I’ve been rocking (and rocking out) the Jaybird Vista wireless Bluetooth earbuds for a full year now, and they’re amazing. They’re also basically impervious to anything you’re likely to ride through, and they stay put even on the gnarliest, bumpiest, craziest rides. Here’s why you’re going to want them…
Jaybird Vista Tech Specs
The Vista earbuds are officially approved as meeting Military Specifications for toughness (US MIL-STD 810G). They’re basically waterproof, sweat-proof, rainproof, dust proof, drop and shock proof, and, as they say, “Earthproof”.
They’re individual with no wire between them, and they come in a small case that charges them between uses, giving you a LOT of listen time between having to actually plug the case in. Especially if you’re only using one ear at a time…more on that in a minute.
The quick specs are:
- 16 hour battery life (both buds, with recharges in case)
- 32 hour battery life (single bud, with recharges in case)
- 6 hours battery life per use
- Custom EQ settings from app
- JBS1 wireless tech for crystal clear calls and music
- IPX7 waterproof
- 6mm milled drivers
- 6g per bud (w/ medium fit ear sock)
- 3 custom fit options included
- 1 year warranty
- $179.99 MSRP (Buy Now)
An app that’s actually useful
Sometimes, there’s an app for something, and it’s pointless. Not so here. You can customize the sound profile with built-in EQ presets, or create your own. And you can sync your Spotify (premium) account to share tracks and playlists with other Jaybird customers.
But the real benefit is that you can (kind of) use it to find your ear buds if they go missing. They’re small, so they’re easy to misplace, so this is a good thing. Assuming you run the app while listening, it’ll remember your location data for the last time you used them, then show that spot on a map. We wished it would give you the option of making them beep loudly, so you could also find them under a car seat, jacket pocket, or even in the woods (despite the unlikelihood that they’d go flying out of your ears).
The app also lets you customize the button functions to make it do things like skip/repeat, answer/reject calls, adjust volume, pause/play, and turn off. There are only two buttons (one per bud), so you’ll have to pick and choose between those features…they can’t do all that at once.
Jaybird Vista Review
I’ve been riding, traveling, and working out with the Jaybird Vistas for a year now, and they’re still going strong. Two of the bigger rides include two multi-day mountain bike stage races…the Samarathon in Israel, and the Chiang Mai International Enduro in Thailand. Both offered testing environments and conditions, and the Vista’s proved immune to them all.
The Samarathon is essentially desert racing – hot, dry, sandy, rocky, and (in parts) very windy. The kind of wind that beats me up mentally and emotionally. The exact kind of wind that I blocked out with the Vistas so it didn’t bother me. Or, at least, didn’t suck the will to ride out of my soul. They also did a great job of blocking out Watts’ squeaky singlespeed. And him telling me to ride faster.
The enduro was hotter, moister, sweatier, and way, waaaaay rougher. But the earbuds stayed put even on some crazy downhill terrain at race pace.
They also seem to somehow not create wind noise even at speeds in the mid-20 miles per hour. Which means you don’t have to crank the volume to hear a podcast. Thus far, these are the clearest and most impressive earbuds I’ve used for sport.
What else should I know?
One small issue we had was that they’d lose pairing if we had them paired to the phone then turned on our Wahoo. Once the Wahoo ELEMNT connected to the phone, the buds would lose their connection (still paired, but they wouldn’t play). It required moving far enough away from the cycling computer, putting the buds back in their case for force a disconnection then pulling them out to reconnect.
Worth noting is that they are sound occlusive. Meaning, they passively block external sounds pretty well. So for riding, I use only one ear unless I’m really out there (like on the endless miles of the Samarathon).
Other than that, they were basically flawless. The sound quality is good. What was really surprising is how well they picked up my voice for a phone call, even while riding up to 15mph. I could answer a call, talk normally, and the person on the other end never had a complaint or had to ask me to repeat myself. That’s incredible.