Jaybird Run: Capable partner for workouts

The storage case for the Jaybird Run doubles as a battery holder and charger.
The storage case for the Jaybird Run doubles as a battery holder and charger.

The Jaybird Run is for those looking for a pair of true wireless in-ear headphones for their workouts.

Like the Apple AirPods and Samsung Gear IconX (2018), there is no cable connecting the right and left earbud, so you would not have one hitting the back of your neck during runs or have to worry about tangled wires.

On each earbud is a white button, adorned with the Jaybird logo and surrounded by a silver rim. It is notthe prettiest design, but it is functional.

The ear tips and ear fins that come with the Run fit my ears perfectly. The fit is snug and the earbuds, which are sweat-resistant, are never in danger of falling out even during high-intensity interval trainings.

Three additional pairs of ear fins of different sizes are provided, including finless ones for those with very small ears.

There are also two extra pairs of oval and round silicone ear tips, so you are sure to find the right fit.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $299

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 6.83g (an earbud without fin or tip)

    RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The Run comes with a pill-shaped storage case.

It has a micro-USB port at its rear for charging and doubles as a battery case and charger.

Battery life is rated at four fours on a full charge, with a fully charged battery case providing a further eight hours.

I find the battery life to be as advertised and note there is75 per cent battery life left on both earbuds after an hour of workout.

Unlike the IconX, the Run does not have any internal memory to store music. It can only stream music from the smartphone via Bluetooth, similar to the AirPods.

You can use the Jaybird MySound app (available for Android and iOS) to customise the Run's equaliser settings. The app also allows you to download equaliser settings uploaded by other Run users.

The sound quality is generally good, but not superb. While it produces solid deep bass with detailed mids, the highs tend to suffer from distortion.

But the most frustrating part about the Run is pairing it with a smartphone.

To power up or shut down the Run, you press and hold the button for three seconds. But to start the pairing process, you have to press and hold the button for six seconds. Inevitably, this means the Run is turned off before the pairing process starts.

It took some trial and error to get the pairing done. But once the pairing is done, the connection is solid.

The right earbud is the one that pairs and syncs with the smartphone, as well as connects to the left earbud. Hence, the manual suggestsholstering the smartphone on the user's right arm during use.

I do not experience drops in music streaming in the right earbud when I hold the phone with my right hand during workouts. But there are slight drops in connection in the left earbud.

The biggest letdown of the Run is its price. At $299, it is more expensive than the AirPods ($238) and IconX ($268).

Yet, it is not as convenient to pair as the AirPods and lacks built-in memory for storing music, which the IconX has.

  • Verdict: While the price is slightly high, the Jaybird Run is a capable no-frills true wireless in-ear headphones suitable for your runs.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2018, with the headline 'Capable partner for workouts'. Print Edition | Subscribe