What You Need To Know
- Fantastic battery life at 6 hours per headphone, plus 10 hours from charging case
- Waterproof and sweatproof within a fully encased unit
- Magnetic charging/carrying case is the perfect size for transportation
- Would totally pick them as a fighter in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out
Thomas: I have lost count of how many different pairs of Jaybird headphones I have had or reviewed (e.g. Jaybird Tarah Pro, Jaybird Run XT) before the Jaybird Vista. Up until now, they have all been decent choices for audio during runs, but not exceptional. Battery life was above average, but the sound quality was middle of the road.
Recently I reviewed the Powerbeats Pro from Beats by DRE and was very impressed with the sound quality. I thought they would be tough to take down. Soon after, I received a surprise challenger— the Jaybird Vista— and it hit them square in the jaw. Not a complete knockout, but heading for a TKO.
Robbe: We’ve done a lot of stuff with Jaybird in the past, so I was excited for their newest offering. It didn’t disappoint.
Thomas: Size matters. The Jaybird Vista is the smallest all in-ear waterproof true wireless headphones, and each earbud only weighs 6 grams. Don’t let the size fool you, you won’t be sacrificing anything.
Jaybird packs in the features into this diminutive package. Let’s start with battery life. I didn’t have to charge the Vista for over a week. When the little guys are charged up they have 6 hours of life; however, the case has 10 bonus hours of battery and is small enough to fit in a gel pocket or on a keychain. Hell, if you’re Zach Bitter you could run 100 miles and still have over a quarter of the battery left.
Battery life is cool and all, but if the sound quality is crap, who cares?! The depth of sound in the Powerbeats PRO was impressive; the range of sound in the Vista is as good or better. Once you download the Jaybird app you can use the preset equalizer options or for an even better experience, use the app’s hearing test to create the equalizer settings best suited for your hearing. I did just that and can’t believe the lush tones, dry percussions, and dense bass that is served up.
In the past, Jaybird used nanotechnology coatings to make their headphones water and sweat resistant. This led to some durability issues. Jaybird’s customer service was quick to correct it, but as runners, we want something that stands the test of rain, sweat, and time. This time around, Jaybird made some huge changes. The Vista is actually fully sealed and encased so water and sweat simply can’t get in. If corrosive sweat can’t get on the delicate connections and circuitry, it can’t do damage. This may be the most important improvement and will add life to your headphones and keep you running longer.
Another benefit— you can take the headphones out and easily tuck them into a pocket if you run into a friend and would rather have a conversation. Since they are sweatproof you don’t need to be worried about them getting wrecked while discussing what happened on Paradise Island last week or where the closest Popeye’s Chicken is.
The charging case for the weighs 32 grams and can fit in your jeans coin pocket. What I am saying is, the thing is small and light (i.e. easily transportable). The way the headphones snap on to the charging magnets is also very satisfying.
Robbe: I agree with Thomas on pretty much everything above. I previously ran with the Tarah Pro, and these are a game-changer for me. Spend the extra dough and get the wireless. The fit, the size, the charging pod with the magnetic lid— everything about these headphones is fantastic.
That said, being wireless, I’ve already lost these at least once, but never fear— they have a “Find My Buds” feature through the Jaybird app that allows you to track them to your last connected location. Be careful or you’ll turn into that clingy boyfriend.
The functionality of these headphones is simple and intuitive. Out of the box, a single press on the concave, finger-form earbud plays or pauses a song. Double press skips to the next track, while a press and hold powers off. You can change these around within the app to your liking. You can even set the controls to connect with Siri or access your favorite Spotify playlist.
Speaking of the Jaybird app, it’s really, really well done. The design and features are great, especially the seemingly endless presets. As Thomas said, you can fine-tune your own, or pick any of the nice ones already available.
I’m not gonna go any deeper than what Thomas did on the sound—it’s fantastic. Same with the battery life.
Thomas: The way the headphones seal into my ear canal is so complete it actually creates some internal pressure, sometimes I have to pull them out just enough to release and equalize.
My only other issue is more of just a warning. The Vista block out a lot of noise, like enough that you don’t hear traffic or the voice of loved ones. This can be an issue if you are running in the city and need to be aware of bikers, cars, or sirens. You’ll need to be more aware of your surroundings while you’re jamming out to Bag Raiders Lightning.
Lastly, the Vista doesn’t have a true auto-detect off like the Powerbeats or Apple AirPods; however, it does have two auto-off settings you can manually set within the app, either 15 or 60 minutes.
Robbe: I mean, if you want some noise-canceling headphones, these will do the trick. Full disclosure, I don’t run with headphones anymore unless I’m testing. So maybe I’m just not used to them, but the full suction was a little much for me. I don’t like the sensation of not hearing anything around me (especially in Baltimore), and each footstep seemed to reverberate through my ears. I mitigated this a bit by running with just one earbud in, which by the way— double the battery life if you do it that way.
Jaybird Vista True Wireless Headphones Conclusion
Thomas: Jaybird is designing with the athlete in mind and it shows. These are the best headphones for runners that I have used. With nothing over the ear or cords connecting the headphones to each other, the runner has full freedom to move. Next time you need to whip your head around to see if traffic is coming you won’t need to worry about losing an earbud.
Overall, the fit is aces, sound quality is off the chain, and battery life is stupendous.
Robbe: While I’m not typically a headphones runner, I’ve started to use these every now and then, because why not? The sound is great, they disappear when they’re on, and they’re easy to take with me wherever I go.
Also? One charge will get you through even the longest marathon training run (combined with the carrying case, maybe even a week of training).
Get these now for $179 by using the shop link below.Shop Jaybird Vista
Thomas is the founder of Big Run Media, Believe In The Run, and the Faster Bastards. His mission is to get everyone running. Life is better when you run and running is always better when you have the right gear.