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Jaybird Vista review: A fully wireless sport-focused headset worthy of the brand

Written by Matthew Miller, Contributor on

Jaybird Vista

  • Comfortable silicone fin/eartip design
  • Lightweight for long wear comfort
  • Smartphone software for optimal sound/button settings
  • Compact case with lanyard and soft touch finish
  • Standard USB-C port for charging case
  • IPx7 water and sweat resistance
  • 6 hour rated battery life
  • None
  • Editors' Review
  • Specs

Music motivates me to run faster and further so I rarely run without something playing from a connected smartphone or music-enabled watch. Jaybird was one of the first fitness-focused audio brands I tested ten years ago. Since then, I have tested several Jaybird products and been pleased with the performance of the brand for most models. The new Jaybird Vista is my favorite product I've ever tested from Jaybird and looks to be knocking my current favorites out of my ears.

Jaybird released its first fully wireless earbuds with the Jaybird RUN in late 2017. The Jaybird RUN XT was released just over six months ago and offered a couple of minor improvements over the RUN, but also performed poorly with video playback and were limited in single earbud use. The RUN XT was definitely not one of my favorites and after testing I never wore them again.

I've spent the past week with a pair of the new Jaybird Vista earbuds and they will be replacing the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds I've been using on nearly every run for the past two years because they fit me better, have longer battery life, and have better sound. The Jabra model is better for calls, but I don't place important calls while I'm working out so that's not a priority for my needs.

Jaybird Vista vs Run XT

So, what makes the Jaybird Vista better for me than the Jaybird RUN XT? Here are a few reasons I prefer the Vista and recommend you skip the RUN or RUN XT models.

  • Zero lag when streaming audio from video to the earbuds
  • Battery life of six hours for each earbud, 10 more hours with the case
  • Each earbud can be used individually with same functionality
  • 6 grams weight, per earbud, compared to 7 grams of RUN XT
  • USB-C to charge rather than microUSB
  • Charging case much smaller so can be easily carried or attached as you exercise
  • Bluetooth 5.0 technology

That's quite a list of improvements for a new headset released just six months after the last model. Given some of the issues with the RUN XT, it would be nice to see Jaybird offer some kind of trade-in/discount program for RUN XT owners.

See also: Jaybird RUN XT hands-on: Improved water resistance, customizable buttons, and video playback failure

Jaybird Vista specifications

  • Microphone: Omni-directional MEMS on the right earbud
  • Water resistance: IPX7 rating
  • Battery life: Six hours of battery life for each earbud. The charging case provides another 10 hours of run time. Five minute charge provides one hour of play time.
  • Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with JBS1 wireless technology
  • Earbud dimensions: 15.3 x 20.3 x 17.9mm and about 6 grams (depends on your selected fin and tip)

Inside the box you will find the two wireless earbuds, USB-C cable, charging case, and three sets of eargels (one set for three different sizes).

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Jaybird wired headsets were one of the first I ever used when working out because the headsets offered sweat resistance and when I workout I sweat a considerable amount. While phones and wearables today all focus on a water resistant rating, it takes more than a water resistant rating to survive the acidity of sweat. The Jaybird Vista has an IPX7 water resistant rating, but in lieu of its past hydrophobic nano coating approach this time Jaybird used an encapsulated construction approach (called EarthProof) to seal off those pieces susceptible to sweat corrosion. The earbuds are also advertised as being crush proof and drop proof so they should be able to withstand just about anything you throw at them.

Over the past couple of years, Jaybird has significantly improved the fit of its headsets and has perfected its design so you can find an eargel that fits, keeps the earbud in place securely, and can be comfortably worn for hours without a problem. The fin and tip are consolidated into a single piece, called SportFit, that is fit for either the right or left earbud. Keep in mind that you may have to use a different size eargel for each ear. The large size fits both of my ears best. It is highly unlikely that you will ever lose an eargel since it is so integrated into the design.

See also: Jaybird X4 hands-on: Improved water resistance, 8-hour battery, and great fit for activity

Jaybird advertises six hours of playback time for each earbud and so far that is about what I am seeing after five days of usage. The charging case provides up to 10 hours of additional playback time. Jaybird states that you can get up to an hour of playback with just five minutes of charging.

With the new Vista, you can use either earbud with all functionality in each one so there is no primary-secondary setup like there was on the RUN and RUN XT. Thus, you could use one for six hours, swap it out for the other one for another six hours as the first one charges, then repeat until you achieve a possible total 32 hours of playback with the two earbuds and charging case working as a system.

