Tech Review: Jaybird X3 Bluetooth Headphones
This year brought a new addition to the Jaybird lineup and a successor to the amazing X2 bluetooth headphone, the X3. Everyone here love the XT one while others fell out of favor, stop working, the exit to just keep plugging along. We had some minor grapes of course, but the X3 brought some new features which we were hopeful would remedy some of those earlier issues.
Jaybird is an interesting brand, it’s a relative upstart, they don’t make a lot of products like other headphone manufactures come in and they have a very pure focus on fitness. Additionally, marketing, present at events, and overall messaging really Address the fitness community. So if you are a runner, cyclist, cross better, you name it, then you have seen their booth, but for some reason, typically Price looked at a competitor. So let’s see if the X3 can change all that
Out of the Box Experience
The out-of-the-box experience is very premium, the packaging is well-designed, very robust, and neatly organized. It feels like an Apple product which has long been a benchmark for many brands from a packaging perspective. It comes with a neatly organized assortment of alternate your pieces ranging from the harder plastic with rubber exterior to spray foam, all provided at various sizes and there is definitely something to fit everyone. It also comes with a new charging cable which is more like a dock and the nice part about this, which we will address later, is that there is no exposed USB contact points hidden behind a little rubber door. That is very much the norm for most brands so it was nice to see something new and well thought out in regards to this. So you get a new charging cable, still micro USB on one end, but more of a cradle on the other end. You also still get the adjusters to bring the straps tighter against your head if you like that versus having the wire flap freely.
The headphones themselves are very high-quality. Visually, they look almost exactly like the prior version just with some very very minor tweaks. The little biggest difference is now the volume control, it has been re-designed to accommodate for the new charging model. It is wider, flatter, and the buttons are larger. Overall, this is a dramatic improvement because it gives you more substantial of control of the device and anyone who has used other headphones will know what I mean. Typically the buttons are very small and sometimes hard to differentiate between.
The next thing to address is connectivity between the headphones and your device. This is as easy as it’s ever been, but it’s been updated. It is a really minor feature, but I quite enjoy it. They have updated the feedback voice and tones when you start and connect and turn off your device. It’s much more friendly, it’s actually got a little groove to it, and it’s very apparent. Pairing is very simple and I literally experienced no quality or audio loss whatsoever.
Battery Life and Charging
Battery life is on par with all other devices we have tested as well as being in line with stated actuals from Jaybird directly. It provides about 8 hours on a full charge with 200 hours of standby and takes about 2 hours to charge fully. It also has a quick charge where 20 minutes will give you an hour of time. The only issue we have noticed with the X.3 is with this new charging pad. The cradle system is well-designed, but there are plenty of times where even when seated properly the contact points are not providing a charge. It takes a little jostling sometimes to get it to sit right.
Style & Aesthetics
The Jaybird X3 comes in a 6 different colors for pretty much every taste including all black, white/gold, black/olive, red/black, gray camo, and a shiny silver they call platinum.
I have hit a long a lot of the general spec and functional pieces, but let’s talk about in run. First off, for any Bluetooth headphone fit is key. Take the time to figure out which pad you like to use between the two formats as well as proper sizing. I always tend to land at the mid range as I get a secure fit with little to no movement. Additionally, you have not only the tip to worry about but also the in ear piece that locks in place. Take a few moments and get that rate and once dialed in it performs really well.
Throughout numerous runs and rides I have noticed next to no performance issues. Once proper fit is made, these things stay in place with no problem and this is really at any rate of speed. The sound is crystal clear and can also go really loud, so be careful. The control system is much improved and I love the larger pad and all interactions like Voice control through something like Siri works just as well as you’d expect.
The Jaybird X3 is an awesome successor to the X2. It didn’t change the things that worked well which is the primary your piece, but improved on other areas like charging and controls. We couldn’t be happier with the improved model and it’s definitely one of our recommended bluetooth headphones.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- MSRP: $99.99
- Available: Now