Wireless earbuds aren't like movies in the sense that sequels are often better than the original, and that's the way it should be. Jaybird scored a winner with the original Vista earbuds when launching them in 2019, but the race at all levels in this category is tighter than its ever been. And so, the VIsta 2 enter a tougher arena, but between these two, the familiarity does stop at a point that makes the newer pair stand out in more ways than one.
Jaybird Vista 2 vs. Jaybird Vista: What sets them apart?
Not that it's an easy act to follow. The Jaybird Vista were among the best wireless earbuds you could find, and they stood out for their rugged design, on top of the solid audio quality they could pump out. That combination wasn't as easy to find until others followed suit and durable pairs started popping up at different price levels.
The Jaybird Vista 2 don't veer away from the ethos that preceded them. These are very much a similar pair of buds with the same design philosophy. What they do bring is a set of features that people now expect to see when paying this much for any pair of wireless earbuds. Arguably the best part of the audio package won't cost you a dime.
|Jaybird Vista 2||Jaybird Vista|
|Bud battery life||8 hours||6 hours|
|Case battery life||24 hours||16 hours|
|Wireless charging case||Yes||No|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Digital assistant support||Google Assistant, Siri||Google Assistant, Siri|
|Supported audio codecs||SBC, AAC||SBC|
|Speaker size||6mm drivers||6mm drivers|
|Active noise cancelation (ANC)||Yes||No|
|Ambient sound mode||Yes||No|
Jaybird upped the ante where it could with the Vista 2, and it shows when looking at these two pairs on paper. The newer pair are clearly more ruggedized because their IP rating (noted by the 6) makes them dustproof, as well as a higher degree of waterproof (by the 8). Jaybird says they're also sweatproof and dropproof. The original Vista earbuds didn't have all these designations, but they certainly held up well at the gym or out on a run, so in terms of sweat, the gap isn't huge here.
I have to take battery life into context because it's not as clear in the specs. Jaybird rated it based on ANC or ambient mode being off. In that situation, the Vista 2 would indeed last up to two hours longer than their predecessor does. But if you leave ANC on, the two are actually pretty even, with the Vista 2 maxing out at about six hours per charge. While that may not seem like progress, it certainly is when you consider that you're getting those six hours with noise cancelation. The original Vista earbuds have no such recourse, so passive isolation with a tighter seal in your ear is the only way to block off background noise.
The Vista 2 have a different case with a larger battery inside. You get two extra charges from it, whereas the previous model couldn't quite make it that far. Plus, you also get wireless charging, adding another convenient benefit for the newer case. Both have similar fast charging via USB-C, so no real advantage there, either way. But there's more. The Vista 2 case itself is IP54 water resistant, and has the lanyard built into the case, lessening the chance of losing it, like with the original Vista.
Jaybird Vista 2 vs. Jaybird Vista: The app is the secret elixir
What set the original Vista earbuds apart — at least for anyone who knew — was Jaybird's free app supporting the earbuds. Offering a customizable EQ is old hat for a lot of earbuds now, but not to this extent. Jaybird fostered and grew an entire community supporting the earbuds through EQ presets. You can browse, sample, and save the ones that sound good to you and apply them to whatever you're listening to anytime you want. It's a brilliant way to augment the existing sound signature, and critical to both Vista pairs.
Put all that together with the slightly better Vista 2, and you get the potential for much better sound than you might otherwise expect. Rather than accept and go with only the default sound profile, you can either create your own or choose among the dizzying number of presets other Jaybird users created themselves.
And with Jaybird's sequel, you have ANC and ambient modes at the ready, adding another convenience when it comes to listening to tunes without all that background noise. The fit is familiar from the original Vista, even though the ear gels are different this time around. It's a broken record by now with wireless earbuds, but the tighter the seal, the more of the audio spectrum you retain, especially the bass. Both pairs do that well, and with the Vista 2, that passive isolation only helps the decent ANC perform better. It doesn't hurt that they also support the AAC codec, whereas their predecessors didn't.
It's a brilliant way to augment the existing sound signature, and critical to both Vista pairs.
The Vista 2 aren't as bass-heavy out of the box, but that's hardly a drawback since you can easily change it through the app. What's key is that the bass doesn't die out when ANC or ambient mode are on, and thankfully they don't — even more so if you use a preset with plenty of bass in it.
Jaybird Vista 2 vs. Jaybird Vista: Which one should you go with?
These two aren't evenly matched in every facet, but if it's the type of sound that matters, then the difference here isn't as pronounced. Both offer similar soundstages, and they're equally customizable. What gives the Vista 2 the edge is that they have auto-pause when you remove an earbud, plus all the good things about ANC, ambient mode, increased durability, and better battery life.
If price is a consideration, then the original Vista certainly look more attractive as an alternative. They still hold up very well, and their durability isn't always an easy spec to find, much less the wonderful app support. It's just that the Vista 2 add in missing pieces, and are built tough to take on even more adventurous scenarios.
Jaybird Vista 2
Earbuds for your adventures
Jaybird's encore with the Vista 2 proves to be a success as it carries on where their predecessors left off, and adds plenty more.
Not going away anytime soon
The original Vista earbuds aren't just tough, they can still sound great when you utilize the Jaybird app to get more out of them.
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