For years I struggled with wired headphones. They got caught in my belt, unceremoniously yanked from my ears mid set and always eventually died.
Not matter how “heavy duty” they were, no mater how cautious I was, I could always find a way to kill them. (Deadlifts are a death sentence for headphones)
But then came Bluetooth headphones.
They are expensive and there’s hundreds of much cheaper, wired options available but once you’ve had them for a while its incredibly hard to back to a normal wired set.
They’re a bit like a smartphone, you never realise you needed it until you’ve owned one.
These are the Jaybird X2s:
These are a wireless set of bluetooth headphones designed for sport. They’re the follow on to Jaybirds popular Bluebuds X headphones and although they look very similar they’ve gone through a major overhaul and a lot has changed under the hood.
They took the old design and upgraded practically every feature. These sound better, the battery lasts longer and the Bluetooth range has been improved.
Out of the box these look and feel very well built, they actually come with a lifetime warranty against sweat and come with a impressive array of options in terms of fit.
There’s 3 sizes of traditional silicon ear buds, another 3 size of their comply foam™ earbuds and three different sizes of sports ear fins to help hold them in place as well as some clips to shorten the cable.
First off I tried the silicon ear buds and medium fins. It took a lot of fiddling around to get them to fit.
I’m use to the Powerbeats 2 simple over ear design and these things are totally different.
After a little time I finally had a eureka moment and they fit perfectly, if you get the sizing right these things are super comfy, the noise cancellation is superb for a set of headphones and they feel very secure.
Next up I tried the “comply foam tips” Jaybird claim these are the next big thing in terms of fit and comfort. They look more like they’re made of cheap foam (like the old school headphones were) so I didn’t have high hopes for them, but I was very wrong.
These things are awesome and I can see what all the fuss was about.
They’re similar to memory foam in that they hold they’re shape after being squashed, you hold them in your ear canals for a few seconds and when you let go they expand again forming a perfect seal. The fit was great with the silicon tips but these are a different league, I am totally sold on them.
Here is a product that Jaybird has clearly thought long and hard about. There’s even the optio
n to lift the cable off your shoulders by looping it together with clips which was really useful for squats when I was paranoid the force of the bar might damage the cable.
Turn them on and you get friendly voice prompts to tell you they’re powering on, off or syncing. It’s a nice touch to have a human voice let you know what’s happening.
Sound wise these are superb, there’s plenty of volume, the sound is clean and crisp. They have a nice balanced sound, there’s enough bass to keep the bass heads happy without it being overpowering.
The Bluetooth range is excellent, I was able to leave my phone down and walk around the gym without the sound breaking up. These are really superb for gym use. In fact you really need to move away pretty far just to get these to drop sound.
The battery life also last quite a while, Jaybird claims 8 hours which is more than sufficient for my needs. I’ve been using these for two weeks inside and outside of the gym and they’re still on they’re first charge.
I did find the in line controls to be a bit fiddly though, at one point the X2s were trying to get my phone to ring the last number dialled when all I wanted to do was skip a track. (Which in the middle of a set could have been an embarrassing phone call)
It’s not that they don’t work well it’s just that for me they’re are a few too many functions to choose from. I guess I’ll get use to them eventually but I would have been happy with the basic skip track and pause functions.
I also noticed the wind tends to catch on them if I’m running outside, which you can hear whistling through the earbuds. Although they are very small there’s just enough sticking out of your ears for them to be caught by the wind and pick up the noise. They still sound great but it can be a little off putting.
There’s not much Jaybird can really do about it because they need to be a certain size in order to house the drivers and battery.
I did notice that since releasing the X2s they have released a newer, slimmed down model (Jaybird freedom) which ,might be more suited to outdoor pursuits.
Overall, for any kind of training these are a very well thought out, great sounding set of earphones.
These are of course a luxury item and if your perfectly happy with your wired, you probably won’t ever need a Bluetooth set. But if like me like me you find yourself killing a wired set every few weeks then bluetooth might just be worth the investment, and these are the best Bluetooth headphones I’ve tried.
I’ll drop an Amazon link here for anyone wishing to check them out: