JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Review: 6.8/10 Good

JayBird BlueBuds X Sport packaging
6.8
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The JayBird BlueBuds X Sport come in two colors, white and midnight black.  The BlueBuds were designed specifically for use during exercise and are sweat-resistant (Jaybird even offers a lifetime guarantee against sweat).  They are designed to fit in the inner ear canal and come with three different sizes of silicone earbuds and three different earlobe stabilizers to keep the BlueBuds in place.  In practice, it is very difficult to achieve a good fit.  Professional and consumer reviewers alike complain the BlueBuds have to be constantly adjusted when running or performing other strenuous exercises.  The BlueBuds get slippery when you sweat making matters even more frustrating.  The cord on the BlueBuds can be shortened with plastic clips (included) and worn behind the neck, or you can let it hang down in front of you like traditional wired earbuds.  Since the microphone is on the wire, this setup is better if you plan on making or receiving phone calls.  Overall, the BlueBuds are impressively small and light, although still relatively large compared to wired earbuds.

The Bluebuds come with a carrying case, but it is not made very well and the BlueBuds barely fit inside if you have selected the larger silicone tips and earlobe stabilizers.

JayBird BlueBuds X Sport

Controls

The controls and microphone are located on the cord.  There are 3 buttons:

Volume Up: Press once increases the volume, holding it advances to the next sound track

Volume Down: Press once decreases the volume, holding it reverses to the previous track

Pressing volume up and volume down together mutes and unmutes the microphone

Function Button: This controls many features and is context dependent.

  • When off, hold down to turn the BlueBuds on and continue holding to initiate pairing.
  • During music playback, press once to pause and resume playback, press twice to redial last call.
  • When receiving a call, press once to answer, and press again to end the call.
  • Hold down to turn off the BlueBuds
From www.jaybirdsport.com

From www.jaybirdsport.com

 

Features

The BlueBuds have Signal Plus technology that is supposed to reduce skipping and increase the wireless range.  In practice it works well.  Users report that the BlueBuds skip much less than other Bluetooth earbuds and the range is excellent, up to 60 feet of unobstructed distance from the smart phone.  The BlueBuds have “Shift Premium Audio,” JayBird’s proprietary audio technology and also boast “Puresound” technology which is supposed improve the sound quality.  In practice, users absolutely rave about how good the BlueBuds sound.

The BlueBuds can be paired with up to 8 devices and supports voice control.  While most Bluetooth earbuds have an audible voice that announces various events like powering on or off the device or the battery life remaining, the BlueBuds have Jenna, a very pleasant female voice making all these announcements.  It’s a minor detail, but users like her enough to mention her and remember her name.

Performance

Although some of the sound quality is lost if you cannot get a good seal in your ear canals, users absolutely rave about the music playback quality of the BlueBuds, The BlueBuds compare favorably to premium wired earbuds.  The bass is powerful, the tremble is sharp, and the mid-range is full.  They can be played at high volume with no sound distortion, and users claim they can be turned up “plenty loud.”

On a single charge, the Bluebuds will play 8 hours of music and can standby for 250 hours.

Call quality is hit and miss.  The microphone has no noise cancellation feature, and users report mixed phone call quality.

 What’s in the box

BlueBuds X Premium Bluetooth Buds
3 pairs ear tips
3 pairs secure fit ear cushions
2 X-Fit cord management clips
Standard Micro USB Cable
Premium Protective Carry Case

Specifications

Audio
Type: In-Ear Style
Noise-isolation: Passive
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Speaker sensitivity: 103 +-2dB At 1KHz
Output 12mW RMS (with level limit)
Total Harmonic Distortion <5% (1KHz, 1mW)
Audio Format: 16-bit Stereo
Codec: Shift™ custom SBC implementation
Response Bandwidth 20-20000HzIntegrated Microphone
Type: MEMS omni-directional (2.75 x 1.85 mm2)
Sensitivity: -38 dB + /-3dB (1KHz, 0dB = 1V/Pa)Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth Class 2.1+EDR
Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz
Tx Power: Class 1
Profiles: Handsfree 1.6, Headset 1.1, A2DP 1.2, AVCRP 1.4Pairing
No of Paired Devices: 8
Battery
Play Time: 8 Hrs*
Standby Time: 250 Hrs*
Charging Time: Less than 2.5 hrs
Charging: USB (included)
AC power: DC 5A 100mA
Type: 83 mAh Lithium Polymer
* May vary dependent on usage & deviceOperationOperating: 14F – 122F (-10C – 50C )Storage: -4F – 140F (-20C – 60C)Weight & Dimensions
Width: 22 mm
Height: 29 mm
Depth: 13 mm
Weight: 13.8 g
Cord Length: 540 mmButton Controls
AVRCP Music Controls (Play/pause, next, back)
Call Controls (answer, end, reject call, etc)
General (Volume, pair, power)Warranty
1 Year Limited Warranty
Lifetime Warranty Against Sweat

Customer Comments

Amazon users give the Jaybird Bluebuds X Sport 3.8 out of 5 stars with nearly 3000 reviews.  Users who can achieve a good fit absolutely love the sound quality, but many struggle to find an earbud and earlobe stabilizer combination that really works.  Few users can get the BlueBuds to stay in place during vigorous exercise such as running or Crossfit, but have no issues on stationary bikes, elliptical machines, or during normal weight lifting.  Users generally agree that the build quality feels too cheap for the $170 MSRP price tag.  The BlueBuds are all-plastic with plastic chrome trim, and the carrying case also feels cheap.  The controls are awkward and using them often dislodges the fit-finicky earbuds.  The microphone doesn’t work well if you wear the cord behind your head with the x-clips, small plastic parts that are easy to lose.  Finally, multiple users received BlueBuds that stopped working after a few weeks or months.

Pros

  • Best in class music playback quality
  • Excellent connectivity: superb wireless range and minimal skipping
  • Small and light

Cons

  • Not recommend for running or other vigorous exercises
  • Difficult to achieve a good fit
  • Quality control problems, buy only if you can return a defective product
  • Awkward controls
  • Build quality doesn’t feel as premium as the high price tag

Summary

Consider the JayBird BlueBuds X Sport if you demand the very highest music playback quality on the market and are willing to spend time experimenting (including buying 3rd party silicon eartips) to get a good fit.  If you do choose the BlueBuds, be sure you buy them from a vendor like Amazon who allows easy return of defective units.  If you plan on running or doing Crossfit, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit is a better choice.

JayBird BlueBuds X Sport

Bluetooth Wireless Sport Earbuds

131.99 169.99

The JayBird BlueBuds X Sport come in two colors, white and midnight black.  The BlueBuds were designed specifically for use during exercise and are sweat-resistant (Jaybird even offers a lifetime guarantee against sweat).  They are designed to fit in the inner ear canal and come with three different sizes of silicone earbuds and three different earlobe stabilizers to keep the BlueBuds in place.  In practice, it is very difficult to achieve a good fit.  Professional and consumer reviewers alike ...
6.8 Total Score
Good

Consider the JayBird BlueBuds X Sport if you demand the very highest music playback quality on the market and are willing to spend time experimenting (including buying 3rd party silicon eartips) to get a good fit. If you do choose the BlueBuds, be sure you buy them from a vendor like Amazon who allows easy return of defective units. If you plan on running or doing Crossfit, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit is a better choice.

Sound Quality
10
Comfort, Fit, & Style
6
Stay in Ears & Handle Sweat
5
Control & Features
8
Brand Trust & Build Quality
5
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