Earphones come in many shapes and sizes to meet the preferences of different individuals. They come in many designs and the sound quality tends to vary too. So, at the end of the day, the choice depends on the earphones that appeal to you and sound well to you.
At the same time, it is good to know what sound quality each earphone offers and how they look, so you know what to expect from them. To make this process easier for you, we are reviewing two popular earphones in this article.
Both Jaybird X2 and Powerbeats 2 are excellent as workout earphones, but if you have to choose one over another, we will help you zone in on the one that is ideal for you.
Jaybird X2 vs Powerbeats 2: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Table of Contets
- 1 Jaybird X2 vs Powerbeats 2: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 2 Jaybird X2 and Powerbeats 2: Closing Line
In this section, we will compare Jaybird X2 with Powerbeats 2 across different aspects to get a better understanding of which earphones excel in which areas.
Powerbeats 2 follows the established design styles of Beats. It is trendy and stylish and is sure to appeal to most people. They come in few colour schemes – black, white, yellow, pink and blue. Both these designs are sharp looking and look like they are made specifically for fitness.
These two earphones are connected by a flat cable that’s shaped more like a linguine pasta and it rests behind the neck. So, there are no dangling wires and nothing feels out of place with these earphones.
They even come with a pair of ear hooks for added stabilization. The ear tips fit well inside the ear canal while the hooks help to keep them in place. Overall, this combination gives a great fit for users. In addition, there are many sizes of ear tips to suit the ear size of different users, and this greatly adds to the fit.
When it comes to design, Jaybird X2 is the same as its predecessor Jaybird X. In fact, it looks like Jaybird did not take into consideration the feedback of users with respect to the earlier model. But that doesn’t mean the design is horrible, it is just that Jaybird could have taken these suggestions to make the product look better.
That said, Jaybirds X2 comes in several colours, namely, red, green, black and white. The rubberized band that connects these two earphones is short and hangs like a chin strap in front of your jaws. This is quite annoying and comes in the way while working out. Of course, there is a way to avoid them. Loop them over your ears and back, so the loop fits behind your head. But this is definitely something that the manufacturer should have considered instead of forcing users to come up with ways to handle this frustrating design.
Both the earphones have a built-in control module and mic, so you can listen to music and take calls through the same earphone, and this is incredibly useful. A three-compartment remote control consisting of remote controls hang from the left earpiece of Powerbeats 2 and this makes it easy to control and navigate through your playlist. It even comes with LEDs that indicate pairing and battery status, and this is incredibly useful to know what is going on with your earphones.
When it comes to the build quality, both the earphones are made of durable plastic and tend to last long.
When it comes to the verdict in design, who is the winner? Undoubtedly Powerbeats 2 because it has a smooth and stylish design as compared to the not so elegant one from Jaybirds X2. Also, in terms of cable, Powerbeats 2 is better.
Going beyond the tangible differences in design, let’s look at the comfort aspect which you’ll obviously be able to judge only when you wear them. Since we have tested it for you, we’ll give you our honest opinion on this aspect.
Jaybird X2 strives to give the best fit possible as it comes with six different pairs of ear tips. Out of these, three are made of memory foam while the other three are made of silicone. Besides ear tips, it also comes with multiple wing sizes as well to ensure that you get a great fit. With this multitude of choices, it is hard not to get a great fit from these different accessories.
One common complaint of Jaybird X2 is that the earphones jut out of the ear slightly and this makes it difficult if you’re trying to wear a helmet. This earphone is not suitable for cyclists because their helmet interferes with the design, thereby causing a lot of inconveniences.
Powerbeats 2 has a slightly different way of giving you a good fit. it doesn’t come with these multiple accessories at all. Instead, it comes with a flexible ear hook that sits well on ears of all sizes and types. These hooks grip on the ear firmly, so the earbuds never fall out of your ears while doing even intense activities like a gym workout. So, this earphone also gives you a good fit, though in a different way.
The fit with Powerbeats 2 can be a little disconcerting until you find the right ear tip. Even then, it gives a more relaxed and open feeling and doesn’t feel like a typical earphone. But that’s the whole idea anyway and you’ll soon get used to this feeling and the earphones don’t slip out at any point in time.
