True Wireless headphones have come a long way over the last year. They’ve gotten smaller, offer improved battery life and reliability, and sound better than ever before. Jaybird is out with their latest take on the True Wireless earbud with the Jaybird Vista. I was a big fan of the original Jaybird RUNs when I reviewed them last year but does the Vista worthy of an upgrade? I’ve spent the last few weeks with them to answer that very question. Let’s dive in.
- Current Price: $179.99 (Amazon, Jaybird Store)
- Type: In-ear style
- Noise-isolation: Passive
- Impedance: 23 Ohm +-15% at 1KHz
- Speaker sensitivity: 103.5 +-1.5dB at 1KHz
- Output 12 mW RMS (with level limit)
- Total Harmonic Distortion <3% (1KHz, 1mW)
- Audio Format: 16-bit Stereo
- Codec: Bluetooth SBC Implementation
- Response Bandwidth 20Hz - 20kHz
- Driver size: 6 mm
- Type: MEMS, Omni directional
- Sensitivity: -38dB +-3dB (Test conditions: 1KHz, 0dB = 1V/Pa)
- Play Time: 6 Hrs* + 10 Hrs in the case
- Charging time: 2 Hrs
- Quick charge: 5 min = 1 hour playtime
- Charging: Via charge case with USB connector
- Input power: DC 5V 1A
- Type: Lithium Ion
- Battery voltage: 3.6V
- Energy Voltage in Watt Hrs Per Battery: 0.19 Wh
- *May vary dependent on usage, device & aging
- Bluetooth version: 5.0
- Frequency band: 2.4 GHz
- Profiles: Handsfree , Headset , A2DP , AVCRP , SPP
- Wireless Range: Class 2 standard range 10m/33ft
- Case Width: 74mm
- Case Height: 36.5mm
- Case Depth: 24mm
- Earbud Width: 22mm
- Earbud Height: 24mm
- Earbud Depth: 18mm
- Weight with medium eargel: 6g
Solid improvements for Jaybird
The first thing I noticed about the Vista coming from the RUN is just how much smaller both the earbuds and case are. The case is much less bulky and drops the rounded shape for a more standard rectangle to sit more unobtrusively in the pocket. It’s actually one of the easiest charging cases I’ve carried around with me and I often have to double check to make sure it’s still there! This is especially impressive because the case also gives two more hours of back-up charge time than the original too, giving each earbud ten extra hours of juice before it needs to be recharged.
The earbuds are also much smaller which, frankly, they needed to be. At the time of their launch, the original RUNs fit right in with the rest of the crop of high-end true wireless earbuds. Over time, as competing earbuds got smaller, they’ve begun to feel a bit bulky. The Vistas, on the other hand, are completely with the times in size and weight. At only 6-grams each (with the medium eargel) they don’t feel bulky at all, don’t stick out awkwardly and draw attention, and stay in place very well. Like the case, the battery life of each bud has also been increased to six hours, up from the original four, while also being smaller.
One of the big changes with the Vista is the move away from a traditional ear tip. Instead of using little silicone “bullets” that fit onto the nozzle like most headphones, these eargels combine the ear grip and tip into a single piece, a bit like a sleeve. On the one hand, I really like this because it solves the problem of tips getting loose and falling off over time. On the other hand, it does create a bit of a problem if you’re like me and need a small tip and medium-sized hook. Since this is an uncommon design, it’s also not possible to get an aftermarket set that works better.
That said, these buds stay locked and don’t budge once they’re properly fitted. I never once had an issue with the grips slipping or the buds coming loose, even with vigorous movement. After a couple hours, the hooks did have a tendency to make my ears a bit sore, however. Your mileage may vary as this has a lot to do with their particular fit in your ear.
Controlling the earbuds is done through single multi-function buttons built into the face of each bud. These buttons are customizable, so you can set it to match your own use case. A single tap can play/pause, call on your Google Assistant, or load a playlist. Double taps can skip tracks, call Voice Assist, or likewise control a playlist. Holding either button can be set to adjust volume or power down the bud but not both. Since the Vistas automatically turn off when not in use or set in the case, I swapped these to volume to have full control at my fingertips.
