Sweatproof, wireless earbuds that are configurable through a powerful app, and offer a great fit and excellent battery life.
pro-level sound; effective noise canceling; excellent battery life; comfortable during extended use; available in three colors
USB-C charging cable requires yet another cable type; enticing for small children or pets to try to chew/ingest
After making the jump to completely wireless earbuds from the Jaybird X3 — which has a thin cable that connects the left and right headphones — I am thoroughly impressed with nearly all aspects of these diminutive speakers. The sound quality is comparable to over-the-ear headphones, and the noise-canceling feature works great.
I’ve been a Jaybird user for several years. My go-to Bluetooth wireless headphones were the Jaybird X3, and before those, I used the Jaybird BlueBuds X Sport earbuds. But I was a bit bewildered with the new Vista 2 True Wirelss Sport as to how to change volume, pair them with my iPhone, or even turn them on. A quick check on the website gave easy-to-follow instructions for pairing them to my iPhone and I was up and running — well, riding — in just a few minutes.
Since these are not wired buds that have buttons as part of the cord connecting the left and right earpieces, Jaybird had to design another user interface for controlling the Vista 2 functions. The entire exterior face of the Vista 2, beneath the Jaybird logo is a button. Button functions are assigned in the mobile app and trigger by how you touch them — tap, press, long-press, or double-press. This type of input method took some getting used to, but once I did, it was pretty easy and straightforward.
These earbuds can be set to auto-pause when one is removed from the ear — a handy feature that I’m liking more and more. Pop it back in, and they start playing again.
Configurable, comfortable fit
The Jaybird Vista 2 are small and chunky-looking. Without a connecting cable between the left and right buds, once in my ears, they feel even smaller than what I’m accustomed to. The Vista 2 ship with the size medium silicone earpieces in place. After a 150-minute session on Zwift, I swapped in the size large silicone earpieces and the fit is even better. No amount of bouncing or jarring — or even bouncing on washboard or hardpacked dirt — can dislodge them from my ears. Another bonus: no earaches or headaches like when wearing over-the-ear headphones for hours at a time while riding, or when doing Zoom calls.
After hours of use I can attest to them being indeed sweatproof. And I’ve dropped them on the carpeted floor from a height of about 1 meter. I’ve not stress-tested them on hardwood or concrete, but Jaybird claims they are drop-proof and crush-proof.
I’ve not ridden with the Jaybird Vista 2 during cold weather necessitating gloves, which could add some complexity to controlling functionality. But since most functions are managed by the app, I don’t foresee problems. And since these earbuds are low profile, they easily fit beneath an ear warmer worn under a helmet.
Charging and battery life
The Vista 2 earbuds come with a battery-powered travel case / charging station. Three LEDs on the front of the case display status for pairing and charging. Magnets keep the buds in place while charging. The case itself charges with a supplied USB-C connector (this cable looks to be a new trend away from micro-USB).
The case is relatively quick to charge compared with a bike computer, and the earbuds charge even faster. Jaybird claims up to eight hours of playback between charges; I am able to get around seven hours before needing to drop them into charging mode.
Jaybird mobile app
The Jaybird app is the only way to manage the functions and features of the Vista 2 earbuds. Once the headphones are paired to your phone, it’s easy to make firmware updates, set up the Vista 2 external button functions, customize sound settings, toggle the ambient noise cancelation feature, and more. I find the app easy and straightforward, and I use the app more than I did with the older Jaybird earbuds.
All the features on a charging case or a mobile app just don’t matter if the sound is sub-par, right? The sound quality on the Jaybird Vista 2 is top-notch.
The Active Noise Canceling feature works wonderfully: while Zwifting, I barely hear my Wahoo Kickr or the three fans I have going. This also means I can use a lower volume for music. When I’m not riding indoors, the SurroundSense feature lets in ambient noise, which is excellent for situational awareness. While I’ve yet to explore the feature, the Vista 2 earbuds can be used individually, which might interest some for outdoor riding.
The mic on the Jaybird Vista 2 is also improved over the technology used in previous versions. Not once has anyone told me that I sound like I’m talking to them while underwater, or have been asked to repeat myself (well, no more than usual).
I can wholeheartedly recommend the Jaybird Vista 2 to anyone shopping for wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
The Jaybird Vista 2 delivers premium-quality sound and costs the same as a similar sport-focused product from Bose, and $50 less than the top offering from Apple. The mobile app makes configuration a snap. They durable and sweatproof earbuds that work well for riding indoors and out, as well as for everyday use.