Since they give such a good fit, both are obviously great for a workout session. The best part is these earphones are sweat resistant as well and this helps with your workout. In fact, Powerbeats 2 is IPX4 rated. What this means is that Powerbeats 2 will not be damaged even when water is sprayed from all directions from a distance of 300mm to 500mm at a rate of 10 litres a minute for ten minutes. Well essentially, it means your earphones are not affected by sweat in any way. Jaybird X2 doesn’t come rated like Powerbeats 2, but still provides a one-year warranty against water damage.
All this means you no longer have to worry about your earphones getting spoilt because of sweat!
Which of these two is a winner? We think Powerbeats 2 has a slight edge over Jaybird X2 for two reasons. First, the fit is better and gives a greater sense of flexibility because the ear hooks can be used to fit into ear kind of ear. Though Jaybird X2 is also comfortable, we think Powerbeats 2 will fit all kinds of ears.
Another aspect is that the Powerbeats 3 is IPX4 rated, so there is greater authenticity and standard against water damage. Though Jaybird X2 offers a one-year warranty, what happens after this one year ends? This is why a standardized rating is better.
For these two reasons, Powerbeats 2 is slightly better than Jaybird X2 when it comes to a good fit.
Both these headphones come with Bluetooth connectivity, so they can be used in wireless mode. Jaybird X2 uses Bluetooth 2.1 for connection. Some users may look down on this technology, considering that Bluetooth 4.0 is the standard now. This is why Bluetooth 2.1 is seen as outdated, but that doesn’t seem to have an impact on the connectivity in any way.
As for Powerbeats 2, the manufacturer does not specify which specific version of Bluetooth these earphones use. So, to compare and decide which of these two is better in terms of connectivity, we have to decide based on our testing and personal experience with each pair of buds.
We tested both of these earphones from a distance of 30 meters and both seem to be working fine. There were no noticeable drops in the connection between the two earphones. Jaybird X2 did considerably better than its previous version which was known to drop notes. But we have had no such issues here.
So, which of the two is the winner in terms of connectivity? Both. The results were too close to call, so we think both the earphones should be winners in this category.
4. Sound Quality
This is probably the most defining aspect when it comes to earphones and this is why we have done extensive testing using different genres to give you the most accurate opinion.
To start off, Jaybird X2 offers a well-balanced tone with good clarity. All the notes were clear and there were no distortions whatsoever at any level. The vocals particularly sounded natural and clear. One of the most salient aspects of Jaybird X2 is its high treble. If you have to imagine, think of cymbals playing. When you hear this instrument, it is vibrant and clear with again no distortions at all. Even when you increase the volume to 75% of the maximum volume, it was clear and crisp.
So, if you’re one of the those who likes instrumental music and is keen on vocals, these earphones are the most ideal for you.
Powerbeats 2, on the other hand, sound very different when compared to Jaybird X2. A salient aspect of these earphones is their bass. In fact, they place a ton of emphasis on bass, and this makes it ideal for listening to bass-heavy genres, especially when you workout. On the flip side, the low-end notes have a heavy bass punch that feels a little unnecessary and even artificial.
As they place so much emphasis on bass, there is an overall drop in the clarity. Vocals are not as clear as they sound on Jaybird X2 and the same can be said for instrumentals as well. Overall, these are not your earphones if you like listening to classical and instrumental music. But, if you like EDM, metal and rock, these are your perfect workout companions.
Another major difference between the two models is the amount of ambient noise they let in. Jaybird X2 gives you a perfect seal, so not much of the noise penetrates into your ears and mixes with your listening experience. Powerbeats 2, on the other hand, ensures that you hear ambient noise.
So, is this noise reduction a good or bad aspect? Totally depends on what is appropriate for you. The manufacturer of Powerbeats believes that ambient sound is necessary because it allows you to be more aware of your environment. For starters, the Powerbeats 2 earphones were designed specifically for workouts that you might do in a gym or in the outdoors. When you run, walk or bike, you can wear these earphones and these are exactly what they are designed for.
When you are outdoors, you definitely need to know the ambient noise, so you can be more aware of vehicles passing by or other dangers. If you don’t hear these noises, there is always a possibility for a car to hit you. Keeping this aspect in mind, Powerbeats 2 allows ambient noise to enter into your ears.
Now, if you don’t think that is applicable for you or is necessary, you can always go with Jaybird X2.
Overall, which of the two is better? Jaybird X2 definitely sounds more balanced and neutral and works well for any genre as opposed to Powerbeats 2 that is more ideal for bass lovers. So, in terms of sound quality, Jaybird X2 is the winner.
