Jaybird X3 Wireless Earphone Review

If you are like me and enjoy running with music, you will appreciate a quality pair of earphones. Of course, the jury is out of music whilst running, particularly when racing. Many races have a no earphone policy so that you are as a runner are not distracted, can hear directions from marshals and hear other runners who may need to notify you of passing or potential hazards.

But for many, music is an absolute dream when running as it provides a distraction, it helps the miles click by and I know personally that many runners listen to some excellent running podcasts such as Talk Ultra as a way of catching up on interviews and news.

With the above considered, a quality pair of earphones are essential and with growing use of wireless technology and the need and or requirement to carry a phone when training or racing, respected earphone manufacturer JAYBIRD have released the X3 – an update to the X2 model.

The X3 is a wireless pair of earphones that seamlessly sinks with a compatible device. In my test scenario I synced with an iPhone 7.

Out of the box you can immediately notice that the build quality and attention to detail is excellent. They feel solid and sturdy.

Before going any further I immediately downloaded the Jaybird App from the iTunes Store on my phone. It’s called JAYBIRD MYSOUND and is available for free.

The app takes you through the process of pairing earphones with your phone, Simply put the earphones in your ear and press the middle button for approximately 4-5 seconds. You will hear instructions in the headset. Make sure that BLUETOOTH on your phone is turned on. You will see Jaybird X3 appear in the ‘My Devices‘ – select it and then you are good to go. In the iPhone App you will see a ‘Scanning’ page – this will confirm when you are connected.

Once connected, you can use the APP to customise your earphones using a five-band EQ to fine-tune the acoustics – if you prefer more bass, more treble, or whatever, you can do this here and you can also switch between a variety of presets and user-created profiles. Importantly, the profiles and custom settings save to the X3 and not the device, therefore no matter what device you are using, your preferred preset will be used.

Click on am image for clearer view:

Before use it makes sense to charge the earphones. This is done by connecting the earphones to the supplied cable. Jaybird use their own custom design for this which works excellently. But be warned, lose this charging cable and you won’t be able to just pop out and get a replacement. Accessories are HERE.

The cable is USB compatible so you can use your laptop or a stand alone plug to charge the earphones. Once charged they last for 8-hours (12 hours with the accessory) and in testing I have found this to be true. However, using for say 60-75 minutes a day, I found it was safer to recharge after 4 or 5-days to make sure. Ultra runners who go out for a long run can expect 7-8 hours.

The earphones are supplied with a small portable pouch that will hold the earphones and the charging cable. As with nearly all earphones, Jaybird also supply accessories so that you can get the perfect fit for your ears.

Three different sizes of ‘fins’ allow the earphones to stay in the ear without moving, Three varying sizes of Comply foam tips allow you to obtain a comfortable fit ‘in’ the ear. A shirt clip and two cable-shortening clips are provided – the latter useful if you want to reduce the length of the cable. I personally found no use for them as the earphones fit so well, the cable sits comfortably around the back of the neck and it caused no issues.

Attention to detail is superb and once you have the correct sized ‘fin’ and correct sized ‘Comply tip’ you should have no need to adjust them. Of course, wear and tear will eventually require replacement and this can be obtained from Jaybird.

You will see in the above picture that the ‘in-line’ control not only doubles up as the battery and re-charge point but also the place to turn on the earphones and make ‘on-the-go’ adjustments.

How to use:

  • Put the earbuds in your ears.
  • Make sure your you have previously ‘paired’ the earphones with the device you are using. In my scenario an iPhone 7.
  • Go to the Bluetooth menu on your device, and make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  • Press the middle button on the in-line control for approx 2-seconds
  • You will hear – ‘Power on’ then ‘Headphones connected’ it will then tell you how much battery is left.
  • Press ‘Play’ on the device and you are good to go.
  • You can adjust volume using the + and – on the inline control.
  • Press the middle button to start/ stop play
  • Tip – while music is playing, if you press and hold the middle button for 1-2 seconds it activates SIRI (on an iPhone) and then you can say (for example) ‘Play AC/DC’ and then the chosen music plays. Of course this can be a little hit and miss but it does work.
  • To turn off, press the middle button once. This stops music play. Then press and hold the middle button for 2-3 seconds and the you will hear, ‘Power off’.

IN USE

The pairing process was easy and seamless. The X3 are without doubt the most comfy and secure running earphones I have used. Everything about them is just perfect. The cable is just the correct length to allow ones head to move left and right without pulling on the earphones. Importantly you can use the X3 as over the ear or on the ear fit.

An example here of over the ear fit.

The in-line control sits just under the right ear (if used on the ear and on the left if used over the ear) and it is easy to control and adjust while moving. The earphones themselves sit securely in the ear with the ‘fin’ holding them securely in place. The X3 is sweat proof and withstood several runs in heavy rain with no issues.

Sound is excellent and I found the ‘out-of-box’ sound to have too much treble. I used the APP to add more base and tweak the sound. A real bonus!

