Following Jaybird’s extremely successful product, the ultra-compact Freedom Bluetooth headphones, the release of the X3s were highly anticipated by many. As the successor to Jaybird’s X2, the X3s have a lot to live up to. That being said, the X2 certainly had its flaws, meaning users are expecting a lot from the X3s. But the initial assessment appears to be quite positive, as Jaybird has made some notable improvements from the X2.
For starters, the X3 comes with a 34% size reduction from the X2, making them much more compact, lightweight and portable than their predecessor. This is a significant improvement given that many users found the X2 to be uncomfortably large when worn for long periods at a time. Overall, the X3s appear to provide and overall improved fit and more ergonomic design that molds more comfortably to your ears.
The whole design of the X3s are much more polished, in terms of both build and design. This makes them a serious competitor in the Bluetooth headphone market, which extremely competitive right now. The Freedom afforded by the compact size is arguably the best on the market, and probably Jaybird’s most prized product. However, as with most truly exceptional products, there is a catch, and the case of the Freedom’s, it’s the price tag.
Many users want a good pair of Bluetooth headphones that won’t cost them an arm and a leg, but this is a more difficult feat than it seems. Earbud headphones are inherently limited by their size, making it tricky to deliver a product that offers all the features users want, impressive durability, and good sound quality all at an affordable price. If these headphones can live up to their hype, they may be a very worthwhile investment. To find out, we had to try them for ourselves.
When we first set eyes on the Jaybird X3 Bluetooth Headphones, we knew that they were a clear improvement over the X2s. While the general visual concept is the same, the X2s are much more compact and definitely sleeker looking. It’s not just the case, the ear fins are also more compact. They have a lined grille design rather than the slightly tacky looking circle design on the X2s.
The cord is the same flat, durable type that users loved. The control module sits on the cord about 2 or 3 inches below the ear buds, for easy access to volume control, playback and Bluetooth options. The colors are also, in our opinion, a step in the right direction compared to the X2s. The standard black and silver gives a more modest yet stylish feel to the look of the headphones, contrasting the somewhat goofy looking lime green and construction orange color options of the X2. However, there are other colors available including green, red, orange, blue and more.
When you buy the X3s, there are lots of handy things included. For starters, there are three different sizes of both silicone and memory foam ear tips, giving you variety in both texture and size. This is something very few earbud headphones can offer. They also come with 3 different sizes of ear fins, so you’ll almost certainly find a combination that fits perfectly. Also included is a USB charger, extra charging accessory, and cord clips.
Earbud headphones are no longer simply a product that allows you to take your music on the go in a compact, easy to transport way. Users want a product that can withstand the elements and keep up with their sometimes-vigorous workout routines. That means a good set of wireless earbuds needs to built with quality materials and features that will improve its durability. The X3s are more than just an ultra-portable earbud headphone. They’re designed to withstand the elements and keep up with users’ physical demands. All of this is reflected in its build quality.
For starters, the X3s have a hydrophobic nano coating that is designed to safeguard against sweat and rain. While the X3s have no official IP rating, the hydrophobic nano coating works to deflect moisture on the molecular level. For further protection while transporting the headphones, the X3s come with a significantly improved carrying case. The X2s has a bulky, squarish carry case that was cumbersome and less than convenient for carrying unless you had a bag or purse. The X3s have a softer carry case that it really more of a bag, but you can actually fit it in your pocket and it provides more than adequate protection while you’re on the go.
Regardless of how durable your earbuds might be, no one wants to sacrifice sound quality in any of their audio equipment. The wireless technology that’s necessary for Bluetooth earbuds always comes with an inevitable loss of sound quality. Plus, it can be difficult to get a great sound out of speakers small enough to fit into earbud headphones. However, the X3s have their own sound features that help optimize the quality as much as possible.
Compared to the X2s, the X3s come with a redesigned Bluetooth antenna that delivers skip-free audio transmissions even when you’re out of the city core. Plus, with the Jaybird MySound App, users can completely customize the sound profile of their headphones. The default setting is impressive as it is, offering crystal clear treble, smooth mid ranges and punching bass frequencies. However, if you want to adjust any of these settings – perhaps you like your bass a little more toned down – the app will allow you to do this.
The other benefit of the sound profile adjustability is that you can create different profiles depending on the type of audio file you’re listening to. For example, you can up the treble for podcasts, crank up the bass for EDM playlists, or go for a middle-of-the-road setting for your top 40s. Altogether, Jaybird has designed a set of wireless headphones that are almost impossible to be disappointed with. Ultimately, they put you in charge of your own audio experience.
For users to take full advantage of a wireless set of earbud headphones, the product needs to have a solid range of compatibility options. Thankfully, the X3s do not disappoint in this category. For one, the X3s come with the most up to date Bluetooth 4.1 technology, giving you the best audio and highest compatibility with other Bluetooth devices. They’re compatible with any Bluetooth device including smartphones, digital music players, tablets, or computers.
That means you can use the X3s at home on your laptop during a study session, on the bus while checking your Instagram on your iPad, or at the gym during a workout. The X3s are capable of connecting from up to 25 feet away from the source device, giving you more flexibility with your mobility options. They can even connect to more than one device at a time – a compatibility features you’re unlikely to find in most other wireless headphones.
As a micro-sized product, the X3s are ultra-lightweight. For anyoen that uses earbuds regularly, you will know how important a lightweight set of earbuds is, especially for long term use. The X3s are also specifically designed so that you can wear them comfortably under a helmet. Mountain bikers and cyclists rejoice, because with the X3s, there is more giving up on your headphones half through the trail due to discomfort.
With their ergonomic design, the X3s can also be worn in either an under or over ear position, giving you flexibility and optimized comfort for a variety of activities and personal preferences. Finally, with the range of sizes of ear tips offered (and not to mention the option of soft silicone or memory foam), users can completely customize the fit of the X3s to suit their own expectations. This is just one more feature that makes the X3s some of the most personalized earbuds on the market.
With any set of wireless earbud headphones, one of the most important features is also one that is often overlooked – battery life. There is nothing worse than realizing your ultra-compact, portable headphones are only useful for two hours out of your day. Thankfully, Jaybird spared no expense in designing the X3s with the best battery life they could. Offering up to 8 hours on a single charge, the X3s can easily keep up with your daily activities. If that’s not enough, they’ve included a 15-minute quick-charge option that will give you a full extra hour of battery life in a pinch.
With the Freedom line being somewhat out of reach for many admiring users, it’s nice to see Jaybird offering a more competitive range on one of their most highly anticipated products. With all the improvements, the Jaybird X3 Bluetooth Headphones offer over the X2s – including size, sound quality, and comfort – we expected the X3s to have an equal increase in price.
Impressively, the X3s are well within the price range of the X2s, making any decision between the two a no brainer in our opinion. With major improvements, awesome accessories, and a completely customizable sound profile that is a rare find on the wireless headphone market, the X3s are some of the best bang-for-your buck Bluetooth headphones out there.