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Jaybird X3 Sport Review

Mediocre sounding earbuds that don't have any other redeeming qualities
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Price:   $130 List | $85 at Amazon
Pros:  Low profile design
Cons:  Poor quality sound, expensive considering their performance
Manufacturer:   Jaybird
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 17
  • Sound Quality - 30% 4
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Athletic Performance - 20% 6
  • Battery Life - 15% 6
  • Portability - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Jaybird X3 Sport earbuds were the worst performers in our sound quality testing, and didn't perform well enough in any other capacity to make up for that mediocre sound. Seeing as the JBL Reflect Mini and the Anker SoundBuds both perform better than the X3 Sport and cost much less, we don't recommend these earbuds to anyone.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Jaybird X3 Sport
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $130 List
$84.69 at Amazon
$170 List
$138.99 at Amazon
$100 List
$79.94 at Amazon
$200 List
$119.00 at Amazon
$100 List
$99.95 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Low profile designGreat sound quality, secure fit, great for working outGood sound quality, good for working out, low profile design, relatively inexpensiveSecure fit, great sound qualityIncredibly crisp audio, comfortable
Cons Poor quality sound, expensive considering their performanceExpensive, relatively short battery lifeMay not fit large ears wellExpensive, can get in the way of sunglassesBass relatively weak compared to other high end models, not great for athletics
Bottom Line Mediocre sounding earbuds that don’t have any other redeeming qualitiesThe best sounding and most comfortable buds we've found for working outA sleek package that offers high end performance at a mid range priceGreat sounding earbuds that can stand up to the most rigorous workoutsTop notch clarity makes for a great listening experience, as long as you’re not working out
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories Jaybird X3 Sport Jabra Elite 65t JBL Reflect Mini 2 Beats by Dr. Dre... Beats by Dr. Dre...
Sound Quality (30%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Comfort (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Athletic Performance (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
4
Battery Life (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
Portability (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
Specs Jaybird X3 Sport Jabra Elite 65t JBL Reflect Mini 2 Beats by Dr. Dre... Beats by Dr. Dre...
Weight (oz) 0.65 0.4 0.54 0.9 0.75
Microphone Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Claimed Battery Life (hours) 8 5 10 12 8
Measured Battery Life (hours) 7 5.25 11.5 10 8
Carrying Case Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
EMF Measurement 4.1 V/m 3.7 V/m 5.8 V/m

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Jaybird X3 Sport provided an all around pedestrian performance in our testing, but still costs nearly as much as the top performing models.


Performance Comparison


The Jaybird X Sport didn't really impress us in any aspect, leading to a relatively low overall score (as you can see in the table above. In the sections that follow we discuss the X3 Sport's performance aspects in more detail.

Sound Quality


The X3 Sport picked up the lowest score of 4 out of 10 in our sound quality testing. Overall these earbuds don't sound terrible, they're plenty good enough to push you through a workout, but the sound is noticeably more thin than other models. This is largely because they produced the weakest bass of all the models we tested. This robbed the sound of a lot of depth, and made things sound just a bit tinny. The clarity is also just about average, nothing sounds muddled but the sound just doesn't have the same kind of crispness that other models do.

These earbuds were some of the worst in terms of making phone calls. The clarity was decent, but the call often had bursts of static and even completely broke up at times. We tested this multiple times to confirm that this lack of quality was in fact from the earbuds themselves and nothing to do with our testing phones.

The X3 sport was the worst performing model in our sound quality testing  but we kept smiling anyway.
The X3 sport was the worst performing model in our sound quality testing, but we kept smiling anyway.

Comfort


The X3 Sport turned in an average performance in our comfort testing with a score of 6 out of 10. The earbuds include three different sizes of earpieces and three different sizes of ear fins. Despite that variety, however, those with small ears still had trouble finding a good, comfortable fit. Those that could find a good fit often had to take a minute to find the ideal position in their ears. Once this position was found they were quite cozy and felt secure, but they weren't as intuitive to get in place as other models.

Athletic Performance


Despite the name, the X3 sport was only able to achieve mediocrity in our athletic performance testing with a score of 6 out of 10. The ear fins do provide a relatively secure fit, but we felt like they were shifting a bit in our ears when we were really running hard or doing sets of jumping jacks. They never fell out of our ears, but just didn't provide the same feeling of security as the Powerbeats and the JBL Reflect Mini.

The Jaybird X3 Sport stood up to athletic activity reasonably well.
The Jaybird X3 Sport stood up to athletic activity reasonably well.

Battery Life


The X3 Sport was again average in our battery life testing, lasting 7 hours in our testing. This was just short of the manufacturer claim of 8 hours. 8 hours is plenty for working out or even a reasonably long plane ride, but there are other models that give you a bit more flexibility via longer battery lives.


Portability


Portability is one area where the X3 Sport was at the top of the scoresheet, sharing the top score of 8 out of 10. The earbuds themselves are relatively small and they use a short, flexible cable. This allows them to re wrapped up into a ball and stored just about anywhere. This makes them much more packable than models that use rigid neckpieces or have large earpieces and hooks.

Jaybird includes a small carrying pouch.
Jaybird includes a small carrying pouch.

Value


The Jaybird X3 Sport has a list price of $130. Both the JBL Reflect Mini and theAnker SoundBuds sound better, and offer superior performance in all aspects, and cost significantly less. There are much better values to be found than the Jaybird X3 Sport.

Conclusion


The Jaybird X3 Sport doesn't quite live up to their name as great athletic earbuds. There are a number of models that perform better and cost less.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata