Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
7.2
Mixed Usage
6.8
Neutral Sound
7.7
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.9
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Jaybird Run XT is an upgraded model of the previous Jaybird Run model, but they are still very similar. These headphones are fairly versatile since their in-ear fit isolates a decent amount of ambient noise. They are sports-oriented headphones, thanks to their stability fins and breathable design. However, their control scheme is hard to use and their latency is very high. On the upside, they can be EQ’ed with their companion app and are rated IPX7 for more sweat and water resistance.

Test Results
Design 7.7
Isolation 8.4
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 6.4
Connectivity 2.9
Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Good customization options in app.
  • Compact and stable sports design.
Cons
  • Very high latency.
  • Mediocre controls layout.
  • In-ear fit might not be for everyone.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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Storm Gray/Glacier
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
7.7

Design

The Jaybird Run XT are practically identical to the previous Jaybird Run model, but now with an official IPX7 rating and no more silver accents on the earbuds. They are still the same compact, breathable, and stable truly wireless earbuds as the Jaybird Run. They aren’t the most comfortable but can be worn long enough for workouts. They have stability fins and flashy nozzles, which give them a sporty look, but are fairly low-profile once in your ears.

Style

The Jaybird Run XT are almost identical to the previous Jaybird Run model, but without any silver accents around the earbuds. They don’t stick too much out of your ear like other truly wireless headphones, and their build isn’t bulky, which is nice. They only come in two different color schemes and the apparent portion of the buds aren’t very flashy.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.0 lbs

These headphones are very lightweight and decently comfortable. They come with a few tip and fin options for you to mix and match different sizes to find the best fit. However, the earbuds might feel a bit bulky inside the ear and they still put a bit of pressure within the ear canal. If you do not find in-ears comfortable, then these headphones won't be the ideal headphones for you even if they fit the contours of your ear a little better than average.

5.2 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The newer Jaybird Run XT have the same issues as the previous model. While you still get common functionalities like call/music management, track skipping, and voice-enabled controls, their control scheme lacks a default volume control and you can’t rewind or go to the previous track. You need to set your preferred controls inside the app but can’t have access to everything at the same time. You can’t have volume controls and play/pause simultaneously, which is disappointing. The single button on each bud is also very hard to press, meaning that you need to push them even deeper into your ear canal, which is very uncomfortable, especially with multi-press commands.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

The wireless in-ear design makes them a super breathable headset to use for sports. The Jaybird Run XT barely cause any temperature change even after an hour of intense exercise since they do not cover your ears. They do trap a little heat in the ear canal due to their in-ear design and stability fins, but the difference is negligible and won't make you sweat more than usual.

9.5 Portability
L : 0.7 "
W : 1.3 "
H : 1.3 "
Volume : 1.2 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like most truly wireless headphones, the Jaybird Run XT are very portable and fit in most pockets and bags. Their design is very small. They come with a charging case that is slightly bulkier than average but can still fit in most pockets.

7.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 2.7 "
W : 1.3 "
H : 1.3 "
Volume : 4.6 Cu. Inches

These earbuds come with a hard charging case that will protect the headphones from drops and mild impacts. However, the case is quite bulky compared to other truly wireless designs, which means they won't fit as nicely in your pockets as the Jaybird Vista, the Samsung Galaxy Buds or the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air.

7.5 Build Quality

The Jaybird Run XT are built the same way the previous model is, but it is now officially rated IPX7, which seems to be the main difference between the two models. The buds are still designed the same way and should survive accidental drops. They aren’t on par with more premium truly wireless headphones like the B&O PLAY E8 2.0 or the JBL UA True Wireless Flash, especially since their case feels cheap and plasticky.

8.0 Stability

These headphones are very stable for sports and shouldn’t pop out during physical activity like running thanks to their stability fin design. Once in your ears, they rarely move around, even during more intensive workouts. They have more tips and multiple stability fins to help you achieve a more secure fit. However, you cannot adjust the stability tips on the go like the Google Pixel Buds, which means if you don't have the right tip sizes, then they won't be as stable.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

They have deep, balanced, and punchy bass, with just the right amount of thump and body, but they tend to sound a bit boomy and muddy in the upper bass region. Their mid-range is also very good and even, but a bit recessed, giving less emphasis to vocals and lead instruments. The treble of the XT lacks a bit of detail on voices and lead instruments and sounds a bit sharp on S and T sounds. Overall, the default sound profile of these headphones will be better suited for bass-heavy genres and won’t be ideal for vocal-centric music, but you can also EQ them inside their companion app to your liking.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
1.85 db
Treble Amount
:
-3.5 db
9.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.15 dB

The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips, then the Jaybird Run XT should be getting a consistent bass and treble delivery with each re-seat. However, if a proper seal is not achieved, the user will experience a noticeable drop in bass.

