Review: Jaybird Bluebuds X

From the moment I started opening the box that the Jaybird Bluebuds X came in, I knew these weren’t your ordinary headphones. Personally, I think details like that matter a lot, and I’m not the only one. Companies like Apple pay a lot of attention to their packaging as well. Ever heard of them? Well, they’re a small company out of Cupertino and they’re going places. Trust me.

Let me also say before I gush too much more about the Jaybird packaging that I think unboxing videos are kinda weird. I mean if that’s your thing, whatever, but I’m not watching a 5 minute video of you pulling plastic off of stuff. Most of the time all packaging does is annoy me and fill up my trash cans, but I really liked unboxing the Bluebuds X.

Check this packaging out.

Aw yeah, Jaybird. That's how you PACKAGE!

The big main box has a magnet that keeps it closed and is made out of sturdy, heavy-gauge cardboard and see-through plastic. Inside rest the headphones themselves, plus the clamshell carrying/protective case, which also houses the USB charging cable.

The whole experience of getting into the Bluebuds X was interesting, and I think I know why they’ve gone to the effort here: because we’ve all already used a bunch of earbuds that are disappointing. They want us to know from the moment we get our hands on the box that they are doing things differently.

I am a headphones freak.

I’ve owned everything from $10 drugstore crapjobs to custom-molded in-ear monitors to over-the-ear professional cans that cost as much as a used motorcycle. And yes, I have owned a myriad of earbuds of all descriptions.

For the most part, I dislike earbuds because of their one glaring shortcoming: they fall out of my ear. If they don’t fall out, they at least wiggle out far enough that the music I’m listening to has no bass frequencies whatsoever. I have to keep poking them into my head with a finger, like a man whose tiny brain keeps tumbling out his earhole. Don’t worry, I had my tiny brain stapled in place.

Of course, my fancy in-ear monitors don’t come out like that, but I had to go to an audiologist and have her squirt expanding foam into my ears then wait a few weeks to have them made. Plus, they cost a boatload. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bluebuds X aren’t cheap. They retail just shy of $170, but they also have some crazy space-age features never before seen in the earbud game.

The features that set the Bluebuds X apart

Jaybird has taken a hard look at the shortcomings of earbuds–namely, that they wiggle out of your ear–and they’ve developed a new kind of retention system. They also give you two options of how you’d like to wear the Bluebuds X: under the ear or over. Lastly, they went ahead and just did away with the annoying cord that bounces all over the place while you’re running or riding.

For my money, those three features right there are enough to put the Bluebuds in the stratosphere of the earbud game, but there are many more above and beyond those, not the least of which is an 8-hour battery.

Here’s how the patented fit system, which Jaybird calls Secure Fit, works. In addition to the three sizes of cushion that go into your ear, the Bluebuds X come with three sizes of futuristic-looking rubber teardrop thingies that fit around the body of the earpiece and hold the earpiece in your ear.

Ear cushions and ear retention thingies

Those teardrop thingies are the magical part that are designed to keep the earbuds from wiggling out. They’re firm enough to hold the earpieces in place, but not so hard that they jab your ear. It does take some work to get the right pieces installed on the Bluebuds X to fit your ear, but once you get everything positioned you’re golden.

Here’s how they are supposed to look in the under-the-ear position.

And here’s me with my Bluebuds X set up in the over the ear position. As you can see, they don’t interfere with my hat or glasses. I also tried them out with a helmet on and there’s no interference there, either.

They also don’t interfere with my face scruff. Hey, I shave once a week whether I need it or not.

Here you can see that they don’t get in the way of helmet or straps, even if you like wearing cycling cap.

One thing that has always annoyed me about exercising with earbuds is turning my head to look for cars, something I do often because I don’t wish to be killed. Turning your head a lot with earbuds pretty much guarantees they are going to fall out or get yanked out, but with the cordless Bluebuds X there’s none of that. You can look for cars all you want!

I really like the eye toward innovation displayed by Jaybird with the Bluebuds X. They’re not just stamping out headphones hoping to make a buck. They’re trying to change the game entirely using the latest technology they can get their hands on, which, if you ask me, is how things are supposed to be.

If you like the small size of earbuds but the cord has always annoyed you, or you just want to get your hands on what have got to be the most advanced earbuds on the market, the Jaybird Bluebuds X are a good place to look.

Thanks to Jaybird for providing the Bluebuds for review, and to Deep Creek PR for arranging the review.