Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones Review

In the word of bluetooth earbuds, True Wireless is the wave taking over the industry. Dedicated cord cutters and active music lovers know: cutting the cord needs to be more than just to your device. Wireless freedom means severing the tether between the buds themselves. Well, we’ve done it with the help of Jaybird. We’ve spent the last two weeks with the Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones and are ready to answer the question: is True Wireless worth the price premium? This is our review of the Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones.

Specifications

Current Pricing: $128.99 (Amazon), $179.99 (list price)

Headphones

  • Type: In-Ear Style
  • Noise-isolation: Passive
  • Impedance: 16 Ohm
  • Speaker sensitivity: 103 +-2dB At 1KHz
  • Output: 12mW RMS (with limit level)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion <5% (1KHz, 1mW)
  • Audio Format: 16-bit Stereo
  • Codec: Bluetooth SBC Implementation
  • Response Bandwidth 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Driver Size: 6 mm

Bluetooth

  • Bluetooth Version: 4.1
  • Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz
  • Profiles: Handsfree , Headset , A2DP, AVCRP , SPP

Integrated Microphone

  • Type: MEMS, Omni directional
  • Sensitivity: -38dB +-3dB (Test conditions: 1KHz, 0dB = 1V/Pa)

Compatible Products

  • Any Bluetooth enabled with HFP, HSP and A2DP

Weight & Dimension

  • Width: 0.56″ (14.3 mm)
  • Height: 0.76″ (19.5 mm)
  • Depth: 0.74″ (19 mm)
  • Weight of a single bud (no fins or tips): 0.24 oz (6.83 g)

Battery

  • Play Time: 4+ Hrs*
  • Charging Time: 2 Hrs
  • Quick Charge: 5 min = 1 hour Play Time
  • Charging: Via charging case with USB connector
  • Input power: DC 5V 1A
  • Type: Lithium Ion
  • Battery Voltage: 3.8V
  • Energy Voltage in Watt Hours: 0.3Wh
  • *May vary dependent on usage, device & aging

Button Controls

  • AVRCP Music Controls (Play/Pause, Next, Back)
  • Call Controls (Answer, End, Reject Call)
  • General (Pair, Power)

In the Box: Jaybird RUN True Wireless Sport Headphones, Charging Case, Round Silicone Ear Tips S/M, Oval Silicone Ear Tips S/M, Secure-Fit Ear Fins 1/2/3/4, USB 2.0 Charging Cable, Carry Pouch

Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

I should probably start by saying that I’m a newcomer to the world of Jaybird. Like most headphone lovers, however, I definitely knew who they were. Since 2006, the company has been making earbuds targeted at active users and they’ve received a good amount of critical acclaim in the process. As a daily earbud user and music lover, I went into this review with high expectations of a brand I’d heard so much about.

Jaybird makes a good impression to start. Coming in at $128.99 at the time of this writing, the unboxing experience should be a good one and Jaybird does a good job of making you feel like you’ve bought a premium set of headphones. The earbuds ship inside their charging case which works like a display box here. They’ve also included a nice array of accessories, including three different sizes of silicone ear tips and retention wings to keep them in place inside your ear. The RUNs also come with a nice soft-pouch that snaps shut to keep your accessories safe.

The earbuds themselves are larger than you might expect but still manage to look stylish thanks to the black and silver colorway and contoured Jaybird logo. They don’t have stems that hang out of your ears (thank goodness) and nestle right into the crook of your ear. They’ll be more visible but look decent, which is a win for a set of buds designed to be worn around lots of other people.

Getting the earbuds set up is incredibly easy. They came with a full charge and begin prompting you to connect with your smartphone right after opening the case. The left and right buds pair automatically, too, so it’s a single step to get you up and RUNning in no time. … I’m sorry. Dad jokes have become my thing since having my third child, but I digress. First time setup is no more than 30 seconds and since they automatically turn on and pair when removed from the case, they’re instantly ready to go every time after that.

One of my biggest concerns going into this review was how easy it would be for an earbud to fall out, especially during vigorous exercise like running. Frankly, due to my wierd, angled left ear canal, I’ve never had a pair of earbuds hold up to that. That is, until now. When sized right for your ear, the silicone tips wedge right in to isolate sound and the fin fits into the crease of your ear to hold it into place.  The RUNs are the hands-down most secure headphones I’ve ever used. What’s more, they isolate sound so well, there’s simply one would fall out without my noticing, even mid-sprint. If you do happen to lose one, Jaybird will use your phone’s location in the MySound to let you know the last place you connected.

Out of the box, the Jaybirds have a full, deep sound with a great bass punch. The mids are recessed and the highs pulled slightly up. They’re great for enjoying music when you need to be pumped up and energized. They also get very loud which, combined with their excellent noise isolation, works well to save on battery. I really enjoyed listening to upbeat music on these, like Thrice’s Only Us or PVRIS’s What’s Wrong. The bass is full without distorting and the details in the mid and high frequencies stay clean without being piercing at reasonable volumes.

By installing the Jaybird MySound app on your iOS or Android device, you can set your own custom EQ profile or explore those created by the community. These are sorted by popularity or Editor’s picks and are a lot of fun to explore for different types of music. You can also access playlists saved by the community for different types of activities.

It’s a genuinely fun thing to play with, and you’ll have plenty of time with the impressive four hour battery life per charge. The charging case is good for another two full recharges too, totally twelve hours of use before the case needs to be re-upped. If you’re like me and usually listen to podcasts and audiobooks in a single ear, this is of course doubled.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the controls have an unexpected learning curve. Each bud has a clickable multi-function face. The right bud answers calls (the mic is decent if unexceptional), controls tracks, and powers on or off. The left button can be pressed to access the virtual assistant on your phone or to turn the bud off. They’re slightly difficult to push which made me feel like I was pressing the wrong place and repeatedly had to pull out to check. Making them easier to press would be very helpful in future revisions.

I’m also pleased to report that I didn’t experience any notable audio-video lag when using the RUNs to watch Netflix or YouTube, something a number of reviews on Amazon have complained about. I’m unsure if Jaybird has addressed this in-house or if those customers’ situations were special cases but it doesn’t appear to be an issue any longer.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m very impressed with the Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones. I’d heard good things going in, but at this price point I set my expectations high and they delivered. I’m most impressed at how well they stay locked in my ears. When it comes to small things, I’m prone to losing them so this was a major concern that’s been completely assuaged. Add to that a great customizable sound and battery life and solid build quality and the RUNs definitely earn their keep.

Pros

  • Very secure in the ears – best I’ve ever used
  • Excellent sound isolation
  • Very good out-of-the-box sound but very customizable with Jaybird MySound
  • Good battery life
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • MSRP ($179.99) is still fairly high

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.

Written by
Chris cut his teeth on games with the original NES. Since then, games and technology have become a passion. He currently acts as the Hardware Editor for MMORPG.com and GameSpace.com. You can reach him at Chris@MMORPG.com.

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