Jaybird X2 Wireless - Fits Great, Sounds Great

August 28, 2015


Jaybird ranks among the top five brands in the premium headphone segment by revenue in 2014, according to The NPD Group. While other manufacturers spread out their eggs with other headphone types, their niche is in wireless sports earphones. This month, they launched the X2 Wireless, the follow up to their successful BlueBuds X.
Design
Before we look at the product, let's kick things off with the unboxing. From a flurry of 6 colors, Jaybird sent over the Charge model which has an eye-catching yellowish-green tinge.


Opening the magnetic latch on the right of the box reveals a nicely designed interior.
Removing two side stickers at the base allows you to remove the earphone module and a box of ear tips.
There are some diagrams to illustrate the essentials on how to fit the X2 Wireless. Interestingly, the user guides are online.

The carry case feels solid. The top and bottom layers have a rubberized coat over hard plastic punctuated with a glossy Jaybird logo. 
Spilling out the contents reveals one really thick and short micro-USB cable and a small resealable packet containing the 3 sets of fins and cord management clips.
Let's go back to the ear tip module. Sliding out the inner compartment reveals a card showing more diagrams on usage.
Take away the card to get the silicon and Comply Sport foam tips. Previously, Comply foam tips were not supplied within the BlueBuds X packaging so this is a welcome addition.

On taking out the 13g Jaybird X2 Wireless, one can only marvel at the incredibly light manner in which these sweat-proof earphones are engineered. There are 2 main modes to wear these. The first is the traditional under-the-ears method where the playback controls lie on the right side. 
The second is over-the-ears where the cord needs to be tightened and the playback controls are slung over your left ear. 
The first mode is likely what Jaybird envisioned to be the most common fitting method as the music comes out as what the artist intended whereas the latter method flips the audio from the left and right channels around.

Features
The X2 runs on Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR. Bluetooth connectivity is straightforward. Just hold the centre button of the playback controls for 4s to start the pairing. The LEDs will flash red / green with an accompanying voice prompt. You then activate Bluetooth on your music device, select 'Jaybird X2' and you are good to go. 

The voice prompt technology (nicknamed 'Jenna') continue to feature prominently during usage. Rather than being annoying, they help in practical areas such as updating what device the unit pairs to and when the battery runs low.
After testing some really awesome in-line remotes, the playback buttons are way too tiny. It would have been great if there was a wider area to press for easier access. The flipside is it is not easy to accidentally actuate them and there is no annoying beep sound when pressed.
As there are 3 sets of silicon tips, 3 sets of Comply ear tips and 3 sets of ear fins, they have to be tested out for a proper fit. As using fins was quite novel, I tested out the medium fins but found them a little uncomfortable with prolonged usage so I settled for the small fins. For the ear tips, medium suited best.
To charge the Jaybird, just flip the back cover on the right earpiece and plug the supplied micro-USB cable in. According to the online guides, a 2+ hour charge will give 8 hours of juice, exactly the same as the BlueBuds X, while a 0.5 hour charge should provide 1.5 hours. A red LED will indicate the charging is ongoing and green will shows there is full power.
As with most Bluetooth earphones out there, the Jaybird is both Android and iOS friendly. The latter folks will have the benefit of a Bluetooth battery indicator too.

Performance
Now for the test run! 
I took the Jaybird for a spin around a 2 lap route totaling 3km along Alexandra Canal. I stopped occasionally to try the different wearing modes and ear fittings to evaluate what suited me best. The smallest sized fins were ideal so that was kept a constant.
A screenshot of the route using Endomondo
1. Under-the-ears / Silicon tips (M)
The audio output during the first 400m was not very good. The music sounded very wobbly with every heel hitting the ground. The good part was that the playback controls, under my right ear, were relatively accessible.
2. Under-the-ears / Comply foam tips (M)
It was good to start with the silicon tips 'cos that made me appreciate the better fit provided with the medium size Comply foam tips. The music output was very satisfactory as there was no more wobble. However, the cable rustle became more apparent.
3. Over-the-ears / Silicon tips (M)
At the start of the second lap, I changed to the over-ears configuration. This took some time as I had to tighten the cable and flip the fins around. The playback controls now hung around my left ear and are no longer so easy to reach. While the microphonics and audio wobble experienced during the first part of the jog was no longer there, I needed to press the silicon tips in every now and then.

4. Over-the-ears / Comply foam tips (M)
The best was saved for last. In this mode, the music is played as it should and the Comply tips do not dislodge at all. Noise isolation is great and there's no cable rustle. This is what I felt was the closest to how I could appreciate music during a run.

Sound-wise, after a test jog, it's understandable why Jaybird chose not to use aptX, which promises CD-quality audio. The primary issue is to even get a decent level of music quality given external factors such as microphonics and ear tip dislodgement. 

If used on a daily commute, the sound quality generated from the custom SBC codec they market as 'Shift' is actually surprisingly pretty well balanced. Sarah Cracknell's vocals from the 1:10 mark on Saint Etienne's Heading For The Fair come through clearly once the bass kicks in. The bass is strong but never overwhelms making for an enjoyable listening experience.  

Overall
The Jaybird X2 Wireless is undoubtedly a fantastic jogging companion for music. Being a very customizable product, this allows for a high degree of personalization. We recommend to try them over-the-ears with the Comply ear tips for optimal fit and sound quality. 

If you already have the BlueBuds X, is this a must have? Given that the X2 specifications are mostly the same as its predecessor, not really. Instead, we'd recommend to get the additional Comply ear tips from Jaybird for a quick upgrade.

Availability
Previously, we mentioned that we were checking on availability in Singapore. Jaybird confirmed they would arrive by late September / early October. They are expected to retail for SGD 253.05.

Additional and different foam tips (called Isolation and Comfort) can be purchased separately from the Jaybird website3 pairs go for USD 12.95 to USD 16.95.

Update (1 Oct 2015)
According to Leader Radio Technologies, the Singapore distributor for Jaybird, the X2 Wireless will be on sale from 1 Oct 2015 at SGD 259.

Where To Buy
If you like what you have read, do feel free to support me by buying from Amazon via this affiliate link. Prices start from USD 79.
Jaybird X2 WirelessUSD 79

Audio Sources
Enjoy The Ride (Armin van Buuren Remix) - Krewella (Spotify 320kbps) on Samsung Galaxy S4
Heading For the Fair - Saint Etienne (Spotify 320kbps) on Samsung Galaxy S4

Credit to Jaybird for a review unit.

You Might Also Like

2 comments

  1. Any updates on which shops in sg will sell it? am keen to get 1

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not as yet. At least there's no news from Comex that's happenin' right now

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for Blogger

recent posts

Pinterest