Jaybird Vista 2 vs. Jaybird Vista: Should you upgrade?

Jaybird Vista 2 Vista Loose Buds
Jaybird Vista 2 Vista Loose Buds (Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

Jaybird Vista 2

Jaybird Vista 2 Black Render

The Vista 2 are a continuation of Jaybird's focus on making earbuds that have the mix of ruggedness and performance to stand out in a very crowded field. The foundation was already there from the original Vista pair, only these take things further in ways that do count.

Jaybird Vista 2

Back for more

Good audio quality
Audio customization abounds
Comfortable fit and rugged design
Decent ANC and ambient modes
Improved battery life
Case is trackable and water resistant
Still just as bulky as before
aptX support would've been great

Jaybird Vista

Jaybird Vista earbuds render

For Jaybird, the original Vista earbuds are a hallmark of the company's turn to respectability in this category, and even after so many others have come out since, they hold their own just fine. Their rugged design and superb app support make them a pretty enticing alternative.

Jaybird Vista

Still kicking it

Bass-heavy sound
Comfortable fit
Same audio EQ options
Ruggedized and durable
Fast charging via USB-C
No ANC or ambient mode
No auto-pause feature
Lower battery life

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?

Jaybird Vista 2 Vista In Case

Source: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

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.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Jaybird Vista 2Jaybird Vista
Bud battery life8 hours6 hours
Case battery life24 hours16 hours
Wireless charging caseYesNo
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Digital assistant supportGoogle Assistant, SiriGoogle Assistant, Siri
Supported audio codecsSBC, AACSBC
Speaker size6mm drivers6mm drivers
Active noise cancelation (ANC)YesNo
Ambient sound modeYesNo

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?

Jaybird Vista 2 Wearing

Source: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

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.

Ted Kritsonis
Contributor, Audio Reviewer

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.