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Jaybird Vista review
When I looked at the specs of the Vista I couldn’t see a single shortcoming-
Play Time: 6 Hrs* + 10 Hrs in the case
Charging time: 2 Hrs
Quick charge: 5 min = 1 hour playtime
32 Hours Of Uninterrupted Independent Bud Use
Type: In-ear style
Impedance: 23 Ohm +-15% at 1KHz
Speaker sensitivity: 103.5 +-1.5dB at 1KHz
Output 12 mW RMS (with level limit)
Secure-Fit Eargels: 1/2/3
USB C Charging Cable
Its waterproof, dustproof, sweatproof, shock- and drop-resistant construction is MIL-STD810G and IPX7 rated against the elements.
There is literally nothing there that feels lesser than the competition, but of course specs mean nothing in the real world. There are many Android phones that destroy the iPhone in terms of specs, but not one has come close to the iPhone for me and certainly not in terms of how the iPhone fits me. I don’t like having to change habits, fiddling with settings and generally having to do things that are not needed, and I will happily give us customisation and flexibility for these benefits.
This is where the AirPods work so well; they connect each every time without issue, the setup process is non-existent and the battery performance is more than acceptable. The AirPods Pro actually look decent in the ear and the case is easy to carry around. They are a practical package that never get in the way, but the sound quality is not up to scratch for me. While the Pro version is better when active noise cancellation is enabled the sound feels forced and somewhat over-digitised to my ear.
Add to this the fact that they made me very dizzy and they were quickly gone. As an aside I was recently interviewed on the subject of AirPods Pro dizziness which you can read here.
“If you have something that’s messing with normal auditory input — which noise-canceling headphones are doing — it’s conceivable that could contribute to a sense of disorientation.”
So, this left me with the Jaybird Tarah which produce better sound quality than the AirPods and at a much lower price, but with a wire between the buds and battery life that is acceptable rather than stellar.
This led me to consider the Vista set and on a whim I paid my £139 (currently discounted on Amazon) and I have not for one second regretted the purchase.
I started with the Jaybird app and went through the personalised setup to let the app decided what sound levels you need. This involved moving a slider until you start to hear a variety of sounds and then you leave it enabled. The settings will stay with the earbuds no matter what device you use them with and for me the change from the default (rather flat and bland setting) was immediately impressive to the point that I have not fiddled with it since.
Next up was customising the controls and I went for one press to play or pause, double press to move forward and holding the left bud to decrease the volume / holding the right bud to increase the volume. It is logical, easy to get used to and the buttons are sensitive enough to not cause you to push the bud too far into your ear when using them.
They are also very comfortable in the ear and extremely light (13.85g for both earbuds / 6.9g each). There are only 2 sizes provided and maybe I was lucky, but I have a very tight fit and they never come loose at all. The seal blocks out most outside noise and also, crucially for me, stops 99% of the noise from leaking to others.
In my first two days of use I have been more than impressed by the battery performance and it truly lives us to the claims. I have not charged the case again and the buds are still on full charge after very heavy use. The one downside here is that I can check the earbuds battery percentage via an iPhone widget, and I am also audibly told the earbud battery remaining when you remove them from the case, but I cannot check the case battery level easily. This can only be done by plugging the case in and if the LED is red it means it is below 20%. Aside from that there is no other indication for the case. That’s a bit of an oversight in my view.
Also on the subject of charging, the inclusion of USB-C has been praised by many, but it is annoying for me. It means I have to carry the cable around if I want to charge the case and cannot use my iPhone cable. Now, before you complain I thought about this and realised that my annoyance should be aimed at Apple, not the company (Jaybird) that is using what is fast becoming the industry standard method of charging. I can only hope that Apple adopts USB-C soon.
Yesterday I let a colleague at work try the Vista earbuds and he was blown away, completely amazed by what he was hearing. He owns the Galaxy Buds, Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless In-Ear Headphones and BeatsX. He admitted that these sounded better than any of them by some distance and I concur.
For true audiophies they may not be competing with the high-end products out there, but they affer the best audio quality I have experienced from wireless headphones to date. I have used Bose, Beats, Sennheiser, Jabra and Apple wireless offerings to date and these win by quite a margin.
The sound feels wide, in your face, crisp and in other words, complete. It is hard to explain what good sound is because it differs for us all, a bit like explaining what an orange tastes like to you, but for me the Vista product offering is the best I have heard to date, and it makes me want to listen to more music and podcasts than ever. Also, I have experienced no YouTube sync problems which has been a common area of complaint in the past for me.
There are products that come along from time to time that stick with you over the long haul. The Kindle, iPhone and MacBook are obvious examples to me as is my Omega Geneve vintage watch. I can, however, add the Jaybird Vista to that list and am genuinely surprised at how impressed I am with them for the cost. Even if they were over £200 I would not be moaning about the price and have to sum up by saying that they are as close to perfect as any headphones, wireless or not, that I have used to date. They are remarkable.