This publication was updated on October 3, 2018 to include a comparison with the Jaybird X4, new links to relevant information, prices and scores.
When you think or train headphones, you probably think of Jaybird. The company has numerous versions of its X line of headphones, starting with the Bluebuds X to the new Jaybird X4 headphones. Although the Jaybird X4 headphones were released this year, the X3 headphones were the ones that improved for most of the two years. Sure, the newer X4 solved some of our biggest complaints (we'll see more about that later), but the X3s are still a serious competitor to the training headphones you should buy if you can find them for sale.
When you open the case, you will get the headphones, a carrying case with the Jaybird logo, a small bag with the tips of the wings, another small bag with silicone tips and, finally, one with the memory foam . Along with that, there are small clips to keep the cables under control if you need them (I really did not), a Jaybird sticker, the charging dock, a quick start guide and an instruction booklet.
Build & Design  The X3 has a new image change compared to the previous X2 model, and it looks great. The cheap plastic of the X2 is replaced with the cheaper plastic, but this looks and feels much better. Especially in the black and silver option that we verify. The headphones are definitely thinner this time, but they are still quite bulky. Especially after adding the new wings and tips of the ears. On the positive side, I had no problem keeping this in my ears, whether I was sitting at a desk or actually going out running. A good improvement on the Freedoms that came out earlier this year.
The headphones are also slightly tilted, which, when combined with the thinner housing in general, helps these to shoot the audio directly towards the ear. We will get to the actual sound quality a little later in the review, but as far as possible, these are the winners. The cable is more or less the same for good or bad, but the next biggest change you'll find is with the control / microphone module. It is still about two inches below the headset, but the module on the X3 is now a little larger because it now also contains the battery. That said, it's not too bulky or cumbersome. It is easy to use and also looks a bit more elegant.
You may see a general theme here: the X3's are much more polished than Jaybirds's previous headphones when it comes to building and designing. The only area in which I would like them to improve was their resistance to perspiration, which is still said to have a hydrophobic nanocoating to test sweat instead of a real waterproof classification. It is worth mentioning that I had no problems during my tests and, if you have problems, Jaybird's warranty covers it for one year. The hard case also received a degradation, but actually I like the new one more. It still protects the headphones, but now I can store it in my pocket if necessary. Unlike the last case, it was basically a solid treasure chest of rubber. Once again, it is more polished and practical.
The X3s now have Bluetooth 4.1, which means you can connect two of them to the same source device if you want. You can also connect to two different devices at the same time, although strange things started to happen when I did it. For example, when I listen to music on my Pixel while I'm connected to my iPad, Siri opened up when I held down the multifunction button in the middle instead of the Google Assistant (2018 side note: Man, I miss my original Pixel phone). Of course, I am not entirely sure how often this will occur in real-world usage, but it was something I thought I would mention if you use Android and iOS devices as I do. In another note, the delay or latency in these is practically non-existent. I caught up with all the Casey Neistat vlogs that I missed, which is a very entertaining way to test Bluetooth headsets.
What is a bit more practical is how strong is the connection to my source device and here I had very few problems. The connection remained strong until approximately 20 to 25 feet, and there was only a slight jump when exercising. I counted three little stutterers in approximately three hours of exercise, which is not bad. The connection was simple and I got the iOS and Android devices connected in 10 seconds each. That equality between the two operating systems was also extended to the playback controls. You can raise or lower the volume with the upper and lower buttons, but you can also jump between the tracks by holding them down for a second or two more. If you want to access Siri or the Google Assistant, simply hold down the middle button. Touching the same center button will also pause / play music.
Then there's the application. In it, you can choose between some presets and even customize the sound to your liking if you do not like any of them. Once you make (or choose) a preset, it will be saved in the X3 headphones so that you get the same sound profile regardless of the source device you are using. In addition to that, it will tell you exactly how much battery is left, which is always ingenious.
Jaybird claims an eight-hour battery life with the X3, which matches that of the X2. It would have been nice to see them take a step forward in this department, but I guess the battery technology is not there yet, considering how small it must be to fit into these. That said, we have a little less than eight hours of reproduction on average at a high volume that is still pretty good.
We made all our listening using the "Signature" sound profile in the application, which is the default configuration, and everyone knows how important the default values are.
Bass was a sound too big for my taste during average use, but it's definitely useful while running. Sometimes you need that extra push to continue. But if you do not agree, you can always change it through the application. Still, for the default sound profile, it was not bad.
I felt that the mids lost a bit of their clarity compared to the X2. The voices were withdrawn just a little and with the low knocking became a fairly busy middle range. This is especially noticeable in the song Mr. Rager by Kid Cudi. The trap during the chorus sounds as if it were nailed to the voices slightly with each stroke.
Highs is also given a slight push and can lean a little towards hardness, although it never becomes painful. The introduction to Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix is a bit loud and a bit awkward when he plays the guitar. Like I said, it's not really painful, but it's enough to make your ears cheer up.
How do the Jaybird X3 compare to the X4?
The X3s are a pair of solid buds, but one of the biggest drawbacks was the lack of an IPX rating. Having a sweat-proof nano-coat is nice and all, but nothing brings peace of mind as you pass a standardized set of water tests. Jaybird solved it with the new Jaybird X4, which now has a sweat-proof coating and an IPX7 rating.
In addition to that, there are only a few design elements that are different between the two. Mainly the fact that the X4 look better together. Jaybird got rid of the fake metal covers on each headset that looked like they were stuck together and instead simply painted the logo, which is a definite update in my book. In addition, both pairs have approximately the same battery life and a maximum of approximately eight hours of constant playback. As for the sound, the X4 hearing aids have a very similar sound signature, with a low end emphasized to help you carry out your workouts.
You can equalize them through the Jaybird MySound application, but it will not drastically change the sound of the headphones. The positive side is that if you prefer a strong low end when exercising, both pairs of headphones cover you.
While the Jaybird X3 is still a good pair of buds, the lack of true water resistance is definitely negative. If you already have a pair of X3 that still work well, you do not need to spend more money to upgrade to Jaybird X4. You can also run your X3 on the floor before upgrading. But if you're debating between the two, we would definitely recommend the X4 because of that IPX7 certification unless you can find a pair of X3 for a lot cheaper than $ 129.