Driver size: 5.80 mm
Built-in remote control and microphone
Max Range: 9m
Battery: 8 hours
We weren’t very excited about Jaybird’s latest offer among wireless headphones, Jaybird Freedom. Luckily, Jaybird has launched a new model on the market that in many respects corrects the shortcomings and limitations found in the Freedom.
Jaybird X3 is an updated version of the previously popular X2. The remote control on the cord has become slightly larger. And unlike the X2, which is charged via a micro-USB cable, the X3 has been equipped with the same charging port on the remote control as the Freedom. This ensures that the headphones can better withstand moisture and especially perspiration because there are no direct openings to the mechanics.
Unfortunately, this also means that we will again have to watch out for the little proprietary gadget, which is guaranteed to be lost at some point. That bridge will be crossed when we get to it.
Above or below the ear
Jaybird makes a big deal about explaining the importance of the fit as well as the ability of remaining in the ears. It makes good sense, as the X3 lends itself especially well to sports and fitness. On that particular point, Jaybird Freedom failed miserably as they had tremendous difficulty keeping the buds in people’s ears. Luckily, this is not the case with the X3. Thanks to its interchangeable wings and earbuds, it stays firmly in the ear canal, no matter how much you move.
Since the wings can be turned, or even completely removed, you can have X3 both above and below the ear. We preferred the traditional under-the-ear variety, since our ears were too small to have the cords stay hanging. Unlike Freedom, the battery is moved back into the actual earbuds, which are slightly larger as a result. However, it also means that the battery will last longer. So we are not dependent on an additional battery pack if we want more than four hours of playtime. Also the remote control on the wire has become a touch bigger. Nevertheless, it still feels lighter, and doesn’t bang into the side of your head like the Freedom model did.
Also regarding sound, great improvements have been made. Jaybird X3 has a warmer and a more well-balanced sound than the Freedom. You can adjust further in the special Mysound app if you want more bass, which we definitely recommend.
As a smart detail, the equaliser is not purely software based. Rather, it goes in and changes the sound directly in the earbuds. Thus, the new setting remains when pairing X3 with e.g. a laptop. We like that. Naturally, there is a microphone on the remote control. We tested it in noticeably windy conditions, and then quickly found out that it was not particularly useable.
Jaybird X3 is a well-playing pair of cordless headphones, which in many areas has addressed our criticisms of Jaybird Freedom. They sit firmly in your ears, have sensible battery life and moreover play rather nicely.
On the negative side, it comes with a special gadget for charging, which unfortunately will likely go missing at some point. The built-in microphone and the quality of the communication are also not that impressive. For sports and fitness, Jaybird X3 is a great choice.
If you would like as tight a fit as possible, our former test winner JBL Reflect Contour is still a better buy.