You may not know it but we can all travel in time. We do it while at work or working out, on a long commute or studying in our bedrooms, yet we don`t even notice. Now, this ability is limited. We can`t go backwards or forwards, instead, with the help of a magical ingredient, we can make the present seem to fly by.
What is that magical ingredient? You ask. Its music.
Try to travel for a few hours without your own personal sound system and the journey feels longer. The same can be said if you’re out for a run, time drips by if you don`t have the right equipment and your favourite, motivational tunes.
Having the right headphones is essential, and the pair you choose can decide whether the music you listen to reaches inside and touches your soul, or fades into the background noise.
I`ve always been active but more recently I’ve taken up running and to be honest, the standard headphones just aren`t cutting it any more so I decided to give Jaybirds wireless X2 headphones a go.
Being their update to the popular BlueBuds X headphones, the X2`s promise the same superior sound quality, better sweat proofing and a more comfortable design with their unique ear fins.
So, with my running gear at the ready I put them in my ears and headed out to test them.
The X2 wireless earbuds come nicely packaged with the front of the box securely fastened with a magnetic clip. Opening this flap will reveal the headphones and accompanying carry case teasing you behind a clear plastic window.
The buds do come in a variety of colours so there are plenty to cover most tastes. These include Midnight (Black), Storm (White), Alpha (Green), Charge (Lime Green), Ice (Blue) and Fire (Red).
Also in the box are three pairs of ear fins, foam tips and silicon tips, of varying sizes for you to experiment with to find the most comfortable fit. Plus, the standard USB charging cable and cord management clips to help gather the wire away if it’s too long.
On first inspection the X2`s do look larger than your standard headphones but you have to take into account the fact that these are wireless so there has to be somewhere to put the battery etc. Still, when they are in your ears they do stick out slightly, enough for people to notice.
With that aside these are a solid pair of headphones. They are compact and the cord has a nice thickness to it so it doesn`t feel too fragile. This also means you can quickly gather them up and put them in your pocket without worrying that you will have to spend ten minutes untangling them when you next want to use them.
These are also sturdy by design and there have been more than a few occasions where I’ve needed to quickly throw them into a gym bag or a pocket, along with an assortment of other things and they always come out like new.
The remote controls are also well placed and when wearing the buds in the traditional way you can easily access them to turn up the volume, skip a track or even answer a call. Even when wearing them over the top of your ears the controls are still accessible, even if they are then behind your ear.
The X2`s in Use
During my first week with the headphones I must admit I did struggle with them. No matter what I tried I couldn`t get a comfortable fit, and when they did fit I always had the sensation that they were going to slip out of my ears at any moment.
The sound quality was also poor. Well, not poor but not as great as I thought they would be, especially for the price, so I was about to stop using them.
As a last resort I watched Jaybirds online help videos again and realised I’d missed something which turned out to be quite crucial.
The ear fins are what keep the buds held inside your ears. Whether you’re wearing them in the traditional way or with the cable over the top of your ears, the fins sit snugly inside your ears. I was aware of this but for some reason they still didn`t fit.
On the top of each of the buds is a small raised lip which I assumed was to stop the fins being pushed too far over. What I noticed on the videos was that this wasn’t the case, instead the lip, which is known as a Locking Ridge, held the fins in place, so in short I had to push them over and past the lips.
This small detail made all the difference.
The buds now sat securely in my ears and what`s more, the sound quality was dramatically improved.
I`ve tested the headphones while doing a variety of activities ranging from running to weight training and I can confirm that they don`t budge. Even slipping my sweater on over them didn`t dislodge them from my ears.
I have had a few occasions however, only when outdoors, where the Bluetooth has encountered some interference so the connection wasn`t as solid as I’d liked. This has only happened very rarely though and only interrupted the music for the odd second or two.
It’s not all about getting fit though. If you’re paying top whack for your headphones you want to get the most use out of them so If I’m commuting, I’ll put them in my bag or even if I’m just watching something on my tablet or phone these will now be my headphones of choice.
When it comes to headphones there is one area which trumps all others and that’s a pretty obvious one.
The quality of the sound you get from the X2`s is exceptional, once you get that perfect fit. I`ve heard reports that the bass just isn`t low enough for some people but I have to say, for me it was ideal. You get the right amount of bass without feeling like your teeth will be vibrated out of your skull, but also not too much of the tininess which can be a sign of cheaper ear-buds.
For me they are really well balanced and have a good clarity to them too.
There is also little or no discernible noise leakage and when using the foam tips you can listen to your music in piece as they also help to reduce the surrounding noise coming into your ears.
While running outside though you will get some noise coming through, particularly if it’s a windy day.
Jaybird claim that the battery will last around eight hours, so possibly eight good sessions at the gym which is plenty of time. I can confirm that they do seem to last a long time, so much so that I’ve never been in the position where they have been running low.
Charging them is easy too, and even if you find the supplied cable far too short you can always use another as they use a standard Micro-B USB cable.
It can be a little difficult to judge how charged they are if your charging them with the ear fins still attached as they cover the indicator light. You can just make out a faint red glow though shining through the rubber, but perhaps adding the light somewhere else would be better on the next iteration?
Should You Invest?
For £150 you could certainly look elsewhere for wireless in-ear headphones, but you may end up feeling like you`ve short changed yourself.
These are tough headphones designed to be as active as you are, hence the ear fins and the updated sweat proof design. They are mainly aimed at the type of person who goes to the gym, running or even cycling where you don`t want the distraction of your buds falling out, getting tangled or the outside world clouding your concentration.
With the X2`s it’s just you and your music, everything else can wait, and with this sound quality you won`t be in a rush to take them off.
What I would say to those who are considered buying a pair is if you run or regularly work out and need your music to help motivate you, then these are the headphones for you. If these are going to just be your commuting headphones then they are certainly a great choice, but perhaps in this instance you might want to look at a slightly cheaper pair of over the ear headphones instead.