Jaybird Vista: Comfort and quality

Late last year I invested in a pair of Jaybird Bluetooth earbuds. They were okay – I did not love them, but they worked well, sounded good, and that was really all that I needed. When I started having issues with them in January I looked online and tried to apply the latest firmware. When that failed, I called the company for support.

Justin answered the call and was extremely helpful. After troubleshooting the steps (and trying a few things I had not tried before) he concluded that there was indeed an issue, and that they would replace the earbuds with a new pair. He told me that they had discontinued the line that I had, and would I mind if they sent me a pair of the newer model, the Jaybird Vista. No problem!

Jaybird_CaseI use my earbuds a lot – mostly when I am walking my dog, but they easily get 2-3 hours of usage per day; before I decided to call Jaybird’s support, I had invested in a new pair of buds from another company. I liked them better than my original Jaybirds and it was only as an afterthought that I decided to try to get the Jaybirds working. Maybe I would resell them.

JaybirdA few days after speaking with Justin – who was, I should mention, extremely helpful and communicative – I received the new set. From the outset I had a very different experience from the original pair. The case was sleeker, the buds were more comfortable, the sound quality was better. I connected them to my phone and was immediately able to listen to my book on tape as Princess Sophie and I went for our afternoon walk.

I charged the buds overnight. I wanted to see how long they would last from a full charge until I needed to charge them again. They certainly lasted all day, and the next day. By the time Princess Sophie and I went for our evening walk the next day I had worn them at length – including for a few hours on the golf course (a rarity, but for reasons I won’t go into a necessity on that day) – and when I turned them on they reported that the battery was still at 60%. According to the marketing material, the batteries should be good for six hours of listening time, plus an extra ten hours available from the battery charge case. I have no reason to dispute these numbers.

I spend a lot of time on the phone, and the hands-free talking quality was much better with the Vista than it ever had been with my previous model. Additionally, the connection quality was much better – the original reason for my dissatisfaction with the previous pair stemmed from occasional disconnection issues when my phone was in my back pocket.

Jaybird_EarI had my new Jaybirds a week before I decided once and for all to return the other pair I had bought to Amazon. I liked them just fine, but they were no better than the Vista buds I was using now… I returned them for a refund, and so far I have not looked back.

According to the website, the Vistas are Earth-proof… by which they mean fully waterproof, crush-proof, drop-proof, and sweat-proof. I am pretty careful with my gear so I don’t plan to crush them anytime soon, but knowing that they can take anything I might throw at them is good peace of mind. Also, it is likely I will lose them before I will break them… and with the Jaybird app on my phone, the Find My Buds feature will help me find them when I lose them. I hope I do not have to try that out anytime soon!

The same app that helps with the Find my Buds experience also lets me adjust the EQ control for my buds, so whether you are a fan of treble or bass or whatever, set them as you like.

The noise cancellation feature is good, but it would be nice if there was a transparency mode. When walking Princess Sophie, I need to remove at least one ear to have a conversation with a passing neighbour or fellow dog walker. Other than that, I cannot think of anything that is missing from them.

The write-up on Amazon claims the Vista earbuds are among the smallest and lightest premium earbuds on the market; I do not agree with that, knowing that Apple, JBL, and a few other companies do have smaller models that are just as good… but they are small and light, and they lock nicely into my ear comfortably.

At $149.99 (down $30 from the original price) the price tag is higher than I would have budgeted for ear buds, but they are certainly a good product. They are now slightly less expensive than Apple’s AirPods, and even more so than the comparable Bose Sport Earbuds.

The Jaybird Vista were previously available in three colours – Black, Nimbus Grey, and Planetary Green – but the green is no longer available. I like the black ones, and besides… I need to hear them, not see them.

Fellow Amazon shoppers have rated these 4.5 out of 5 stars, which means the vast majority are pleased with them. I will definitely give it my thumbs-up as well, even if they are a bit pricey.

Touch: You can touch this!

Occasionally I am sent a press release about a new product, or a soon to be released product, that I think is worth talking about.  That happened this week when I received a kit about an upcoming product called Touch Earbuds.

touch-campaign-openers-v02The Touch Earbuds are the next generation of a product I looked at a few months ago called the Dot, which was a single earbud (although you could buy two and listen in stereo), which attached magnetically to a charging device (which in turn made a good key chain).  I made some recommendations to the company based on my experience, and here is the result: A pair of ear buds that have probably the best specs on paper that I’ve seen.  The charger is now an enclosed case (that simultaneously holds and charges the pair of buds), the Bluetooth 5 technology gives it an astounding 200m range from your device, as well as faster pairing, and the low energy functionality is perfect for devices that are needed to run for longer lengths of time.  They also did away with the button, and the Touch runs on just that – touch technology.

Did I mention that the Touch ear bud is 21mm long, making it a little shorter than an American quarter?  It fits in your ear smoothly and discretely, and stays in place even during rigorous physical activity.  They are sweat- and water-resistant, so you don’t have to take them out when it’s raining, or when you are working up a sweat.  They also come with various sizes of ear tips, to make sure they fit you perfectly.

The Touch is the world’s smallest ear buds, and they are due out in November, just in time for Christmas.  If you want to get in early though, you can back their Indiegogo campaign by clicking here.  There are more pictures, as well as data sheets and comparisons that you can look at.

I am really looking forward to trying these out… they will be the perfect fit for my long jogs and gym workouts, as well as for whenever I feel like listening to music… or chatting on the phone, because the noise reduction microphone makes it as easy as pie to chat as well as listen.

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