Bottom line: When it comes to rugged resolve, it's hard to look past the Jaybird Vista 2 and their ability to not only keep playing in tougher conditions, but to also give you a lot of control over how they sound, providing a level of customization that's hard to find elsewhere.
- Good audio quality
- Tons of customization
- Comfortable fit and rugged design
- Decent ANC and ambient modes
- Improved battery life
- Case is trackable
- Bulkier buds may not fit everyone
- No aptX support
It's been almost two years since Jaybird launched its original Vista wireless earbuds, and in the intervening time, they've held up well, even among the best wireless earbuds on the market. The Vista 2 follow the same path, only add the extras you would now expect from a pair at this price.
The physical dimensions and additional features benefit from the key to what makes these earbuds sound the way you want them to, and that's the Jaybird app.
Jaybird Vista 2: Price and availability
Jaybird launched the Vista 2 in June 2021, making them available for $199.99. Given how new the earbuds are, the price isn't likely to shift downward for the time being. You shouldn't have any issue finding them in stores or online for the foreseeable future.
They do come in a few colors to choose from: black, nimbus gray, and alloy blue.
Jaybird Vista 2: What's good
It's often easier to come at a pair of earbuds when you're working on the sequel of a solid product. The original Vista solved a lot of Jaybird's previous earbud woes, and so, it's not surprising that the Vista 2 borrow so heavily from their predecessors. The design philosophy is the same, right down to making the ear tips and wings all-in-one silicone pieces to wrap around the buds. Physical buttons on the sides are prominent, but so are touch-based gestures.
Central to everything Jaybird does with the Vista line is durability. The company touts the Vista 2's IP68 rating, which is quite good when you consider that they're also waterproof, crushproof, drop-proof, and sweatproof. There are limits to all that 'proof-ing', mind you, but you get the picture. These earbuds should be able to take the kind of beating you don't have to apologize for. In fact, Jaybird even went so far as to make the charging case itself IP54 water-resistant.
Since they look and feel so similar to the originals, Jaybird includes three different sets of ear tips/wings to accommodate as many ear types as possible. One of them has no wings, though they're all silicone-based, which makes sense because of the ruggedized theme surrounding these earbuds. A fourth size might've been helpful for smaller ears, as the tips aren't especially small at any of the sizes available. That may help create a tighter seal to passively isolate background noise, but it's hard to tell if they'll fit right or not.
Jaybird did improve battery life in a couple of aspects. First, the earbuds themselves can go up to eight hours per charge, adding about two hours extra listening time compared to the original Vista. The case also gets a boost up to 24 hours, compared to 16. That gives it two extra charges, whereas the original Vista earbuds were previously limited to less than two additional charges before.
However, those battery numbers aren't with active noise cancelation (ANC). Leave that feature on, and you're getting closer to six hours for the earbuds, and 18 hours for the case. Jaybird added wireless charging to the Vista 2 case, and with a built-in lanyard you can't lose.
Active users are clearly on Jaybird's radar with the Vista line, generally speaking, and the Vista 2 were built to cater to those needs. I mentioned the ruggedness already, but it's how the audio and supporting features play within those things that make these earbuds worth listening to. Out of the box, I could tell Jaybird dialed back some of the skewed bass response, and tilted the spectrum just enough to neutral to balance the sound a little more. Supporting the AAC codec only adds to the audio punch.
But the real secret sauce lies within the Jaybird app. It not only offers an equalizer, it offers an open door to an active community of people who create EQ presets you can use to alter how the Vista 2 sound. It's not new, of course, since the previous Vista earbuds had the same perks, but with improved sonic capabilities inside these successors, having such a plethora of EQ presets does deepen the value of what you get here.
And it's easy to use or save them for yourself. Want a preset for a particular music genre? Something that would fit a certain playlist? Or something recommended in the app? There's plenty to choose from. If you want to try creating something for yourself, you can take the two-minute "Personal EQ" test and get a sound profile made just for your ears. It's a pretty straightforward process, and worth doing because you can always save the results as a favorite. Plus, you can still always choose amongst the other presets, too.