But we like Powerbeats 2 when it comes to noise reduction because it is important that you are aware of the sounds in your environment, especially if you tend to work out a lot outdoors or even if you plan to wear it on your morning commute or just about anywhere on the open roads.
So, the final verdict is, go with Jaybird X2 for casual listening and Powerbeats 2 if you run or bike often.
5. Battery Life
X2 scores well on battery life. The biggest advantage is that these earphones can be charged with a generic micro USB cable, a convenience that is often ignored by many users. While other models like even Jaybird X3 need a proprietary cable, you have no such hassles with this model.
The obvious advantage is you can simply plug in any cable and start charging. Even if the existing cable breaks, you can always buy another one for a few tens of dollars and you should be good to go. You can even use this cable for charging other devices, so you get more value for your money. All this means Jaybird X2 makes charging a super easy task.
The overall battery life is also good as a single charge lasts for around eight hours. It is hard to find people using their earphones for more than eight hours at a stretch, so this should be sufficient for most of us.
The battery life of Powerbeats 2 works slightly different. They offer only a playing time of six hours for a full charge, which is quite less considering that eight has become the standard for battery life amongst earphones today. It’s a surprise why the manufacturer did not look into this aspect, and this also ends up being a disadvantage when it comes to a USP point of view.
But then, the manufacturer has given a cool feature that could somewhat make up for this lower battery life. It comes with what is called a “fast charge”, where you get one hour of playback time for a quick charge of just 15 minutes. This feature is particularly helpful if you are one of those people who tend to forget to charge earphones and realize that their earphone has run out of charge just when they were about to step out. This way, you can put on the charge for a quick 15 minutes and get going with one hour of playing time.
So, which of these two products is the winner now? It depends really. We think that Jaybird X2 is better because it offers eight hours of battery life as opposed to the six hours of Powerbeats 2. But then, the quick charge feature may be useful for many people, so they might feel that Powerbeats 2 is better. We leave this verdict to you. If you’re an organized person who gets everything ready beforehand, X2 is undoubtedly better. On the other hand, if you’re a last minute person or if you are juggling with too many things and forget to charge often, Powerbeats 2 will help.
Jaybird X2 costs less whereas the Powerbeats 2 is a pricier model.
Is the extra price worth the features Powerbeats 2 offers? No, unless you’re specific about bass. If you are a bass head and want to listen to a punchy bass, the cost of Powerbeats 2 is justified. In all other cases, Jaybird X2 offers a much better sound quality at a lower price.
7. Jaybird X2 and Powerbeats 2 – Pros and Cons
Now that we have done a detailed review, it is time to get a quick glance into the pros and cons of each product to give you a bird’s eye view of the functionality, advantages and disadvantages of each.
Pros of Jaybird X2
The pros of Jaybird X2 are:
- Uses micro-USM port for charging, and that gives flexibility.
- Good sound quality.
- Provides a good fit for the ears.
- Battery life is good.
Cons of Jaybird X2
The cons of Jaybird X2 are:
- It is not compatible with Jaybird’s MySound app, so this version misses out on many cool features.
- More expensive for lesser features.
- Uses an older Bluetooth technology.
- Earbuds jut out of the eyes, thereby making it uncomfortable to wear, especially if you want to wear a hat or a helmet for the outdoors.
Pros of Powerbeats 2
The pros of Powerbeats 2 are:
- Amazing bass response.
- No distortion even at the highest volumes.
- Water resistant.
- Makes you hear ambient noise while working out in the outdoors.
Cons of Powerbeats 2
The cons of Powerbeats 2 are:
- Expensive for what it offers.
- Audio balance is affected as much of the emphasis is on bass.
- Not much response for mids and vocals.
Jaybird X2 and Powerbeats 2: Closing Line
So far we have reviewed Jaybird X2 and Powerbeats 2 on many different aspects and finally, we conclude that Jaybird X2 is the better one.
Though Powerbeats 2 scores over Jaybird X2 in terms of design, it is the sound quality that ultimately matters and for this, we think Jaybird X2 is the clear winner. The sound from Powerbeats 2 is not so great, except for its incredibly powerful bass and that kind of tones down the other areas such as mids and highs. Also, it is slightly pricey for the features it offers.
Due to all these reasons, our winner is Jaybird X2.
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