Am I the only reviewer of the new Jaybird X2 headphones who doesn’t have amnesia? All other reviewers who compare Jaybird X2 Bluetooth headphones vs Jaybird X seem to have completely forgotten what the Jaybird X headphones were like!
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Jaybird X and Jaybird X2 are basically the same headphones – apart from a couple of cosmetic changes that are hardly worth talking about and are definitely not worth paying a higher price for. Yet the new Jaybird X2 have been launched as a massive upgrade – and some reviewers of Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X seem to be trying to believe it. I do NOT buy the hype, so here is my comparison of the “new” Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X.
Related content: Jaybird X2 Review
It’s like the old story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. In that story, two weavers promise to make an emperor a wonderful new suit. But they warn that the new suit will be so wonderful that it will be invisible to stupid people. The next thing, the emperor is parading around naked, thinking he is too stupid to see his own wonderful new clothes – and all the people watching him think the same, so they pretend to admire his wonderful new suit. No one wants to admit they cannot see the suit!
It seems to be the same with the new Jaybird X2 headphones. Everyone is pretending to believe that these really are a fantastic upgrade, when they are actually just the same old headphones, with minor cosmetic differences – and – wow! – a new case that looks a bit more expensive!
In fact, take a good look at this table that compares the technical specs of the new Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X headphones. See if you can find any differences!
Table Comparing New Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X headphones
|Lowest Price on Amazon Right Now:|
|Waterproof?||Not waterproof; but guaranteed sweatproof||Not waterproof; but guaranteed sweatproof|
|Ear fit||Comes with three sizes of soft, removable Comply memory foam tips, plus three sizes of silicon tips||Comes with three sizes of soft, removable tips.|
|Immersive sound?||Yes, they are designed to block out ambient sound and immerse you in your own sound. Good if that is what you want.||Yes, they are designed to block out ambient sound and immerse you in your own sound. Good if that is what you want.|
|Built-in microphone for making phone calls?||Yes - works well||Yes - works well|
|Do they stay in your ears?||Sometimes they stay in, sometimes they fall out. The cord around the back of your neck can pull due to sweating, causing the tips to fall out of your ears. The earfins help them to stay in||Sometimes they stay in, sometimes they fall out. The cord around the back of your neck can pull due to sweating, causing the tips to fall out of your ears. The earfins help them to stay in|
|Can you work the controls while you are active?||Fairly easy to work the controls while you are active, because they are on a little inline section separate from the earpiece||Fairly easy to work the controls while you are active, because they are on a little inline section separate from the earpiece|
|Durabilty/ruggedness||Quite sensitive; need to be handled with care||Quite sensitive; need to be handled with care|
|Bluetooth pairing||Easy and excellent at all times||Easy and excellent at all times|
|Speaker sensitivity||103 +-2dB At 1KHz||103 +-2dB At 1KHz|
|Audio Format:||16-bit Stereo||16-bit Stereo|
|Codec||Shift™ custom SBC implementation||Shift™ custom SBC implementation|
|Bluetooth Version||Bluetooth Class 2.1+EDR||Bluetooth Class 2.1+EDR|
|Battery play time||8 hours||8 hours|
|Standby time||250 hours||250 hours|
|Charging time||Slightly less than 2.5 hours||Slightly less than 2.5 hours|
|Battery Type||100 mAh Lithium Polymer||83 mAh Lithium Polymer|
|Weight||0.49 oz (13.8 grams)||0.49 oz (13.8 grams)|
|Battery indicator||Small icon shows on smart phone to indicate battery level; a voice tells you the level||Small icon shows on smart phone to indicate battery level; a voice tells you the level|
|Colors||Black, white, grey, green, red, blue||Black, white|
The launch of the new Jaybird X2 earbuds appears to be just a clever marketing attempt to convince people to pay more money for exactly the same headphones!
