Jaybird Run is a set of totally wireless earphones that are Jaybird’s sports-oriented answer to Apple’s AirPods. They retail for $180 (£170, AU$249) — or $20 more than the AirPods — and come in two colors, white and black.
They’re noise-isolating earphones, which means they’re designed to fit snugly in your ears and seal out sound. To that end, Jaybird provides a few different sized sports fins and eartips, including two larger sized tips with an oval shape.
I was able to get a secure, comfortable fit with the largest tips, and the earphones were relatively easy to pair with both an iPhone 6S and a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Jaybird has done a nice job ensuring that most people will not only be able to get a good seal but have these buds stay in their ears during rigorous exercise.
Each sweatproof bud has a single button that’s used to pause, play and skip tracks, answer and end calls and access Siri or Google’s Voice assistant. There’s also an app that allows you to customize those button settings, as well the sound of the headphones (you can adjust bass, treble and midrange settings to your liking or go with the balanced default setting).
You can use a single bud for making calls and runners who want to be able to hear the outside world for safety reasons may also want to keep one ear open and use a single bud for music listening.
I tested both a black and white Jaybird Run in Manhattan and encountered some occasional Bluetooth hiccups when I was walking with them in the busy streets filled with people and cars. However, on my runs on the less urban confines of Randall’s Island, using them at home and at the gym, the wireless connection was rock solid.
I’m not sure exactly what the problem is, but I’m going to hold off putting a final review rating on the product until I use them another week or so (and do so with, too).
As for sound sound quality, it was quite good for this type of headphone. They’re pretty open and there’s plenty bass and a decent amount of clarity. I thought they sounded better than the AirPods, particularly in noisier environments. This is one of the better-sounding totally wireless earphones I’ve tried — and I’ve tried a fair amount of them. However, that doesn’t mean they quite measure up to a set of good wired in-ear headphones like, which sound cleaner, more articulate and more natural.
Battery life is rated at 4 hours, and the earphones come with a charging case that delivers two additional charges to bring the total up to 12 hours. It’s also worth mentioning that a 5-minute charge in the case will give you an hour’s worth of battery life thanks to the quick charge feature.
Overall, except for the New York City interference problems I encountered, I really liked these Run earphones and think most people will be able to get a snug, comfortable fit that’s crucial to delivering maximum quality. Truth be told, it’s hard to go back to Jaybird’s corded “wireless” headphone after using these.