What Hi-Fi? Verdict
If you’ve had enough of your wireless earbuds falling out as soon as you get running, these are a great-fitting, competent-sounding solution
Punchy, energetic sound
Can be beaten for detail
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The engineers at Jaybird, dedicated makers of wireless sports headphones since 2006, know exactly what it feels like to be out running when one of your headphones falls out and gets lost in the grass. So they’ve come up with a pair of wireless earbuds designed to not do that.
The Jaybird Vistas are true wireless earbuds for athletes. They’re the company’s second shot at truly wireless in-ears (after the Run XT), with the firm’s other sport headphone model, the Tarah, unable to claim ‘true’ wirelessness due to a single wire connecting the two buds. Note that the Vista now has a sequel in the new Vista 2.
The Vistas weigh just 6g apiece, can play independently and feature in-app, customisable sound profiles and settings.
The units have been made with SportFit's integrated silicone gel eartip and fins: a thumb-print sized piece of silicone comprising both the traditional tip plus a shark’s fin-shaped protrusion, all of which snaps on to the unit and covers its entirety, except for the singular top button. Three sizes have been supplied.
A secure fit that won’t budge even when you start to kick like Mo Farah, alongside IPX7 water- and sweat-proofing is the end goal here. Even if the worst happens and one earphone escapes your grasp before you manage to put it in, the Vistas are crushproof so should survive the fall and any subsequent trampling. Sure enough, they feel durable in our hands, although we stop short of stamping on them.
Jaybird Vista tech specs
Impedance 23 ohms
Response 20Hz - 20kHz
Battery life 6 hours (+10 hours from case)
Bluetooth version 5.0
Dimensions (hwd) 24 x 22 x 18mm
Featuring all-new 6mm drivers, the Vistas will give you six hours of playback on a full charge, plus an additional 10 hours from the charging case. The single earbud mode means that if you switch periodically from right to left you can potentially get 32 hours out of them, although listening to just one headphone at a time, particularly for that sort of duration, seems a little desperate to us.
Jaybird claims a quick five-minute ‘super-charge’ will give you an hour of playback. The efficient charging is possibly down to the newer and better USB-C port, rather than the older micro-USB used in most charging cases.
The build here is functional and un-fussy. The brushed, rubberised plastic provides enough grip for them to not leap from our hand; the chord loop on the small case is useful and the neon yellow interior of the case is perfect for locating the buds on an early-morning run. Everything is designed with the runner in mind.
The only downside is that there’s only a single light on the charging case. It pulsates when you open the case or to signify charging, but there’s no visual indication gauge for battery life – although a soothing voice tells you the current percentage of charge left each time you put them in.
Jaybird's app is genuinely enjoyable. After guiding you through Bluetooth pairing, (with a soothing voice announcing a successful connection) the app then sorts you out with a personal EQ preset. It plays six different sonic tones and, depending on how soon you hear it, the app optimises the soundfield for your ears. This personal preset can be tweaked manually and/or saved to the headphones simply by closing the app.
You can also manually tweak the functions of each bud's central button. This is Jaybird’s way of avoiding the intricate Morse code of quick presses or swipes needed to adjust the volume on many other buds. So, a single press could mean pausing a track or laying a favourite playlist, while a long-press could mean upping the volume or powering off. It’s a thoughtful touch.
The big question is: do they stay put in your ears while running? All sound analysis is secondary if a pair of athletic in-ears cannot achieve a decent fit. So, we don our activewear and head out for a run.
The tips that come pre-fitted with the Vistas are perfect for us. The units are comfortable to wear, relatively cool, streamlined and do not budge as we pound the pavement.
Secure fit? Check. Solid Bluetooth connection? Yes, indeed. How about we test how they actually sound?
We cue up our running playlist on Qobuz, and first up is Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. We switch our EQ preset to ‘Flat’, with no optional EQ alterations, thus enabling like-for-like musical comparison. Our personal preset did ease things off slightly through treble frequencies, which was pleasant to our ears.
Freddie Mercury’s voice goes down through an easily-handled and meaty bass right up to a highly likeable treble. The high hat plays around our right ear beautifully as Brian May’s vocal comes in.
The Vistas time as well as any runner’s pacer app. There’s a fair dollop of detail on offer – we easily hear Freddie utter “all right” during May’s instrumental electric guitar section. As Another One Bites the Dust begins, there’s no shortage of excitement and clout through the initial driving bass guitar riff, or dynamic build through an impressive crescendo. The Vistas are punchy, perky performers.
Edwin Starr’s War starts playing and we notice a marginal deficiency in detail – the saxophones aren’t quite as full, detailed, or recognisable as horn instruments as they are via Cambridge Audio’s Melomania 1 true wireless in-ear headphones. It’s a small issue and one we wouldn’t notice in isolation, because the Vistas provide a pleasing, fun and musical sound overall.
There’s no shortfall in stereo imaging either; the initial drum-fill moves just as decisively from our left ear into both – there’s just a fraction of extra detail to be dug up from the Cambridge Audios.
While you can get a sliver more detail and hi-fi sounding performance from the Melomania 1, that’s not to say the Vistas are poor as a result. A pair of sports headphones must ensure a perfect fit alongside an energetic and punchy sound to even approach worthiness. And the Jaybird Vistas have absolutely achieved this.
If you’re tired of feeling your earphones slowly falling out of your ears when out running, the Vistas are a great solution. The sound isn’t quite the best that money can buy at this price, but the fit is among the best we've tested.
While there’s a marginal compromise involved, the Vista’s sonic performance is more than good enough to get you through a proper workout. This is a frontrunner in the niche, true wireless sport category.
- Sound 4
- Comfort 5
- Build 5
Best wireless headphones 2019
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review
What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.
Read more about how we test
1 CommentComment from the forums
A runner's ear-bud?(Video) Jaybird Vista 2 After 30 days | Are they worth it?
Where next with such marketing bollocks?
...an earbud for cyclists?
...an earbud for babies?
...an earbud for school?
...an earbud for vicars?
...an earbud for sex?