8.0 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.81 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
2.17 dB
Mid-Bass
:
2.39 dB
High-Bass
:
4.24 dB

The bass performance of the Jaybird Run XT is very good. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music, is quite flat and only 2dB over our target response. This means they have just a little bit of extra thump and rumble, without being overpowering, which some may prefer. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of the bass guitars and the punch of the kick drums, is also virtually flat and only about 2dB over our target. However, high-bass, responsible for warmth, shows a 4dB bump which can make the bass of a bit boomy and cluttered. Overall, the bass is well-extended, balanced, and punchy, but slightly boomy and muddy-sounding.

8.4 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.09 dB
Low-Mid
:
1.97 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-2.12 dB
High-Mid
:
0.6 dB

The mid-range is very good. The overall response is quite even and relatively flat but shows a wide 8dB dip centered around 700Hz. This nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix by giving more emphasis to the bass section. Overall, their mid-range sounds slightly recessed on voices and instruments.

6.9 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
4.39 dB
Low-Treble
:
-0.73 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-0.59 dB
High-Treble
:
-9.19 dB

The treble of the Jaybird Run XT has the same mediocre performance that of the Jaybird Run. The response is slightly uneven. The 5dB dip around 4kHz negatively affects the presence and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. The 10dB peaks at 7kHz and 10kHz could make the S and T sounds (sibilants) sharp and piercing on overly bright tracks.

6.5 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.41 db
Dips
:
1.61 db
8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.1
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.5
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
0.89
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
1.25

The Jaybird Run XT have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.1 which is very low, great, and typical of most closed-back in-ears. This results in a tight bass reproduction and a transparent treble. The L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This ensures accurate placement and localization of objects, such as footsteps, voices, and instruments in the stereo field. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
2.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0.8

The soundstage of the Jaybird Run XT is poor. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is such that it fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because these headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods, Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.

7.1 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.497
WHD @ 100
:
0.212
8.4

Isolation

The Jaybird Run XT block enough noise passively to be a decent option for commuting and traveling and perform similarly to the previous Jaybird Run model. However, since they are not noise cancelling headphones, they do not block low-frequency noises as well as ANC headphones. On public transit, you will still hear the rumbling sounds of the engine. On the upside, since they barely leak, you can mask even more ambient noise by playing your music at higher volumes.

7.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-23.85 dB
Bass
:
-9.48 dB
Mid
:
-20.6 dB
Treble
:
-42.39 dB

Their isolation performance is decent. They perform nearly identically to the Jaybird Run. In the bass range, where the rumble of plane and bus engines are located, they reduce outside noise by more than 9dB, which is decent and quite impressive for passive noise canceling in-ears. In the mid-range, which is crucial for blocking speech, the Jaybird Run XT achieve 21dB of isolation, which is very good. In the treble, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they also achieve a very good reduction of 42dB, which is excellent.

9.3 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
25.27 dB

The Jaybird Run XT, like most other closed-back in-ears, have an excellent leakage performance. The majority of their leakage is located in the treble range, around 2kHz, and the overall level of the leakage is extremely low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 25dB SPL and peaks at 31dB SPL, which is way below the noise floor of an average office.

6.1

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The integrated microphone in the Jaybird Run XT is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound, thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. However, it will still be decently intelligible. In noisy situations, however, they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise, even in moderately loud environments such as a busy street.

6.7 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
253.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
2.71 dB
HFE
:
3225.4 Hz
Weighted THD
:
6.24
Gain
:
41.26 dB

This microphone has an okay recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 254Hz indicates a recorded/transmitted speech that sounds a bit thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.2kHz means that speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound relatively muffled and lacking in detail. However, it will still be easily comprehensible since speech intelligibility is mainly dependent on the 500Hz-4kHz range.

5.5 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
7.39 dB

The integrated microphone is sub-par at noise handling. In our SpNR test, the Jaybird Run XT achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 7dB, which is sub-par. This means that they are best suited for quiet environments, as they may struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud places.

6.4

Active Features

The Jaybird Run XT have slightly more battery life than the previous model and are also compatible with the same great app. You have about 4 hours and a half of continuous playback time, and they don’t take much time to charge fully, which is great. Their case offers two more charges, which is convenient and totals to about 12 hours of battery life. Also, their app gives you a good parametric equalizer and an alternate control scheme for volume control instead of track skipping and voice assistance.

