Personalized sound, surprising battery life, and tracking capability all add huge value to Jaybird’s truly wireless Vista headphones. But they come with a steep price and have a few shortcomings.
Whether you’re leaping into wireless headphones for the first time or looking for an upgrade, finding a pair that meets your needs is crucial. Fit, battery life, activity compatibility, and sound quality should all play into your decision.
This fall, Jaybird launched the Vista wireless headphones — the brand’s “lightest, most compact, and most advanced headphones [it’s] ever made.”
A stubborn holdout from the corded era, I gave the Vista a try. Specifically, I wanted to know whether these “truly wireless” headphones — an important distinction over the wraparound style — worked well for active-lifestyle users. I tested the Vista headphones on runs, bike rides, indoor climbing, and fitness use around the gym.
In short: At $180, the Jaybird Vista falls on the steep end of the price spectrum for the category. But for that price, the brand offers up some impressive performance in terms of audio quality, fit, and software features.
The Vista presents a great buy, but it does fall short of its big competitor, Apple AirPods, when it comes to the clarity and quality of the wearer’s voice on phone calls and video chats.
Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones Review
Fit: Great for Activity
The primary concern with any pair of headphones, wireless or not, is fit. Even headphones with amazing audio quality are effectively useless if they won’t stay in your ears. This is doubly true when using headphones for activity — running, climbing, or other cardio work.
The Jaybird ships with three different-sized silicone inserts to accommodate a range of users. And the Vista utilizes the bud-and-fin design to anchor into the ear. I’ve used this system in other styles with mixed results.
But in the Vista, I found the out-of-the-box setup (medium-size inserts) worked perfectly. During activities like running, rowing, climbing, and plyometrics, the Vista never fell out or slid around.
Sound: Great on One End, Not the Other
If headphones fit, the key differentiator becomes sound quality. I can safely say the Vista provides the richest sound I’ve heard on any in-ear headphones. The bass is full, and there is no tinniness or blown-out distortion on high volume.
Best of all, you can set up the headphones with your own personal equalizer profile. Using the free Jaybird app, you can identify your threshold for various aspects (bass, treble, etc.). Once established, you have a custom sound profile that, in theory, is perfectly suited to your unique hearing.
However, this pertains to the sound coming out of the headphones. The quality of the sound from the built-in mic on phone calls is another story. I used the Vista to take calls and video chats both on my iPhone (XR) and Mac, and everyone on the other end agreed I sounded “quiet,” “muddled,” and “muffled.”
One nagging issue that can plague wireless headphones is Bluetooth connectivity. It remains the standard for most communication between wireless devices, but not all Bluetooth is created equal. Dropped connection, poor range, and inconsistent performance are all known drawbacks.
The Vista’s connectivity is among the most reliable I’ve used, though it’s not perfect. Where these headphones excel is in reliably establishing a connection. They automatically pair with known devices almost instantly upon startup. And switching between devices is easy and consistent.
I did experience a couple of instances where connection dropped despite being within range. But this wasn’t a persistent issue, and reconnection required a single tap on the paired device.
Jaybird lists the range at about 33 feet (10 m), and I found that to be accurate at the very least. Even when I left my phone downstairs and went upstairs, the signal remained strong through several walls.
Extras: Lost & Found, Spotify Playlists
The Vista also includes some handy features via its free mobile app, which I highly recommend downloading. The app comes preloaded with various music playlists, but you can also link your own personal Spotify playlists to play through the app.
Perhaps more importantly, the app includes a Find My Buds feature that can help you track down misplaced headphones. Because it’s based on Vista’s Bluetooth connection, it’s not as robust a GPS-tracking device like Tile. If your phone is within range of the missing earbuds, it will show you the approximate location of the left and right headphones individually.
If you’re out of range, however, the app will show you the headphones’ last known location (i.e., the spot they were when you moved out of Bluetooth connection). It’s an especially handy feature given these headphones, by nature, aren’t tethered to anything.
Charging & Specs
Jaybird also packed some impressive playback numbers into the Vista. You’ll receive 6 hours of continuous playback, and you have another 10 hours of juice in the charging/storage case when it’s fully charged.
A full recharge from a completely drained battery takes 2 hours. But just 5 minutes of charging will afford you a full hour of playback. If there’s one drawback to charging, it’s that there’s no real way to know how charged the headphones are once they’re in the case.
As for hardware, Jaybird calls the Vista #EarthProof, meaning it stands up to shock, dust, water, and sweat. The Vista carries an IPX7 water- and sweat-proof rating. And through both sweaty workouts and rainy runs, the Vista performed perfectly.
As for audio control, the Vista has just the essentials. Accept calls by pressing either earbud. A single tap also toggles play/pause functionality. And a double tap advances to the next song on your device.
Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones
- Weight: 0.5 oz./pair
- Waterproof: Yes (IPX7)
- Fit: In-ear w/ fin, multiple size adapters
- Playback time: 6 hours (+10 hours extra charge w/case)
- Built-in mic: Yes
- Price: $180
Jaybird Vista: Should You Buy?
For active users looking to break free from the corded lifestyle, the Jaybird Vista should definitely be among the options you consider. For sound quality and control, battery life and charge time, and solid construction, it pairs well with athletes and audiophiles alike.
That said, if you’re looking for everyday, do-everything headphones that are great for taking and making calls or video-conferencing, these are not the best headphones out there. Apple’s AirPods cost less and have microphone quality at the forefront of their design.
So while not the perfect headphone for all occasions, the $180 Jaybird Vista checks the boxes for durability, fit, sound, battery life, and its Find My Buds function.