The Jaybird X3 are great sports headphones that are versatile enough for everyday casual use. They block a surprising amount of ambient noise, they're compact, stable and have a decent sound quality that's customizable thanks to the MySound app support. They don't outperform the Jaybird X2 but they're a bit easier to use and have a better design and overall build quality.
- Minimal leakage.
- Stable and portable design.
- Great passive noise isolation.
- The in-ear fit is uncomfortable for some.
Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The Jaybird X3 keep the same sleek and well-crafted design of the X2 with minor improvements to the build quality. They're stable and easily fit into your pockets thanks to their compact format. Also, the in-line remote/charging port is larger, easier to use and reduces the size of the earbuds, as some of the electronics have been moved to the in-line remote. This makes the overall design a bit more sweat and water resistant but not waterproof. Unfortunately, they do not come with the sturdy case of the previous model, and the in-ear design is not for everyone, even with the included foam tips.
The Jaybird X3 have a similar look and feel to the Jaybird X2. The earbuds are a bit smaller since most of the electronic components are now in the in-line remote instead. This makes the inline remote a bit wider than that of the X2 but it feels significantly better built. They also do not come in as many varied color scheme as the X2, for now, so you may not find the ideal color to match your preferences but they have an understated and sleek look that will work for most listeners.
They are about as comfortable as most in-ears. They do not change much from the fit of the previous X2 model but do offer many different tip sizes and some foam tips to help you achieve a comfortable fit. Unfortunately, like most in-ears, they're not as comfortable for everyone and can get fatiguing after having them in your ears for extended periods of time.
The in-line remote of the X3 is slightly different from that of the X2. The button design is almost the same, but there's a bit more room which makes them easier to use. They also provide decent tactile feedback, but the button can feel slightly mushy at times although you do get a definite click once pressed. Also the control module is not really sweat proof. On the upside, functionality-wise, they offer the essentials: call/play/pause, track skipping, and volume controls.
These headphones, like most in-ears/earbuds, are very breathable. They do not cover the ear so they will rarely make you sweat. Compared to the Jaybird Freedom or the Apple Earpods they're a little bulkier and the in-ear design does trap a slight bit of heat in your ear canal. But overall the temperature difference is negligible which makes the X3 a good option for sports.
The Jaybird X3 Wireless, like most in-ear headphones, are quite portable. They're compact and easily fit into your pockets or bags. The carrying pouch also doesn't add much bulk, so they won't be much of a hassle to have on you at all times.
They come with a carrying pouch that will protect the Jaybird X3 from scratches and minor water exposure but unlike the X2 it's not a solid case that will shield your headphones against impacts which is a little disappointing. On the upside, they do not add much bulk to the headphones which makes it easy to carry on you at all times.
They have pretty much the same build quality as the X2 but with a different in-line remote design. The change was due to some issues with the X2 and the charging port getting clogged or damaged by sweat. This makes the Jaybird X3 a bit more water resistant, but they're not waterproof. On the upside, the rest of the build is just as durable as the X2 and won't get damaged from a few accidental drops.
The Jaybird X3 are stable headphones that you can run or exercise with. They have differently sized stability tips that prevent them from easily falling out of your ears. That combined with the tight in-ear fit, makes these headphones ideal to use at the gym. Their wireless design also makes them less likely to get hooked on something and yanked out of your ears.
The Jaybird X3 are a decent sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a powerful and consistent bass capable of producing deep thumps and tight kicks. However, they tend to sound a bit boomy and muddy. Their mid-range is also very good, but a bit recessed, which gives more emphasis to bass instruments and less emphasis to vocals/leads. The treble is decent, but it could sound a bit piercing on S and T sounds on overly bright tracks. Also, like most other in-ears and earbuds, they lack a large and in-front soundstage since they don't interact with the pinna.
The Jaybird X3 have a very good bass range performance. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. They also have a flat low-bass and mid-bass, which combined with the excellent LFE, result in a deep and punchy bass capable of producing low thump and rumbles. However, the high-bass is overemphasized by more than 3.7dB, resulting an overall bass range which is deep and punchy, but slightly boomy and muddy sounding.
The Jaybird X3 has a very good mid-range performance. The overall mid-range response is consistent and well-balanced, but it shows about 5dB of recess centered around 700Hz. This pushes vocals and leads slightly to the back of the mix by giving more emphasis to bass and treble frequencies.
The Jaybird X3 have an average-sounding treble. The overall treble response is rather inconsistent, and the dip in low-treble around 5KHz, will have a small negative affect on the clarity and presence of vocals/leads. The peaks at 7KHz and 10KHz, however, could make the treble sharp and piercing on sibilances (S and T sounds).
The Jaybird X3, like most other in-ears, have an excellent frequency response consistency. If the user is able to achieve a proper seal using the assortment of the tips, then they should be able to get a very consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.
The Jaybird X3 Sport have very good imaging. Their weighted group delay value is 0.13, which is among the lowest we have measured so far. This results in a tight and fast bass, and clear trebles. The L/R drivers of our test unit also showed very good matching, which helps with proper placement and localization of instruments and sound effects (like footsteps) in the stereo image.
The soundstage performance is poor, like most other in-ears and earbuds. Since activating the resonances of the pinna is a big factor in creating a large and in-front soundstage, the Jaybird X3, due to their lack of interaction with the pinna, will have a soundstage that is perceived and small and located inside the head. However, unlike open earbuds like the AirPods and the Pixel Buds, these earbuds have a closed design which further reduces the spaciousness and sense of openness of their soundstage.
The total harmonic distortion performance is about average. The overall amount of distortion is elevated both at 90 and 100dB SPL. This will have a small negative effect in the clarity and transparency of the sound especially in the treble range and could make the treble sound slightly harsh and brittle.
The Jaybird X3, like the X2, have a great isolation performance. They only passively isolate, but since they create such good seal once in your ears, they prevent a lot of ambient noise from seeping into your audio, especially, if you have any audio playing. They also barely leak even at higher volumes, which makes them excellent headphones to use in quieter settings if you do not want to distract those around you.
The Jaybird X3 has good isolation performance. Despite lacking active noise cancellation, they, like the Jaybird X2 and Beats BeatsX, outperform a lot of headphones that have active noise cancellation. They achieve more than 8dB of isolation in the bass range which is above average, and very impressive for passive isolation. In the mid and treble ranges, they reduce the outside noise by 20dB and 40dB respectively, both values being very good.
The leakage performance of the Jaybird X3 is excellent. They are one of the quietest headphones we have measured so far. Their leakage becomes noticeable only above 4KHz, which is great. Additionally, the overall level of the leakage is very low. Therefore the leakage of these headphones will be comprised of very quiet and mostly sibilant (S and T) sounds, but they will be barely audible even at loud volumes.
The overall performance of the Jaybird X3's microphone is sub-par. Speech recorded with the mic will sound slightly thin and muffled but will be easily comprehensible in quiet environments. In noisy environments, however, they will struggle to separate speech from noise in even moderately loud environments like a busy street.
The recording quality of X3's microphone is sub-par. Speech recorded with the microphone will sound thin and muffled. This is due to LFE being at 486Hz and HFE being at 3.4KHz. However, the limited high-frequency extension is actually a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol, and is a problem with all Bluetooth microphones. But, this doesn't have a significant negative effect on speech intelligibility.
- 100% SpNR
The noise handling capabilities of the X3's microphone is mediocre. They Jaybirds achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 14dB, meaning they will have a hard time transmitting clean and noise-free speech even in environments that are moderately loud.
The Jaybird X3 have a slightly worse wireless latency and battery life than the X2, but they're a bit more customizable thanks to the MySound app support. They won't be the ideal headphones to watch videos or to game with on your mobile device but have a decent wireless range and an above-average battery life for an in-ear model. Unfortunately, they have a charging dongle which is a bit restrictive and can be frustrating if you do not have it on you at all times.
The Jaybird X3 have a decent battery life but didn't last as long as the X2 in our battery drain test. They only manage to squeeze out about 7 hours of continuous playtime at moderate volumes. This should be okay for most listeners but may be a bit short if you need to use your headphones for long listening sessions throughout your day. They charged a bit faster than the X2 but not by much. However, the dongle charging mechanism will be a bit frustrating, particularly if you do not have it on you at all times. They also do not automatically turn off if you stop listening to audio (unless you disconnect your Bluetooth source) but they have a pretty good standby time.
The Jaybird MySound has an excellent parametric equalizer and a community-oriented design that lets you share your preset with other X3 owners. 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.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Jaybird X3 only connect via Bluetooth. They're fairly easy to pair but you have to turn them off and hold the power button like most Bluetooth headphones. Unfortunately, they do not benefit from NFC which would have made pairing a lot easier and they also have quite a bit of latency which is noticeable when watching movies or gaming.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
The Jaybird X3 do not have multi-device pairing but will pair with most Bluetooth devices.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
The Jaybird X3 have no wired option. If you want a good sounding wired in-ear, check the 1More Triple Driver.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
They do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, it won't be as compact and easy-to-carry around as the Jaybird X3.
The wireless performance of the Jaybird X3 is not as good as the X2. They have a slightly shorter range when the Bluetooth source was obstructed, but it's not a significant problem as both headphones will have connection drops at about 40 feet. On the upside, the more up to date Bluetooth 4.1 connection is a lot easier to pair with most Bluetooth devices, but they still do not support NFC so you will have to hold the Play button to enable the pairing procedure which can be a bit tedious at times.
The Jaybird X3 have quite a bit of latency which will be noticeable when watching videos. It's not more than most typical Bluetooth headphones but it won't be ideal for gaming and movies
In the box
- Jaybird X3 Headphones
- Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
- Stability tips (x3 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch
Compared to other Headphones
The Jaybird X3 Wireless are good sports headphones with a good customizable app. They should be versatile enough for most use cases but are best used for sports since they sound a bit too sharp for more critical listening and have a bit too much latency for gaming and watching movies.
The Jaybird Run are great, truly wireless sports headphones. They're slightly more comfortable and a little less cumbersome thanks to their more portable design. Unfortunately, they have very high latency, which makes them considerably worse for watching videos than the Jaybird X3. If you want a more mixed usage headset to use every day then the X3 are a good choice but for sports, the Run are slightly better and truly wireless.
The Jaybird Freedom are a more lightweight and portable version of the Jaybird design. They are good sports headphones and also have a good customizable app. However, their battery performance and charging clip could and should have been improved. The Jaybird Run are the better headphone overall but they're more expensive and have a lot more latency which depending on your use case makes the Freedom a cheaper and decently versatile alternative.
The Apple AirPods are truly wireless headphones with a decent sound and good active features. However, they're more optimized for iOS so they won't be as good as the Jaybird for Android users and they're also not as stable due to their one-size-fits-all design.
The SoundSport Free are the first truly wireless headphones from Bose. They have a good and well-balanced sound quality and a sturdy and durable design. Unfortunately, they also have a slightly unreliable wireless connection and a lot of latency. The Jaybird are a better and cheaper sports headphone with a slightly better performance for more casual uses like watching videos, although they also have quite a bit of latency. However, if you care more about sound quality and you have the budget then the SoundSport Free could be a decent alternative and they're truly wireless, unlike the X3.