This review should be a pretty straightforward affair, since I already did a review on Jaybird Bluebuds X more than a year back. And I’ve raved about how versatile, fun and amazing it is to use Jaybird Bluebuds X over the last one and a half year. It lives up to its advertising messages in every single way – best option for workout earbuds, 8 hours of battery life, lifetime warranty against sweat, etc.
On paper, it would seem as if this refresh was merely a design overhaul as Jaybird X2 comes with 5 color options, named appropriately Midnight, Storm, Alpha, Ice and Fire, whereas the original Bluebuds X launched with just black and white color options (they later added a “Camo” color). I picked up the Fire color option, which I think is really cool and eye-catching.
But there may be more to the X2 than meets the eye, so what exactly are the changes?
1. Material Choice and Color Options
Perhaps one of the biggest noticeable changes to the Jaybird X2 from the original Bluebuds X is the soft-touch finish used in not only the earbuds, but also the ear fins and the carrying case (more on that later). The original Bluebuds X has a glossy finish on the earbuds; while that doesn’t usually have any negative impact on the fit in the ears, one thing I did notice over the last one and a half year is that I began to see chipped paint on some portions of the earbuds, mostly near the ring around ear fins. It’s probably mainly due to the fact that I had used Bluebuds X for workouts all the time. No longer an issue on the X2.
While we’re on the topic of “slippery”, the X2 earbuds now also feature a small bump to secure the ear fins in place (the original Bluebuds X didn’t have anything to secure the ear fins) – this is a very nice design consideration.
On the color front, I’ve already briefly covered the color options – X2 comes with 5 color options, which you can find out more on Jaybird’s website.
2. Carrying Case
The choice of material or design in the carrying case actually doesn’t matter to me at all because I am usually out and about with the Bluebuds X either in my ears or hanging around my neck. But for what it’s worth, Jaybird X2 comes with a much sleeker carrying case that is much easier to open (for me) as well. Instead of the glossy black clam shell design found in the Bluebuds X, X2’s carrying case has a soft-touch rubbery feel all over and all you need to do is to pop the top cover off to open it.
3. Improved Ear Fins
These are such small changes (albeit very important) over the original Bluebuds X’s ear fins that I don’t have much to write about it. The original earfins in the Bluebuds X were already some of the best ear cushions out there in any sports earbuds but Jaybird just outdid themselves with improved ear fins that have thicker tips and feel much more solid and grippy in the ears.
4. Bespoke Comply Foam Tips for Jaybird X2
For the original Bluebuds X, I did use Comply foam tips before but the options aren’t exactly flexible since they were additional paid accessories (the options for Bluebuds X costed about 20 SGD when I purchased), which are also compatible with a lot of other earbuds. Comply fans will especially love this inclusion. According to Jaybird, these are made precisely for X2 and thus a perfect fit is guaranteed.
On that note, the choice of using either silicon tips or foam tips is entirely a matter of personal choice. Similar to the case of different people’s having different ear shapes/sizes, what feels like a perfect fit to me may not feel like a perfect fit to you. Personally, I’ve been using the medium silicon tips since the Bluebuds X’s time, so naturally I’ve retained the choice on my X2.
5. Connectivity, Features and Battery Life
As I mentioned in the beginning of this piece, most of the features on paper are exactly the same for Jaybird Bluebuds X and X2, with a couple of exceptions. The impedance is still coming in at 16 Ohms. Pressure sensitivity is still the same as 103 dB. Frequency response still ranges between 20 – 20,000 Hz. Bluetooth version is still 2.1; Jaybird claims that newer versions offer no benefits for headphones as BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy, is not adequate for streaming high bandwidth stereo music, so… there’s that.
On the battery front, I’ve no issue believing Jaybird’s claim of lasting up to 8 hours of music playback; in my experience with Bluebuds X for 1.5 year and with X2 for a few weeks, I normally get between 7 – 8.5 hours (in estimation) of music playback on my Nexus 6. Despite Jaybird X2’s featuring a slightly bigger battery (100 mAh vs 83 mAh) and presumably much better drivers, in the real world usage there’s no discernible difference in the sound quality and battery life departments. So, the approach here is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” A much bigger battery would make a difference for sure but I don’t want any increase in the size and 8-hour battery life is in fact better than any Bluetooth earbuds I’ve personally tried or read about before.
It’s a no-brainer to get the X2 in a heartbeat if you have never owned any Bluetooth earbuds before and are considering one (with the budget in mind of course – these retail at 180 USD on Jaybird’s official site). The big question here is – is it worth it to upgrade from Jaybird Bluebuds X? Honestly, not really. If you already own a pair of Bluebuds X and love them, I don’t see any strong reason to grab the X2, unless you really want the new color options and the matte coating.
For me personally, it’s all about the return on investment and the overall experience of using a brand’s product. I had used Jaybird Bluebuds X and totally loved them for almost 2 years. When my Bluebuds X broke a month ago, Jaybird set me up with an RMA immediately with no questions asked – this is the kind of customer service and brand experience that made me decide to support their X2 upgrade. Hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to reach out to me if you want to discuss more about this product (or what happened to my Bluebuds X and how hassle-free the RMA process was).