In a product category that’s grown increasingly crowded, Jaybird is carving out its own place among true wireless earbuds. The company just announced the Jaybird Run XT, basically upgraded and way ruggedized versions of its previous Jaybird Run earbuds, which I reviewed last year. The new models are fully waterproof and sweatproof (IPX7) — meaning you can drop them in a pool for 30 minutes and still expect them to survive — and they’re the first wireless earbuds that I’m aware of with that distinction. It’s worth mentioning that even though they’d probably survive, swimming still isn’t advisable. (They’re not designed for swimming.)
The Jaybird Run XT effectively antiquate the company’s first-generation earbuds — you won’t be able to buy those anymore. But that shouldn’t matter as the Run XT are basically the same thing, just better. They have the same look and design of the original Jaybird Run earbuds, as well as the same charging case. They use the same app to customize your tunes and EQ settings. They have a similar battery life: four hours per earbud with the case providing an additional two charges. And they cost the same ($180).
The big difference, aside from the waterproofing, is that the Run XT are decked out with Bluetooth 4.1, meaning you shouldn’t have any connectivity troubles (which the first-gen models were known for). The Run XT also comes in two new colors: black and yellow or gray and blue.
So what should you make of the Jaybird Run XT? The company’s bread and butter have always been athletic-focused earbuds, and that’s exactly what these are. The Jaybird Run XT is designed for runners, cyclists and climbers — basically anything outdoorsy, these earbuds can handle it. They’re waterproof and sweatproof, so if you’re at all worried about killing your earbuds with sweat, these might be your best bet if you’re still in the market for true wireless running headphones.
The Jaybird Run XTs are available for pre-order now. The expected ship date is early February. If $180 is still a little too rich for your blood, Jaybird has dropped the price of its Run earbuds to $150.
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