With the X3s, Jaybird brings us a set of sports earphones that don’t disappoint. A few minor flaws are outweighed by a range of features and a compact, ergonomic design, all at a great price.
With the Jaybird X2s being such well-loved earphones, the X3s had to be a step up in as many ways as possible to earn their keep. And, in many ways, they do deliver. They aren’t the best wireless earphones out there, but they do bring a whole lot to the playing field while offering a competitive price point at around $75.
Marketed mainly as a sports earphone, the X3s are also suitable for everyday use whether that’s at home or out and about. Whether it’s for your next triathlon or to help you block out the world on a Monday morning commute, the X3s could be what you’re looking for, and we’re here to help you decide. So, let’s take a look!
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|Headphone type||In-ear, wireless|
|Frequency Response||20 Hz|
|Impedance||. 16 Ohm|
|Bluetooth Version||. Bluetooth 4.1|
Looks-wise, if you’re looking for something really jazzy the Jaybird X3s may not be for you. The design is simple but sophisticated, encased in black textured plastic with silver chrome accents displaying the Jaybird logo. Sleek to look at, sure, but not particularly memorable. With that said, the X3s do now come in a few different colors, such as a bright red and a kind of khaki green, so this does add some interest and variety.
Looking at the earbuds in more detail, the Jaybird X3s are distinguishable from their predecessor the X2s by the more compact design and smaller profile. Thanks to this they sit closer to the head, not sticking out too much at all. Into your cycling? No worries – they fit comfortably under a bike helmet, too!
The downsizing of the X3s also helps to eliminate that annoying feeling of the earbuds being weighed down and dropping out of your ear. They are also held nicely in your ear by the angled design, and there is a distinct difference in the shape of each – so throw these buds into the wrong ears in a hurry, and you’ll know about it!
For those who want an even more secure fit, the X3s’ Rubber ear fins offer a great alternative to over-ear fittings, making them more discreet and really handy for glasses wearers too.
It can’t be said that the Jaybird X3s aren’t customizable. With three different sizes of contoured, ergonomic ear fins as well as three sizes of silicone ear tips and memory foam tips, most users will find the customization they need.
The customizability doesn’t stop with the in-ear fit, though. The cable also allows the X3s to be worn as standard headphones or in a wrap-around style behind the head, which is great for sports. The cable can also be kept under control and adjusted to size thanks to a shirt clip and two cable shortening clips.
Oh, and we’ve all been there: you place your earphones down carefully for just a split second only to pick them up again and find the cable twisted into what can only be described as a series of impossibly advanced sailors’ knots. The X3s combat this with their tangle-resistant cable, so you should be able to throw them in your bag without careless abandon!
Features and Performance
Between the silicone and foam tips, the foam definitely comes out tops for us. Both are good, but the foam tips feel particularly comfortable and mold well in the ear. They also have a good seal in the ear, providing fantastic sound isolation so you can concentrate on your workout or train ride without the disturbance of outside noise.
What about that all-important sound quality? In true Jaybird style, the X3s are good and loud, with a solid bass that doesn’t overpower any vocals. Of course, it’s not all about that bass, though, and the X3s bring clear mids and a wide, balanced sound stage which makes for a rich listening experience.
Once you get moving on that run or bike ride, the X3s do allow you to check your battery level on the fly, but you’ll need to pause your music to do so. The voice is a little over-enthusiastic, which takes some getting used to but is undeniably helpful considering there is no display screen on these earphones.
As we would expect in any half-decent sports headphone, the X3s are water and sweat-resistant. This is super helpful whether you want to get your sweat on in the gym or if you find yourself stuck in the rain on your trip to work.
When it comes to connectivity, Jaybird X3s are, on the whole, a success story. The use of Bluetooth 4.1 means there the connection is stable, with good reach (up to 50 – 75 feet), however, some dips in the signal can occur if someone gets between you and your phone, or if you put your phone in your pants pocket.
Let’s talk charging. The X3s do charge by USB…kind of. You’ll need an extra proprietary charging dock in order to connect the earphones to the USB charging cable. The charging dock connects directly to the control panel on the cable, where the battery is located. This dock, of course, comes in the box but does mean carrying around an extra piece of kit if you want to charge your X3s on the go.
For those who simply want a good solid headphone with that won’t fall out on a run, the Jaybird X3s are certainly a plug in and play device. If you want to tailor the soundstage, though, they are also compatible with the Jaybird App.
The Jaybird App allows you to play DJ and customize your very own EQ presets with a slide of the finger. For some, this might be a little overkill, but what is nice is that the settings you make are saved to the buds themselves, so your unique soundstage stays with you from device to device.
The App also brings us Jaybird Music with access to shared Spotify playlists and podcasts – a nice added touch!
For a sports earphone, the X3s offers impressive sound quality and comfortable fit. The wireless connection does suffer occasional issues, but not enough to cause massive concern. And although the look of the X3s is fairly simplistic, at least you’re getting a relatively timeless design that isn’t going to look unfashionable any time soon.
While not perfect, they are the people-pleasers of the wireless earphone world, with enough features to keep everyone happy – from everyday listeners to marathon runners. With plenty of options for customization when it comes to comfort, fit and soundstage, the X3s offer an awful lot for their price range.
- Good value
- Water and sweat resistant
- Compact, ergonomic
- Some minor Bluetooth signal issues
- Separate charging dock