Ultra comfy, rugged design
Above-average sound quality
Effective noise cancellation
Spotty call quality
Potential pairing issues
Update June 9, 2022: It seems the connection issues we struggled with in our initial review are more widespread than expected, with multiple buyers calling it out on sites like Amazon. That's not to say you'll have the same issues, but it's something to be aware of before pulling the trigger. Check out our list of the Best Workout Headphones for more options.
About the Jaybird Vista 2
- Price: $199.99
- Battery life: Up to 8 hours (without ANC), 24 hours total with charging case
- Rapid charging: Five-minute charge for 1 hour of playback
- Wireless charging: Yes, Qi-compatible case
- Voice assistant compatibility: Google Assistant, Siri
- Colors: Black, Nimbus Grey, Midnight Blue
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Audio codecs: AAC, SBC
- Dust/water resistance: IP68, IP54 wireless charging case
- Ear tips: Three sizes of ear/wing tip eargels
- Weight: 5.4 grams per bud, 48.2 grams with case
- Warranty: One-year limited warranty in North America and Asia Pacific countries, two-year limited warranty in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
While Jaybird officially lists just the one battery life length (8 hours), that’s almost certainly without ANC or the Vista 2’s ambient sound mode turned on. By my testing, the Vista 2 usually tapped out after 5-6 hours of listening with ANC on, depending on how loud I was listening to my weekly dose of Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend. That doesn’t approach the likes of the sporty Sony WF-SP800N’s 9 hours of playback with ANC (13 without), but it’s still respectable given the Vista 2’s intended primary use case: getting your workout on.
The Vista 2 have a few handy perks that you won’t find among their specs sheet. The buds’ accompanying app has a “Find my buds” feature that has proven handy more than once in my time testing them. Beyond that, the buds’ controls are delightfully straightforward, presenting a mix of taps and touches that corresponds to functions like playing/pause, track skip, volume, and sound modes.
What we like
A near-perfect build for athletes
The headline says it all. Jaybird hit the sweet spot between comfort and security with the Vista 2, crafting a pair of buds that feel both at home in your ears and unwilling to leave under even the most strenuous circumstances. As someone who obsessively runs, bikes, and drags himself to the gym, I put the Vista 2 through a wide array of athletic activities. In response, these stylish little buds remained remarkably well-positioned in my ears.
That said, durability is the focal point of the Vista 2 build. Jaybird says its new buds have an IP68 weather resistance rating, making them completely dustproof and waterproof. Even the included wireless charging case has an IP54 resistance rating. Ultimately, it’s a level of protection that few wireless earbuds on the market today can match, including our current favorite running buds the Jabra Elite Active 75t.
A quality, customizable sound signature
I wasn’t blown away by the Vista 2’s sound quality out of the box. After playing with the sound profile in the accompanying Jaybird app, though, I quickly changed my tune.
The app has multitudes of equalizer presets to audition, from Jaybird’s signature profile, to EQs designated for specific genres, and even sounds cultivated by prominent athletes. The pièce de ré·sis·tance, however, was the Personal EQ option. Maybe it’s just excellent marketing, but after taking a hearing test that prompted me to identify different frequencies, the profile that the app automatically generated sounded like an impressive match for my ears.
The bass I was missing from certain Beastie Boys tracks was suddenly present, but not overpowering like it was in the “Bring the Bass” preset. Alternatively, higher frequencies offered the detail I was previously searching for. It took a bit of work, but I was able to unlock audio quality in the Vista 2 that was just right for me.
Surprisingly stellar active noise cancellation
The Vista 2 block out noise exceptionally well, to the point where co-workers had to stand directly in front of me to grab my attention. They aren’t quite as impressive in the outside world, but still dampen the screeching noises of busy roadways fairly well. Neat controls like wind filtering and ambient noise control for the Vista 2’s SurroundSense mode are welcomed features, too.
The Vista 2 are significantly more effective than the previous ANC buds I reviewed—Amazon’s second-generation Echo Buds. Granted, for a $60 price hike, they really don’t have an excuse not to be. But Jaybird hit the mark with the Vista 2’s ANC capabilities.
What we don’t like
It took two days of sporadic attempts and several hard resets before I could get the Vista 2 to initially connect to either my Android phone or my partner’s iPhone. With colleagues, multiple Amazon reviews and other past Jaybird earbud owners reporting similar connection squabbles, though, I had to dig a little deeper. Jaybird overnighted another pair to review, and this time, the new Vista 2 seamlessly connected to my phone.
Jaybird told me that it isn’t aware of any widespread connection issues with the Vista 2, but it's clear that I'm not the only one who has encountered this problem. It may be a case of an assorted batch of bad buds, and the majority of Vista 2 pairs could connect just fine. Even if that is true, it's still an unfortunate issue plaguing an otherwise excellent set of earbuds.
Jaybird did disclose that there have been confirmed issues (and a reported fix) with downloading the company’s app through a pop-up during setup with the earbuds, so the Vista 2 certainly aren’t hiccup-free.
Spotty call quality
Jaybird touts what it calls “WindDefense fabric technology,” which is supposed to allow the Vista 2 to carry out phone calls regardless of the environment they’re dealing with. While the Vista 2 did perform well at certain points with calls (mostly in quieter areas like my living room or the office), it had its share of struggles while I was taking the dogs for a walk on a windy morning or cycling in the bike lane alongside a collection of morning commuters. Though, I wouldn’t expect most earbuds to excel while riding a bike, don't invest in the Vista 2 with expectations of them performing flawlessly while cycling through town or out on the trails.
There are plenty of factors that could play into these lapses in quality, so I won’t pin it all on the Vista 2. But I did have multiple instances where conversations had to prematurely end because of how compromised my dialogue was.
Should you buy it?
Maybe, if you're willing to take a gamble on the connection issues
The Vista 2 had me at their killer combination of fit and durability. When you add in a healthy serving of sound quality and active noise cancellation, these become really hard buds to pass up if you’re looking for a fitness-based option. The only potential cause for concern is the potential pairing trouble. While it could just be that I had a defective pair, identical connection issues with the Vista 2 have sprung up online. At this point, we just have to hope that Jaybird manages to address these connection problems, however scattered they may be, in a future firmware update.
As for good alternatives, there are cheaper buds that will get the job done, like the new Echo Buds. And, when looking at more sport-centric earbuds, the Vista 2 do have some compelling competitors. The Elite Active 75t don’t stack up quite as well in terms of dust and water resistance (they offer a still-respectable IP57 rating), and some folks have had trouble with the 75t’s fit. But they’re still an unmatched value for their price point. And while the Sony WF-SP800N offer middling ANC and aren’t quite as durable on paper, they offer significantly better battery life while hovering around the same price.
All that said, the Vista 2 are a great pair of earbuds if you don't experience their inconsistent pairing troubles. Jaybird's latest buds fit great, are built to last, and are the real deal when it comes to ANC.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Nick Woodard is a tech journalist specializing in all things related to home theater and A/V. His background includes a solid foundation as a sports writer for multiple daily newspapers, and he enjoys hiking and mountain biking in his spare time.
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