It wasn't long ago that Jaybird, makers of the popular X-series of wireless sport headphones, debuted Tarah, its pair of entry-level earbuds targeted at athletes that hadn't yet made the transition to wireless. Tarah replaced the company's older Freedom 2s, and at $100, sat in front of the X4s in the lineup.
Now the company is leapfrogging the $130 X4s with the $160 Tarah Pro, taking the best of both of those designs and amping up the feature set and battery life to justify the higher cost.
And battery life really is the standout feature here, with a 14-hour uptime that's almost double that of the X4s and more than double the 6-hour battery of the Tarahs. You can see the additional battery in the size of the earbuds themselves, which come with three sizes of unified wing/tips that latch onto a yellow enclosure.
Tarah Pro also comes with another neat new feature called Snap Lock that magnetically fuses the two buds together when hanging around your neck to automatically pause music. If kept together for more than 20 minutes, the headphones will turn off altogether, saving even more battery in the process.
Runners will be excited about Switch Fit, which rotates the earbud to make it easy to wear with the cord wrapped around the ear for a more secure seal. I prefer this method, actually, though it shortens the already-short cable.
That cable is now made of a reinforced woven nylon, much more pleasant to touch and secure to hold than any other Jaybird product before it. It's also slightly reflective, allowing others to see you running in the dark. The cinch is also improved over the Tarah and X4, and the earbuds are IPX7 waterproof and sweatproof, too.
Finally, the Tarah Pros come with a new personalized EQ feature built into the Jaybird app, allowing you to optimize the sound coming out of the drivers (which happen to be the same as those found in the Tarah and X4).
For $159.99, Jaybird has found quite a few ways to justify spending $30 more than the X4s and $60 more than the Tarahs themselves. The company tells me that they heard from athletes who were willing to spend more money on a pair of sport headphones with longer battery life and a more resilient cord while maintaining the core tenets of the what makes Jaybird products so good.
These headphones are up for pre-order now, and should ship this month. They'll be available in three colors, Black/Flash, Mineral Blue/Jade, and Titanium/Glacier, though the latter will an online exclusive.
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