Just over a year ago we reviewed Jaybird’s first foray into the true wireless headphones, the Jaybird Run, and at the time we liked them but had a few issues. Jaybird, learning from their first effort have endeavoured to fix the issues from the first version with a new version, the Jaybird Run XT.
We put the Run XT true wireless to the test to see if they managed to fix some of the issues reported with the Jaybird Run and in the end we came out thinking they had, partly. Read on for more details.
How are the Run XT different to its last generation?
The Jaybird Run were only sweatproof and water-resistant but the new model, the Run XT, offers true waterproofing with an IPX7 rating allowing them to be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. As per usual who are we to trust a company to tell the truth so we had to test that out – of sorts.
While in the incredibly cramped shower in Barcelona, and the water running (not much, if any, hot water left due to the stinky Ausdroid writers who had gone before me) I was able to listen to music and then pause the music and use the left ear bud to summon Google Assistant and make a call to Australia. On the other end of the call the person could hear me fairly clearly, even though the water was beating down on my head. And even better, the headphones survived the ordeal.
Aside from that new IPX7 rating the differences are purely cosmetic with a splash of colour being added along some more subtle matte styling to the earbuds. Inside the 6mm drivers are still the same as is the circuitry and the button control – although the buttons are better now (more on this later).
Hardware in a earbud review?
The Run XT are small and as such pack small hardware. They have a 6mm driver in each earbud but although small the driver puts out some impressive sound.
On each earbud is a button with the same functionality as in the Jaybird Run. The default functionality of each button can be changed using the Jaybird app.
By default, using the button on the right earbud you can answer/end calls and make calls along with play and pause the music. The left button is used to call Google Assistant. There is an alternative button action where the buttons can be changed to change the volume up with the right earbud and down with the left. This results in the inability to play or pause songs nor be able to call for Google Assistant.
This time around Jaybird seem to have fixed the difficult button push that occurred with the Jaybird Run. The buttons are now a lot easier to press and do not feel like you are implanting an earbud into your internal auditory meatus every time you try to call Google Assistant.
In the hardware section I’m going to talk about the charging case- the giant pill. It is a relatively small case where the earbuds just sit in and the top closes down on them pushing them into the pogo pins to charge. The case offers an extra 8 hours of charge for each earbud. The only issue I have with the case is the button on them is often accidentally pressed inside a bag etc and opens easily. Not a huge issue but could drain the battery on the earbuds over time.
The headphones themselves are stated to last four hours on a single charge. I managed to get three hours and 35 minutes out of a single charge playing loud music close to full volume the entire time – so very close.
Something that small shouldn’t sound so good
The sound on the Jaybird Run XT blew me away – and just to check it out again I once again put them up against another well known brand’s earbuds I have here and the difference was night and day.
Whether it was the Jaybird app that allows for equaliser changes to suit your music, your ears and your listening taste or just the magic sauce they put in the circuitry of each earbud it doesn’t matter. The sound was loud, nearly too loud – imagine that – and was crisp at the same time. The mids were damn near perfect, the highs great as well, but of course the bass suffered. What do you expect from 6mm drivers?
The sound though was possibly the best I have heard in a true wireless earbud – and this was after showering with them in. Very occasionally – maybe 2 or 3 times in the review period – the left earbud lost connection with the right but turning Bluetooth off and on again fixed it. Hopefully this will be fixed in a firmware update in the future.
They don’t hurt the ear holes do they?
These ones have no magic way of slotting in the ear with any special twisting motion or any of that. They wedge in and with the fin and the sucker-stopper (tips Jaybird call them) thing on the end they just stayed in no matter i did with my head in an attempt to dislodge them – and were comfortable. I couldn’t imaging wearing them for multiple hours but for a good 90 minute session they were perfectly fine.
In the box once again Jaybird offer a selection of fins and stoppers to help you find the best selection for a comfortable fit for you. I actually tried a different combination to that which I had on the Jaybird Run and ended up finding an even better fit.
Would I buy them?
The Jaybird Run XT show that Jaybird have learned from their first true wireless headphones and have improved nearly every facet. The sound seems to be better although that could be the EQ I chose and edited myself this time), the fit is still great and possibly better, the buttons are easier to press and they are now IPX7 waterproof.
The Jaybird Run XT are not cheap but good quality products rarely are. I have tried Bose, Jabra Elite and a few others and these Jaybird Run XT are now my go to true wireless headphone. At $279 they are at the higher end of true wireless headphones but they deserve to be there — there was very little I could fault on these headphones. If you are in the market for a good pair or this sort of headphones I recommend you check these out before making any purchase, they will not disappoint.
Available in grey/glacier (grey and blue) and black/flash (black and yellow) you can purchase the Jaybird Run XT from the Jaybird website or from all good electronics retailers. The Jaybird Run XT get two thumbs up from me.
due to my manky ears it is not safe to return these