These Fitness Buds Are Indestructible

The Jaybird Vista 2 earbuds outside their case.

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

I’ve destroyed my justifiable share of earbuds over time. Some had been by chance thrown within the wash. Others tumbled out my ears throughout a run, skidding throughout concrete right into a puddle of mud. A couple of simply couldn’t stand as much as the sweaty rigor of day-in/day-out exercises. So after I say that it might take loads to destroy the Jaybird Vista 2, I imply it. These are by far probably the most sturdy earbuds I’ve ever examined, and doubtless the perfect suited to hardcore athletes—as long as super-premium audio high quality isn’t the No. 1thing you’re searching for in exercise buds.

What’s Different With the Vista 2?

The original Vista earbuds had been additionally nigh-indestructible. That hasn’t modified. The Vista 2 have an IP68 ranking, making them extra mud, sweat, and water resistant than your common pair of earbuds. They’ve additionally bought the next army sturdiness customary than the earlier Vista. This time round, Jaybird has additionally prolonged that to the case, which is now rated IP54.

But sturdiness isn’t the one factor Jaybird’s up to date. For starters, these have lively noise cancellation, in addition to an ambient mode that Jaybird dubs “SurroundSense.” There’s additionally 33% extra battery, wi-fi charging through the case, and a brand new fast cost characteristic that will get you an hour’s value of battery in 5 minutes. This model additionally has a brand new “WindDefense material” that, in tandem with beamforming tech, is meant to get you clearer voice pickup.

Jaybird’s additionally added accelerometers to every bud, which expands the accessible contact controls from the unique Vistas. Like AirPods, the Vista 2 additionally helps in-ear detection, which means your music will mechanically pause when you take an earbud out and restart while you put it again in. If you’re somebody who loses issues simply, Jaybird has additionally expanded its Find My Buds characteristic in its app to incorporate the case, which now has a low-power Bluetooth chip.

AirPods Pro vs. Jaybird Vista 2

AirPods Pro vs. Jaybird Vista 2
Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

Design-wise, not an excessive amount of has modified right here—and that’s factor. These buds and the case are tremendous gentle, and I admire the unobtrusive match. I typically really feel the stress construct up after I run with earbuds, however I by no means had that situation with the Vista 2. And, on this age of pandemic working, I admire that they by no means caught on my masks. (I’ve misplaced depend of what number of occasions my AirPods have fallen out of my ear whereas pulling my masks up or down mid-run.)

That’s a variety of updates, and it additionally means the Vista 2 are actually $20 costlier than their predecessors at $200. That places them on par with the Jabra Elite Active 75t, however they’re cheaper than the $230 Jabra Elite 85t and the $250 AirPods Pro. Whether the cheaper price tag is value it, nonetheless, depends upon your priorities.

The Definition of Durable

Over the previous week, I’ve carried out my greatest to place these earbuds by means of the ringer. I sweat buckets working a couple of miles in humid 90-degree climate. I chucked the case throughout the room and let my cat bat it off tables, counters, and cabinets. I dropped them in some mud, after which dunked them in a bowl of water to scrub them. For funsies, I dropped them in a pool. Basically, I subjected these buds to each conceivable check inside purpose, and so they nonetheless work, which is fairly spectacular.

However, the most important check was after I bought caught in a downpour proper in the course of a 4-mile run. I don’t imply a drizzle and even the kind of rain that makes you duck below an awning. I imply, an precise thunderstorm the place you possibly can’t see two toes in entrance of you and also you’re soaked to the bone. It wasn’t intentional—I’m notorious amongst my buddies for by no means checking the climate—but it surely turned out to be an honest testing situation.

For the 20 minutes or so it took me to run the 2 miles again to my residence, the Vista 2 held up like nothing had modified. I’d’ve been a drenched mess, however the buds by no means fell out of my ears, misplaced connection, or stopped working. I took one bud out to actually drench it, and lo, it paused my audio. When I caught it again in my ear, my music began up once more. I can’t say I’d be assured my AirPods Pro, that are IPX4, would maintain up as effectively. (Though my husband swears his survived the wash as soon as, I’ve heard one too many tales of AirPods that died after lesser rainstorms.)

Illustration for article titled Jaybird's New Fitness-Focused Earbuds Would Survive the Apocalypse

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

I don’t advocate that anybody purposefully exit and run in a thunderstorm. Though, I do know some runners on the market refuse to let a bit of rain intervene with coaching. I’m additionally not saying you possibly can take these into the pool for a swim sesh. Jaybird says that whereas the Vista 2 wouldn’t break, Bluetooth simply doesn’t transmit effectively underwater. All I’m simply saying is when you had been caught in torrential rain like I used to be, these buds would survive.

As far as battery goes, the Vista 2 has an estimated battery lifetime of 24 hours altogether and eight hours of straight playtime. I haven’t had fairly as a lot time to check the bounds of its battery life, but it surely’s been glorious to this point in my testing. A 30-minute exercise session drained the battery about 10%, and after a 50-minute run, I nonetheless had 82% left. I’ve had these for a bit of over per week at this level, and apart from my preliminary cost, I haven’t needed to prime up the case in any respect. Last I checked, it nonetheless has about 90% left and I’ve labored out shut to three hours with the Vista 2 prior to now week.

Decent, however Not Amazing Audio

The authentic Vista’s audio was advantageous, however nothing to jot down house about. That’s true this time round too.

