I went out and bought The Jaybird Tarah wireless sports bluetooth headphones based on a few glowing reviews praising them for sounding great and being budget-friendly.
I don’t consider £59.99 as a budget price, but thinking of them as a 3-year service, I thought it was not an unreasonable price, and I hope they do last long.
In terms of sound quality, the headphones compare quite badly to the 3-year old pair from Sony from which I came: The Sony MDR-XB50BS. Voices sound great and clear, and they are quite good for listening to an audiobook or a podcast while you’re exercising, but you should look elsewhere if you mostly listen to music and you care about getting a balanced sound.
The headphones do not sound tiny when I’m listening to vocals, but there is hardly any bass response. It sounds a lot like how my home theatre sounds when I forget to power up the connected subwoofer. Crystal clear, but you quickly realise the first time that someone slams a door in a drama, or an explosion goes off in an action movie that you’re missing a good chunk of the sound effects you’re supposed to be getting.
Design-wise, the Jaybirds are more thoughtfully designed. They have a convenient, USB-based proprietary charger, although I have concerns about it’s longevity. It is much better than the simple micri-USB port that the Sony ships with.Design-wise, the Jaybirds are more thoughtfully designed. They have a convenient, USB-based proprietary charger, although I have concerns about the longevity of the hooks that keep the pair in contact with the charging pins. It is much better than the simple micro-USB port that the Sony ships with.
The headphones are sleek, and the earbud tips are also better designed than the Sony’s. The Sony’s are prone to get caught on my pocket sleeves, and I’ve lost a few of the tips this way due to them falling off on the road and rolling off somewhere unseen. The Jaybirds are far less likely to come undone.
I’m stuck with mine because I don’t think I can return them just for “not liking them” once I’ve opened and used them, but my attempt to stray from my long history of generally defaulting to Sony headphones has backfired. Were I in the market again today, I’d definitely go for a Sony.