At first glance, the new Jaybird X3 Bluetooth wireless headphones looks pretty much like the X2 it succeeds, or even the Freedom I reviewed last year. Like the X2 and Freedom, the X3 is similarly designed for sports. But the Jaybird X3 isn’t about being the same as before. It’s better, and better value too.
The Jaybird X3 is a neckband style in-ear type headphones. If you’re familiar or have seen the X2 or Freedom, the X3 is like the in-between. Smaller than the X2, larger than the Freedom. It’s small enough to not cause problems with any headgear you might want to wear (like the X2 interfered with wearing a hat), nor is it too small to feel insecure. The Jaybird X3 is just the right-size.
The ear wings attached to the ear pieces help lock the X3 into your outer ears, and they work very well. They ensure that the X3 stays put in your ears, however explosive or violent the movements your sporting activity might involve.
You can wear the Jaybird X3 in different ways. Choose to have the neckband in front of your neck, or behind your neck. Wires straight down from your ears, or looped over the top of your ears. Pick whichever style works more comfortably for you.
The inline remote is down the wire from the right earpiece. It has the usual three buttons, and includes the microphone, as well as charging contacts on the back for connection to a dedicated charging clip.
This is pretty much like a regular inline remote, yet there’s something to say about it. One of my complaints with the Jaybird Freedom is the heft of the inline remote, because the battery was incorporated into it. Yet, because of limited space, the Freedom only offered 4 hours of battery life. The X3 has the battery moved back into the earpieces, feels more comfortable, at least not with some extra weight tugging down only from one side, and you get far more battery life too.
You can use any regular MicroUSB cable to connect the dedicated charging clip to a USB power source, but you’d better not be losing that little piece of accessory.
The Jaybird X3 supports Bluetooth 4.1. It can do a number of cool tricks. Not only can you connect the X3 to two source device at the same time, you can also connect two X3 headphones to a single source device. The latter could be useful when, for example, you want to share a single music play source with another listener, such as a workout buddy.
Jaybird’s MySound app, available on both Android and iOS, lets you customise the Jaybird X3. You can adjust the EQ settings to suit your preference.
In terms of sound quality, I was really happy with the Jaybird X3. My first impressions were that the sound was punchy, full of volume and energy. Music is driven by 6 mm speaker drivers.
The bass is powerful. It’s well-controlled and tight, I should say, but it may come across as a little too punchy. I imagine this could in fact be preferred during an intense gym workout, and it will certainly please those who prefer powerful bass.
The mids and highs are overall good, but perhaps not as well defined as the bass. The highs does sound a tad harsh.
There is always going to be room for improvements. You should not expect audiophile quality in this price category. If you consider the Jaybird X3 as a headphones for sports, I’d say the sound quality is excellent.
Battery life on the Jaybird X3 runs for 8 hours. It’s sweat proof, of course, but not for swimming with.
The Jaybird X3 comes with three sizes of ear wings, silicon tips and foam tips. The box also includes a shirt clip, cable clips, the charging clip, a short MicroUSB cable, and a small pouch. The cable clips help you manage excess cable length.
A nice Jaybird decal is also thrown in for good measure; I’m sure Jaybird fans will have some use of it.
The Jaybird X3 is available at S$215, from the following stores: 1st Mobile @ Tangs, Analogue+, Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, Gain City, Harvey Norman, iStudio, Lazada, Newstead, Nubox, Sprint-Cass @ Changi Airport, and Stereo Electronics. There are two colour options available: the Blackout (Black and Silver) in this review, and Sparta (White and Gold).
The price is particularly attractive considering that the Jaybird Freedom launched at S$259.
The Jaybird X3 is an all-round excellent neckband style Bluetooth wireless headphones for sports.
- Great sound quality
- Secure fit
- Multiple wearing options
- Great battery life
- Proprietary charging clip