Jaybird Vista 2 : Tough Wireless Earbuds For Athletes

“As long as calling isn’t a priority, the Jaybird Visa 2 earbuds are an athlete’s best friend.”

  • Fully water and dustproof
  • Compact and secure fit
  • Great sound quality
  • Wireless charging
  • Very poor call quality
  • ANC struggles with wind noise

We were pretty impressed with Jaybird’s Vista when they launched in 2019. As the company’s third attempt at creating a top-notch, athlete-friendly set of true wireless earbuds, the $150 Vista (which debuted at $180) handily succeeded where the previous Jaybird Run and Run XT didn’t.

They sounded great and featured a compact and rugged design. But time waits for no one, and in 2021, if you want to be the best running headphones, or simply the best for any kind of intense activity, you need more. Way more. Can Jaybird’s new $200 Vista 2 claim that distinction? Let’s find out.

What’s new?

If you’re familiar with the original Jaybird Vista, and you’re wondering what an extra $50 investment gets you, here’s what’s new with the Vista 2:

  • Active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes
  • Longer battery life
  • Wear sensors for music autopause
  • Better dust and water resistance
  • AAC Bluetooth codec support
  • Wireless charging
  • “Find my” function for each earbud and the charging case

What’s in the box?

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Inside the box, which is almost completely recyclable, you’ll find the Vista 2 earbuds already in their charging case, a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging, three sizes of eartips (Jaybird calls them “eargels”), and some paper documentation.

Design

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Sport-oriented earbuds are often bulky affairs, but Jaybird has stayed true to the Vista’s highly pocketable design.

You know the expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and that sums up Jaybird’s approach to the Vista 2. Put them side by side with the original Vista and you can see that much has been preserved. They have the same compact and ergonomic shape, the same style of eargels with the integrated stabilizer fins, and an almost identical charging case, though the new one has more rounded contours. But Jaybird eliminated the small indentation on the front edge of the lid, which makes it harder to open the case, especially with sweaty or wet fingers.

Sport and fitness-oriented earbuds are often bulky affairs with big earhooks and even bigger charging cases. It’s great to see that Jaybird has stayed true to the highly pocketable design it created with the Vista.

Also preserved (and improved) is the Vista’s class-leading durability. In addition to meeting the MIL-STD-810 standard for environmental durability, the earbuds now feature an IP68 rating for total dust and water protection, while the charging case gets its own IP54 rating. Bear in mind that the earbuds don’t float and Bluetooth signals don’t travel well through water, so swimming with them is not recommended. For fun, I let the earbuds sit at the bottom of a sink full of water. When I plucked them out 30 minutes later, they seemed to be just fine.

The charging case contacts are corrosion resistant, so all you need to do is wipe away any excess water and you’re good to go. The case can now charge wirelessly, which is an especially big convenience if you own a phone that can perform reverse-wireless charging for accessories, like Samsung’s Galaxy S21.

The most visible difference is the woven fabric that now covers the outer portion of the earbuds. Jaybird calls it “WindDefense” fabric and, as that name implies, it’s meant to act as a wind sock, preventing wind and other sounds from interfering with the microphones.

Under that fabric is a physical button that can be used to trigger the usual actions like controlling playback, track selection, etc., but now each earbud also has an embedded accelerometer sensor for tap controls.

Comfort, controls, and connections

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Given the choice between earbuds with earhooks, like the Powerbeats Pro, and earbuds with internal stabilizer fins like the Vista 2, I will go with the stabilizer fins every time. While it’s true that they’re slightly less comfortable initially when you insert them, they’re easier to put on, and there’s no hook to interfere with my glasses. That’s not to mention how much smaller they are!

You may not want to wear them for endless hours, but they’re more than comfy enough for a two-hour workout.

As for the secureness of fit, don’t worry: With the combination of the stabilizer fins and the cone shape of the silicone eartips, the Vista 2 are very hard to accidentally dislodge. If anything, they can be a bit tricky to remove thanks