Jaybird X4 and Jaybird TARAH Review

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Even though truly wireless ear buds are all the rage these days… besides AirPods, I still prefer to use wired ear buds cause they usually have a longer battery life, their bluetooth connectivity is much more stable, they cost less, and more importantly… you still have full media controls cause of their inline controller. And since they came out 2 years ago I’ve always really liked the Jaybird X3’s and I’ve never had a problem recommending them. But now we have the new Jaybird X4 and the more affordable Jaybird Tarah. They’re not entirely new… but there are some upgrades worth talking about.

The new Jaybird X4’s currently retail for $129.99… which is what the X3’s used to retail for. Where as the new Jaybird Tarah is a little more affordable with a retail price of $99.99. If you want to pick either of these ear phones up I’ll have links in the description below, and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I highly suggest you check them out cause you never know when these ear phones might go on sale. And also check out the new merch shelf down below.

At first glance its kind of hard to tell the difference between the Jaybird X3’s, X4’s, and Tarah cause they look and perform very similarly to the X3’s… and thats not a bad thing, the X3’s are just that good. But first lets talk about the included accessories cause there is a noticeable difference. Just like the X3’s, the X4’s come included with a carrying pouch… and thankfully the new carrying pouch is slightly bigger than the X3’s. Where as the Jaybird Tarah don’t come with a carrying pouch at all. Unlike the X3’s which come included with 3 sets of ear fins, 3 sets of round silicon ear tips, 3 sets of comply ear tips and a few cable management clips things have been a little streamlined with the X4’s. You still get 3 sets of ear fins but now you only get 2 sets of oval silicon ear tips, 2 sets of comply ear tips, and instead of cable management clips the X4’s now have a built in fastener which I personally find much easier to use… but theres still a clip so you can attach excess cable to your shirt. And finally the Tarah come included with the least amount of hardware and we’re going to dive in on their new ear tips in a few. 

You may have noticed that all of these earphones also come included with proprietary charging cables… which is a double edged sword. On one hand it allows jaybird to keep their inline controller and earbuds very low profile cause they don’t need to add a USB-C port for charging… but its one more cable to keep track of. Even though the X3 and X4 still use the same cradle to charge, the X4’s updated cable is a little more refined. But unfortunately the Tarah doesn’t use the same charging cradle as the X3 and X4, which I personally find a little odd. Tarah’s inline controller is also very different from the inline controllers found on the X3 and X4, even though its slightly thinner… its also slightly taller and wider. You have the same basic three control buttons with the same great tactile feed back but I actually prefer Tarah’s raised textured buttons cause they’re easier to tell apart by just feel. But all three of these earphones still have the same soft touch, flat, tangle free cable. And even the earbuds on the X3 and X4 are identical… they’re the same shape and the same size. But the ear buds on the Tarah are a little different from the earbuds on the X4. Tarah’s earbuds are basically the same size as the X4’s earbuds. But since they’re a little angled they do to stick out a little more. But its barely noticeable. 

But perhaps the biggest and most noticeable difference between the new Jaybird Tarah and Jaybird X4 is going to be your customization options when it comes to fit and how you wear these earphones. The Jaybird Tarah have a similar system to what you would find on the Bose Sound Sport free. The ear tip and ear fins are all one piece and they’re very easy to take off and put on. But you can only wear these earphones one way… personally the medium ear tips fit me just fine and I haven’t had any issues with them. But the X4’s give you way more options when it comes to fit and how you wear these earphones, and thats kind of why the X3’s were so popular. Since the ear tips and ear fins are two different pieces you can mix and match until you get your perfect fit. Since the X4’s also come included with comply ear tips you can use them if you want to get a more snug fit and more passive noise isolation than what the silicon earths can offer. But since I do find them to get a little itchy after a while I just stick to silicon. And if you want you don’t have to use the ear fins at all. And if you want you can also wear them in their over ear style for an even more secure fit. What im getting at is, the X4’s give you more than enough options. But I do want to point out that the new ear fins on the X4’s and Tarah are slightly different from the ear fins from the pervious X3. The new ear fins are slightly rounder and softer than the older ear fins. And I will admit that the new ear fins are less noticeable when you have them in, you don’t feel them as much… but I do miss the pattern found the older fins cause to me its just looked way cooler. 

