I'm going to be honest with you, I was skeptical when I approached the review these buds. People say not to judge the book by it's cover - the cover for this "book" was a premium price tag and heavy connection with athletic world. I wasn't really sure how it's going to fit with everyday use (not just sports), how will it integrate with Android phone such as Note 2 (considering Apple store is one of their top authorized resellers), and in general how comfortable it's going to fit. Sound quality wasn't even at the top of my expectation list, just hoping it wasn't influenced by yet another music celebrity who thinks we only care about exaggerated bass. With all that said, I got a review sample directly from Jaybird and have been testing it for the last couple of days.
First, let's start with a packaging it came in. In additional to original retail package, I also received a small traveling case which is definitely of a premium quality that kind of sets the tone of what to expect. That was a top notch premium box with a magnetic flap that opens up to reveal the goodies available inside. I know you want to read more about headphones itself, but I have to mention this is a very high quality packaging on par, if not even better, with some of the best top price headphones. Everything from a little rectangular box with manual book and a separate 20% liquipel coupon (to use for any of your other gadget since BlueBuds X already comes protected by Liquipel nano sweat/water repellent), to another hard clam case that looks like something for your wife's jewelries, and even usb to micro-usb cable with a custom flat noodle cable, something I have never seen before. It was very impressive!!!
But package aside, if headphones doesn't deliver - nothing else matters. In this case headphones itself are just a pair of beefy size earbuds that come with 3 sets of tips and another three sets of cushion wings to mix'n'match for a comfortable fit, and also a pair of wire clips. Earbuds are interconnected with a narrow flat rubber ribbon hosting the wires and in-line remote with 3 buttons. It looks very minimalistic, yet packs a huge powerhouse of technology. I didn't even bother reading instructions thinking I'm going to figure out how it works by myself, until I stumble across where the heck am I going to stick micro-usb cable? Device was probably pre-charged already, but still? After fumbling around for a few minutes, I had to open manual book to read about it. Actually the back of one of the earbuds pops open to reveal hidden micro-usb connector. I quickly installed the medium size ear tip and proceeded to pair these up with my Note 2. It was effortless and look really seconds to recognize and pair up with a phone, no need to enter any codes, etc. Right away I tried making phone call, check the dialing by voice, adjust the volume up/down, redial last number, etc. - all the typical voice functions. Everything worked as expected. Then, I decided to test multimedia controls. Playing songs, controlling play/pause, skip to next/prev track, watching videos, playing video games, controlling volume (not the actual volume of the phone, but a typical min/max range of bt stereo headphones) - everything works perfect. No pauses, no breaks or stuttering, no delays, and everything was in perfect sync. I also tested the range of bt connection by leaving the phone on the kitchen table while walking around first floor, going upstairs to a second floor and down to a basement where I observed coverage on par with other bt stereo headphones I've tested.
One thing was bothering me, the sound wasn't as good as I would expect. I selected medium size tips by default, but apparently that was a cause of my problem because it didn't create a proper ear canal seal. As soon as I switched to large tips - WOW!!! I couldn't believe my ears!!! Yeah, it was that good with every detail of the sound coming right at you in almost surround like stereo sound, everything from crisply highs to super clean mids and down to deep lows. With a properly selected tip to seal your ear canal - you are in for a big treat where drivers of these headphones deliver a full rich frequency spectrum of the sound. I know Jaybird mentions a special Shift Premium Bluetooth Audio technology. But no matter what digital protocol you use to enhance the sound, if your drivers can't deliver it - nothing will help. I also decided to figure out which wing cushion to select, and that turned out to be less painful than I thought, where those are actually soft hex perforated wings that hug into the surface of your ear and give you an extra support to keep earbuds from falling out when you run/jump. I mean, those should stay in by themselves, but considering intention of these earbuds to be used with extreme sports - cushion wings are a bonus. Earbuds itself could be worn in two different ways, normal under ear and also over ear. Under ear you can just let chord hang on the back of your neck/shoulders. With over the ear you have an option to use 2 provided clips to snake the excess cord around to shorten it up (like in the last picture I have below).
As I mentioned before, these earbuds are treated with water/sweat repellent Liquipel technology, and I actually tested it out by spraying some water on the cord - water stayed in little droplets. So it definitely will work if you are sweating a lot during exercise or went running under a light rain. So, how about using it in a different environment, just at work or outside while running errands? I believe it's doable. Because of the relatively short cord and rubber material, you can leave these earbuds dangling around and down without a worry they will slip and fall of your neck. It's not going to be as secure like a necklace option, but it can definitely work. Also, if they are dangling down and you get a call, there will be a short pause while you are getting these inserted properly into your ears. It's not as easy as just putting basic earbuds in. So that something you need to work with to figure out the best optimal use. Also, due to a proper ear seal, you get a good basic outside sound isolation, so I wouldn't recommend walking around with these in all the time. My concern is not ear fatigue, but rather not being able to hear what's going on around you. BlueBuds X are definitely designed with sport use in mind, but there is definitely a lot of room for these in everyday life as well. Just for the sound quality itself and how comfortable they fit in - at the current moment with all the headphones (wired and wireless I have) I can't imagine listening to music, or watching the movie, or playing the games with anything else. And on top of that you also get 8 hours of battery life which is incredible considering you only deal with two earbuds connected by a cord.
What can I say, I was VERY impressed with an experience of using these BlueBuds X headphones. Can I say they are a must-have accessory for Note 2? Absolutely not. These are premium bluetooth stereo headphones with a relatively premium price in comparison to other headphones in the same category. It's just like I said in my other reviews where tempered glass is a premium options where you have other much cheaper choices. You can get wired headphones for a tiny fraction of these buds. You can get stereo bt headphones for a fraction of the price as well. But out of everything I have tested so far (and my testing headphones journey is not done yet) these stand head and shoulders above competition in sound quality, integrated phone and audio controls, complete compatibility with our Note 2, and also the best solution for an active lifestyle!
Now, here comes some pictures for your enjoyment!