We’ve covered headphones and will continue to cover headphones on EFTM, they’re a regular need for anyone looking to enjoy music in private. For those active people out there who run, cycle, dance at the gym, pump iron, and stretch around on yoga mats then you might on the hunt for a pair of headphones also. Music can be the difference between stopping your workout or pushing for another three minutes. Music can take your walk to a jog, a jog to a sprint and make that workout just a little more enjoyable. Whether it is listening to beats that keep up with your jogging pace or just ploughing through an audiobook or podcast for a light walk then you’ll need something that holds on for the ride, won’t fall out, lasts the distance, can handle some sweat and importantly sounds good too.
When we’re looking at headphones for active use we’re less focused on sound quality and more on form and fit. There is no point having the audio quality of over-ear noise cancelling headphones if you can’t trust them to hang on for your run and if they weigh a kilo. So, let’s look closer at the Jaybird X3 wireless in-ear headphones.
These in-ear headphones are firstly fairly nice to look at, they’re light at less than 18 grams and they’ll play your tracks for around eight hours. That’s three ticks right there. The weight is important and the decent battery life is impressive compared to others. The X3 has controls and a mic on the cord and can be used to control the music, calls and volume.
The X3’s are charged with a seperate adapter that connects to the controls and then to a microUSB charger. This small adapter is a huge risk for any buyer, it can so easily lost and it’s not going to be found easily as a replacement purchase. This adapter was likely thought of to reduce weight in the headphones themselves but you’ll be cursing for days if you lose it. 20 minutes of charge will give you an hour or play time, handy for that emergency situation.
The “wings” on the headphones allow the in-ears to sit securely without falling out. Generally we would prefer the in-ear headphones with the arm over the ear, they tend to be more secure however we found the X3’s wing to do the job just fine. For those with larger ear canals or ears, Jaybird include other sizes to fill that need.
Pairing the X3’s to the phone is simple and you’ll be listening to music in no time. The small concern here is that you won’t be enjoying your music to the quality you might hope. While we don’t think it is the most important part in this review, it is still a factor. The music sounded a little light and thin. Not just for R’n’B but for the brilliant John Farnham, we just needed a bit more bass, a little more in the midrange and this left us a little numb. Other competitors will produce better sound but they might weigh more and potentially won’t perform for very long.
At $199 they are not the cheapest wireless headphones on the market, BluAnt will come in at half that price, Jabra will meet it dead on and if you stretch a little more, you’ll be in range of Beats or even Bose. You need to consider your budget and where your level of importance is for each feature. Consider what you’ll be doing with them and the impact that will have in the in-ear wing attachments, and don’t forget that charging adapter.
*EFTM drink bottle not included
Living in Sydney his entire life, Geoff has always had a close eye on technology. Through school and immediately after, tech held his focus. Attending University later in life, Geoff began his IT career immediately after leaving high school and has been in the industry ever since. In his spare time he launched a YouTube channel focused on consumer tech that had millions of views. This led to work on community radio talking tech every week and has now stepped him into the studios of 2GB / 4BC every Saturday helping people with tech problems and reviewing the latest gadgets.
When Geoff is looking away from the screen he can be found holding a glass of red wine, spending time with friends and/or watching the Formula 1.