Tech Review: Jaybird Vista Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Let’s kick this off with a really clear statement, we really didn’t totally love the Jaybird RUN. It was a good first shot of course, but it left us wanting and the performance of their other headphones like the Tarah Pro were much more convincing from the quality and performance perspective. When the Vista was released, we were excited to say the least because we saw a lot of what was missing making its way into a non-tethered IPX7 waterproof and sweatproof Bluetooth headphone.
What’s in the box
With every release, the Jaybird design system is getting better when it comes to their packaging and even the hardware itself. The case/charging unit is a small rectangular box with a nice tactile feel on the outside. Flipping it open provides access to both headsets which magnetically snap into their proper charging positions. The case also has a small lanyard as well as a USB-C charging port and it, of course, includes a cable as well. The case does function really well and really snaps open and close, so overall very well-designed… it stands up to a ton of drops, weather, you name it. The headphone unit itself people might find a little blocky and while the include 3 separate “eargel” sizes for varying ear sizes, it’s definitely better in larger ears. The unit also comes in three colors and look really solid visually.
Out of the box connectivity
The first thing we were worried about was how easier these were to pair and historically this has been a strong suit for Jaybird and the Vista maintains this track record. Once in the ear, you can begin pairing immediately by holding the small button in the charging unit and it shows up instantaneously on the device. At this point, you have the opportunity to install the Jaybird app and historically we have steered people away from this because it didn’t add a lot of value, but things of changed a bit here. The app has gotten a lot better.
The Jaybird App
We’ve touched on this before and they continue to improve upon this and again it works with all of their headphones, but the Vista really takes advantage of the app. Within the app, you can, of course, customize a lot of things which we will touch on a second, but more importantly, you can update your firmware directly which is a nice touch. You can also find your headphones if lost which given the small size is a massive benefit. The customization is where a lot of the power comes in because you can tune your audio profile to your own needs and listening preferences. They have a simple wizard that helps you build your profile and you can choose to use this or use some of their presets as well. There also a number of playlists in the application which really just link directly into Spotify and if you’re not a Spotify user, then the value disappears fairly quickly.
Battery and Charging
Jaybird says the Vista will last roughly 6 hours of full play-time (plus an additional 10 hours from the case) and we can say in all of our testing that is almost exactly right coming up right at that mark in most tests. That is plenty of time for most a decent long workout so nothing to worry about here. A full charge does take two hours, but it also does a quick charge which gets you a full hour of playback in a quick 5 minutes and it’s plenty for an hour of running. The case of course charges with the USB connector just like others and then act as a charging device on its own for the headphone itself. If you are traveling and run for an hour a day, and are gone for five days straight, then you will never need to charge and we never felt this deviated from what was advertised.
Running in the Jaybird Vista
Last up, we need to hit on the actual in-run experience. The Vista itself fits really well in the ear and the only drawback is that smaller ears might find it a little too big and you just can’t get it small enough to fit it in. The sound quality is really solid on these and by that, we can truly say we have no complaints whatsoever. We can also say that it actually worked really well in flight as well. Having forgotten our normal headphones, we quickly grabbed these from our luggage and while there is no active noise cancellation, the fit is so good that it did a little bit of that without it. We have now run them through all kinds of weather and the water and sweatproof functionality works as advertised. The only disruptions we ever had in terms of dropout tend to come from having a number of Bluetooth devices running at once which every headphone we have ever tested has had an issue with. Note we did primarily test these with iOS, but Android users are reporting the same thing.
To sum it up, the Jaybird Vista is definitely a high-performance Bluetooth headphone that runners will love. For much much longer runs, we will still stick with the Tarah Pro given it has a much longer battery life, but for everyday runs and even working out, the Vista is now our go-to. It will be interesting to see how they improve upon this, but we’re guessing it will come in the form of fit and providing access for smaller ears. The price for many might be a bit of a challenge, but against the AirPods, the Vista is just a better running and workout headphone no question.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- MSRP: $179.99
- Available: Now