Review: Bluebuds X - bluetooth earbuds for an active lifestyle
- Company: Jaybird
- Model: BlueBuds X
- Size: 8 x 2 x 3 inch
- Weight: 1 lb Price: $169.95
- Website: www.jaybirdgear.com
Jaybird has been pioneering the way when it comes to audio fitness gear. The Bluebuds-X' is blurring lines between wired and wireless audio performance. Along with eight-hour battery play time, patented secure fit for sports, sweat proof with Lifetime Warranty Against Sweat, and the all-new X-Fit—which lets you lift the cord off your neck for the perfect workout headphones.
Packaging displayed and secured the unit while maintaining a clean look. It was however a but hard to remove the earbuds. I eventually gave up and cut the tape that held the buds in place within its foam housing. Upon unboxing the first thing you will notice is how much more compact they are compared to older models. I then went a head and got a full charge into the unit before using it. On the side of the unit underneath the rubber secure fit is a Red charging indicator that lights up bright and is seeable surprisingly thorough the rubber.
Features & Specs:
- 8hour battey life
- X-FIT - over/under-ear fit options
- Jenna - voice prompts
- Signal Plus - For skip free music
- Liquipel - Treated with liquipel
- Sensitivity 103 dB
- Frequency (high) 20 kHz
- Frequency 20 Hz
- Impedance 16 ohms
- Cable Length 0.54 m
Battery life: (will run you about 8hrs)
On a full charge I get a good seven one hour workout sessions per charge. Jaybird has also included a battery indicator which is displayed on your iPhone. Now you can stop guessing and know how much of a charge you have. It's the little things that make great products. I used to plug my Freedom earbuds in every night just to be safe.
Signal Plus: (Bluetooth headpone are only as good as it's signal)
Up until now their has always been limitations that hold back athletes from using bluetooth headphones. Even Jaybirds own Freedom earbuds ran into the dropping due to signal issues. I found myself only being able to hold my iPhone in my right front pocket because moving it to my rear pockets would just make the signal drop 10 times more. Again I felt the technology was just not there yet.
Jaybird had developed something called SignalPlus. They confident in their claim in skip free and no droppage of music. I must say I don't know what's in their magic sauce but I am impressed. I have yet to have a drop or skip during my workouts or at all in fact.
On a side note: Bluetooth is like an InferRed beam.. Meaning a bluetooth signal can bounce off walls. So if you plan on testing bluetooth headphone/earbud you need to go outside. Somewhere like an open field. Testing indoors don't help because the signals will just bounce off the walls.
Sound Quality & Fit:
Let me start out by saying I am no Audiophile. My goto Headphone/Earbuds are AKG Q701 headphones and Monster's Miles Davis Trumpet ear buds. Any one who knows alittle about earbuds knows you can't talk quality with out talking fit. The bluebuds come with 3 sets of silicon ear tips, which have color coded centers. White - Small, Neon - Medium, Grey Large. I'm personally using the Large tips and they work perfectly for me. (as a reference I also use large with my Miles Davis Trumpets)
I was surprisingly impressed with the quality of sound when I put on my bluebuds. I's not about volume, however I've never had to turn down the volume before on bluetooth earbuds. I've always wanting more volume. Like i've stated before i've always felt bluetooth technology wasn't their before. I shrugged off quality of sound as agh it's just bluetooth. We have defiantly made it over that hurtle. I don't feel it's just bluetooth is an acceptable excuse any longer.
On a side note: It seems the Bluebuds X and Monster Miles Davis Trumpet use the same size earbuds. Making them interchangeable which is nice. I do love foam tips and use them regularly on my Monster Miles Davis Trumpet's. However for workouts I like a little ambient noise so I hear whats going on around me. Also Complyfoam sells foam tips for Bluebud X.
Over & Under wearable options:
I love having the option to wear this earbuds over or under the ear. Jaybird includes 2 small plastic adjusters for managing the cable and wow what a difference these little things make. Jaybird is certainly paying attention to the little things. I find myself liking the over the ear style with the cable management. In this configuration it feels as though you have nothing on your head at all. In the over the ear configuration you will fine that the microphone is behind your ear effecting the quality of the microphone.
Charging connection (Worth a mention)
Jaybird has finally made the move to a standardized connection yay(mini usb). This makes it so much easier to charge on the go. Their is also a nice looking flat and bendable mini usb cable included. This was a really nice addition.
Final Thoughts: (after a week of use)
Jaybird has made great strides in their bluetooth technology. The Bluebuds X is far the best bluetooth earbuds by a great margin on the market. I've owned many bluetooth headphones in the past, including the Freedom from Jaybird. The one thing I come away from all of them is that bluetooth technology was not there yet. These earbuds prove to me the technology has made it over these past hurdles. Brining us to what we always wanted real wireless headphone with superior sound quality and battery life to boot. I can only imagine what low power Bluetooth4.0 will bring in the future wow could you imagine getting a month on one charge. This is just my thoughts there has been no indication from jaybird of bluetooth 4.o be we can only hope..
Disappointments: (small nit-picking)
- Need smaller secure fit and tips for Women (I returned one due to the fact it didn't fit my wife's ear - loss of revenue for jaybird)
- These earbuds are bluetooth 2.1 I would love to see what a 4.0 pair would do to battery life.