Jaybird has been making fantastic, fitness focused headphones since 2007. The company has released a few "truly wireless" headphones in the last few years, but like so many in the market, the buds themselves and the charging case they came in were too bulky to really compete with Apple’s market leading AirPods.
With the new Vista headphones, Jaybird has nailed the design and is giving Apple some serious competition. Jaybird Vistas simply sound better than AirPods, thanks to their in-ear design that passively blocks out surrounding sounds.
Within the Jaybird app, you can tweak the sound with a few built-in presets and explore hundreds of community made presets for everything from podcasts, to country music, to hip hop.
Jaybird’s previous wireless buds, X4, were too big for my ears, but the Vista is small enough to accommodate most ears, with three sizes of rubber gels for a perfect fit.
Riding with the Jaybirds over bumpy Melbourne bike paths, I was never worried they’d fall out of my ears. And they’re water and dustproof to survive the elements.
Most in-ear designs feel uncomfortable and a little claustrophobic to me, but not the Vista.
The buds are exceptionally light, allowing them to be worn for hours at a time with no ear fatigue, and like the AirPods, you can listen to and control each bud independently.
When it comes to truly wireless headphones, so much of the experience comes from their charging case.
A large part of the AirPod’s charm comes down to the case, and how quick and easy it is to remove one or both buds, how light the case is to carry with you at all times, and how quickly the case recharges the buds, so they always seem fully charged when you need them.
Jaybird has learnt these lessons well and the Vista charging case is fantastic.
The case itself is small and light, much smaller than competing cases from Jabra, Sony and Bose - only the AirPods charging case feels smaller in a pocket. If the AirPods case looks like a smooth pack of dental floss, the Jaybirds are more like thick, futuristic dog tags.
They’re about the size of a lighter, so not too bulky in a jeans pocket. The interior of the case is bright yellow, so finding the buds in the dark is easy.
The buds easily slide out of their charging bays and snap back into place with the help of tiny magnets, and you get the same satisfying snap closing the lid as you do with AirPods.
And the case provides ten hours charge on top of the six hours charge of each bud, giving that same, "always charged" experience.
On the downside, Vistas aren't what you'd call cheap and they're also hard to find. We've seen them go for as high as $580 on Amazon Australia. The headphones are currently sold out on the Jaybird website, but you can back order a pair for $299.