Jaybird caught me off guard just before I left for vacation with the news they were releasing new true wireless earbuds. Why the surprise? Earlier this year Jaybird released the RUN XT, an update to its RUN series, so I wasn’t expecting something new in this space from the company. However, while the RUN XTs were an update, the Jaybird VISTA earbuds are all-new. The new Jaybird earbuds themselves may bear a more than passing visual resemblance to the RUN and follow-up RUN XTs, but one look at the charge case and you’ll realize Jaybird is doing something radically different from its first pass at true wireless earbuds. And I can say after having tested the VISTAs for the past week, the experience has improved in every way.
These quickly became my favourite true wireless buds and they’re a definite contender for best in class …
VISTA unboxing and setup
Inside the VISTA box were the earbuds themselves (nestled in the charge case), and an accessories packet including two additional sizes of eargels and a USB-C charge cable. The earbuds themselves are recognizably Jaybird, from the prominent logo to the overall design cues taken from the previous generation RUN and RUN XT earbuds. The charge case makes a big statement, though. It’s slim, sleek with a neon green interior that adds a splash of colour—and visibility that helps to make it easier to position the buds for charging.
Setup was easy to do, but there’s a twist. Typically, you initiate pairing with your device using the earbuds themselves. However, with the VISTAs, you leave the buds in the charge case and push a button on the inside of the case. This initiates the pairing sequence, but the pairing process is automated after that—take the buds out of the case and they connect to your device on their own.
It’s worth noting that Jaybirds mobile app not only gives you an incredible degree over audio performance though its EQ, it also lets you locate your earbuds (using their last known location), and has a screen where you can easily map the button functions. I immediately took advantage of this to add a button sequence to invoke Siri.
Many improvements over the RUN XT
I didn’t have any real complaints about the RUN XT earbuds (although I did find the charge case a little unwieldy), but Jaybird reportedly fielded some complaints around wireless performance.
The company responded quickly, releasing the VISTAs just months after the RUN XT came out. These all-new true wireless earbuds are a huge improvement over their predecessors. Notably, they are physically smaller and lighter, with greatly improved battery life, a much slimmer and more portable charge case that uses USB-C instead of Micro USB, and a completely redesigned wireless system built around the company’s advanced new JBS1 wireless chip.
Jaybird VISTA key specs
Audio Performance, Connectivity and Battery Life
Jaybird’s earbuds aren’t “audiophile” quality and they use a single full-range driver, but I have always been impressed with the audio they produce. The VISTA earbuds are no exception. Music is energetic, with a definite low end that’s often missing from buds. If the sound isn’t quite to your taste, the app’s EQ customization should take care of it, and any changes you make are saved to the earbuds.
Connectivity was rock solid with the VISTA earbuds and my iPhone XS Max. After a comment from a reader on one of my previous wireless earbud reviews about an issue with audio being out of sync while streaming video, I added this to my test routine. The VISTAs performed flawlessly while watching Netflix streams.
Battery life is the bane of true wireless earbuds because the larger the battery you put in an earbud, the heavier and more uncomfortable it becomes. Jaybird somehow managed to shrink the VISTA earbuds (they’re 1 gram lighter than the RUN XT), but upped battery life to six hours—which is fantastic for a true wireless earbud. The charge case holds another 10 hours worth of battery life (you can quick charge for an hour of play in five minutes) but for super extended battery life you can run either of the buds independently and eke a total of 32 hours out of the setup.
IPX7 Water Resistant
Capping the long list of features of these earbuds is IPX7 water resistance. Jaybird has traditionally used a nano coating process to waterproof its buds, but this time around the company employed its new “EarthProof” capsule construction. They are sweatproof, rainproof and will survive a quick dunk in up to one metre of water, making them ideal for wearing outdoors.
These are truly great true wireless earbuds
With the RUN and then RUN XT, Jaybird designed some decent true wireless earbuds. But there were some issues some users encountered, particularly around wireless performance. The company kept everything that was great about the RUN series—the excellent one-piece eargels, the full-surface multifunction button, high performance audio, and IPX7 water resistance—and redesigned everything else.
As a result, the Jaybird VISTA earbuds offer a best-in-class experience. If you’re looking for true wireless earbuds that fit comfortably and securely during intense exercise, with long battery life, excellent water resistance, and fully customizable audio, look no further.
If you’d prefer to shop around and check out other options, Best Buy has you covered with wireless and true wireless earbuds from all the top brands.