Connection with my phone had little or no drop out. Often a problem with wireless devices. Just keep in mind that the closer the phone is to the earphones, the more stable the connection. I personally don’t like use an arm band holder and found that my phone worked best either in my running vest or by using a small waist pack.

Conclusion

At £109 the Jaybird X3 may not be the cheapest earphones on the market, however, they represent excellent value for money. The sound is excellent, the APP works great for tweaking and the in-line control with voice prompts keeps you in control of the music and the battery. Fit is superb – the best running earphones I have used.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Sound
  • Price
  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • App
  • Wireless
  • Recharging cable is neat and tidy
  • Compact
  • Sweat proof

Cons:

  • 8 hour battery will not be enough for those out for a long time
  • Lose the recharge cable and you will need a replacement from Jaybird. Not a cable you can get anywhere.

Verdict

Pretty awesome product that fits, provides great sound and for a good price.

Garmin Fenix GPS

Garmin® fēnix™ Outdoor Watch Lets Adventurers Go Even Further Off-Trail

garmin-presents-fēnix-the-game-changing-outdoor-gps-watch-for-mountaineers.html

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced fēnix, its first GPS wrist watch for outdoorsmen, such as mountaineers, hikers, cyclists, hunters and backpackers. fēnix provides comprehensive navigation and tracking functionalities as well as trip information to guide adventurers during their challenging activities off the beaten track. Its built-in sensors provide information on heading, elevation and weather changes. Utilizing Garmin’s leading GPS technology, fēnix can guide adventurers off the trail and back to the safety of a vehicle, trailhead or campsite. Sporting a classic round watch design in a high-strength housing with a scratch-resisting display, it is built to endure the toughest outdoor conditions and also makes a stylish day-to-day timepiece.

“fēnix packs Garmin’s leading and trusted outdoor technology into a robust, wrist-worn GPS watch that outdoorsmen can rely on,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Being able to go hands free while still having access to Garmin’s precise and accurate information on weather, elevation and position provides adventurers the confidence and peace of mind to take their outdoor activities even further off-trail.”

Plan, Navigate and Track

fēnix includes a comprehensive navigational toolset that allows users to plan trips and create routes, record waypoints, such as campsites or points of interest, and record GPS bread crumb trails on the move (tracklogs). Adventurers can navigate to coordinates, along a track or route, towards waypoints, geocaches or along any other selected bearing. A navigation arrow provides clear directional guidance and the TracBack® function can guide one back along a previously recorded tracklog. This provides adventurers peace of mind knowing they’re never “lost” and can easily find their way back in case of an emergency or bad weather conditions. Also included is a worldwide basemap displaying cities nearby. Using the BaseCampTM desktop application, fēnix users will be able to easily plan trips and share their adventures with friends and family. fēnix is equipped with both ANT capabilities and Bluetooth® to wirelessly share tracks, waypoints, routes and geocaches with other compatible Garmin devices. A Basecamp mobile app allows users to transfer waypoints and tracklogs to view them on a more detailed map and larger screen of select smartphones.

Altimeter, Barometer and Compass

fēnix is equipped with ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer and compass) to provide explorers relevant real-time information. The built-in altimeter provides elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent, the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure and a 3-axis electronic compass keeps the user’s bearing whether he’s moving or not. Utilizing its GPS receiver, fēnix can auto-calibrate its ABC sensors and also auto sets the time based on location. For an extremely accurate temperature reading, fēnix can be paired with tempeTM, Garmin’s new external temperature sensor.

Measure Performance

Similar to Garmin’s running watches, fēnix provides real-time performance data, such as distance, pace time and calories, helping outdoorsmen keep track of their progress during and after their adventures. This is especially useful to keep track of fitness activities off the beaten track, such as adventure or trail running. fēnix is also compatible with Garmin’s premium heart rate monitor for heart rate info and with a speed/cadence sensor for distance, speed and cadence while on a bike. The displayed data fields are fully customizable right from the watch.

Built to Endure the Roughest Conditions

fēnix is built to endure the toughest outdoor conditions, combining a high-strength housing to survive shocks with a mineral glass lens to resist scratching. It boasts a large LCD display with LED backlight and a robust polyurethane wristbands. Garmin’s outdoor watch is waterproof to 50 meters and has a battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode (depends on settings) and up to 6 weeks in watch mode. Basic watch functions include alarms, tones, vibration alerts, timer, stopwatch and world clock with the ability to display several times zones at once.

Read on Garmin site HERE

Garmin fēnix is expected to be available in fall 2012 and will have a suggested retail price of $399.99. tempe is an optional accessory and has a suggested retail price of $29.99. The polyurethane wristband will be available in olive or orange and an optional leather wristband can be added.

fēnix is the latest solution from Garmin’s growing outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ outdoor experiences. Whether it’s Golfing, Hiking, Hunting or Geocaching, Garmin outdoor devices are becoming essential tools for outdoor enthusiast of all levels. For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services.

http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/

http://www.garmin.blogs.com and http://twitter.com/garmin.