The Jaybird Vista 2 are some of the best sports-focused true wireless I’ve tested. They offer excellent fit, reliable battery life and a rugged military-grade design. The only thing keeping them from scoring a perfect 5/5 are minor connectivity issues.
- Excellent, gym-ready fit and seal
- Solid audio quality for a sports set
- Reliable battery life
- Rugged, sweatproof design
- ANC isn’t best in class
- True Wireless Cable-free, true wireless form factor with charging case
- 24-hour battery lifeBuds offer 8 hours’ listening with ANC off and 6 hours with ANC on
- Military-grade build qualityThe Vista have been designed to meet US Military ruggedisation standards
The Jaybird Vista 2 are a pair of sports-focused true wireless earbuds designed for athletes. They’re the successor to the original Vista I reviewed many moons ago, which managed to retain a place as one of the best running headphones for more than two years after launch.
Key upgrades include the addition of active noise cancellation, wireless charging, a slightly tweaked design, as well as general audio and mic quality improvements.
After a solid fortnight using the Vista 2 I can confirm that, although the ANC isn’t industry leading and there are more natural-sounding sets, for their intended market the Vista 2 are a clear winner. Here’s why.
The Jaybird Vista 2 are available now with an RRP of $199.99 / €209 / £189.99. You can see a selection of the best prices in store in the widget below.
- The Jaybird Vista 2 are designed for sport
- The Jaybird Vista 2 are military-grade dust- and water-resistance
- The Jaybird Vista 2 have physical buttons
The Jaybird Vista 2 share the same DNA as their predecessor, but come with a few key design tweaks. The case is of a similar size, being about the size of a cufflink box, or mini chocolate bar, and they sport the same unassuming black plastic finish. The only noticeable design elements are a cable tie on the case’s side, a single USB charge port along the bottom, and Jaybird’s logo on the top.
Open up the case, and the pairing process for the buds remains the same: press and hold a button in the case to put the buds into pairing mode.
But there have been a few visual tweaks. For starters, the case has more rounded edges. The buds, too, have been redesigned to have a fabric finish over their physical controls. I’m also pleased to report that Jaybird has retired the original Vista’s neon yellow inner-case colouring, replacing it with a monotone finish.
The tip and wing options have been tweaked to provide a wider choice of various sizes and shapes. Jaybird claims the added variety means the Vista 2 will offer users “the most secure fit on the marketplace”. I didn’t experience any issues with the original Vista’s fit, but found that the claim is generally true. After a couple of minutes picking the right tips and wings for my cavernous ears, I was able to get a solid, gym-ready seal that didn’t break even when doing more vigorous workouts, such as working a boxing bag and HIIT.
As a final perk, Jaybird has also upped the Vista 2’s water- and dust-resistance rating. The buds now carry an IP68 water-resistance rating, while the case has a less impressive IP54 rating. To non-techies, this means the buds can survive submersions in water at depths up to 1.5 meters for a maximum of 30 minutes.
Note the use of “water”; the rating doesn’t guarantee they’ll survive the same treatment in other liquids such as sea water or beer. This is a marked step up on the original’s IPX7 resistance rating, which only guaranteed them being sweat-proof and surviving very shallow submersions.
During testing I found that build quality is excellent. The buds’ physical controls have a solid, if slightly spongy, actuation point that makes it easy to know when they’ve registered a command. This makes it quick and easy to play/pause or skip tracks and answer incoming calls on-the-go. As an added perk the Jaybird companion app (iOS and Android) also lets you customise the buttons functionality, to meet your specific preferences.
They also managed to survive an animated spat as a puck in a game of cat hockey, plus an accidental drop onto a pavement, with zero damage – which is impressive.
- The Jaybird Vista 2 are the first Jaybird true wireless to feature ANC
- The Jaybird Vista 2 support Qi wireless charging
Under the hood, Jaybird has made a few more important tweaks to the Vista 2, which radically improve their allure over most competing gym sets –including the original Vista – and let them match the feature set of their arch rival, the Powerbeats Pro.
The buds are the first true wireless from Jaybird to feature active noise cancellation (ANC), an ambient mode – which is being marketed by the firm as “SurroundSense” – and Qi wireless charging.
These are all top-end features you’d expect to see accompanying a premium set of true wireless earbuds in today’s market, but their addition is welcome nonetheless.
ANC is a technology common to some of the best true wireless earbuds we’ve tested, but is often missing on sports sets. Even the astronomically more expensive Beoplay E8 Sport I reviewed was missing ANC.
At the moment, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are our current recommended spec for best-in-class ANC and audio quality. And if that’s your priority over a gym-ready design, I’d recommend you check out those or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds over the Vista, which don’t match either competitors’ ANC performance.
But, compared to competing gym sets I’ve tested, the ANC is far from the worst I’ve experienced and is of definite benefit to people who regularly visit the gym. It’s good enough to block out most background sounds in indoor environments. Using the buds on a rowing machine, the ANC blocked out the background noise of the person working out next to me, letting me focus on the task at hand. The only time it struggled was when I was working out in more lively areas, such as the weights room, where the sporadic clangs of metal broke through.
In the outside world it’s a similar story. Using them out and about, the buds could diminish the sound of passing traffic, but they couldn’t fully block out wind noise, or the more piercing tones of the screaming kids in the park in which I was running. However, considering I’d thoroughly recommend those running or cycling outside in urban areas turn off ANC for safety reasons, this is hardly a deal-breaker.