All of this only gets better when you have ANC on top of it all. Previously, Jaybird had to contend with background noise, only offering passive isolation as a bulwark. ANC can now drown out more of that noise, and does a pretty good job of it. To be clear, we're not talking industry-leading cancelation here, but certainly good enough for earbuds of this caliber.
Same with SurroundSense, Jaybird's term for its ambient mode, which also does a decent job in its own right. What I appreciated just as much is that the touch-based gestures toggling between them was highly accurate. Since pushing buttons were allocated to playback, I didn't run into issues where I would accidentally trigger a different function by tapping the sides. You can adjust these defaults in the app to get the kind of combination you want, though when you do, you may have to sacrifice a feature or two.
Jaybird says it remodeled the mics for the Vista 2, including defense against wind and other performative aspects related to clarity. I didn't have anyone complain or note anything negative while I talked to them through the earbuds, but I also didn't get ample praise for sounding like I was talking with the utmost clarity. Mileage may vary a bit, especially when outside with noise in the background, though I came away with a clear sense these are fine for taking and making calls.
Jaybird Vista 2: What's not good
It was somewhat of a surprise that Jaybird didn't trim a bit of girth here. The drivers still sit at 6mm, so it's not those so much as it is the other stuff it crammed in. That's not to suggest the Vista 2 earbuds are huge when they aren't. It's just that the fit may not be for every pair of ears because the ear tips or gels Jaybird includes aren't all that adaptable. You can't just go out and buy a pair of foam tips to fashion your own sense of fit and comfort. Your options are limited if you don't feel super comfy wearing these off the bat.
Stability is also a hard one to gauge because there are so many scenarios where one could be active. Whether the Vista 2 are sturdy enough to stay in place isn't so much the question as is whether or not they can stay in place in your ears. I felt they could for me, personally. When bike-riding with them, I never really felt like I had to make adjustments on the fly. But I can't be sure that's going to be the broader experience for everyone when the fit and finish are somewhat proprietary.
I do also wish Jaybird supported more Bluetooth audio codecs. SBC is fine, but when you're trying to compete with others, and you prioritize sound through the community in your app, it probably makes sense to amp things up that way, too. Unfortunately, that's not the case here, and it's yet another reason to push the audible envelope as much as possible using EQ presets.
Jaybird Vista 2: Competition
From an overall sound perspective, Jaybird has stiff competitors to contend with. The Jabra Elite Active 75t are getting older now, and their ANC isn't of the same caliber, but their fit, comfort, and sound quality certainly earns the "elite" nomenclature. Even the previous Jaybird Vista earbuds shouldn't be overlooked as a potential alternative.
If we're talking about durability, the best waterproof headphones have earbuds that rival the Vista 2 in rugged resolve. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have some of the best sound of any pair of earbuds, and they can take a beating while playing. If your budget is a little tighter and you want ear hooks for greater stability, the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC can oblige on that. If you want something a bit more robust, Sony's excellent WF-SP800N can take an absolute workout beating and keep on sounding great.
And if you're talking the best sweatproof earbuds, the Vista 2 have some standouts worth considering as well. One thing Jaybird has that many others don't is the full extent of that Jaybird app and the EQ presets, which have such a big impact on performance.
Jaybird Vista 2: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want truly wireless earbuds
- You want good sound with customization
- You want solid durability
- You need dependable battery life
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You like to listen to more Bluetooth codecs
- You want more standard ear tips
- You don't need sweat and water resistance
- You'd prefer to spend less
The Vista 2 are an excellent follow-up to what, at times, felt like an unheralded pair of earbuds in the original Vista. The foundational stuff feels the same in many ways, which maintains nice continuity, but the major factor elevating them is how broad the sound profiles get. The Jaybird app is among the best available for pulling more audio quality out of a pair of earbuds without hardware having to do all the work.
4 out of 5
That's why the durability and additional features are like bonuses in the grander scheme. If the Vista 2 didn't sound good, those points wouldn't resonate the same way. Put them all together, though, and you have earbuds worthy of being among the best wireless earbuds your money can buy.
Jaybird Vista 2
A fantastic pair of workout earbuds
The Vista 2 carry on from the legacy of their predecessors, maintaining a focus on being durable, comfortable, adaptable, and technical. These earbuds know how to sound good because the Jaybird app puts so much of that control at your fingertips.
Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.
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