In today's face off, we will compare Jaybird's latest launch in this category, the X2 and the Powerbeats 2 Wireless by Beats by Dr. Dre. They both come in the same price range, so if you are one of those who wouldn't know which is a better pick, read on!
The X2 is very small, but comes with a massive purported 8 hours of play time. Although they generally last for about 7-7.5 hours or so. They're sweat proof, and are accompanied by a bunch of Comply tips & earfins to provide an optimum fit.
On the design front, it immediately registers as a Jaybird product. While they are geared to be ergonomic, the various small attentions to detail give it a unique touch. For instance, the hexagonal cuts in the earfins, the matte finish with the shining Jaybird logo in chrome, and the vast array of colour profiles, all lend it a look that’s unapologetically Jaybird.
The build is plastic but still quite solid. Jaybird is so proud of their quality that they even went as far as giving a lifetime warranty against sweat-related damage. The fit although comfortable, isn’t perfect, in the sense the earbuds may not make a tight seal and can at times be fiddly. To address this problem, Jaybird has shipped these with a bunch of eartips which include Comply's memory foam eartips which do the job fairly well.
While there are plenty of similarities between the Bluebuds X and the X2, there are some key differences too. First off, the Bluebuds are glossy, while the X2s are matte. Also, the X2 offers much more colour profiles than its predecessor.
The carrying case has been upgraded too, it's better than the previous one in protecting the earbuds. While signal dropouts were a slight concern with the Bluebuds, the X2s clearly have those issues resolved. Along with improving the battery life and the charge time.
The box is very similar to that of the Bluebuds X. Opening up the side flap will reveal the headphones and accessories. The overall presentation is neat. You’ll find a carrying case, a USB cable and a pouch holding the in-ear “fins” and three X-fit clips.
Do the Powerbeats Wireless have an iconic design that would attract eyeballs? Absolutely.
It’s not often that you come across a product that is known more for its design than its functionality. With the Powerbeats Wireless', build quality is impeccable, there are no flimsy bits, and it’s all tightly engineered for a solid overall feel. These earphones also have a no-slip grip RemoteTalk™ control that is compatible with iOS devices.
Fit it and forget it should be the mantra for any sports gear, but achieving a tight seal is an issue here. Although Beats claim it’s designed so on purpose to keep the ambient noise flowing in and the performance will not take a hit, irrespective of the fit. Despite Beats’ claims unfortunately, there is perceivable sound loss if a proper seal isn’t achieved, and if you try to force them to do that, the earphones could get uncomfortable.
Nevertheless they are lightweight and grip decently well.
There’s one thing where Beats always strike the right chord, it's in the presentation. From the thick packaging to the striking colour combinations, the decorative presentation of the headset to even the design of the hard carry case, it looks premium. The headphones come with a few different sizes of silicone eartips. Among other things are a USB connector and the aforementioned Beats embedded hard carry case.Getting to how these sound...
Coming to the sound, the X2s do complete justice to their claim of being one of the best sounding wireless earphones in the world.
The bass is surprisingly understated, but this quality gives it an overall tonal balance that is exceedingly impressive. Allowing the mids and the highs to truly come to life, and be smooth and crisp respectively.
This is an unusual choice, as most sports earbuds tend to crank up the bass in order to compensate for the loss of sound that occurs due to an improper seal in most sports earphones. Since the X2 provides very effective noise isolation, they can afford to do switch it up. The guitar riffs from rock and metal music do stand out, and that sort of sound in a wireless earphone is a rarity.
They won't sound like IEMs, but for wireless earphones they are definitely the best you can get.
Of course not, bass heavy sound and Beats go hand in hand, which is not a bad thing in this case. Since there are issues with getting a perfect seal, the added oomph somewhat compensates for the loss of sound.
It is foolish to expect the finesse of a Jaybird X2 like audio quality from the Beats. But while the former takes a different approach by focusing on the treble to extract detail, the Beats has an overall sound signature that takes a fun ‘V’ shape sound, that's big on bass with recessed mids to give the lows the centre stage of every music.
EDM, Hip-Hop and Disco Pop sound very good but it's not ideal for more subtle genres of music such as country, soft rock or Jazz.
Those who are loyal to the Beats brand will still find a lot to like here. The audio might not be great, but it will get the job done for the most part.
The Jaybird X2 is a better option if you're looking for the 'Best Sounding Wireless Earphones' out there.
However, if energetic, thumping bass is your requirement, then the Powerbeats Wireless is what you should go for.
Which earphones do you prefer? Do let us know in the comments below!
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