Jaybird created a completely wire-free set of headphones: the Run. The pods are nimble and durable. But are they secure? We put the brand’s most minimalist pair to the test.
Known for its athlete-driven headphones, Jaybird’s central goal is to hatch products that are as streamlined as possible without sacrificing sound quality. Professional mountain-ultratrail runners — like Luke Nelson, Meredith June Edwards, Rory Bosio, and Timothy Olson — all work with the brand to hammer out details. Those athletes put their stamp of approval on the Run, Jaybird’s sole headphones that are completely without wires.
We plugged the Run wireless sport headphones ($180) into our ears and gave them a go. After a few easy adjustments, they became a liberating luxury to wear while trail running.
I love listening to beats during an endurance effort, especially on a long run or uphill push. If I’m on crowded singletrack with mixed recreationists, I might opt to go completely music free — especially if there are mountain bikers or horseback riders.
But the Run gives you the best of both worlds: If it’s a busy day on the trails, you can use one bud to play music while leaving the other ear open for courtesy. These earbuds are also prime for long travel stints and indoor gym workouts, so they may easily be a No. 1 choice.
Jaybird Run Headphones Review: No Wires, Custom Fit
For starters, these earbuds are customizable from sound to size. There are four different fin shapes (which slide into the ear’s upper concha) and four tips (which fit into the notch) that are all easy to switch out.
My user downfall was mountain running in 100-degree temperatures with the wrong fin size. Inevitably, the buds flew out of their ear-cave a few times, especially on rocky downhill sections. I tested out a few more combinations of sizes, and now the buds stay put — even when I sweat profusely.
There are even more possible modifications: The company developed the Jaybird MySound app (free to download), which provides you with an electronic equalizer (EQ) so that you can sculpt the sound to your preference. (The app also features a video tutorial to help you tailor your fit.)
Regardless of the EQ settings, the sound quality of these headphones is surprisingly rich and crisp for a set of pods.
The app also allows you to customize the button controls on each earbud. You can skip a song, turn up the volume, and pause the music among other functions, without needing to pull out your phone.
Jaybird Run: Battery Life, Connectivity
The Jaybird Run battery life is touted at four hours off a full charge, plus another eight hours (or more) from the pocket-sized charging case that comes with the headphones. And if you plug them in, a five-minute charge adds another hour of play time.
The small energy dock is lightweight, just like the buds, and an on-the-go recharge is especially handy if you’re on an overnight backcountry trip or traveling by plane and don’t have access to a power outlet.
On rare occasion, if the buds are finicky — like if the Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t sync up or the power controls on the buds are nonresponsive — you can quickly reset the headphones by clicking them back into their case.
But for the most part, the technology runs smooth. And the Bluetooth connection is more powerful than advertised: I could walk away from my phone in the gym and the music would drop only when I was more than 15 feet away.
Jaybird addresses my two biggest concerns with wireless earbuds for trail running: These buds stay in place while I jostle along rocks and ridges, and the battery life is beefy enough for an endurance adventure. The Jaybird Run solves both of those issues while being comfortable and streamlined.
The price is steep at $180, and its battery life is short at four hours long. But ultimately, the customization options and stability were what won us over in this review.
The brand’s newest headphone design — the Jaybird Tarah Pro — offers a total of 14 hours at a complete charge by comparison, plus a couple of other tradeoffs. The biggest difference between the two headphone designs is that the Tarah Pro buds are held together by an adjustable cord whereas the Run headphones are completely cord-free.
Jaybird Run’s Top Features
Jaybird Run Top Features
- Completely wireless headphones
- 4 hours of playtime, plus an 8-hour charge case
- Interchangeable fins and tips (4 size options each) for optimal fit customization
- Compatible with Siri as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and higher
- Custom button controls
- Custom EQ on the Jaybird app for iOS and Android
How to Buy the Jaybird Run
The Jaybird Run headphones retail for $180. You can buy them on Jaybird’s website or at select retail stores.