Jaybird X2 Bluetooth earbuds: verdict
Some of you may recall that I started using Jaybird’s Freedom Sprint earbuds in the late summer of 2015. Unfortunately three pair of the Freedom Sprint earbuds failed in a relatively short time (see this blog for the full story).
While I was obviously not impressed with the Freedom Sprint earbuds, I was very impressed with Jaybird’s customer service. After the third pair failed, Jaybird replaced them with their top of the line X2 Sport earbuds. I thought that was a very nice gesture.
I didn’t carefully track the number of hours I put on the X2s, but I have definitely put at least 100 hours on them. The earbuds have been subjected to sweat, rain, heat and cold.
The X2s do seem to be much more water and sweat resistant than the Freedom Sprints (both of which come with a lifetime sweat warranty). I’ve not had any problems in that area. So far so good.
When I first got the X2s I was blown away by the Bluetooth connection strength. I was able to place my phone in any jersey pocket and I never had so much as a single Bluetooth dropout. When I had the Freedom Sprint earbuds, I had to place my phone in my right jersey pocket or I’d have constant issues with cutouts. I’m not sure why, but after about a month I started getting occasional Bluetooth dropouts with the X2s. I reset the earbuds and my phone, but I still get dropouts with increasing regularity.
Also, and this usually happens at least once per ride now, the earbuds will disconnect from my phone. It’s easy to reconnect the earbuds–just a long press of the middle button–but it’s annoying when I’m in the middle of a hard interval and my music stops. This never happened during the first month, so it seems like a partial failure or a gradual decline to me. I even tried using another phone, and the same thing happened.
Speaking of gradual declines, let’s talk about battery life. The X2 earbuds claim to have 8 hour battery life. Even fresh out of the box the best I ever got was about 6 hours, and that number has been sliding down ever since. This past Saturday I did a 2.5 hour training ride, and after two hours I got the spoken “battery low” warning. The X2s had a full charge when I left, so I was pretty surprised. The X2s did last for the rest of the ride, but a low battery warning at just 1/4 of the claimed battery life is pretty bad. I suspect that eventually the X2s will stop holding a charge all together.
I have no complaints about the sound quality or comfort of the X2s. Once I got the X2s properly fitted and adjusted (this takes a little time, but you only have to do it once), they remained in place and comfortable, even on long rides.
I really want to love these earbuds, but the battery life decline and increasing frequency of sound dropouts/disconnects appears to be a harbinger of total failure. While I have faith that Jaybird’s customer service will take take of me if (when) the X2s give up the ghost, I will be required to return the defective earbuds and wait for a replacement pair.
Of course I understand that some defective products can make their way past QC, but after four pair of Jaybird earbuds have completely or partially failed (in less than six months), I can’t give them that pass. I’m not that unlucky.
Retail price on the X2 earbuds is about $180.00, and they go for around $135-$150 on Amazon. That’s a lot of dough to drop on earbuds, and so they should work reliably and without issue. With so many competing brands selling for a small fraction of that price (and with the same, or better, average customer rating–see this page), I can not recommend the X2 earbuds.