I’ve been a big fan of Jaybird’s wireless earbuds for a number of years. I’ve had the company’s latest true wireless earbuds—VISTA—for going on six months now, but have yet to post a review on GeekDad. Last week the company sent me a new special edition color and the embargo on that is now up, so it’s time to finally post that Jaybird VISTA review. Now in Planetary Green!
VISTA: Jaybird Nails True Wireless Earbuds
When I reviewed Jaybird’s RUN XT earbuds last March, I was generally happy with the effort. Highlights included IPX 7 water resistance, a highly comfortable fit, excellent audio performance, support for Siri and Google Assistant, and decent battery life. The big downside was audio that could get out of sync when watching streamed video—something people might do at a gym or while commuting.
What a difference a few months makes…
In September, Jaybird launched the VISTA true wireless earbuds. These were an all-new design that improved on the RUN XTs in every way.
Bluetooth 5.0 in combination with new custom JBS1 wireless tech completely eliminated audio lag, and ensured connectivity is rock solid. Battery life got a big boost, from four hours to six hours. The new earbuds are lighter as well, making them if anything, even more comfortable to wear. Switching a nano coating process for water resistance, Jaybird used a new “EarthProof” encapsulated construction for earbuds that aren’t just IPX7 waterproof but also crushproof. Naturally, I dumped them in water to confirm that rating and, yes, they were absolutely fine despite being submerged multiple times.
The charge case also got a huge makeover. Instead of being on the bulbous side, it is now one of the slimmest and most attractive cases out there. It gets USB-C charging and 10-hours of battery capacity. Between the buds and the charge case, VISTA earbuds are good for up to 16 hours of playback, or 32 hours if you decide to use a single bud. They support quick charging, with five minutes in the charger good for an hour of play time.
All the good stuff about Jaybird earbuds remains. A secure fit ensures the buds stay in place even during the most vigorous exercise, and Jaybird’s EarGels are the most comfortable in the business. Audio is excellent, including satisfying low end response. The 6mm drivers deliver a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz with less than 3% THD. The secret sauce is Jaybird’s mobile app, with an EQ and pre-sets that let you customize the sound for a highly personalized listening experience.
At $179.99, the price is right as well.
U.S. Military MIL-STD 810G Ruggedness
Jaybird announced this week the VISTA earbuds truly live up to that “EarthProof” label, and it goes beyond the IPX7 water resistance rating. They are now certified to meet the U.S. Military MIL-STD 810G standard for ruggedness. That means VISTA earbuds will stand up to:
“…repeated shock, vibration, drop and crush tests, as well as withstanding tropical humidity, hurricane-force water and desert sandstorm conditions.”
Not everyone is out jogging in a hurricane or sandstorm, but if you had any doubts about earbuds that will stand up to your gym routine or running in rain or snow, Jaybird VISTA is looking even more compelling on that front.
Special Edition Planetary Green
Jaybird already offers the VISTA earbuds in three colors: Black, Nimbus Gray, and Mineral Blue—it’s nice to have choices… This week the company launched a really cool new optioning Planetary Green. The pattern is described as a “topographic camo pattern… a visual reminder of how digital and natural worlds intersect.”
I have to say Planetary Green is pretty nice looking, and a refreshing alternative to all the glossy white out there.
Generally speaking, I prefer on-ear headphones to earbuds for fit, comfort, and audio quality, but in my experience, no-one does buds like Jaybird. The previous generation RUN XT had flaws, but the all-new Jaybird VISTA is among the best true wireless earbuds on the market. And if you’re looking for that elusive combination of sound quality, comfort, secure fit, ruggedness, and battery life, you’re not going to find true wireless earbuds better than Jaybird’s VISTA.
As for the special edition Planetary Green, I really like it. However, if you’re not picky about the color, I noticed that Amazon currently has the Nimbus Gray reduced by $20.
Disclosure: Jaybird provided VISTA earbuds for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.