I'm a little bit of a headphone snob. The entire world, it seems, is wearing giant Beats headphones, and all I can think is: those really don't sound that good for how much they cost. I'll note that I do have a pair of PowerBeats wireless ear buds for gym stuff, and they sound great. But they're not the best. Not even close. They're a great brand, but they aren't the best. If I had my way, I'd buy a very expensive set of Grado phones and pair them with an excellent headphone preamp; that, however, is not feasible when you're moving a lot and want your music to sound good.
The Jaybird X2 wireless buds were released this week, and I took a pair for a test drive. Here are my thoughts:
- They are billed as the smallest Bluetooth headphones on the market, and that marketing pitch might be correct. They are certainly small.
- That said—and this is a huge negative for me—they are highly uncomfortable. I couldn't stand having them in my ears longer than a few minutes at a time. They come with three different size and material (foam or rubber) tips, but none of them were comfortable at all. And the plastic portion that actually holds them in your ear doesn't really stay in the position it's supposed to, which means they move around a lot.
- As far as the sound goes: Eh. They aren't mind-blowing, to say the least. Bass isn't the most important part of a headphone's sound, so I usually won't dock points for underperforming in that area. But the bass coming from these was far less than it should be. I was not impressed. The mids and highs sounded good, but without the lower end, it really felt like it was missing oomph.
- The battery life on the X2's is 8 hours, which beats every other wireless headphone on the market by 2 hours. Of course, I never discovered if they actually lasted 8 hours because I simply could not keep them in my ears for very long.
The uncomfortable nature of these headphones is a major shot against them on my card. One expert I talked to said that for some people, they feel very comfortable, and for others, not so much. I'm in the not so much category.
They're small and portable, which is good. But the lack of comfort and the middling sound means I have to give these a pass. And at $180, that's fairly easy to do.
RATING: 4 out of 10
What do you think?