Jaybird Run XT are two of the prime examples.
While the Jaybird Run XT has been there on the market for quite some time, the Jaybird Vista is one of the new entrants. And aforementioned, these are strictly meant for the gym with both the earphones coming with IP ratings. Plus, they promise to give you great sound quality.
Hence, it is fair to pit both the wireless earphones against each other and see which wireless earphones are best suited for the gym.
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Build and Comfort: Made for the Gym
With smartphones adopting a slim and tapered form factors, it's only natural that one would want their gadgets to maintain a similar look.
Thankfully, both the Jaybird Run XT and the Vista doesn't disappoint, especially the latter.
The Jaybird's Run XT earphones are round and compact and are designed to fit well. And well, it comes with fins, which makes these buds stay anchored to your outer ear when you're on your runs and walks. So, pluck them up from the pill-shaped charging case and pop them to your ears.
If you expected touch-based controls, you'll be disappointed since these buds feature physical buttons. You can press these buttons to play/pause your music, answer and reject calls or skip music tracks. The functionality is pretty basic, and there's no option to customize them much.
And yeah, they can turn out to be a little hard to press.
The good news is that the Jaybird Run XT is IPX7-rated, meaning they are both water and sweatproof. The folks at Toms Guide said taht the buds continued to work as advertised even when they were hit with water and sweat.
Being a newer product, the Vista is more compact than its predecessor, making them light on your ears. The best thing is that the same thing can be said of the charging case as well. It's compact, slim and will easily fit into trouser pockets.
These earbuds pack flat-paneled physical buttons, which makes it easier to control the button actions. And if you want, you can even get volume control on the buds.
All you need to do is press and hold the right bud to raise the volume. The opposite is also true — press and hold the left bud to lower the volume. And if you are not happy with them, then you can get the Jaybird MySound app to reassign the controls and functions.
However, the button issue with the Run XT seems to have carried over to the Jaybird Vista as well. They tend to jam into your ear canal if you press the buttons too much. Bummer, I know
The Jaybird Run XT comes with solid music quality. The bass level is perfect, and if you wish, you can also opt for the built-in presets in the companion app.
Again, the passive noise cancellation depends on the fit of your buds. But once you find a proper fit, notice minimum outside noise while you listen to music while exercising or on your runs.
And if you are in the mood, the companion app lets you tweak the lows, mids, and highs as per your liking.
The newer Jaybird packs 6mm drivers that do their best in delivering a rich and full sound quality complete with deep bass. Users seem to love the sound quality of these gym earphones. The sound quality alone has been rated around 4.5-stars out of 5 on Amazon.
Like the Jaybird Run, the Vista also doesn't come with active noise cancellation. But thanks to the snug fit, you do not have to worry about the external clamor. From music to podcasts, you can listen to every form of audio with clarity.
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Two of the biggest concerns of the Jaybird Run XT were its latency and connectivity issues. These issues appear only when you watch movies and videos with the pair. You may end up experiencing a terrible syncing issue.
Many users have reported that the buds disconnect from the phone even when it's kept at a reasonable distance.
On the contrary, you will find a consistent audio connection with minimum drops on the Jaybird Vista. The connection is instantaneous and strong, thanks to the onboard JBS1 chipset and Bluetooth 5.0. Plus, the issue of lag also seems to have been addressed in this version.
However, this product does have a few limitations. For one, it lacks high-quality Bluetooth codec support like aptX or aptX HD. On the upside, these are TWS earphones meaning you can use only one earbud at a time.
Last but not least, let's talk about the battery life of the Jaybird Vista and the Jaybird Run XT. The Vista promises a battery life of 6 hours while the case provides an additional 10 hours of battery life. And Jaybird lives up to its claims. Well, almost.
The folks at Sound Guys tested the Vista on a constant 75dB output, and the battery lasted about 5.62 hours. Many reviewers on Amazon have praised these buds for their advertised battery life.
It's worth to be noted that these TWS earbuds support quick charging. A mere 5 minutes of charge can get you around an hour's worth of playback on medium volume. While the buds recharge when you place them on the case, the case requires approximately two hours for a full charge.
On the contrary, the Run XT stays on for just four hours on a single charge, while the charging case gets you a battery life of around 12 hours.
This short battery life may be problematic for those who often forget to charge their phones and other gadgets. In such cases, you might end up with discharged earphones more often than you'd like.
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Verdict: Jaybird Vista Wins
When it comes to buying a pair of good wireless earphones, there are a few features that need to be perfect. Firstly, they have to be comfortable and should block out outside noise. Secondly, both sound quality and connection need to be solid.
More importantly, since we are looking for gym earphones, the fit should be solid and no amount of jumping, running should move them from their position.
The Run XT is designed to be used in the gym, and the solid build as well as the audio quality proves it. But the constant connection drops will most likely distract you from your routines. And if that's not enough, the audio and video lag can turn out to be a bummer if you plan to use them outside the gym.
As opposed to it, the Jaybird Vista addresses all the problems mentioned above brilliantly in its new iteration.
They sound better, and the connection and the lag woes are almost nil. Furthermore, they are slim and light, and the long battery life is the cherry on top.
The only downside is that it lacks active noise canceling and sound transparency.
If these are not dealbreakers for you and you have a few dollars extra to spend, I'd suggest you go with Jaybird Vista. If we were to go by numbers alone, they have been rated 4.3-stars out of 5 on Amazon, with over 65% positive reviews.
Next up: Intrigued by the new Amazon Echo Buds? Check out how they fare against the Jabra Elite 65t in the post below.