Still on the look out for a Father's Day gift? Or perhaps a present for a sporty person in your life? Let's take a jog, ride, or in my case, chasing kids on scooters and skateboards with the Jaybird Vista. Yep I am sweating it out behind the munchkins. DRN would like to thank Jaybird for supplying the review unit.
The Vista are Jaybird's second attempt at wireless earbuds after the Run XT, all the previous iterations of sports headphones have a wire connecting the two buds. The DRN review sample is in an unique mineral blue colour. It is not out there with the fluoro or the pastels varieties, but it certainly has a bit more character than your standard black and white offerings.
Like all wireless earbuds, the carry case doubles as a battery to keep them charged up. Unlike many of the competitors, the Jaybird's version is flatter and wider to better suit the footprint of the earbuds.
I guess the best description is that the Jaybird Vista are oblongs, with the typical earbud tips but with an additional little shark fin near the back pointing upwards. The purpose of this was pretty clear once I started using them. The rubberised part pretty much covers everything except for the single button on each ear bud, this part is called SportFit.
Just holding the earbuds in my hands gives the sense that the engineers at Jaybird have designed and tested them for real world conditions. The material is more rubberised so that they can be easily handled even with sweaty hands.
Getting started was simple, the inside flap of the box have just three instructions:
1. Open the Jaybird Vista case. Press and hold the case button until the LED turns on.
2. Select Jaybird Vista in your phone's Bluetooth emnu
3. Download the Jaybird App for guided fit and custom EQ sound.
Now that I have RTFM'ed, I duly press and hold the case button until the LED turned on. The Jaybird Vista appears on the list of devices ready for pairing and it was done with no fuss. To pair to an additional device, just repeat, rinse. The Jaybird Vista can hold pairing information for up to 8 devices, but will only have one active connection at a time.
The Jaybird MySound app is not mandatory to get the earbuds going, but it does offer a detailed fitting guide, instructions on basic operations as well as how the button controls work. There was a firmware update available already which was installed with no fuss.
The controls are simple for the Jaybird Vista:
Single press: left side - play / pause music, right side - accept / end call
Double press: left side - next song, right side - reject call
Long press: turn off / on
Additionally you can set equaliser profiles to suit your mood and music taste. The app offers 8 presets by default, which can all be further customised. Failing that you can create them from scratch in your Jaybird app dashboard.
Despite the look, the SportFit and its little shark fin fits like any normal earbuds. I did not even notice the difference in ear, but did feel around to find it just nestles into the concha. Pretty spiffy design and it feels secure, there is no wriggling or movement once they are seated. Jaybird provides 3 different sizes of SportFit to suit.
I ran some tracks through them, random but not so randomly, to see how it manages the sound, from instrumental to ... pretty much whatever. I have a very eclectic taste in music as our readers would have noticed.
- Now We are Free - Hans Zimmerman
- Westworld Title Theme - Ramin Djawadi
- Sucker Punch - Sweet Dreams
- Battlestar Sonatica - Bear McCreary
- Kara remembers- Bear McCreary
- re:member - Ólafur Arnalds
- Limit to Your Love - James Blake
The sound is impressive, sweet and clear with little harmonic distortions. There is a marginal emphasis on the lower end of the register over the mid-range. James Blake's track did not distort or crack in-spite of the heavy bass. The instrumental shines but voice can be masked off due to the lower end emphasis. I would not be expecting auditorium quality sound while I am pounding the pavements. Actually all I would be focused on is not collapsing in a heap since I am a poor runner (long distance swimming is more my thing).
The Jaybird Vista are not noise cancelling earbuds, but the sound isolation is surprisingly great. I was listening to my music while typing this up, with Princess A singing to Elsa (kill me already) and it does a sterling job of putting me in my bubble (except when said 2 year old comes to "work" by randomly hitting my keyboard). It's good enough that I would only recommend having both earbuds in when you are in a safe and controlled environment - home, gym etc. In places where you need situation awareness, it is probably best to only use 1 side.
That's that for the listening side, so how is the voice call side you ask? Well, I think my colleague's puzzled response to my call is my barometer, he could recognise me but I came across a bit unnatural. It was not the response one would really want right now with the pandemic, for him to think I sound sick. It also picked up all the background noises at the time. It is a good thing everyone is working from home and it is not unexpected.
The Jaybird Vista uses a new JBS1 chipset and connectivity system. Each earbud has a connection to the phone so they can be used independently. I certainly haven't encountered any connectivity issues in either mode, and the connection is very quick.
By default, using both earbuds at the same time will give about 6 hours of playtime on a full charge. The charging case will give 10 more giving a total of 16 hours play time. A five-minutes quick charge will give an hour of playtime. However if you get really funky and use the ear buds independently, along with the case, you can get an incredible 32 hours of use.
The Jaybird Vista are IPX7 rated for water proof, are sweat proof (well it's a liquid), and crush proof. Let's clarify IPX7 definition. The "X" in this case is solid particle protection, and X means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criterion. The "7" is for immersion up to 1 meter depth (3ft 3in) - ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time. Test duration of 30 minutes and tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1,000 mm (39 in) below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm (5.9 in) below the surface, whichever is deeper. (Source: Wikipedia)
"Yes, Vista earbuds feature an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means they are designed to handle rain, mud and outdoor adventures. However Jaybird Vista earbuds are not designed for swimming, showering, or exposure to pool or ocean water." (Source: Jaybird FAQ)
The charging case comes with a fabric loop so you can attach it to things. The carry case itself is not water resistant as is obvious from the exposed USB-C charging port. It is recommended to ensure the earbuds are completely dry before trying to put them in for charging.
A really nice part of the charging case is that the earbuds snaps into place magnetically, ensuring the proper position for charging is achieved every time.
The Jaybird MySound app includes a "Find My Buds" function, which like most offerings will leverage the location of your phone and the last time the phone was connected to the earbuds. It is not foolproof but it will help. Each bud can be located individually.
Do I have any complains? Not really. The outgoing sound quality could be better, but I picture myself trying to talk normally after a run, and it might actually make me sound less like I am dying from the exertion.
I work with cutting edge, bleeding edge stuff day in day out, and it still amazes me the technological progress we have made. Each Vista earbud weighs in at only 6g with a 6 hour battery life, water proof, crush proof (thanks Princess A for stepping on them). The Jaybird Vista are comfortable to wear, secure, and performs brilliantly at its primary role - music on the move, be it sports, gardening or just cooking in the kitchen.
The Jaybird Vista is widely available and retails for $349.95. This product is available elsewhere at cheaper prices, but buying through Amazon helps DigitalReviews so we appreciate you considering making your purchase there.
Bluetooth version: 5.0
Profile: Handsfree profile: HFP with wideband speech, A2DP, AVCRP, SPP
Effective Range: 10m (30 ft)
Play Time: 6 hours give or take
Power: Bluetooth headset: 5.0V, 1A
Charging time: 2 hours
Quick charge: 5 minutes = 1 hour play time
Dimensions: Size: 20.3 (W) x 15.3 (D) x 17.9(H) mm earbud size / 74 (W) x 36.4 (D) x 24.5(H) mm case size
Weight: Earbuds: approx 4.8 g (without eargels). Case: approx. 32g (without earbuds)