Jaybird X4 Wireless Earphones Review
Jaybird X4 Wireless Earphones Review
The new, improved Jaybird X4 wireless earphones get intimate with PAT PILCHER’s sweat and earwax and never miss a beat.
If you’re a runner, gym bunny or just like cans without cords, chances are pretty good that you’ll have heard of Jaybird, whose stable of Wireless ear gear has built up quite a following over recent years. This year’s flagship model is the X4 which feature improved IPX7 water/sweat proofing, redesigned tips and a ‘Speed Cinch’ cord management system for a more snug fit.
These changes might sound like added racing stripes, but they add up to make what was good with the X3 even better with the X4. For sporty types wanting a set of durable wireless headphones with passable audio, the X4 is a good choice.
“They can survive most weather conditions and even submersion”
The headline feature that outdoorsy sports Billies and Wilhelmina’s will appreciate with the X4 is their IPX7 water certification, which means that they can survive most weather conditions and even submersion at depths of up to one metre for 30 minutes – about 29 minutes longer than I can hold my breath.
If you’re a jogger in New Zealand, the odds are good that you’ll experience a run in a downpour more than once or twice. Where a lot of other sports earphones will soon crap out, the X4s are tough enough to come back for yet more quality time with your ear wax and sweat to deliver sweet tunage into your noggin.
“The X4s are tough enough to come back for yet more quality time with your ear wax and sweat”
While the X4’s look is very similar to my X3, they also feature subtle design tweaks to enhance comfort. These take the form of a new tip and wings plus a new cord management system. The wings come in a variety of different sizes which makes for a reliable seal and fit that sees them staying put when engaging on full-on activities – something that has killed wireless ear gear I’ve tested in the past.
Jaybird says you should get around eight hours of battery life, but the reality is that this will vary depending on listening volume and the RF environment they’re used in. In my case, I got around seven hours with them cranked up.
About the only grizzle with the X4 comes from testing them on a stroll through Wellington’s CBD. I found they sometimes cut out in busy areas as public Wi-Fi and other Bluetooth widgets knocked them off-air.
For use in a suburban environment where 2.4Ghz radio spectrum is not quite so crowded, they work like a charm, and the audio they crank out is pretty decent for a set of wireless earbuds.
“The audio they crank out is pretty decent for a set of wireless earbuds”
Throwing on some old-school Motorhead saw the X4 delivering balanced audio. Lows didn’t obscure anything else, while midrange audio wasn’t painfully dominant either. Vocals and highs were accurate with no noticeable sibilance, apart from what was intended! Listening to classical and jazz was passable, but as the X4s are in-ear cans, they lack the dynamism of their over-ear counterparts, which saw ‘Mars Bringer Of War’ from Holst’s Planet Suite sounding a little flat in some parts.
Firing up some Pitch Black for some electronica I was pleasantly surprised by the stereo image they fired into my ears. Most workout headphones at this price-point I’ve tried tend to lack in this area, but not the X4s. With drum machine loops bouncing all over the place along with synth tracks, not to mention delicious brain melting reverb, I ended up quite taken with the X4.
All told, Jaybird’s X4 delivers decent audio. They’re also built to last yet have a comfy and secure fit. Because of this, they’re ideal if you’re after a good set of running or gym workout earphones and can manage their $228 sticker price.