The earbuds have also been upgraded to operate independently, so you’re free to use either one at a time. Until recently, putting the right earbud away would kill the connection but the Vistas never miss a beat. This also means that if you use your earbuds for things like audiobooks and don’t need both in at one time, the battery life is doubled from 16 hours in a pair to 32 hours total. The wireless connection is also the best I’ve come across. I was able to move upwards of 30 feet away, through walls, before the connection started to stutter and never once had the earbuds go out of sync (though going from single to dual-bud mode can cause AV to go out of sync until you relaunch the video app).
It’s also worth noting that the Vistas are IPX7 rated, which means they can be immersed in up to one meter of water for up to thirty minutes. Initially, I thought this meant that you could swim or shower with them but Jaybird actually recommends not doing so, which I find puzzling. Isn’t that why you would opt for a waterproof rating?
Returning to the case for a moment, Jaybird has improved more than just its size. Along with being smaller, it now features strong magnetic grips for each bud and the door. You no longer have to worry about it opening in your bag and even if it did, the buds are held tight and won’t fall out.
There’s also a button in the middle that’s used to quickly pair the buds to your smartphone without ever taking them from the case. Compare this with the competition that often requires you to turn on buds one at a time. In fact, the true wireless earbuds I tested before these (a major brand, mind you) forced you to take out just the right earbud, pair that with your smartphone, wait for a tone, take out the left earbud, put it in pairing mode (because it wouldn’t do it automatically), then pair the two earbuds and wait for another tone. The Jaybird Vistas are so simple it’s enough to make you wonder what’s going wrong with some of the competition that it has to be so complicated.
All in all, big improvements all around.
How do they sound?
Let’s get right into the bread and butter of it. The Jaybird Vistas are the single best-sounding true wireless earbuds I’ve ever used, hands down. I wasn’t sold on that when I first used them, though. Out of the box, the profile was good but didn’t blow me away. It wasn’t until I dove into the Jaybird App that I was really able to see what they were capable of.
One of the biggest benefits to going with Jaybird is the community. It sounds weird to say that about a headphone maker, but it’s true. Inside the Jaybird App, you can explore different EQ profiles created by users all around the world and spanning all types of different genres and uses. There are gaming profiles, audiobook profiles, metal, jazz, hip hop, exercise, relaxation… you name it. The community is also able to vote on the best of the best, so you can see what’s resonated with people. Exploring them is very simple thanks to an intuitive, easy to navigate interface and you can preview them before downloading your choice directly to the earbud. If creating your own EQ is more up your alley, you can do that too.
As you might imagine, the Vistas are very resilient to different EQs. I settled on the “Hi Def Audio” preset which applies a V-curve to the bass, mid, and treble response. These earbuds have kick. In fact, they have the best, fullest bass of any true wireless headset I’ve tested, including those sold explicitly on their bass. What’s more, they don’t distort or become muddy. You could blindfold me and tell me these were wired earbuds and I wouldn’t know the difference, it really is that good.
The only thing I miss is a hear-through feature that can activate the Vista’s microphones to let you hear what’s around you. I’ve grown accustomed to being able to activate that on my Jabras and definitely regret having to take them out everytime someone wants to talk to me while I’m listening.
At $179, the Jaybird Vistas fall in line or slightly cheaper with other premium true wireless earbuds. I was absolutely blown away by how good they sounded. The only thing I wish they offered was a hear-through feature and maybe a few more options for ear tip and hook sizes. Overall though, this is a no-brain purchase. Whether you’ll use them for exercise, gaming at your PC, listening to music or audiobooks, or anything in between, the Jaybird Vistas are absolutely one of the best true wireless headphones you can buy.
- Excellent battery life
- Smaller, easier to carry in your pocket
- Outstanding sound, especially in the low end
- Stay solid in the ear
- Extremely customizable thanks to the Jaybird app
- No hear-through feature
- Combining grips and tips limits how well they can be fitted to your ear
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.