It’s amazing to me that so many people are buying into it, and buying the “new” headphones. If I was in the market for a pair of Jaybirds right now, I would take advantage of the hype by buying the original Jaybird X for a much lower price – they are deeply discounted now, cheaper than they have ever been (see prices below) – presumably to sell off the old stocks before more people have a chance to notice that the old Jaybird X and the new Jaybird X2 are pretty much the same product.
|Buy it now! Find the best price for Jaybird X|
|Amazon Regular Price||$124.95|
|Lowest price at Amazon||$109.99 (You save 11.97%)|
|Buy it now! Find the best price for Jaybird X2|
|Amazon Regular Price||$179.00|
|Lowest price at Amazon||$179.99 (You save -0.55%)|
All of this reminds me of what Time magazine had to say when it published an article on the 18 Best Headphones:
Full-time rapper and part-time headphone brand Dr. Dre likes to say that “people aren’t hearing all the music.” A more accurate assessment: people aren’t buying the right headphones. Today, the audio industry is saturated with marketing. Clueless consumers snap up name-brands at $300+ price points while merrily scrolling past better, cheaper pairs. The problem? We’re conditioned to shop by brand, rather than by true audio experience.
I have been using various versions of Jaybirds for years. The Jaybird X definitely were a big step up from the Jaybird Freedom Sprint – as explained in this comparison of Jaybird X vs Freedom Sprint.
However, this is NOT the case with the new Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X.
“Changing the game is about challenging everything we know and accept about the products we design. Jaybird X2 rewrites the rules of Bluetooth, delivering a sound you’ve never heard before in a super-small package with incredible battery life.”
Where to start with that claim? Well, first of all, the sound.
Sound comparison of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
I cannot hear any difference in the sound at all. Some other reviewers agree with me, while some others claim to hear improved sound. For me, the sound is the same as before – pretty good, reasonable bass for such small headphones, very well-balanced sound, with very good clarity. Comparable with wired headphones, for sure. But is the sound vastly improved in the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X? Absolutely not! In fact, I would bet that most people could not tell the difference.
Both versions are sound-isolating in-ear headphones – which means that it all comes down to the fit. If your set of Jays fits well, you will get pretty awesome, sound-isolating, immersive sound that can help you ignore the world around you while you enjoy your own world of sound. But if you don’t get a tight seal, you will lose a lot of bass, and the headphones will not be very impressive.
The Jaybird website says about the Jaybird X2 codec:
“SHIFT™ – Through perfecting a custom implementation of the native Bluetooth SBC codec, which we call Shift™, we deliver a level of purity and sound that rivals and challenges the very best in wired headphones.”
Sounds great – BUT Jaybird X uses exactly the same codec, which Jaybird named Shift a long time ago!
Note that if you want to bike or run safely, you will be better off with headphones that don’t exclude ambient sound – non-immersive headphones such as the excellent Plantronics BackBeat Fit (reviewed here).
Battery Life of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
The marketing for the Jaybird X2 brags that it has an 8-hour super capacity battery life. They describe this as “incredible battery life.” What exactly is incredible about bringing out a product that has EXACTLY the same battery life as the previous product, the BlueBuds X? No improvements here, folks! I don’t find it incredible at all, because I have been using the old Jaybird X headphones with 8 hours of battery life for well over a year. Plus, the much cheaper Plantronics headphones (reviewed here), also have 8 hours of battery life.
In fact, I expect 8 hours of battery life as a minimum now – so I really don’t think Jaybird gets any bragging rights for 8 hours on the Jaybird X2.
In terms of specs, the BlueBuds X has a 83 mAh battery, while the Jaybird X2’s battery has a higher 100 mAh capacity. However, it is still only 8 hours, so I don’t see that the difference in technical specs makes any difference to the user. When it goes up to 16 hours, so I can do an entire flight to Australia without running out of sound, THEN I’ll get excited.
Size comparison of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
Jaybird claims that the X2 are the smallest earphones in the world. Well, they probably are – but it’s a joint title with the Jaybird X, as both sets weigh in at just 0.49 oz (13.8 g).
The Ear Tips of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
The main difference you will find if you buy a set of Jaybird X2, is that when you unpack the box, there are now 6 sets of eartips, not 3. Also, the original eartips were basic foam eartips, whereas with the Jaybird X2 you get three sets of Comply Premium Sport Foam foam eartips, and three sets of silicon eartips (both types are supplied in small, medium and large).
The hype on the Comply eartips is that they are supposed to have “memory foam”. The idea is that you push them into your ears, hold them there for about 15 seconds, and then they magically comply to your ears. Now, I admit that this seems to have worked for some reviewers, but it did not work for me. For me, the old style foam was just as good, if not better.
If you don’t like the Comply foam you can use the alternates, the silicon eartips. These are a bit firmer. They may work for you, and in fact I found them less likely to slip out of my ears than the Comply foam eartips.
Overall though, I was NOT blown away by the new eartips.
