We are right at the time of the year where we, at RFMAG, start talking about active wear audio. So, let’s start off with a brand that established themselves in that very market, Jaybird. Jaybird works directly with professional runners and endurance athletes to produce wireless audio products that are comfortable and ready to endure sweat and the elements. Quite recently, they released their latest flagship product, a true wireless ear bud solution intended to free athletes even more while feeding them the audio that drives their workouts. Here, we take a look at the new Jaybird Vista Totally Wireless Sports Headphones for $179.99.
Jaybird Vista Specs
|Impedance||23 Ohm +-15% at 1KHz|
|Speaker sensitivity||103.5 +-1.5dB at 1KHz|
|Output||12 mW RMS (with level limit)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion||<3% (1KHz, 1mW)|
|Response Bandwidth||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Audio Format||16-bit Stereo|
|Microphone:||Sensitivity: -38dB +-3dB|
|Battery||Play Time: 6 Hrs + 10 Hrs in the caseCharging Time: 2 Hrs
Quick Charge: 5 min for 1 hour playtime
Build, Comfort and Features
Out of the box, you get the IPX7 Waterproof & Sweatproof Jaybird Vista ear buds, a USB-C charge case, a USB-C charging cable, and three pairs of replaceable Secure-Fit Eargels in small, medium and large.
As it turned out, the out-of-the-box application of the medium Secure-Fit Eargels was perfect for me. The Jaybird Vista’s slipped right into my ears without a hassle, resting comfortably secure in each ear. I have tried everything from violently shaking my head, 40-minute jogs, and even burpies, each after I had a good sweat going. The Jaybird Vista’s stayed put and stayed out of the way of my workouts. I spent a couple of weeks using the Jaybird Vista’s as my main audio drivers and comfort was seldom an issue for me. Ear fatigue did settle in after about 3 hours of continuous usage, but I did not consider it to be at a level of discomfort that distracted me from the task at hand. It was only after I was done listening to music that I realized how long I actually had the Jaybird Vista’s in my head.
Each ear bud features a rubberized fin that helps stabilize the headset pair in your ears. Each ear bud features a singular button, where each button controls Play, Pause, and Forward Track. You can opt for the standard approach of listening with both ear buds simultaneously for stereo sound, or you can use one ear bud at a time. This is where being able to control media with each individual ear bud comes in handy.
However, the behavior of these buttons can be somewhat customized using the free Jaybird companion app. The Jaybird companion app worked nicely with my Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Jaybird Vista. While the Jaybird Vista’s were in use, the app kept me privy to each earbud’s battery level. You can use the app to change EQ’s, create your own EQ’s, or finagle with button behaviors. I found that setting the hold-button features for the left and right ear bud to volume control was the most reasonable setting to run with. While the hold-button to power down is a commonplace setup, this is the only setup that allowed me to control the Jaybird Vista’s master volume. Plus, putting the Jaybird Vista’s back in their case shuts them down either way. This was the setup that allowed for the most functionality.
Where I found the most functionality out of the Jaybird app, specifically, was in its EQ customization. I did try to create an EQ from scratch, using the app’s wizard. However, after using the wizard, the resulting EQ was one that I was not in favor of at all.
That said, taking an existing EQ to customize was far more intuitive. I actually liked many of the base EQ’s that the app was set up with, so making subtle tweaks to what already worked was actually fun and fruitful.
I personally would have liked an option to set up back-track however, as the headset’s controls and app options only give you forward track, pause, and play. Not to mention, the button customization options for single press-and double-press were limited to playlist usage. Hopefully, additional options are something that could be implemented in a firmware or app update in the future.
Sound and Final Thoughts
With the base EQ’s in place, the Jaybird Vista sounds very impressive. It would be almost unfair to classify the Jaybird Vista’s sound as “good” while adding “for an active headset”, as that would not do these ear buds justice. What you get out of the box, going with the “Flat” EQ in play, is a very vibrant and a balanced sound, where the drivers have a slight lean on the mid and low ranges. Highs, like with cymbals and crashes, are solid and don’t disappoint. I just simply felt vocals and bass felt more prevalent. Overall, you have a vibrant and enjoyable sound presentation that shows Jaybird put as much care in sound as they did with the Jaybird Vista’s fit and durability.
To top it all off, the Jaybird Vista is a product of the times, using USB-C for quick charging its highly compact charge-case. Whenever you are in a pinch, a laughable 5-minute charge can give your Jaybird Vista headset one full hour of usage.
Summing it all up, the Jaybird Vista is easily the best sounding pair of active wear earbuds that I have used to date. It is the kind of sound presentation that I simply was not expecting from a sports-focused headset. Couple that sound with a comfortable fit and a feature set that lets you customize the headset to suit your tastes, and you have yourself a solid product for both sport and leisure. I would love to see EQ creation and button customization revisited in a firmware and/or app update, as the hardware of the Jaybird Vista is simply on point. Being able to fully control my media from the headset, in reference to back-track, would complete an already impressive product for me.
If you are looking for sports-ready ear buds that are low profile, comfortable, and simply sound great, the $179.99 Jaybird Vista should be on the top of your list of active wear to check out this year. You can check out the Jaybird Vista for yourself here.
†Jaybird Vista review unit provided by Jaybird PR.