Jaybird had a bumpy start into the world of true wireless – that’s “-Style headphones “- when it was released back in October 2017. This model, updated to the 2019 was well designed but had some small performance issues that kept it from being great. But its successor, the Jaybird Vista (keyword ), contains design and performance improvements that make it the product I hoped would be the runner.
At $ 180 (£ 160, AU $ 280), it’s a bit more expensive than it should be, but it was one of the best true wireless headphones to hit in 2019. It will appeal to those looking for a more discreet set of wireless sports headphones that are completely waterproof.
What I liked about the Jaybird Vista
- The headphones fit securely in my ears and were comfortable to wear for the most part. Three different sized ear plugs and sport fins ensure a tight seal and a secure fit. They are light for their size and they fit my ears better than they do that has a slightly bigger sound and more bass.
- The charging case is relatively compact, light and fits easily into a pocket.
- They sound pretty good, if not as good as some of the best-sounding completely wireless headphones like these , and . As long as you get a tight seal, they’ll deliver a warm, comfortable sound with relatively well-defined bass.
- They seem long-lasting. They are fully waterproof with IPX7 certification (they can be completely submerged in shallow water for up to 30 minutes). I dropped a bud a couple of times and it wasn’t worse for the wear and tear.
- The battery life has improved. At a moderate volume it is now up to six hours, from the charging point another 10 hours.
- The charging case is charged via USB-C. Get one hour of playback time on a five minute charge.
- The Jaybird Vista works better than I expected as a headset, although it doesn’t work as well in a noisy environment. An ambulance with the siren on went by when I was talking to someone and they couldn’t understand what I was saying. You can answer calls in stereo or use each earbud individually.
- I had a couple of interference issues (New York is known to be a challenge for truly wireless headphones) but nothing serious. The wireless connection was generally solid – an improvement over the run. Jaybird uses a new wireless chipset with bluetooth 5.0 that clearly helps.
- I haven’t seen any video latency with various video apps.
- The headphones have physical buttons to control playback. There are volume controls, but you’ll need to program them into the app’s button controls. To increase the volume, press and hold the right bud. To decrease the volume, press and hold the left bud.
Here are some things I didn’t love:
- As I said in the intro, the price seems a bit high. These feel like they should cost around $ 150 or a little less. For example, that sound just as good and offer similar features are now $ 100.
- They’re not quite as detailed or dynamic as many top models (although some of these models cost a little more). Out of the box, I didn’t think they were great, but I was able to improve their sound through the app by searching for custom EQs and selecting them and adding them to the list of preset EQs (which I didn’t think were that good).
- They were a little uncomfortable to my ears at times. But after pulling the bud out for a moment and putting it back, it felt good. These should fit most people’s ears nicely, but like most in-ear models, they are not for everyone.
- As mentioned, the interference (wireless) problems with the Vista are minor, but some competing models had virtually no interference problems when tested on the streets of New York.
- There is no transparency mode that ambient noise can enter (which allows you to hear the outside world). Since the headphones passively block out a good amount of noise, you’ll need to play your music at a lower volume to hear the traffic around you when you’re walking. The JBL Reflect Flow has an ambient aware mode.
Overall, as I said, the Jaybird Vista is a nice upgrade over the Run, with improved performance and some design tweaks to both the case and the buds. This makes these headphones great sports headphones that stay in your ears during intense activities. But in a world where you can get a pair, the Jaybird Vista is a bit expensive. Hopefully we’ll see some discounts as we go into the holiday season and more true wireless headphones hit the market.
Main features according to Jaybird
- Weight: 6 grams (0.2 ounces)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- IPX7 waterproof, sweatproof and shatterproof
- 6 hours of audio when fully charged plus 10 hours more from the charging case
- USB-C charging
- A 5 minute charge gives you an hour of playtime
- Answer calls in stereo or use each earbud individually
- Revised 6mm drivers
- Customizable EQ with Jaybird App
- No video latency
- Price: $ 180 (£ 170, AU $ 280)
More recommendations for headphones
First published on July 31, 2019.