Jaybird RUN XT True Wireless Headphones Reviewed

8.7

Design

9.0/10

Build

9.0/10

Performance

8.0/10

Pros

  • Case doubles as portable charger
  • Fits the ear well

Cons

  • Sound quality could be better
  • Battery life between charges could be better

After having a look at the Jaybird Tarah Pro, we couldn’t but help taking the RUN XTs for a run (pun intended). The Jaybird RUN XT is truly wireless – no wires needed. From the name, it’s obvious that these are earbuds for athletes and because of this, the XTs feature sweat and water resistance (IPX7). IPX7 rating isn’t something you find in all the fully wireless earbuds but a needed feature if you are wanting something that can handle workouts in a range of environmental conditions.

Jaybird RUN XT True Wireless Headphones

The Jaybird RUN XT brings a number of improvements over the older RUN model:

  • Better water resistance
  • Improved sound quality
  • New colour options
  • Better design

Specifications

The Jaybird RUN XT specifications include:

AudioType: In-ear style
Noise-isolation: Passive
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Speaker sensitivity: 103 +/- 2dB at 1KHz
Output max. 12mW RMS (with level limit)
Total harmonic distortion <5% (1KHz, 1mW)
Audio format: 16-bit stereo
Codec: Bluetooth SBC implementation
Response bandwidth: 20Hz - 20kHz
Driver size: 6 mm
BluetoothBluetooth version: 4.1
Frequency band: 2.4 GHz
Profiles: Handsfree , Headset , A2DP , AVCRP , SPP
Integrated MicrophoneType: MEMS, omni directional
Sensitivity: -38dB +/- 3dB (Test conditions: 1KHz, 0db = 1V/Pa)
Button ControlsAVRCP Music Controls (Play/Pause, Skip)
Call Controls (Answer, End, Reject Call)
General (Pair, Power)
BatteryPlay time: 4+ Hrs*
Charging time: 2 Hrs
Quick charge: 5 min = 1 hour playtime
Charging: Via charge case with USB connector
Input power: DC 5V 1A
Type: Lithium Ion
Battery voltage: 3.8V
Energy voltage in watt hrs per battery: 0.3wh
*May vary dependent on usage, device & aging
Weight & DimensionsHeadset: 14.3mm x 19.5mm x 19mm
Weight of single bud (without fin or tip): 6.83g

Design

The Jaybird RUN XT is currently available in 2 colours: black/yellow (Black-Flash) or blue/grey (Storm-Gray). Whilst the earbuds themselves look a little on the large side, they are actually very light. The improved contoured design with flexible tip sizes ensured a perfectly snug fit in my ear.

Speaking of which, Jaybird include a small selection of eartips and earfins that cater for most ear shapes and sizes.

Included in the Jaybird RUN XT box

The buttons on the earbuds serve as controls for a range of functions. The LHS can be used to activate voice control on your phone. Call and music controls are handled with varying button presses on the RHS earbud. One feature missing was the ability to control the volume but this seems to be getting normal with wireless earbuds now.

Smartphone Software

The Jaybird mobile app is available for Android and iOS. You don’t need the app in order to use the earbud. That said, the Jaybird app offers a much better user experience as it allows you to customise the buttons and equalizer (EQ) as well as access playlists. Customising the EQ is a great feature as you can adjust the sound signature via the 5-band EQ. Similarly, the playlist supports Spotify integration so you can keep enjoying any open subscriptions.

Performance

A couple of assumptions I made when gauging the sound quality of earbuds:

  • These are sports earbuds so most of the R&D focus probably would have gone into building a resilient pair of earbuds
  • These will not be anywhere near as good as the traditional over the ear headphones – you can blame physics for this one (size of driver, ear coverage, etc…)

With that out of the way, I still found the Jaybird RUN XT more than capable of delivering good quality sound. The bass was better than other earbuds I’ve used and most of all – the base was distortion free. The mids and highs were good as well but had some room for improvement.

The microphone sensitivity and recording quality was good, not great, but still did the job. Honestly, not sure how you can get podcasting quality voice recording when the mic is so far away from the mouth. That said, it’s still good enough to hold a phone conversation while working out.

Battery life is only around 4 hours making this great for workouts but not so great for long marathon runs or trail hikes. The case doubles as a charging case which can give you another two full charges (around 8 hours listening).

Final Thoughts

We were pleasantly surprised with the Jaybird RUN XT wireless earbuds. They offered great audio playback and if that wasn’t good enough, a five-band EQ to personalise further. The music played loud and clear, even at high volumes. The bass response was my favourite, giving me distortion free thumps.  

We didn’t have any connectivity issues with the RUN XT and the iPhone 8 or Huawei P30 Pro. The microphone quality could be better along with battery life. These Jaybird RUN XT’s will now be accompanying me on the daily exercise routines.

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Post Author: Noeneel Sharma

Australian born tech expert, Noeneel, is the founder of the GeekLingo. He has over 25 years of experience in the Information Technology (IT) world. As an Information Technologist, he has a Bachelor in Information Technology, MBA and a Master of Business Process Management. He has professional working experience working in reputable industries including telecommunication, legal, accounting, banking, and most recently electricity. He spends most of his time with his gadgets as he enjoys photography, researching and cryptocurrencies. Connect with Noeneel on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.