Tech Reviews

Jaybird Run XT Review: Working Just as Hard as You

Jaybird Run XT + Slantedjaybird

Jaybird’s RUN XT True Wireless Headphones have hit the market and found their way into my daily routine. In the past, I’ve tested out the Jaybird Freedom, the Jaybird Run Wireless, and the Jaybird Freedom 2 lines. The products run from simple Bluetooth connections to the truly wireless models, with the latest design offering an athlete-focused option to compete with Apple’s Airpods.

While the Airpods are my favorite option to have during my morning commute, they quickly became my least favorite headset to use while exercising. I noticed that the hard plastic design started chafing my inner-ear, and the sweat and friction that was being generated during daily runs, cycling, and yoga, was starting to hurt. I knew that I had to upgrade to a sweatproof and softer design, and the RUN XT model offered both.

The new RUN XTs start at $179 (available on Amazon) and offer an IPX7 waterproof rating and fantastic audio. If you download the Jaybird app, you can jump into the EQ to adjust your sound, and they currently rank as the best Jaybird option that I’ve personally ever tested. The IPX7 rating means that you can drop these into a puddle of water (up to 1 meter) and they will survive. You can sweat while using them, or use them in the rain. The case is not waterproof though, so don’t stick wet ear pieces into the charging case, or drop the case into a pond to test it out.

“We’re excited to build on the success of RUN by making RUN XT even better with full IPX7 waterproofness, increasing its durability in all conditions,” said Jeremy Saxton, head of industrial design at Jaybird. “Now the entire lineup of Jaybird headphones are waterproof and sweatproof. At the same time, we took the opportunity to update the colors and finishing to create a more rugged yet sophisticated design.”

There are dozens of options to choose from in the truly wireless market, so you have to know which features you want to prioritize when shopping around. My tastes are performance > comfort > battery > price > and design. Your preferences may be different, but I found if headsets don’t perform well, or if they aren’t comfortable, I won’t use them longterm. Without a comfortable and secure fit, I’ll stop using them regardless of how inexpensive they were or how long they last on battery power.

The battery on the RUN XT is the devices’ only shortcoming, but the headset will still carry on through extensive workouts. Depending on your EQ settings and volume level, you should get about 4 hours of charge when using the RUN XTs. That’s about an average range in the truly wireless market, but the carrying case is on the low-end of the charge spectrum. The oval-shaped carrying case also holds a charge and can recharge your headsets twice before calling it quits. That gives you about 12 hours of use before you have to charge the case and headset again. Other companies offer much higher charging capacity in the carrying case, but I don’t think most users will need to go over 12 hours on a daily basis. In a typical day, I spend about three hours exercising, and there are plenty of times that I’m not exercising that the headsets can charge in their case, or in a real pinch, the case itself can charge when I’m using the headset. My only other call out is the use of Micro-USB charging and not USB-C for the charging case. This may be to keep overall production costs down so they didn’t have to design a new case, or so previous owners could still use their charging cables.

The RUN XTs follow the same basic design of previous RUN models. The lightweight earpieces fit snugly in my ear, and they stay put during my routines. I haven’t had any issues while cycling or running, and they even managed to handle various headstand poses and extended sweaty yoga workouts. Each box contains various sized eartips and accessories to make sure you have the best fit possible. If you need extra support, there are special bands that can be used to secure the earpiece. Everything is included in the box and it just takes a moment to find your perfect size and shape.

On the device itself, the left button summons your voice assistant, and that will depend on if you prefer iOS or Google. You will use the right earpiece to play music, pause, or pick up a call. If you double tap the right button, you can skip a song, or cancel an incoming call. Just like other truly wireless models, volume controls are found on your mobile device.

If you have owned any of the previous Jaybird models that I’ve mentioned earlier, you will most likely find the Jaybird RUN XTs are an impressive upgrade. The sound is top notch and the battery, while only average, is still enough to get through your routine. The waterproof rating means that you won’t have to check the weather before running out the door, and the app is free and easy to use.

You can check out the list of other features and designs right here on Amazon.

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