Ok, now with design and fit out of the way lets talk about tech specs. Perhaps the biggest tech spec difference between the older the X3 and the Newer X4 and Tarah is that Jaybird’s new earphones are now IPX7 rated. Which means they’re water proof down to one meeter of water. But you cant use them for swimming cause your bluetooth connection I going to cut out… I tried. Now this IPX7 rating is nice to have, but I’ve personally never really had a problem with the X3’s even after they were drenched in sweat on a regular basis. 

Battery life on the X3 and X4 is also the same, they both have an advertised battery life of 8 hours. And for me I can go 3  full workout sessions in between charges with the X4’s. But the Tarah’s do take a hit when it comes to battery life cause they have a 6 hour battery life. So these can go for 2 full workouts and they’ll die midway through my 3 workout. But Jaybird’s new earphones also now feature quick charging. If you charge either of these earphones for 10 minutes from a dead battery, they’ll get you one hour of playback time. Its not huge, but it is a step up from the X3’s. 

But just like all of jaybirds other ear phones... Both the X4 and Tarah connect to jaybirds music app. Out of the box both of these earphones have a flat sound signature, but through the app you can go in and adjust the EQ to make them sound however you want. And since the new EQ setting is getting uploaded directly to the earphones your EQ setting will follow you from device to device. So if you want, you can make these headphones have just as much or even more bass than powerbeats, or you can make them have an emphasis on vocals... The choice is yours. And in general, jaybirds are one of the better sounding sports earphones out there. They have good clarity, deep punchy bass, and there's rearly any tinning in the highs. But obviously you're not going to get audiofile sound quality out of these earphones. But for working out they're just fine. 

And to control your music playback you have an inline controller on both of these earphones. Now like I said earlier, the reason I like using wired earphones like these over truly wireless earbuds at the gym is because you have full control over your music playback. With most truly wireless earbuds you only have partial control and you have to rely on your voice assistant for the rest. And I find that having to use your voice assistant isn't as accurate, as fast, or easy as having a dedicated button sometimes. The only thing I don't like about jaybird’s controller is that you have to press and hold the plus or minus button to skip a track or go back a track. I would prefer it if we could double press and triple press the center button. But instead if you double press the center button on the X4’s you’ll redial your last phone call. 

And honestly, since the microphone on both the X4 and Tarah both make you sound very far away I wouldn’t take phone calls with these earphones. Personally I would really like if we could remap what double pressing the center on the X4’s does through jaybird’s app.

Cause, double pressing the center button on the Jaybird Tarah will instead summon your voice assistant. And personally I prefer this, over redialing my last phone call. So if you need to talk to Siri or google assistant, they’re just two taps away on the Jaybird Tarah. 

But overall besides some cosmetic changes and marginally better tech specs, there really isn't a big difference between the jaybirds X3 and the new jaybird X4. And that's not a bad thing, the X3's are just that good. If it ain't broken don't fix it. If you have the X3 and if they're working just fine then there's no need to upgrade... But the X4 do bring with them a slightly more comfortable fit, an ipx7 rating, and fast charging. Now if you're trying to choose between the X4 and the Tarah... Then yeah you're still better off going with the X4's cause they have a slightly better battery life, they give you more fit options and they bring that all important carrying case. But the Tarah are still fine for budget conscious people… you’re getting the same sound quality, and the same build quality. But personally, I would actually like to see jaybird incorporate the raised tactile buttons from the tahra on to the X4. Tahras buttons are just much easier to tell apart. And I really want to be able to remap what that center button on the X4 does.