Jaybird Vista 2

The Jaybird Vista 2 are some of the best sports-focused true wireless I’ve tested. They offer excellent fit, reliable battery life and a rugged military-grade design. The only thing keeping them from scoring a perfect 5/5 are minor connectivity issues.

Pros

  • Excellent, gym-ready fit and seal
  • Solid audio quality for a sports set
  • Reliable battery life
  • Rugged, sweatproof design

Cons

  • ANC isn’t best in class

Key Features


  • True Wireless Cable-free, true wireless form factor with charging case

  • 24-hour battery lifeBuds offer 8 hours’ listening with ANC off and 6 hours with ANC on

  • Military-grade build qualityThe Vista have been designed to meet US Military ruggedisation standards

Introduction

The Jaybird Vista 2 are a pair of sports-focused true wireless earbuds designed for athletes. They’re the successor to the original Vista I reviewed many moons ago, which managed to retain a place as one of the best running headphones for more than two years after launch.

Key upgrades include the addition of active noise cancellation, wireless charging, a slightly tweaked design, as well as general audio and mic quality improvements.

After a solid fortnight using the Vista 2 I can confirm that, although the ANC isn’t industry leading and there are more natural-sounding sets, for their intended market the Vista 2 are a clear winner. Here’s why.

Availability

  • UKRRP: £189
  • USARRP: $199
  • EuropeRRP: €209

The Jaybird Vista 2 are available now with an RRP of $199.99 / €209 / £189.99. You can see a selection of the best prices in store in the widget below.

Design

  • The Jaybird Vista 2 are designed for sport
  • The Jaybird Vista 2 are military-grade dust- and water-resistance
  • The Jaybird Vista 2 have physical buttons

The Jaybird Vista 2 share the same DNA as their predecessor, but come with a few key design tweaks. The case is of a similar size, being about the size of a cufflink box, or mini chocolate bar, and they sport the same unassuming black plastic finish. The only noticeable design elements are a cable tie on the case’s side, a single USB charge port along the bottom, and Jaybird’s logo on the top.

Open up the case, and the pairing process for the buds remains the same: press and hold a button in the case to put the buds into pairing mode.

But there have been a few visual tweaks. For starters, the case has more rounded edges. The buds, too, have been redesigned to have a fabric finish over their physical controls. I’m also pleased to report that Jaybird has retired the original Vista’s neon yellow inner-case colouring, replacing it with a monotone finish.

The tip and wing options have been tweaked to provide a wider choice of various sizes and shapes. Jaybird claims the added variety means the Vista 2 will offer users “the most secure fit on the marketplace”. I didn’t experience any issues with the original Vista’s fit, but found that the claim is generally true. After a couple of minutes picking the right tips and wings for my cavernous ears, I was able to get a solid, gym-ready seal that didn’t break even when doing more vigorous workouts, such as working a boxing bag and HIIT.

Jaybird Vista 2 charge port

As a final perk, Jaybird has also upped the Vista 2’s water- and dust-resistance rating. The buds now carry an IP68 water-resistance rating, while the case has a less impressive IP54 rating. To non-techies, this means the buds can survive submersions in water at depths up to 1.5 meters for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Note the use of “water”; the rating doesn’t guarantee they’ll survive the same treatment in other liquids such as sea water or beer. This is a marked step up on the original’s IPX7 resistance rating, which only guaranteed them being sweat-proof and surviving very shallow submersions.

During testing I found that build quality is excellent. The buds’ physical controls have a solid, if slightly spongy, actuation point that makes it easy to know when they’ve registered a command. This makes it quick and easy to play/pause or skip tracks and answer incoming calls on-the-go. As an added perk the Jaybird companion app (iOS and Android) also lets you customise the buttons functionality, to meet your specific preferences.

They also managed to survive an animated spat as a puck in a game of cat hockey, plus an accidental drop onto a pavement, with zero damage – which is impressive.

Features

  • The Jaybird Vista 2 are the first Jaybird true wireless to feature ANC
  • The Jaybird Vista 2 support Qi wireless charging

Under the hood, Jaybird has made a few more important tweaks to the Vista 2, which radically improve their allure over most competing gym sets –including the original Vista – and let them match the feature set of their arch rival, the Powerbeats Pro.

The buds are the first true wireless from Jaybird to feature active noise cancellation (ANC), an ambient mode – which is being marketed by the firm as “SurroundSense” – and Qi wireless charging.

These are all top-end features you’d expect to see accompanying a premium set of true wireless earbuds in today’s market, but their addition is welcome nonetheless.

ANC is a technology common to some of the best true wireless earbuds we’ve tested, but is often missing on sports sets. Even the astronomically more expensive Beoplay E8 Sport I reviewed was missing ANC.

At the moment, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are our current recommended spec for best-in-class ANC and audio quality. And if that’s your priority over a gym-ready design, I’d recommend you check out those or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds over the Vista, which don’t match either competitors’ ANC performance.

But, compared to competing gym sets I’ve tested, the ANC is far from the worst I’ve experienced and is of definite benefit to people who regularly visit the gym. It’s good enough to block out most background sounds in indoor environments. Using the buds on a rowing machine, the ANC blocked out the background noise of the person working out next to me, letting me focus on the task at hand. The only time it struggled was when I was working out in more lively areas, such as the weights room, where the sporadic clangs of metal broke through.

In the outside world it’s a similar story. Using them out and about, the buds could diminish the sound of passing traffic, but they couldn’t fully block out wind noise, or the more piercing tones of the screaming kids in the park in which I was running. However, considering I’d thoroughly recommend those running or cycling outside in urban areas turn off ANC for safety reasons, this is hardly a deal-breaker.

The ambient “SurroundSense” mode is activated by double-tapping the bud’s physical input. It then pulls in outside sounds using the Vista 2’s mics. The mode works well enough, and meant I was able to keep stock of my surroundings when running outside. However, it’s very prone to picking up wind noise. During testing, regardless of how I set the ambient mode in the Jaybird app, even the slightest breeze was impossible to ignore, ruining my momentum while running. As a result, within days I found myself turning off ANC and SurroundSense when using the Vista 2 outdoors.

Qi wireless charging means you can top up the buds’ 500mAh battery using any compatible plate. It’s indicative of general improvements to the Vista 2’s battery life, with Jaybird quoting the buds as offering 8 hours’ listening with ANC off and 6 hours use with it on. The case holds enough charge to top the buds up around two times.

With real-world use I found I generally got around two weeks’ use out of the buds before needing to top up the charge. This entailed using them during my daily 40-minute cardio session, three 5km runs a week and sporadic listening during the workday.

Mic quality is generally good and a step up on what I experienced using the gen-one Vista. Taking calls indoors, people on t

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