Review: Jaybird Bluebuds X Bluetooth Headphones


*originally published on LeanItUp.com


Jaybird-Lady

Images: Jaybird Sport

It’s the year 2014 — if you live an active lifestyle and don’t own Bluetooth headphones, it may be time to cut the cord with your wired pair.

Prior to getting the Jaybird Bluebuds X I had a pair of Freedom headphones, also by Jaybird, which stopped functioning after about a year. Instead of replacing them under warranty I was able to upgrade to the Bluebuds X for a reduced cost.

I’ve used the Bluebuds X headphones for over a year, both in the gym and while running. Overall, they’re a solid pair of headphones that can keep up with my active lifestyle. For me, the biggest draw to Jaybird products is their lifetime warranty against sweat — this is a necessity for me considering that I train in South Florida. Thus far, the headphones have been holding up great despite finishing workouts with my gym clothes completely saturated in sweat.

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Aside from being sweat-proof, another major draw is the compact size. The Bluebuds are marketed as the smallest Bluetooth headphones on the market, an impressive feat for headphones that have a reported 8 hour battery life. They come pre-packaged with multiple size fittings for your ear so that most people can make adjustments and find a snug fit.

Despite some skepticism, even during intense activities (e.g. running) and the most grueling workouts, Jaybird’s patented secure-fit ear cushions keep the headphones in place.

Jaybird Bluebuds X — Features, Pros, & Cons



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I’m a bit of an audiophile and as far as earbud headphones go these are among the best sound quality I’ve used. As with any earbud headphones, you’re not going to get the amazing range of highs and lows that you would with a pair of DJ over-the-ear headphones. That being said, for an earbud that measures 13mm in depth, the bass is surprisingly good.

One important note about the sound quality: the fit needs to be perfect, otherwise the sound gets washed out and you lose a lot on the low end. I had to try out various combinations of the earbuds and secure-fit cushions in order to find an ideal fit.

As with many other Bluetooth headphones, there is a microphone for use with phone calls. Due to the quality of the speakers, the sound quality of calls is excellent. Unfortunately, your friend on the other end may not have the same experience. The microphone lacks basic noise canceling technology, which creates a fair amount of background noise for whoever’s receiving the call.

One feature I was excited about with the Bluebuds X was the ability to wear them with the wire over-the-ear and the cable cinched tightly to the back of the head (to prevent it from draping over your neck). Unfortunately I think Jaybird missed the mark on this one — the idea is great; the execution is sub-par.

Firstly, it is not simple to convert the headphones to the behind-the-ear style. The conversion requires the addition of two small plastic tracks that are supplied and takes some toying with. Additionally, in the behind-the-ear mode, since the microphone ends up behind your left ear it is impossible to use the headset for calls. Finally, it’s really difficult to find a good fit — I had no issues when wearing the headphones in the normal style, but they never seemed quite comfortable with the behind-the-ear set up.

Pros

  • Small size
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good audio quality
  • Lifetime sweat-proof warranty
Cons

  • Price
  • No sound-canceling microphone
  • Limited behind the ear functionality

Bottom Line


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If you’re an active individual looking for a top quality pair of headphones to match your lifestyle, I think these are a worthwhile investment. If you’re interested in purchasing a pair, they’re currently available on Amazon for $130 $69. (updated 5/23/16)

 

Note: The Jaybird BlueBud X is discontinued by the manufacturer, although still available on Amazon from the link above. The latest edition is the Jaybird BlueBud X2 which is available from Amazon for $109.