The Vista 2 have 6mm milled drivers, and so they aren’t too shabby. Do they sound nearly as good because the AirPods Pro, my husband’s outdated Bose SoundSport, and even my outdated Jabra Elite 65t? Nope. My exercise playlist hasn’t modified an excessive amount of over time, and the Vista 2 aren’t the best-sounding earbuds I’ve ever used. Songs like BlackPink’s “Playing With Fire” or Billie Eilish’s “Therefore I Am” sounded flat, even on a extra bass-forward EQ setting. If you’re somebody who actually wants glorious audio when figuring out, you’ll get higher sound high quality from the AirPods Pro or any of Jabra’s earbuds. That stated, the Vista 2 aren’t the worst-quality earbuds I’ve ever examined both. I personally use music in exercises to blot out my intense need to give up. All I would like is a distraction from bodily discomfort, and on that entrance, the Vista 2 will get the job carried out.

ANC can be first rate. During a strength-training session at my gymnasium, it blocked out the sound of different individuals grunting and the TV. While working at my desk, it dampened my cat’s yowling and the sound of the washer. Again, is it higher than the AirPods Pro or my over-ear ANC headphones? No. But it’s ok that can assist you focus, and that’s all you actually need.

Illustration for article titled Jaybird's New Fitness-Focused Earbuds Would Survive the Apocalypse

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

Less spectacular was the ambient mode. I reside by the water and wind is an actual ache within the ass after I run—on most days it’s someplace between 8-13 mph. It wasn’t so noticeable with ANC on and the amount on medium (although I did discover a bit of wind noise when the amount was on low). In ambient mode? Woof. It’s fairly dang loud, to the purpose the place I had some problem listening to vehicles behind me after I needed to run within the highway. During my thunderstorm run, it was inconceivable to disregard and I needed to swap to ANC to dam out the noise. This won’t be as a lot of a problem when you’re working in much less windy locales or plan to make use of these primarily on the gymnasium. It’s simply one thing to contemplate.

I did, nonetheless, admire how straightforward it’s to modify between modes. You can customise the controls for every earbud within the Jaybird app, however the default to modify between ANC and ambient mode is tapping twice on both bud. You don’t even should faucet too onerous, which I appreciated as a result of my common route has a number of sections the place I’ve to duck out into the highway for a stretch, and I’ve no need to be flattened right into a pancake by vehicles, children on scooters, or buses. It’s additionally infinitely simpler than squeezing on my AirPod Pro’s stems, which I’ve by no means managed to do efficiently mid-stride.

Call high quality is first rate, as long as you’re not in a brilliant noisy surroundings. I by chance butt-dialed a pal in the course of my thunderstorm run. While I may hear her advantageous, she thought I used to be being chased by a assassin and requested if she ought to name 911. I needed to cease working and yell a bit for her to know that I used to be OK. My husband additionally known as to examine on me throughout that storm, and in his phrases, I “gave the impression of shit” and he couldn’t hear me over the wind. Granted, that is an excessive situation. In my quiet workplace? A pal stated I sounded simply advantageous.

While the Vista 2 don’t have the perfect audio, you possibly can enhance it by futzing with EQ. The Jaybird app additionally helps you to flick through community-created presets, a few of which had been higher than I anticipated. There’s additionally a characteristic the place you possibly can create a customized EQ primarily based by yourself listening to, however I wasn’t too huge of a fan of mine.

Lastly, this isn’t fairly audio-related, however I used to be initially stoked to check the Find My Buds characteristic. I’m at all times misplacing my AirPods Pro case, and it drives me nuts as a result of Find My doesn’t work until the AirPods are out of the case. The factor is Jaybird’s model is a bit of half-baked. It’s superior that you could find the case. It’s much less superior that you may solely set off flashing LED lights and never audio, which for me, isn’t that helpful after I’ve misplaced it someplace in my home. (It’d be extra helpful when you misplaced the case exterior the house.) The particular person buds are simpler to search out as a result of you possibly can set off audio—however I discovered it wasn’t fairly as dependable as Apple’s Find My characteristic. It was a bit of disappointing, however I nonetheless admire the characteristic, even when it wasn’t excellent.

Who Should Buy the Vista 2?

There are a variety of wi-fi earbuds to select from today, and albeit talking, the Vista 2 comes with some tradeoffs. On the one hand, $200 is competitively priced and also you get loads for that worth, together with ANC and glorious battery life. On the opposite hand, there are better-sounding earbuds on the market with ANC and higher high quality ambient modes.

Illustration for article titled Jaybird's New Fitness-Focused Earbuds Would Survive the Apocalypse

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

If you’re searching for pristine audio or primarily persist with the gymnasium, you’re higher off shelling out a bit additional for the Jabra Elite 85t and even the AirPods Pro. They additionally do an important job exterior of health and sound higher on calls. And if ANC isn’t an enormous deal, you would additionally contemplate the Jabra Elite Active 75t. Those don’t have true ANC, as Jabra added it through a firmware replace, however they do provide a very nice match, a greater ambient mode, and good audio. I’d additionally in all probability advocate the Active 75t for out of doors cyclists, because the Vista 2 isn’t the perfect at blocking out wind in ambient mode.

However, when you’re somebody who goes onerous on out of doors health, the Jaybird Vista 2 is the higher wager. They’re extraordinarily light-weight, they gained’t fall out of your ear, and even when they do, they’ll survive the tumble. Sure, audio may very well be higher, however the audio high quality is frankly ok for walks, commutes, and exercises. If you’ve bought sufficient dough to have one pair of headphones for work, and one other for the gymnasium, the Vista 2 is an efficient funding.

Overall, I wouldn’t advocate these for individuals who solely work out sometimes and even those that primarily train indoors. But personally talking, these shall be my new go-to for exercises. I’m not valuable about audio, I run most days of the week, my ears are sadly very sweaty, and I’ve had one-too-many shut calls with my AirPods Pro. I’m additionally somebody who’s at all times had separate headphones for various conditions. For somebody like me, the Vista 2 is principally excellent.

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