6.3 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
4.5 hrs
Additional Charges
:
2
Total Battery Life
:
13.5 hrs
Charge Time
:
0.8 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

These truly wireless headphones have about 4.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is decent. They don’t take too much time to charge, which is good. The case gives 2 charges, or the equivalent of about 8 extra hours. They still won’t be the best option for heavy users as you will need to take breaks here and there. On the upside, they turn off automatically when being idle for a few minutes to save battery life.

Note: We needed to measure the charging time with the case being plugged in (which we usually don't do), or else the LED indicators would turn off during our testing, meaning we didn’t have any indication as to when they were done charging. However, we are not sure if this really impacted the charge time result.

8.0 App Support
App Name : Jaybird MySound
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
macOS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
:
Parametric + Presets
ANC control
:
No
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : Yes
Surround Sound : N/A

Update: 05/17/2019: We've updated the review since we had previously listed the Jaybird app as not having an in-app player, but it has an integrated one for Spotify Premium users.

Jaybird MySound is a great app for iOS and Android that gives you access to an excellent parametric equalizer and a community-oriented design to share your presets and playlists. You can also find the last known location of the earbuds if you misplace them, and you can switch to an alternate control scheme that changes the right and left buttons to volume controls instead of track skipping and voice assistance. While they lack some additional features like room effects and an in-app player, the app still feels like a useful tool to personalize the sound profile to better match your tastes and mood.

2.9

Connectivity

The Jaybird Run XT are straightforward truly wireless earbuds. They have a great wireless range and are a significant upgrade over the first Jaybird Run model in that regard. You also can’t use them wired in any way, as expected. Their case acts as a charging dock, but strangely they have very high latency, which the previous model didn’t have.

7.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
167 ft
Default Latency
:
314 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth only and do not support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure of multi-device pairing. On the upside, they remember the last-synced device for auto-pairing when you open the case.

Surprisingly, the new Jaybird Run XT model has significantly more latency than the Jaybird Run. With 314ms of delay, most people will notice a delay when watching video content or gaming. Even if some devices and apps seem to offer some compensation, the delay will still be noticeable to most.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

The Jaybird Run XT do not have an audio cable or a wired connection.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
:
No
Xbox One Wired USB
:
No
Xbox One Wireless
:
No
2.2 Base/Dock
Type
:
Charging Case
USB Input
:
No
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
No
Optical Input
:
No
RCA Input
:
No
Dock Charging
:
Yes
Power Supply
:
USB

The Jaybird Run XT have a charging case that delivers up to 8 hours of extra battery life. However, it has no additional inputs.

In the box

  • Jaybird Run XT earbuds
  • 3 stability fin options
  • 4 tip options
  • Charging case
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Jaybird Run XT are great headphones for sports, but perform quite similarly to the previous Jaybird Run model, with an added IPX7 rating. However, if you already have the original model, they might not be worth the upgrade if you don’t need the extra water and sweat resistance. See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds, the best wireless earbuds for running, and the best true wireless earbuds.

Jaybird Run Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Run XT are an upgraded version of the previous Jaybird Run model and are slightly better, but may not be worth the upgrade if you have the first ones. The XT have better wireless range and now have an official IPX7 rating for water and sweat resistance, which the Run didn’t have. The XT also offer slightly more battery life, but that’s about it. Weirdly enough, the newer XT models have way more latency than the original model, which wasn’t great to start with.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite Active 65t are slightly better headphones than the Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless. These truly wireless headphones have onboard volume controls, which the XT are lacking. They also feel better-built and isolate a bit more ambient noise thanks to their fit. However, they are quite bulky and some might not find them as comfortable as the XT. The Elite Active 65t also don’t have stability fins, while the XT do, making them a more stable option for sports. The XT also have a better wireless range and take less time to fully charge. The Jaybird MySound app also have a full parametric EQ that is better than the 5-band graphic EQ from the Jabra Sound+ app.

Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless and the Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless are two great truly wireless headphones for sports, but people might prefer the functionalities of the Jabra over the Jaybird. The Jabra have onboard volume controls, which the Jaybird is lacking; this could be a deal-breaker for some. They also block a bit more noise and feel slightly better made. They also have lower latency and can connect simultaneously to two devices. On the other hand, the Jaybird are a bit smaller and a bit more comfortable than the bulky design of the Jabra. Their app also offers better customization thanks to a fully parametric EQ. They also feel a bit more secure in the ear thanks to their stability fin sleeve options.

Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Tarah Pro are better mixed usage headphones than the Jaybird Run XT and are one of the best sports headphones we’ve reviewed so far. The Pro are easier to use for sports thanks to the in-line remote, and their default audio profile is more accurate, although you can EQ both of these headphones inside the app. You’ll also get more battery life out of the Pro, but this is due to their battery inside the in-line remote, which offers less freedom than truly wireless headphones like the XT. On the other hand, you can charge the XT pretty much anywhere with their case if it has power, while the charging cradle of the Pro is very restrictive.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

For most users, the Bose SoundSport Free will be a better option than the Jaybird Run XT thanks to their more comfortable fit and their good out-of-the-box sound quality. They also feel better-built than the XT. On the other hand, the Jaybird headphones are slightly more stable, which is great for sports. They also have a good isolation performance, which can be useful for commuting, making them slightly more versatile. You also get access to an EQ inside their companion app, which Bose is lacking. They also take noticeably less time to fully charge. You’ll have better range with the XT, but their latency is also noticeably higher than the Bose SoundSport Free.

Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Vista and Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless are very similar sports headphones, but the Vista are a slight improvement. They are a bit more comfortable and their case is noticeably smaller, which makes it easier to slide it in your pockets. Their controls are easier to press and they feel a bit better built, as well. They also offer a bit more battery life. On the other hand, the Run XT take less time to charge and their fit isolates better against ambient noise.

JBL UA True Wireless Flash
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL UA True Wireless Flash and the Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless are both great sports headphones, but the JBL UA Flash might have a small edge over the Jaybirds for people who want great performance out of the box. They have a better default sound profile, but they don’t have an app with an EQ that can let you customize their sound signature like the Jaybird. The Under Armour headphones also feel slightly better built, especially their case. On the other hand, you’ll get a battery performance out of the Jaybird, but their control scheme is more limited and harder to use as you need to push the buds inside your ear canal even more, which can be uncomfortable.

Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Run XT are more versatile headphones than the Apple AirPods due to their good isolation performance and the fact that you can EQ them easily inside their companion app. The XT are great for sports and they fit nicely into the ears to block ambient noise, which is useful for commuting and at the office. While both headphones offer about the same battery life on a single charge, the AirPods’ case offers way more additional charges. Also, the AirPods are more comfortable and less bulky to carry around in their case. They also feel better made than the XT.

+ Show more
7.2 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. They have an okay sound profile that won’t be great for critical listening but can be useful for fans of bass, especially when working out. However, you can easily EQ them in their companion app. Their fit isolates a decent amount of ambient noise and can be a good option while commuting thanks to their small and portable format. Their small design and stability fins are both great for sports as well. You should be able to block ambient chatter in an office too, but their battery life might not be long enough for a full workday unless you charge them during lunchtime. Like most Bluetooth headphones, they won’t be suitable for watching TV and gaming due to their very high latency.

6.8 Neutral Sound

Passable for neutral listening. They have a deep, balanced, and punchy bass, with just the right amount of thump and body, but they tend to sound a bit boomy and muddy in the upper bass region. Their mid-range is also very good and even, but a bit recessed, giving less emphasis to vocals and lead instruments. The treble of the Jaybird Run XT lacks a bit of detail on voices and lead instruments and sounds a bit sharp on S and T sounds. You can also EQ them inside their companion app, which is useful.

7.7 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. They do a good job at isolating out ambient noise, and their in-ear fit does a surprisingly good job against lower end noises like the rumble of bus engines. Their design is portable and easy to carry around, and their battery life should be long enough for your work commute, but you might need to take breaks to charge them sometimes during long flights. They also barely leak, so you should be able to listen at higher volumes without disturbing people surrounding you.

8.2 Sports/Fitness

Great for sports. The Jaybird Run XT, like the name suggests, are designed for sports and it shows thanks to their stability fins. They don’t move around during physical activity and you shouldn’t have any problem running with them. They are also very small and don’t trap heat under ear cups, meaning your ears will stay cool and shouldn’t sweat more than usual. Unfortunately, their button layout can be a bit cumbersome to use since you have to choose between volume controls and being able to skip tracks, which is a little disappointing.

6.9 Office

Decent for the office. The Jaybird Run XT isolate well against work environment noises like ambient chatter and A/C systems and since they barely leak, you can listen at higher volumes without disturbing your colleagues. However, their battery life won’t be ideal for long listening sessions through a workday and the in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable to wear for hours.

5.5 Wireless Gaming

Unsuitable for gaming. The Jaybird Run XT truly wireless headphones have very high latency and the delay will be significant when playing games. Also, their integrated microphone is lackluster when compared to gaming headsets’ boom microphone. They also aren’t very comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions.

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