Wireless Connectivity of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
The Jaybird X2 headphones are promoted as having Signal Plus for Skip Free Music. That’s great, and they do have skip free music. However, the Jaybird X headphones also have excellent wireless connectivity – I never experienced skipping with them.
Compatibility of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
The Jaybird website tells us that:
“X2 is compatible with any Bluetooth device including iPhone (3, 3S, 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus), Apple Watch, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad mini, the new iPod nano, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Moto Actv wrist-worn sports MP3 players and GPS devices, PC, Mac and gaming devices.”
That’s great – but the Jaybird X is also compatible with all of the above! No differences!
The Carrying Case of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
The new carrying case is still a clam case, but it looks and feels different. It has a soft, super-modern feel to it, and you have to kind of wriggle the lid open by applying “gentle pressure” around the edges.
Now, I admit it looks pretty good – but it’s not game-changing, it’s just a cosmetic upgrade. Also, I have to admit I find the whole “gentle pressure” thing irritating. For me, gentle pressure is what you use when you teach a puppy how to walk on a leash. When I want to get my eartips out, I don’t want to waste time being gentle with a plush, velvety clam case.
The Earfins of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
Earfins are these funny little fan things that help to keep the eartips in place while you are hurdling or abseiling, or whatever your sport happens to be. They do help a bit, and a lot of people like them. I don’t personally like them, and never use them, because they tend to come out of my ears and stick out sideways, making me look ridiculous. Still, lots of people seem to like them.
The difference with the new earfins is that they are matte instead of shiny. Something I would never have noticed, if Jaybird had not told me. Some reviewers claim this makes them less likely to slip. I cannot detect any functional difference at all. To me you either have the right shape ear for these to work, or you don’t. Unfortunately, I don’t.
Also, there are some reviewers who claim to be able to see a difference in the shape of these earfins. To me, they seem to have exactly the same shape.
New clips with the Jaybird X2
The Jaybird X2 are packaged with tiny little clips that you are supposed to use to keep the headphone wire tidy at the back of your head, especially if you want to wear them over your ears, instead of under. I tried fussing with this for a while, but just found it annoying. Still, if you like to keep your wiring tidy and out of the way, you may find these clips handy.
I know for sure I will lose these things the first time I try to use them!
Controls on the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
These are almost exactly the same too – excellent, but almost exactly the same. The tiny inline remote control enables you to change tracks, play and pause, and switch on and off. The built-in microphone lets you take calls on the go, and works very well on the old set and the new set. I pretty much make all my calls on headphones these days, as the technology has got so good. Just a few years ago people would complain they could not hear me, but now they all work fine. It’s great to be able to make hands-free calls on the go!
As for the difference – the controls are now silent, rather than making tiny beeps. This is definitely an improvement. I can live without the tiny beeps!
Sweat proof Claims on the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
The last upgrade on the Jaybird X introduced a lifetime sweat-proof guarantee. Thanks to a special coating, the Jaybird X headphones were said to be able to survive all the sweat you could throw at them. I have heard that they honored this warranty, although I have never had to use it myself.
Lifetime guarantee sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Especially as some people now live for 90 or more years. But wait – there’s a catch! It’s for the lifetime of the headphones, not YOUR lifetime. And the lifetime of Bluetooth headphones such as the Jaybirds is very short – just as long as the batteries last, because you cannot replace the batteries. And the batteries last only 2 to 3 years.
So really, for truth in advertising, these should be billed as having a “Hamster-Lifetime-Guarantee”!
The Jaybird X2 headphones come with the (hamster) lifetime warranty too. Jaybird claims it is a better sweatproof coating, using something called Liquipel. However, the Jaybird X headphones had the same (hamster) lifetime warranty, so from a user point of view, I cannot see any difference.
Colors of the Jaybird X2 vs Jaybird X
This is the only area where there is an obvious improvement. The Jaybird X was available only in black or white, but the Jaybird X2 headphones are available in a rainbow of gorgeous colors. I have to say I really like that!
The finish is now more matte than glossy, which is a slight improvement.
Bottom Line on Jaybird X2 vs the Jaybird X
Unless the minor differences mentioned above are important to you (e.g. you just gotta have matte red headphones), then save your money and get the Jaybird X while you still can. They are a lot cheaper than they’ve ever been, because of all the hype about the X2. So if you’re looking for a secure fit and good sound in wireless BlueTooth listening, the Jaybird X are a much better bang for your buck. Just compare the prices below!
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