Jaybird Vista wireless sport earbuds review: in pictures

Callers confirmed that I sound good on my end through the Jaybird Vista and I could hear the caller through both earbuds when both were being worn. Calls worked flawlessly with either earbud in mono configuration too.

There is a one multi-function button on each earbud, the entire outside panel of the earbud. There are also indicator lights at the top of each earbud so you know if an earbud is turned on or not. By default, a single press on either earbud is used to play/pause audio, a double press moves to the next track, and a press and hold powers off the headset. Single and double press actions can be sent to your phone's assistant or customized from a list that includes playing your last listened playlist, playing a staff pick playlist, play one of your favorite playlists, and play one of your playlists. The press and hold can also be setup to control volume with the right bud increasing volume and the left bud decreasing volume. I prefer the volume setup when I run since I just remove the earbuds and place them in the case to turn them off.

For calls, a single press answers/hangs up a call and a double press rejects a call. There is no mute capability for calls with the button and mute functions have to be controlled by the phone app on your phone.

See also: Jaybird Tarah Pro wireless sport headphones, hands-on: 14-hour battery life powers endurance workouts

A sleek charging case, colored to match the earbuds, is provided with two formed compartments to store and charge the Vista. The inside of the case is colored in bright yellow. There are very strong magnets at the center of the earbud compartment that help hold the earbuds in place and ensure perfect alignment with the charging connectors.

There is a LED charging light on the front of the case just above the indent where you flip up the lid. A case button is centered between the earbud compartments that is used to pair the headset.

The pairing process is a bit odd since you first make sure both earbuds are in the case and then close the lid. Open the lid and then press and hold the case button until the LED starts blinking white. Open the Bluetooth settings on your phone or watch and setup the connection. I first tried different button presses on each earbud to pair, but that failed so make sure to use the case and case button to setup your devices with the Jaybird Vista.

The case, and earbuds, charge up via a USB-C connection. A short lanyard is attached to the case so you can easily attach it to other gear. The case is very compact and easily fits in my front jeans and shorts pockets.

Smartphone software

While you do not need the Jaybird iOS/Android app to use the earbuds, I highly recommend you install it for an optimal experience. With the app installed, you can switch the functionality of the buttons, as I detailed above, as well as fully customize the equalizer settings, discover playlists, help find your earbuds, update the firmware of the earbuds, and more.

The first page that appears in the app is for the equalizer presets with some default ones on the main page and a button to discover ones that Jaybird staff have created and that other Jaybird users have setup and shared with the community.

You can create and share your own equalizer setting. In addition, there is a personal EQ feature where you get into a quiet room and then walk through a quick hearing evaluation that the software controls. An equalizer setting optimized for your hearing then appears and can be selected if you desire. No other headset I have tested has as much customization as we see here on the Jaybird Vista.

How-to guides, fit guides, and support is also provided through the app. The Find My Buds functionality shows the location where your buds were last paired with your phone.

Price and availability

The Jaybird Vista headset is now available for $179.99 in black. This is the same launch price as the RUN and RUN XT so it's nice to see the improved headset at this same price. The Nimbus Gray and Mineral Blue color options will be available in the fall.

Daily experiences and conclusions

To use the Jaybird Vista after setup and pairing, simply remove one or both of them from the case and they will turn on. The will turn off automatically after about 15 minutes if they are not being used for audio playback. Putting them into the case turns them off too.

I was pretty shocked, and very pleased, to see the long list of improvements in the Jaybird Vista just six months after the release of the RUN XT. I was disappointed in the RUN XT, but am extremely satisfied with the Vista model. It is what I expected from Jaybird and the Vista is ready to take on all others for sports-focused wireless earbuds.

While the Jaybird Vista is optimized for sports use, they also work flawlessly for the commuter, business traveler, or anyone else looking for a great quality fully wireless earbud experience. Video playback has been flawless with the ability to customize the audio experience for various scenarios being a huge selling point for the Vista.

I tested the Jaybird Vista with Android phones, an iPhone XS, an Apple Watch, an iPad Pro 11, and a Garmin Forerunner 945. Audio playback was flawless, even when wearing my watch with music on either wrist. I like the option to wear one earbud too as it gives me audio when I run while also leaving one ear open for safety reasons.

Wearing the Vista for long periods was a great experience with no discomfort after hours of wear. I also found they did not shift around at all while running where some other earbuds have fallen out at times. You should be able to find the right fit with one of the three tip/fin solutions and I highly recommend the Jaybird Vista.


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