Jaybird has produced a pair of wireless bluetooth earbuds that is catered toward athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. The Vista promises “earthproof” durability, sweat proof construction, and a premium sound quality.
Jaybird kindly offered to send us a pair of Vista headphones in return for some honest feedback. I like a full-bodied sound in a well-fitting headphone, but I’m not an audiophile. Our blog specializes in hiking and backpacking, so my review will focus on how suited the Vistas are for outdoor recreation.
A good, well rounded set of true wireless headphones that is only missing a few key features to be excellent.
I wore these over several days of strenuous hiking during fall weather in Sedona, and for household chores. I compared them alongside a pair of Apple AirPods and a pair of Edifier True Wireless earbuds.
Setting up the earbuds for the first time was quick and painless, but did require downloading an app. After the setup was complete, they paired to my phone almost instantly. They play music from your device automatically when you power them on so you don’t have to fiddle around with trying to pair them every time.
The Jaybird app allows you to change the sound profile of your headphones, so you can emphasize low, mid, or high range sounds. It also features a music section where you can listen to playlists curated by other Jaybird users, but it requires a Spotify account to use.
The final function of the app is a “Find My Buds” feature, which promises to locate a lost earbud for you using bluetooth technology. It’s a nice idea, but the earbud must be turned on for it to work. Generally, my headphones are off when I’m searching for them, but I may use the feature if one falls out of my ear while I’m hiking.
There are push buttons on the outside of each earbud which allow you to skip songs, turn them on and off, and adjust the volume. I found these buttons easy to use, but they do require enough pressure that you have to smoosh the earbud into your ear canal to use them. For the price point, I would have expected a capacitive touch panel.
They are accompanied by a charging case with a convenient lanyard for hanging on the outside of your pack. The battery life is about 6 hours, and the case gives them an additional 10 hours. If you only use one earbud, you can get a total of 32 hours of use from one charge, which makes them a great option for backpacking trips.
I tested Jaybird’s claim that the Vista earbuds are waterproof by sweating profusely in them. I can happily report that they still work fine. They’re not rated for swimming, but they should tolerate an accidental dunking if your kayak overturns.
Comfort and Fit
The Vista headphones come with three sets of proprietary ear gels, which are conveniently labeled by size and which ear they go in. They are a breeze to change out, but if you want to purchase replacements, you must make sure they are made by Jaybird for the Vista.
I have sensitive, small ear canals. I’ve never been able to find an earbud that I love to wear. While the Vista earphones were more comfortable than most, I still felt some ear pain after a few hours of wear. The fit is pretty dang snug, and they felt secure even when I was sweating up a steep off-trail grade to reach an Ancestral Puebloan ruin. Sadly, they did pop out when I pulled my shirt over my head.
I was pleasantly surprised by how full and balanced the sound was in the Vista. I tested a variety of genres through the earbuds and found that almost everything sounded better through the Vista than through the other headphones I was comparing them with.
Although they aren’t billed as “noise cancelling,” the snug fit provides excellent sound isolation. So excellent, in fact, that you’ll want to take one out if you’re riding your bike or jogging along a busy highway so you can stay aware of traffic.
Outdoor enthusiasts with a bigger budget may want to spring for earphones with transparency mode like the AirPod Pros, which allows you to hear ambient noise when you need to.
The microphone isn’t well suited for phone calls. It makes your voice sound a bit distant and garbled.
The sleek, matte black finish with the Jaybird logo looks sophisticated and cool, but it’s not winning any awards for originality. They also offer the Vista in Mineral Blue and Nimbus Grey, which are nice options.
These are a good, versatile wireless earbud for the price point. They include a 30 day, 100% money-back guarantee, which means you can try them without committing. They come with a one-year warranty, which is pretty standard.
Athletes and outdoor enthusiasts may want to consider spending a bit more money to get a more comfortable earbud with better call quality like the Powerbeats Pro. Those who want to spend a lot less and still get a water resistant, wireless earbud with a charging case may want to look at the Creative Outlier Airs.