The X3 are the 3rd generation of water-resistant sports headphones from Jaybird. They were released in September 2016, and are still one of the best sounding sports headphones you can buy.
In this review, we will be taking an in-depth look at the Jaybird X3. We'll dig into whats in the box, design options, features, sound quality and overall value.
So let's get started!
What's Inside The Box
When I first got my X3s in the mail, I was excited. There is a lot of hype behind these headphones. Everything I read online led me to believe I was in for a treat.
Right off the bat, you can tell Jaybird put a lot of care into the packaging. The box feels weighty and expensive. Ultimately, I don't really care how great the box is, I care about what inside. However, the amount of TLC that goes into product presentation normally correlates with overall product quality, so Jaybird is off to a great start here.
Inside the box, you get the Jaybird X3 headphones, a carrying case, various bud replacements, different size wing tips, a charger, and cord organization clips.
I found that the buds and wings that came already attached to the Jaybird X3 were the right sizes for me, but it's nice to know that you have options to get a good fit.
There are 2 sets of rubbery buds, small and large (one already attached to the headphones), and 2 sets of squishy foam sound isolation buds (also small and large). The foam ones are a similar material to what you find in earplugs that expand inside your ears to block out noise.
Jaybird gives you the option of a comfortable sport tip, and a sound isolating foam tip. This makes the Jaybird X3 great for sports, travel, work, etc.
Cable Management Clips
Honestly, the cables of the X3 did not bother me at all. They stayed out of the way during exercise and travel so I didn't need to use the clips.
However, you might like them. You can double up the cord behind your neck and clip it to the back of your shirt. This will minimize the quantity of excess cable and also gives you another anchor point so you know your headphones aren't going anywhere. I could see this being useful for sports like cycling/running.
The wing tips are what keep your headphones securely in your ear. They sit above the actual earbud and fit inside your ear, pressing against it so there is constant pressure keeping the headphones in.
It took me a few minutes to get these adjusted. After I got them in I sincerely felt like I could do a backflip off of racehorse and these headphones would stay in place. (Please don't try to do a backflip off of a racehorse).
I wore these headphones on a 5-hour flight and had no issues with comfort. I was even able to take a little nap with them in.
At first, I was confused. The charger is really strange. I am a huge proponent of products that use universal chargers. I don't like the idea of having to keep track of a specific charger otherwise I can't use the product.
This is one of the few downsides of the X3, but apparently, there's a reason behind the design.
The previous X2 model used micro USB, and there were issues with sweat/dirt getting into the charging port and causing the headphones to stop working. Ideally, I'd like a universal charging port, but not at the risk of my headphones dying, so I'll let this one slide.
The Jaybird X3 headphones have a very simple design. Aside from the wing tips, there isn't a whole lot that deviates from the tried and true modern bluetooth headphone design.
The X3 are not technically wireless. There is a wire between the two earbuds that goes behind your neck. On the right side you have the controller which can start/pause music, switch songs, adjust volume, answer calls, and prompt voice control. Pretty standard stuff here.
Right now, you can buy the X3 in 6 different colors: Blackout (black), Sparta (white), Alpha (dark green), Roadrash (red), Camo (...camo), & Platinum (grey).
The Jaybird X3 have some features that you expect from a standard pair of bluetooth headphones, but they also have a few extras.
So far, I have had no complaints about the battery. I was able to charge the headphones once and use them intermittently over the course of a 12 hour travel day. I didn't have them on the whole time, but I used them in the terminal, on the plane, on the car ride, to make phone calls, etc and got through about 60% of the battery.
Jaybird says the headphones should last 8 hours with continuous use, and that sounds about right.
One thing to note about the battery is there's no guessing how much juice you have left. When you turn on the headphones, an adorably energetic woman tells you the exact percentage left on your headphones.
Jaybird MySound App
The app that connects to your Jaybird X3 headphones is a big selling point. In the app, you are able to set a customized EQ or choose from a plethora of presets.
If you're big into the details of audio, this is an amazing feature.
I have dabbled in audio engineering, so I can see the value in this from that perspective. If you want to mix music, you should be doing so on flat EQ so your mix isn't overcompensating for the EQ of your headphones/speakers. With the X3, you can set a preset to be flat for mixing while you're working, then change it to something more punchy (or whatever you prefer!) when you're done and just want to listen to music.
One complaint I had about the app was that I had a bit of trouble connecting in the beginning, and the interface took a few go-arounds to figure out.
Sweat Proof, NOT Waterproof
Please please PLEASE do not breeze through the features of the Jaybird X3 and confuse water resistant/sweat proof with waterproof. These headphones will not work for swimming, you cannot submerge them and expect them to continue working.
You can sweat all you want, and you can take them in the rain and they will be fine, but they cannot be submerged. They will stop working and Jaybird will not be responsible for sending you a replacement.
Sound quality is one of the main reasons you're probably considering the Jaybird X3.
These headphones are the best sounding pair of headphones I have ever had. Period. Done.
The original EQ settings were fine, but because I was able to fine-tune them, I got a sound that I loved.
One thing to note - these are not completely sound isolating headphones. Some noise seeps in from the outside at low volumes, and at high volumes, some noise seeps out.
Not a deal breaker for the absolutely amazing sound quality. These are now my favorite headphones, and I have tested a lot.
I am big on value before price. Of course, you can find a handful of bluetooth headphones that look similar to the X3 for a fraction of the price.
If you're just looking for a cheap, decent pair of bluetooth headphones, something like the Anker soundbuds slim may be a good choice.
The value in the Jaybird X3 is the customization options and quality. You can completely customize the sound and the fit of your headphones far more than any other pair of headphones on the market. These are premium headphones for athletes who value the best of the best sound quality.
Given the choice, I would buy the Jaybird X3 over any other bluetooth headphones again and again and again. Until another company can match the quality and customization options, Jaybird has won my heart.
Jaybird X3 vs X2. What's Changed?
Before we wrap things up here, I wanted to give you guys a quick comparison of the X3 vs the X2.
In essence, the Jaybird X3 is an improved version of the X2.
- The earbuds have been improved for a more comfortable fit.
- The battery has been extended.
- Regarding sound quality, Jaybird tweaked the 6mm drivers, so the Jaybird X3 are one of the best sounding sports headphones on the market.
- The initial cost of the X3 at its release is $50 less than the X2 at its release.
- The charger has been changed from a micro USB to a proprietary charging port. This could be a bad thing if you're like me and you don't like having to keep track of a single, weird charger. However, sweat/dirt was getting in the charging port of the X2 models and causing them to fail. This new charging port was a necessity.
- The X3 comes with more cable management clips than the X2.
Thats it! Are you considering the Jaybird X3? Let us know what you think about these headphones in the comments section below