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Like I’ve said in recent videos, even though truly wireless earbuds are all the rage these days, besides AirPods… I still prefer to use wired earbuds at the gym cause they usually have a longer battery life, their bluetooth connection is much more stable, and you have full control over your music playback cause of the inline controller. And today we’re going to compare my top 2 favorite sport wireless earbuds for working out. We have the brand new Jaybird X4 and my daily drivers the Powerbeats 3.
Besides some minor cosmetic and tech spec changes, the new Jaybird X4 aren’t all that different from the previous Jaybird X3. And that isn’t a bad thing, if it aint broken don’t fix it. And just like the X3’s before it, the new Jaybird X4 currently retails for $129.99. Now I know this versus video might seem a little unfair cause the Powerbeats 3 retail for $200, but since the Powerbeats 3 routinely go on sale on amazon for less than $140, and are sold directly from amazon I think it evens things out. If you want to pick either of these earphones up I’ll have links in description below, and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I highly suggest you check them out cause these earphones routinely go on sale. And also check out the new merch shelf down below.
The biggest and most important difference between these two earphones is going to be the way you wear them. Personally I really like the Powerbeats 3 cause of their ear hooks. Once you put them in, they’re staying there through out your whole workout. You could be sprinting, or dismounting from a pull up bar or what ever and the Powerbeats 3 aint going anywhere. But you can only wear the Powerbeats 3 one way. Where as the Jaybird X4’s give you multiple wearing options. Instead of ear hooks, the X4’s have ear fins… and even though they do do a very good job of keeping the X4’s in place they’re not as secure as having ear hooks that wrap around your ear. But you can also wear the X4’s in their over ear style for an even more secure fit. And since the X4’s also come included with comply ear tips you can use these ear tips if you want a more snug fit that will also offer more passive noise isolation than the silicon ear tips that come included with both the X4’s and Powerbeats 3’s. The Powerbeats 3’s have a one size fits all solution where as the Jaybird X4’s are all about options, you can customize them until you get your perfect fit, and since they’re so low profile they’re also a good option for people who’ll might want to wear them with headgear.
Both of these earphones also have flat, soft touch, tangle free cables connecting the earbuds to one another. And like I mentioned earlier… one of the reasons I still prefer to use wired earbuds like these at the gym instead of truly wireless earbuds is cause of their inline controller. With truly wireless earbuds you usually only have partial control over your media playback and you have to rely on your voice assistant for the rest. Its kind of like how some people refuse to give up on the headphone jack on phones, well I don’t want to give up the inline controller on ear buds. And having this inline controller means you don’t have to touch your phone as much at the gym and you don’t have to ask your voice assistant to do simple things like adjust the volume, or skip a track. And both of these earphones have very easy to use controllers with very clicky buttons. Personally the only thing I don’t like about the X4’s is that you have to press and hold the plus or minus button to skip or go back a track. But I would rather have an inline controller than having to shout at my voice assistant when im out of breath in a noise gym to skip through my tracks or adjust my volume.
Now when it comes to battery life things are very different between these two earphones. The Powerbeats 3 have an advertised battery life of 12 hours. And for me I can usually go about 4 to 5 workouts in between charges with the Powerbeats 3’s. Where as the X4’s have an advertised battery life of 8 hours so these are good for 3 full workouts. And both of these earphones also feature quick charging. The Powerbeats 3 will get you 1 hour of playback time from 5 minutes of charging from a dead battery where as the X4’s will get you the same 1 hour of playback time but from a 10 minute charge.
And the way you charge these earphones is also very different. Since the Powerbeats 3 charge via a micro USB port you can use any micro USB cable you have lying around. But I still wish apple decided to use a lighting port instead so I can charge these earphones and my iPhone with the same cable. But unfortunately the Jaybird X4’s charge via a proprietary charging cradle. On one hand it allows the X4’s to be very low profile but it also means you have one more cable to keep track of.
Now, when it comes to sound quality… Beats have always had this reputation of having lots and lots of bass. And thats no different on the Powerbeats 3. But even though the Powerbeats 3 have a lot of bass, the mids are still present and the highs never crash. And for working out, the Powerbeats 3 sound just fine. The Jaybird X4’s also sound very good for sport wireless earbuds, but since they connect to Jaybird’s app you can adjust the EQ and make them sound how ever you want. So you can tailor the Jaybird X4’s so they sound the best for the type of music you listen to. Since I listen to a lot or rap, hip hop, and EDM I do like a lot of bass in my music. But if you listen to country then you’ll might want to have a little more emphasis on the mids. And with the Jaybird’s you can do that. Now with the Powerbeats 3, yeah you can go into your iPhone’s sound setting and pick from a few EQ presets, but you don’t have as much freedom as you would with Jaybird’s app.
Now, one thing the Powerbeats 3 has that the X4’s don’t is Apple’s W1 chip. Obviously the powerbeats 3 will work with none apple devices just fine, but if you have multiple apple devices then switching between them with the Powerbeats 3 is seamless. Now I know the majority of people watching already know this, but apple’s W1 chip also means the Powerbeats 3 have almost no latency between audio and video when watching youtube videos on your iPhone and the Powerbeats 3 also have a slightly longer range than the Jaybird X4.
So like I said at the beginning of this video, the Powerbeats 3 and Jaybird X4 are my top 2 favorite sport wireless earbuds for working out. And I feel that you cant go wrong with either of them. But objectively, the Powerbeats 3 are still a little better than then Jaybird X4’s cause of their wrap around ear hooks and slightly longer battery life. But I wouldn’t pay $200 for them, I would only grab them if they’re on sale… which they usually are on amazon. But if you want a more low profile design or if you just want to save a few bucks, then the Jaybird X4 are also a good option. I’ve never had a problem with the previous Jaybird X3 and I expect the same from the new X4’s. And for the time being, im still going to be using wired ear buds like these for working out instead of truly wireless ear buds. I don’t think that having to pay a premium and having to compromise on battery life, media controls, and connection stability is worth not having a wire connecting two ear buds. Except for AirPods, thats different.