The ambient “SurroundSense” mode is activated by double-tapping the bud’s physical input. It then pulls in outside sounds using the Vista 2’s mics. The mode works well enough, and meant I was able to keep stock of my surroundings when running outside. However, it’s very prone to picking up wind noise. During testing, regardless of how I set the ambient mode in the Jaybird app, even the slightest breeze was impossible to ignore, ruining my momentum while running. As a result, within days I found myself turning off ANC and SurroundSense when using the Vista 2 outdoors.
Qi wireless charging means you can top up the buds’ 500mAh battery using any compatible plate. It’s indicative of general improvements to the Vista 2’s battery life, with Jaybird quoting the buds as offering 8 hours’ listening with ANC off and 6 hours use with it on. The case holds enough charge to top the buds up around two times.
With real-world use I found I generally got around two weeks’ use out of the buds before needing to top up the charge. This entailed using them during my daily 40-minute cardio session, three 5km runs a week and sporadic listening during the workday.
Mic quality is generally good and a step up on what I experienced using the gen-one Vista. Taking calls indoors, people on the other end of the line could hear me, even with a washing machine rumbling in the background. The only time I had issues was when using them outside, where once again wind noise caused issues.
- The Jaybird Vista 2 offer great audio compared to most sports sets
- But there is a connectivity problem
Sound quality is an area sports and running headphones traditionally struggle in. This is because the buds rugged designs focus on fit and sweat resistance over audio quality. However recently, with the arrival of key sets such as the Nuraloop and Beoplay E8 Sport, that trend has come to an end, and there are a wealth of great sound sports earbuds on the market.
The Vista 2 sits in the upper echelons for audio quality when it comes to sports sets. But, during testing I found they’re still not THE best on the market for it.
Starting with the positives, which easily outweigh the negatives. Despite using the same 6mm drivers as the original Vista, the Vista 2’s out of the box audio is a lot more dynamic and detailed. Swapping between the two, listening to jazz tracks, piano parts had a more pleasing sparkle on the Vista 2 and the crescendo during neo-classical tracks had noticeably more power.
Bass extension felt deeper and listening to complex, layered post rock tracks I was able to discern parts that were lost on the original Vista. The low end also felt a lot tighter than the competing Powerbeats Pro, which felt a little flabby by comparison when I started listening to classic blues.
If you’d asked me even two years ago I’d have also praised the Vista 2’s tonal balance. Compared to most of the gym sets I’ve tested it is still very good, with each part of the sound holding a distinct place. However, thanks to the E8 Sport and Nuraloop it’s not the best available on a pair of sports true wireless. Mids in particular on more complex genres don’t feel quite as well represented. Listening to prog rog electric organs mid parts could get a little muddled between the noodling guitars and thumping bass lines. This is forgivable considering the difference in price between them and the E8 Sport, however.
It is possible to mitigate some of the sound issues using the Jaybird app, which features a number of preset and user made audio profiles, plus manual controls for tinkerers. However, I’m yet to make the sound hit the same wonderfully neutral tone you’ll find on some of the best audiophile focussed true wireless on the market.
While this again marks the Vista 2 as sports-first earbuds, signal stability, a key factor for runners and cyclists, was generally solid during testing.
Walking around busy signal areas, like Waterloo Station, which generally knock out cheaper headphones, I only experienced sporadic drop outs. Using them in less busy areas I never had any drop outs or serious connectivity issues once a stable connection was formed with the device.
My only minor quibble is that the Vista 2 are a little temperamental when switching from one audio source to another. On more than one occasion when I tried to switch the connection from my Galaxy S21 Plus to my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar ahead of a run the Vista 2 would give up the ghost and refuse to connect to anything until I factory reset them. This only happened a few times during testing, but it was an annoyance nonetheless.
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Should you buy it?
You regularly exercise: The Jaybird Vista 2 are one of the best sports-focussed true wireless earbuds currently available, offering a rock solid fit and seal, rugged water resistant design and lengthy battery life.
You want best in class ANC: The Jaybird Vista’s ANC is good enough for gym use, but it lags behind rivals, like the Sony WF-1000XM4, which offer much more effective noise cancellation.
The Jaybird Vista 2 are one of the best sets of sports true wireless earbuds I’ve tested in quite some time. They offer great audio, for a sports set, solid battery life, a reliable, gym-ready fit and nigh-indestructible build quality. The only downside is that they don’t match the audio quality and ANC performance of competing non-sports earbuds, like the Sony WF-1000XM4
The Jaybird Vista 2 feature active noise cancellation that can deal with sounds up to 15db
The Jaybird Vista 2 do not support Qualcomm’s aptX codec
The Jaybird Vista 2 are IP68 water resistant. This means they can not be used for swimming.
aptXQualcomm’s aptX codec can support higher quality audio than Bluetooth alone.
BluetoothBluetooth - named after 10th-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth who united Denmark’s tribes into a single kingdom - is a method of wireless transmission that allows for the exchange of data between devices over short distances.
IP68The most popular and useful level of water resistance. Usually means a device can withstand dust, dirt and sand and be submerged in 1.5m of water for 30m however this can sometimes vary. Read more in our IP68 guide for more.
Qi Wireless Charging
The most common format for wireless charging and the one supported by the majority of devices. Charge speeds vary a lot by the phone.