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 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.
The X3 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 extend 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 deliver good tactile feedback, so you know when you push a button. Functionality-wise, they offer the essentials: call/play/pause, track skipping, and volume controls.
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.
Comes with a carrying pouch that will protect the 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.
The X3 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 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 decent sounding headphones with powerful Bass and an excellent Mid Range. However, their Bass is a little boomy and their Treble lacks a little bit of detail, which can also sound a bit sharp on S and T sounds. Additionally, because of their in-ear design, they don't have the best Soundstage which is favored for critical listening applications.
Excellent Bass Range performance. Low-bass and bass are slightly hyped, but remain within very good limits. High-bass however, is noticeably overemphasized which is going to make the sound of these in-ears a bit boomy and muddy.
Very good Mid Range performance. The 2dB bump in low-mid is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis, which makes the mixes sound a little muddy. The dip centered around 700Hz tends to push the vocals/leads to the back of the mix, but at 2dB the effect will be subtle.
Decent Treble Range performance. The dips in low-treble and high-treble make the sound of these headphones slightly dark, negatively affecting the detail in vocals/leads. The bumps in the sibilance range, tend to make the sibilant instruments like hi-hats a bit sharp, but because of the narrow bandwidth of the peaks the effect will be subtle.
Excellent consistency. If the user is able to achieve a proper seal using the assortment of the tips that come with the X3, then they should be able to get very consistent results every time they use the headphones.
Poor Soundstage. Due to their in-ear design, the X3 doesn't interact with the pinna and therefore the Soundstage will be perceived to be located inside the listener's head as opposed to in front. Also, the X3 won't sound as open and immersive as open-back headphones, because of the high amount of isolation they provide.
Average Imaging. The shifts in phase response aren't very fast, which makes them less audible to humans. However, the slight phase mismatch in high-treble could skew the stereo image of the in-ears.
Average Distortion performance. 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.
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.
Good Isolation performance. Despite lacking active noise cancellation, the X3, like the X2, surpasses a lot of headphones that have active noise cancellation. The X3 achieves more than 8dB of isolation in the Bass Range which is above average. In the Mid and Treble Ranges they reduce the outside noise by 20dB and 40dB respectively, both values being very good.
Excellent Leakage performance. The X3 is one of the quietest headphones we have measured so far. Their leakage becomes noticeable only above 4KHz, which is excellent. 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.
- 100% SpNR
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 wireless performance of the X3 is not as good as the X2. They have a bit more latency which will be noticeable when watching videos. They also had 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 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 we 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 X3's sound profile to better match your tastes and mood.
In the box
- Jaybird X3 Headphones
- Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
- Stability tips (x3 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch