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Review: Jaybird Run wireless Bluetooth headphones

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Jaybird's path to a true wireless Bluetooth set of headphones for active users is evident in its Freedom and X3 line of wired headphones and the excellent Jaybird smartphone app that helps fine tune audio to a user's needs.

2017 has been all about wireless bluetooth headphones. Apple's AirPods have been around for around a year and have really set the bar for convenient and user-friendly bluetooth headphones. Google's Pixel Buds, which are starting to ship right now, bring Google Assistant to Android users while providing generally impressive sound quality as well.

Jaybird's Run, like the AirPods, are two earbuds that don't require a connecting cord and can be used independently or together to play back music and audio from a smartphone or PC. 

The big difference is that unlike the AirPods, Jaybird Run headphones are designed for sports. they are both sweat proof and water resistant, are more robust in build and also feature superior audio quality mostly because of a companion app that allows users to set their sound preferences. 

While not as sleek as Apple's white AirPods, the JayBird Run look and feel more robust. They also attract less attention to themselves being black with a silver logo accent. 

Understanding that headphones aren't one size fits all, Jaybird offers various interchangeable tips and fins to ensure a perfect fit for every user. The result are in-ear headphones that never feel like they can fall off, even during the most rigorous workouts or streneous runs. 

Other notable features include a 4-hour play time on a full charge, an 8-hour charge case that offers 1 hour of play time with a 5-minute charge. Jaybird promises 12 hour playtime.

The AirPods offer a bit more playback time. They give 5 hours of playback on a charger, 24-hours of battery life recharging with the case and it takes 15 minutes of charge to get 3 hours of use on the headphones. 

For most of my needs, including 40 minute gym sessions, 30-minutes commuting to and from places, as well as playing back music, podcasts or Audible audiobooks at home (an hour and a half, tops). The Jaybird Run's runtime is more than enough.

Jaybird says that a double hydrophobic nano coating ensures that your earbuds are protected from sweat damage. Jaybird puts every unit through a rigorous sweat-proofing process that is harder to perfect than waterproofing. 

Functionality is also on tap.  By pressing on your right ear plays and pauses music while the left invokes Siri or Google Assistant, but you can change that to volume controls if you like.

In terms of comfort, the Jaybird Run seemed to have a 40 minute treshold for me before my ears started to feel fatigue and discomfort. This isn't uncommon as having headphones plugged into your ears isn't normal, but I've used other earbuds for longer with less discomfort. 

Connection quality has been above average and despite some instances where the left earbud had a hard time connecting, I did not experience signal drop-off and interference in some usual locations that manage to wreak havoc on bluetooth headphones.

As truly wireless headphones for active people and most specially runners, Jaybird Run is in a class of its own in terms of durability, accurate fit and sound quality. The weight and shape of these headphones might not make them the most comfortable option for longer wear periods, but with all headphones your mileage may vary.

Are these an ideal all-around set of bluetooth headphones? That depends on how they fit you . Jaybird Run does have impressive battery life, it has an ok microphone for voice calls and it is cross platform (iOS and Android).

Serious runners or gym rats who want rugged and sweat and water resistant headphones that are truly wire-free and don't have to be babied will find great value in these headphones.

Rating: 4 out of  5

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