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Jaybird Vista review: Jaybird's next-gen true wireless headphones are finally ready for prime time

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The Good The Jaybird Vista buds fit securely. They're lightweight, comfortable and sound quite good. They're fully waterproof and come with a USB-C compact charging case. Battery life is decent at 6 hours, with 10 additional hours from the case.

The Bad A little pricey. There's no transparency mode to allow ambient sound in.

The Bottom Line The Jaybird Vista is a nice, comfortable upgrade over the company's earlier models. But it's a tad too expensive in a true wireless headphone market where prices continue to drop.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 7

Jaybird got off to a bumpy start in the world of true wireless -- that's "AirPods-style headphones" -- when it released its Run headphones back in October 2017. That model, updated to the Run XT earlier this year, was well designed but had some small performance issues that held it back from being great. But its successor, the Jaybird Vista (cue the Windows Vista jokes), includes design and performance improvements that make it the product I'd hoped the Run would be.

At $180 (£160, AU$280), it's a little more expensive than it should be, but it's one of the better true wireless headphones to hit the market in 2019. It will appeal to those looking for a more discreet set of totally wireless sports headphones that offers full waterproofing.

jaybird-vista-colors-cropped
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The Jaybird Vista will eventually come in three color options (black is currently available). 

David Carnoy/CNET

What I liked about the Jaybird Vista

  • The headphones fit in my ears securely and they were mostly comfortable to wear. Three different-sized ear tips and sports fins are included to help you get a tight seal and secure fit. They're lightweight for their size and they fit my ears better than the Beats PowerBeats Pro, which has a little bit bigger sound and more bass. 
  • The charging case is relatively compact, lightweight and fits in a pocket without a problem.
  • They sound quite good, though not as good as some of the top-sounding totally wireless earphones out there such as the Sony WF-1000XM3, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and Klipsch T5 True Wireless. As long as you get a tight seal they deliver warm, pleasant sound, with relatively well-defined bass.
  • They seem durable. They're fully waterproof with IPX7 certification (they can be fully submerged in shallow water for up to 30 minutes). I dropped a bud a couple of times and it was no worse for wear.
  • Battery life has improved. It's now up to 6 hours at moderate volume levels, with an additional 10 hours from the charging case.
  • The charging case charges via USB-C. A 5-minute charge nets you an hour of playback time.
  • The Jaybird Vista works better than I expected as a headset, though it doesn't work so well if you're in a noisy environment.  An ambulance with its siren on went by as I was talking to someone and they couldn't understand what I was saying. You can take calls in stereo or use each earbud independently.
  • I had a few interference hiccups (New York is notoriously challenging for truly wireless headphones), but nothing serious. The wireless connection was generally solid -- an improvement over the Run. Jaybird is using a new wireless chipset with Bluetooth 5.0 that clearly helps. 
  • I didn't experience any video latency using various video apps.
  • The earphones have physical buttons for controlling playback. There are volume controls, but you have to program them into the button controls in the app. To raise the volume, you press and hold on the right bud. To lower the volume, you press and hold on the left bud. 

They fit very securely.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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