When it comes to audio devices I’m big on sound and functionality. The Jaybird BlueBuds X headphones go long on both. With slick packaging, a carrying case, custom mini-USB charger (Why is this not also a bracelet? JayBird, get on this!), and a pile of accessories, the look and feel of these headphones reflects the higher price tag. An additional nanotechnology liquid-repelling treatment (Liquipel) tops off the list.
But let’s take a look at the parts that really matter – sound quality, function, and fit:
Bluebuds X have surprisingly good sound for being, well, ear buds. I think this has a lot to do with the fit, which we’ll talk about later. Not only do they play music well, but they also play phone calls and books on tape nicely, too, thanks to the high and low ends of the sound spectrum being covered. I’ve also tested them as a Bluetooth headset in a series of situations (including wind and ambient noise) and have found them to be a newly essential part of my kit when working, as I am on many conference calls and training sessions where my voice needs to be heard clearly.
After testing these for upwards of two months, I’ve been able to use these headphones successfully with Apple, Android, and Windows products that have Bluetooth capability. While the signal boost technology doesn’t blow me away (it still skipped and had issues at ten to twelve feet), the signal at range is good and the sound is crisp and clear. The control buttons and voice prompt technology (known as “Jenna”) are an intuitive way to use the headset when the buttons are not within eyesight.
The fit of the BlueBuds X is both a blessing and a curse. With the three sizes of ear tips (or buds) and the ear cushion technology for keeping the headphones in ear even during rigorous activities, these aren’t going anywhere. The downside is that they fit so darn well that I can’t hear any ambient noise around them. Even when turned off they still sound dampen very well. This is great for on an airplane, but not so great when taking a run down a busy street. On the other hand, I have enjoyed them when doing simple workouts involving kettlebell swings and sprints in my neighborhood. They haven’t budged, and for me that’s worth the price.
As with most of my multitasking technologies I review on here, if you can use these ear buds for more than just tunes on a jog, then I can’t recommend them enough. I couldn’t live without them at this point. As far as movement goes, if they will get you to move past the dreaded uneven running gait of “holding a phone in one hand so you don’t pull your earplugs out” then please, please get them. Your spine will thank you.
JayBird BlueBuds X headphones are available for $169.95 at JayBirdStore.com.