Gear Review: BlueBuds X by JayBird

The best wireless headphones available, designed for athletes

You’re on the treadmill in the gym, working hard, sweating harder and really getting into it. Your hearts racing with the music, maybe you’re getting just a little carried away—and then it happens.

Before you know it you've hit your headphone cord and your iPod has fallen onto the belt, taken off and hit the wall behind you. The cord is a tangled mess around your hand, once again getting in the way. You have to stop the treadmill, interrupting your workout; this isn’t the way a smooth cardio session is supposed to go.

If you haven’t yet experienced the above scenario, you’re in the minority. Headphone cords are obnoxious even when you’re not working out, but when you’re trying to run, lift or do anything that requires upper body movement; they become a much bigger nuisance.

Bluetooth headphones are the most widely available solution but concerns about sound quality, cost and ease of use have kept many from giving them a try. While I can’t speak on the technology as a whole, I have tested JayBird’s latest gift to athletes everywhere: BlueBuds X ($170).

These wireless headphones were made specifically for active users. Some of the best athlete-focused features include rubber cussions (pictured right) to keep the buds in place, a lifetime warranty against sweat-related dammage and X-Fit, which will keep the wire from touching your neck (and is just one of the ways you can wear the headphones).

In the world of sport headphones, fit, durability and sound quality are what really matters.

BlueBuds X dispels the myth that all Bluetooth sound is flat, packing incredible quality into two tiny speakers. They eliminate outside noise and white noise, and sound can be customized based on the type of music you’re listening to, when using an Apple device.

The rubber cushions can be put on or left off, I leave them on because once I had them at the right angle they worked extremely well. At the right configuration, you won’t be able to tell they’re in your ears, but they’ll secure the buds through any training session.  

They couldn’t be easier to use; Bluetooth linking is a breeze, with voice confirmation that lets you know when the device is paired. And the standard three button controls come with a speaker for taking calls. Another concern when using Bluetooth headphones is the range, most pared devices need to be within feet to remain connected, but BlueBuds X can manage greater distances. It’s tough to say exactly how far the signal reaches, but in testing I was able to get roughly 200 feet away without losing the signal.

BlueBuds X are the best wireless headphones available for athletes who are tired of being tethered down by cords.

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