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Headphones

Jaybird Tarah Pro sports headphones deliver a whopping 14 hours of battery life

The third Jaybird Bluetooth wireless sports headphone to be released in as many months, the Tarah Pro adds better battery life and some other nice new extras for $160.

The Tarah Pro is available in three color options.

David Carnoy/CNET

Jaybird has done something a little irritating. Instead of releasing all of its 2018 wireless sports headphones at the same time, it staggered their releases over the last few months. First came the X4, which retails for $130. Then came the Tarah, a more affordable model that costs $100. Now we get the $160 Tarah Pro, the last and priciest of the 2018 models.

What's a little confusing is they look pretty similar -- and all of them feature Jaybird's new buds and fins that provide a more secure and comfortable fit. However, they do have their differences, and the Tarah Pro is clearly the best of the bunch, boasting an impressive 14 hours of battery life, magnets in the buds and a "no stick" fabric cord that's reflective (in case you happen to be running at night).

The Tarah Pro also sounds slightly better than both the Tarah and X4 and includes a superior USB charging dock that magnetically adheres to the inline remote and makes it very easy to connect (with the Tarah and X4 you have to clip the inline remote into the charging accessory). I should also mention that the step-down Tarah does not include a protective carrying pouch while this model does (the X4 does as well).

That Jaybird's wireless earphones require a proprietary charging accessory is something of a nuisance (if you lose it, you can't charge the headphones), but the design allows for a very slim, lightweight inline remote that makes it less noticeable, particularly when you're running. Also, if you choose to wear the earphones with the cord wrapped around the top of your ear, with the cord cinched, the remote is contoured to sit against your neck. This model makes it easy to switch between over-the-ear and under-the-ear positions -- you simply turn the bud while the ear tip and fin are in your ear.

The Tarah Pro has a new "no stick" fabric cord with reflective threads woven into it.

David Carnoy/CNET

My only problem with the Tara Pro was that even the largest tip/fin combo didn't quite fit my ear (I didn't have this issue with the Tarah or X4). The oval-shaped tip didn't quite seal off my ear canal so I lost a little bass unless I pressed on each bud (you can wear these under a helmet).

If you are able to get a tight seal, the earphones do sound quite good for this type of headphone, with decent clarity and bass, and you can tweak the sound in the Jaybird app.

I'm still testing these guys out and comparing them to the Tarah and X4, but will have a full review with additional impressions in the near future. As I said, despite my little problem with the ear tips, the Tarah Pro is the clearly the best of Jaybird's models and a very good wireless sports headphone. However, with all the competition, as well as totally wireless earphones like Apple's AirPods and Jabra's Elite Active 65t costing around the same price, I do think it should come down in price by $20 to $30. Perhaps in time it will.    

Unboxing.

David Carnoy/CNET

Key specs

  • Sweatproof
  • IPX7 waterproof rating (can be submerged down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes).
  • New buds and fins provide improved comfort and ergonomics.
  • Speed Cinch cord management system
  • 14 hours of battery life
  • Slim and light weight controller
  • "Non-stick sport cord" with reflective threads
  • 5-minute charge gives you two full hours of play time.
  • Magnetic Snap Lock feature automatically pauses your music when the earbuds are snapped together, securing them around your neck.
  • Customize bass and treble settings in Jaybird app.
  • Available in three color combinations (Black/Flash, Mineral Blue/Jade and Titanium/Glacier).
  • Price: $160 (no word yet on international pricing, we'll add it as soon as we get it)
  • Shipping in November 2018

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