Once adjusted and fitted, the JB-200’s are remarkably comfortable and secure. You can shake your head around all you like, jump up and down, bang your head like a lunatic metal head and they simply refuse to become dislodged. The design of the earband – the part that wraps around and rests against the sensitive top part of your ear – is made of soft rubber so that it doesn’t dig into your ear’s cartilage, and though the bulbous bodies look awkward, they sit unobtrusively behind your ear and you’ll hardly know they’re there once you’ve got the Jaybirds on.
These headphones are designed principally for use while exercising and they’d certainly do the job. They’re sweat and water resistant, so should carry on working fine if you’re out running and the rain comes down. The lack of wires also means there’s much less danger of ending up on the Darwin Awards website in a bizarre “Man strangled by running machine” story.
And set-up is as easy as your choice of device makes it. I connected the JB-200’s with a number of devices, including the recently reviewed Nokia E71, and pairing was mercifully straightforward. You simply hold down the power button until it beeps, and then run through the pairing process on your source device. The JB-200’s, thoughtfully, also have the pairing code stencilled on to the inside of one of the earpieces, in case you forget.
Elsewhere, it’s more a story of style over substance. To charge the headphones, instead of simply plugging in a microUSB cable, you drop them into a rather large and cumbersome docking station (battery life is quoted at 5.5 hours continuous music listening, 6.5 hours talktime and 110 hours on standby). With the headphones in situ this looks more like something Batman would have in his Batcave than a humble charging station. Still, the headphones do at least charge over USB, and the docking station is equipped with a mini-USB socket so that you don’t need to worry too much about losing that ubiquitous cable type. Three small buttons along the spine of the right earpiece provide access to the functions. You can adjust the volume, pause, skip forwards and backwards, but the buttons are tough to press and quite fiddly. I’d have appreciated a touch more give.