Audio Quality and Performance
For testing I have been using the Jaybird Vista’s attached to our OnePlus 7t which I’m also testing and to get as much ear time as possible I have been using them for music and youtube videos on the phone at my desk as well as trying them on the treadmill, around the house, and outside doing some winter prep. Sadly they came in a little too late for more outside use, I’m in Ohio and it's been cold. I also had my wife give them a try as well because she has a different sized ear and because I think all of you would prefer to see pictures of her using the Vista’s than me lol.
So let's talk a little about how they fit and if you are an avid AirPods user it might seem a little weird. AirPods work more like a hook, with it hanging on to your ear and the battery section hanging down. The Vista’s fit inside of your ear. So to install them you push the head inside of your ear, just like a traditional earbud. But for more holding power you can then rotate them and the winglet on the eargel slides in behind your ear’s helix which is the outside part of your ear. What I found is really the Vista’s don’t really need that extra grip, but I felt more comfortable running around with them hooked. These are expensive and even with cheap wireless earbuds I wouldn’t want to drop them in the middle of the yard where I would never be able to find them. Jaybird does have a solution for that which I will cover later. Anyhow with the wireless earbuds “installed” so to speak you can see that the base portion does stick out some. The flat surface on the outside has the Jaybird logo and both sides have a button built-in that you can play/pause your music or with a double-tap skip to the next song. Because it is so big, I found using the button really easy.
Now when I tested the last pair of wireless earbuds I found that they were good, but still limited compared to my higher end wired earbuds. SO I was really curious what a more expensive set like the Vista’s would sound like and when I first tried them out I was extremely impressed. Officially they have the same 20Hz - 20kHz frequency range listed in the specifications as the Philips Upbeats that I tested before and they also both have 6 mm drivers. But the Vista’s sound amazing. Where the Upbeats lacked bass, the Vista’s might have too much bass out of the box and bass, mids, and highs are all crisp and clean. I didn’t have to crank the Vista’s up to ear the music but even when I did there wasn’t any distortion or issues. Because of the cold weather I haven’t had the chance to use them while mowing which is the ultimate test for passive noise canceling and volume levels for me, but I’m not expecting any problems, the in-canal design cut out the noise from watching TV shows directly in front of me at my desk even before turning music on.
Now I’m not a huge fan of devices like this having their own apps but thankfully the Vista’s don’t need the Jaybird app at all. But it does offer a few additional features if you do use it. I installed it to take a look at what they had to offer, the main selling point for me was custom EQ’s going in. I did notice that when you have the Vista’s powered up you can see the battery life of each side on your lock screen when you have the app installed. This is a nice way to be able to check to see if you need to charge them up but I rarely found that to be an issue. With a 6-hour battery life the Vista’s, out of the box, can cover a good portion of your workday. The included carrying/charging case comes with an additional 10 hours of battery life in it as well which for me even if I use the Vista’s a lot should be enough for a weekend trip without needing to plug in and charge. Now if you are using them through your workday, that 6-hour charge isn’t going to be enough right? Well to get charged back up to the full 6-hour charge you need 2 hours. But they offer an interesting other option, a quick charge. This gets you one hour of battery life from 5 minutes of charge time. So if they do die, you can get back up and running in around the time it will take you to run to the bathroom.
Okay, so what about the app? Well the main page you land on is the EQ page and they have a page full of options right away including a few from runners. But it is the customize button up top that I was curious about. So basically to make a custom EQ they go through 6 tones and have you set the volume until you can barely hear the tone and they use that to make your own custom sound. Of course after that you can make other adjustments as well if you want to tweak things but I really liked my custom flat EQ. What I mean by that is the EQ tool basically helps you set a true flat to your hearing.
The second page in the software has lists full of custom playlists depending on how you are using your Jaybird product. You will need to sign up for an account to listen though. Speaking of signing up, the profile page when you sign up for an account allows you to backup your settings to the cloud.
The headphones option is where you finally get into Vista specific options. Here you can rename your earbuds and turn things like that battery status that I liked on or off. They also have access to informative videos on pairing and finding your fit on the Vistas or any other Jaybird earbud. The main options though are up at the top with the button controls and other options. Here with the button controls you can change the default settings to do other things. Most of the options weren’t for me, but I do like the option to turn the button hold on each ear to volume up and down which is the one area that I thought the Vista’s were missing in control. You can also adjust the idle power off time.
The find my buds option was really interesting and honestly, this might be the main reason I keep the Jaybird software installed. Basically by using your phone's GPS and by checking the Bluetooth connection to the two earbuds it will note exactly where it last connected. So if you are running and you lose one ear you can go back and look where it was last seen. Now honestly I’m not seeing a lot of situations where I completely lose an earbud while I’m using them without noticing. It seems a little extra clueless, but I’m sure it does happen and this could help. My main concern with in-ear wireless earbuds is just dropping one in an area that they would be hard to see like grass or in a woods. But still, a cool feature.