The Jaybird X3 is a compact iteration of its popular, water-resistant, wireless sports headphones. What is new about it? For starters, the earbuds are smaller than the X2s. It's in-line remote has a new design, and the battery upgrade delivers up to eight hours of juice while playing music at moderate levels of volume. Jaybird says it has tweaked the drivers inside the earbuds. They are among the best sounding sports headphones available as far as other improvements, the fins that aid in securing the buds in the ears have been redesigned and now include an attachable clip for the back of the shirt if desired.
Improvements have made the Jaybird X3 a top-selling wireless sports headphone. The headphone is smaller, costs less, and has an improved battery life than the X2. For an in-ear headphone, using Bluetooth, the sound is excellent. It comes with a compact carrying pouch for protection and is sweat resistant. A set of cord shortening accessories are also in the box and plenty of ear tips. There are foam and silicone tips. One of which will hopefully allow the user to get a tight, comfortable fit.
- Compact and durable design
- Companion app to adjust EQ
- Excellent sound quality
- Great value
- Secure fit
- Solid battery life
- Achieving the right fit takes some time
- Charging clip
- Intermittent signal
The features appeal to active users. Many of the features make the headphones convenient for casual listens without being too pricey. It can be worn while snowboarding or skiing with no problem. Comply tips provide far better noise isolation. That choice is not ideal when situational awareness such as road running is needed.
A slightly over-energized voice gives a clear indication of the headphone status. It indicates if the power is on or off, gives battery percentage in 20 percent increments, and if the headphones are connected. Because of the limited visual indication, the voice alerts are very helpful.
Like with the Freedom, users can customize the sound to their liking by going into Jaybird’s MySound app for their Android or iOS devices. The default sound profile is well-balanced and works nicely.
A better fit or the tweaks made to the driver may be the cause of the excellent sound. It has details and punchy bass. Complicated tracks with lots of instruments tend to distort the sound a bit. Bluetooth headphones often run into the problem.
It is no surprise that the sound is a bit narrow when the isolating Comply tips are worn, but the headphones aren’t used for critical listening. The silicone tips provide a bit of a better seal and offer a higher audio fidelity than the Comply tips, but are not as comfortable.
The stock profile of the audio is treble-skewed. The users can mix things up to their tastes with the MySound app. With the use of the free MySound app, a five-band EQ can be used to fine-tune the acoustics or switch between various user-created or preset profiles.
Overall they hold together well and don’t distort. Volume seems to be best when set at 75 percent. The X3 performs well but does not deliver business-class performance. There is not built-in noise reduction technology.
Moving the microphone closer to the mouth is helpful, especially in noisy environments when receiving calls. Other than occasional drop-outs, the quality of sound is exceptional for a wireless and inexpensive device.
A user and a friend with a Jaybird X3 can pair to a common audio source as they listen to music at the same time. Only one music source is needed to be carried when working out or running with a friend. The MySound app on Android or iOS can be used with the X3.
Even though the headphones have an athletic focus, they occasionally suffer from connection loss, especially if the phone is in a pants’ pocket. The problem is not unique to the X3. Many wireless headphones are plagued with the same problem.
Using a sports armband gets the device closer to the receiver, that appears to be in the remote, prevents the problem. When not exercising, a breast pocket can be used. Neither option is particularly convenient.
The noise-isolation may be an issue for runner safety. The noise-isolating earphone seals out ambient noise that prevents a runner from hearing traffic. Some headphones have open designs. They allow some of the ambient noise to filter in.
The multiple ways of wearing the X3 have varying levels of security. The most secure fit is accomplished by wearing the headphones around the back of the neck, looped over the top of the ears with the cable length shortened by using the cable management clips.
A reviewer stated the Comply foam was a favorite tip. Silicone tips may gradually slide out of the ear, no matter what size is chosen, due to the glossy surface.
The reduced size prevents the headphones from protruding out of the ears as much. They are not helmethelmethelmet compatible. The headphones do not interfere with helmet straps.
Many of the complaints of the X2 have been rectified. It takes a bit of adjusting to make the headphones fit comfortably. When the winning combination is found, the user is rewarded with wireless sports headphones that don’t budge.
There are multiple fitting options. The headphones come with three sizes of fins, silicone and Comply foam tips, a shirt clip, and two cable shortening clips. The customization process is a bit tedious, but when the ideal combination is found, the headphones don’t have to be readjusted.
Bespectacled users find the fin-style method of securing the headphones to be a godsend. On-ear and over-ear headphones can be painful or incompatible with the arms of eyeglasses. They also keep ear-pieces secure when moving.
Due to the choice of securing methods, the compact build, lightweight, and sweat-proof design, the Jaybird X3 is well-equipped to handle vigorous physical activity. The actor voicing the battery percentage and power status alerts vocally embodies physical activities.
Even the most explosive and vigorous movements won’t cause the headphones to move. The plastic earbud casings of the X3 are not nearly as tiny as the metal casings of the Jaybird Freedom. They have a well-constructed feel and are sweat-proof.
Ease of Use
The sound profile can be customized using EQ settings. Tighter treble or extra bass preferences can be arranged. The headphones save changes that are made. They follow the user to whatever device used to pair it.
Unfortunately, the headphones only store one profile. It would be an appreciated feature if the user could directly toggle between profiles to use a bass-heavy sound for some activities such as weightlifting and one that is more serene when on a 10K run. The profiles are saved to the headphone instead of the playback device. It can be set once and used across other devices without retuning.
Jaybird chose the charging method because grime and sweat from people’s hands ended up in the charging port of the X2 and caused failure of the headphones. Jaybird’s more expensive headphone, the Freedom, has a charging scheme that is similar, but the
Freedom’s charging accessory includes a built-in battery to increase battery life. The Jaybird X3 does not. The batteries are inside the headphone. They are housed in the earbuds. If the charging accessory is lost, there is no means to charge the headphone. If misplaced a new one has to be ordered through the company’s website. A small fee is charged.
The battery is now lithium instead of nickel-metal hydride. The battery life of both the 2X and 3X is the same. However, lithium-ion is more reliable. It can be discharged and charged more rapidly.
The larger sized casings make room for a decent sized battery instead of a separate charging clip like that of the Freedom. A single charge provides eight hours of use.
While a positive move, reviewers were disappointed that an exclusive clip is needed to charge the X3 instead of a direct Micro USB port used on most headphones.
The charging clip ironically has a Micro USB port. The upside is a dedicated charging clip is carried around instead of a ubiquitous Micro USB cable. The clip attaches to the back side of the in-line remote control.
* Bluetooth 4.1
* In-line microphone and remote
* Multiple options for fit and wear
* Two devices can be paired to one set of headphones simultaneously
* Two sets of headphones can be paired to one device
The Jaybird X3 replaces the X2. It is geared towards adrenaline-fueled and sports activities. ‘Extreme’ and ‘rad’ are parts of the vernacular used to describe the X3. The Jaybird X3 checks all the right boxes for those who want a gym-friendly or running pair of wireless headphones.
The headphones are sweat resistant and have a super secure fit. The price is considerably less than previous efforts. The super-secure fit remains comfortable. It has excellent sound quality, and not battery life has been sacrificed.
Most design changes are for the better. The smaller profile fits under hats and helmets. The Bluetooth 4.1 upgrade provides a longer battery life and a two device pairing capability. MySound app supports makes the sound incredibly malleable.