We’ve tried the Jaybird X2 and were big fans of its sporty yet versatile design. When its upgraded sibling hit the shelves, we were very eager to try it. We finally had the chance, and figured that we might as well write a Jaybird X3 review in the process. They seem to stack up well against their predecessor, but the question remains. Could these keep the Jaybird legacy alive? Let’s take a closer look
Before we initiate our Jaybird X3 review, we’ll need to explain a few things. To us, selecting the best sporty earphones boils down to:
When you’re buying earphones for high-stress activities, their durability should be your priority. They will eventually meet the ground, and their survival depends on your choices. Picking the best candidate means ensuring that it’s going to be capable of taking a couple of hits stoically.
In the same way, finding a set that won’t be damaged by dirt or sweat pays off in the long run. Unless you want to replace your earbuds every other week, keeping these elements at bay is a must.
After ensuring that you have a sturdy candidate, you can start thinking about audio performance. In this regard, the quality and size of the drives will be the most crucial element to ponder about. However, this will only give you a rough estimation of their acoustic prowess.
Given that many considerations in this area are highly subjective, we suggest trying each candidate individually. Overall, it’s the best way to find earbuds that are attuned to your musical taste.
Wired earphones are awful for running, hence the need for a wireless alternative. However, pretty much every set of wireless earbuds has its share of connection problems. Fortunately, wireless technology finally reached the point when you can still get a smooth experience with some Bluetooth earbuds.
However, to ensure that things do go smoothly, you need to stay away from outdated Bluetooth protocols. This doesn’t mean just the earbud’s Bluetooth connection, though. Both the streaming source and the playback device need to up-to-date.
Jaybird’s X series has been a reference in the sporty earbuds game for a long time. They’re hard to break, comfortable to wear, and thrilling to hear. When we sat down to write our Jaybird X3 review, we already had an idea of what to expect. However, we were still pleasantly surprised a couple of times. Among the things that we liked the most were:
Despite being targeted to athletes and physical-activity junkies, the Jaybird X3 still delivers in the sound department. They’re proud carriers of the signature Jaybird’s sound, which has always been good.
They’re heavy on the bass, but that’s almost mandatory in a set of running earbuds. To get the blood flowing sometimes it takes a punchy and rumbling vibe that these certainly posses. The 6mm drivers are taken to their maximum capacity to ensure that you never lack the energy to keep going.
However, the X2 nailed that part of the performance as well, but the higher ranges weren’t as impressive. In result, it seems like the Jaybird X3 are meant to be more balanced. And it shows although you’ll still find the vocals being mildly overshadowed from time to time. Their clarity is good enough, certainly better than the X2’s, but still slightly limited, particularly in the most challenging ranges.
Among other factors, Jaybird’s X2 model was among the top-selling earbuds for running thanks to its outstanding durability. Fortunately, these don’t fall short in that sense compared to the brand’s previous flagship. The Jaybird X3 incorporated every detail that worked on the X2 and polished it. Despite looking remarkably similar, you can tell the difference when you’ve tried both. The X3’s plastic encasing feels slightly stronger, and their sweat-proofing seems mildly improved as well.
However, there’s still an official IPX rating missing, which we would have liked to have. However, during our time testing them, we didn’t have any issues, and those got quite wet a few times. They seem to hold up well enough during a hardcore workout session or a drizzle, which is enough. Additionally, the X3’s 1-year warranty has you covered shall you run into any problems, so it isn’t a deal-breaker.
The X3 model kept the winning formula of its predecessors with the trademark ear fins. Like the X2’s, their design is meant to provide the best fit in the market. And, given that they’re meant to stay in place while you’re running or exercising, it seems like a smart decision.
The Jaybird X3 comes with the same 18-pieces bundle of different-sized ear tips and fins of the X2. In this package, you’ll find 3 sets of Comply Foam tips, 3 sets of silicone tips, and the same amount of ear fins. In our experience with Jaybird earphones, this approach has always been the best, and the X3 is no exception. Although finding the right combination takes a couple of tries, you’ll always find a perfect fit and seal with these. If like us, you’ve always struggled with earbuds in this area, we highly recommend that you try these Jaybirds.
The X2’s dated 2.1 Bluetooth protocol was perhaps their biggest shortcoming. Thankfully, in the newer model, Jaybird updated their earbuds to the 4.1 Bluetooth version. This translated into a better overall connection and a few extra features.
Most prominently, you’re now allowed to pair the earbuds to two different devices at the same time. Or connect the Jaybird X3 as well as another device to the same source. Independently of how you use this feature, the point is that it is now a possibility.
Besides, this also solved the problem of audio skipping during a workout for the most part, although not entirely. However, it happens with significantly less regularity, so we’re pleased either way. Besides, the devices now pair faster, which makes it less inconvenient overall. And, if it bothers you that much, wearing your streaming device closer to the earbuds will solve the problem for good.
Regarding battery life, the Jaybird X3 has the same duration as the X2 model. With a single charge, the X3 can deliver around 8 hours of audio playback. However, sometimes keeping it at a low volume and close to the streaming source can add 1-2 hours of usage. Similarly, doing the opposite will consume your battery at a higher pace.
The Jaybird X3 has a microphone included that allows you to take calls, activate voice prompts, and similar tasks. However, this mic isn’t located on any of the earpieces. You can find it in the control module, where the buttons are. Along you’ll find the volume settings, a button that doubles as play/pause command, and the power button.
There’s an important distinction between noise-canceling and noise-isolating earphones. Active noise canceling implies the use of counterbalancing measures to deal with disturbances. The Jaybird X3, on the other hand, relies on the seal of the ear tips to keep outside noises from getting in the way. In that area, they are very proficient, despite their lack of active noise-canceling.
The X3 is a solid improvement from the Jaybird X2 in many key aspects. It maintained the solid build, great fit, and versatility of its predecessor, which makes a lot of sense. However, they polished a few details, like the troublesome 2.1 Bluetooth version and the muddiness in the higher ranges.
Despite their few shortcomings, these can easily find a place among the best earbuds for running. They’re still arguably the toughest alternative available, which means that you can’t go wrong picking these Jaybirds. Overall, the X3 seems like a worthy successor, and a must-have if you loved the X2.
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