There are so many great workout earbuds available, and it can be difficult to narrow down your options. You want workout earbuds to be comfortable, secure, and sweat-resistant. It’s also nice if they have a heavy bass response to keep you motivated through the pain. We whittled it down to the Jaybird Vista and Bose Sport Earbuds, which share a similar style, and are similarly popular. Let’s see which set of true wireless workout earbuds is better than the other.
Jaybird Vista vs Bose Sport Earbuds: Fit and hardware
The Jaybird Vista and Bose Sport Earbuds look similar enough: they both have a stemless, lightweight designs and wing tips to stabilize them. Each company’s ear tips work wonders, though the Bose StayHear Max tips are much more comfortable than those included with the Jaybird Vista. The Jaybird Vista ear tips and physical design can, unfortunately, cause pain after just an hour of wear. You’ll experience more discomfort operating the Vista than the Bose Sport Earbuds, because the former uses buttons which, when pressed, place pressure on your ear canal.
The Jaybird Vista have an IPX7 rating, so you can submerge them to one-meter depths for up to 30 minutes at a time. They’re also branded as being dust and shock resistant. Then, there are the Bose Sport Earbuds which have an IPX4 rating. While they can withstand your workouts, you should avoid using them around the pool.
Both USB-C cases are compact and portable, yet Jaybird’s case feels a lot nicer than Bose’s. Jaybird finished its squared off case with a soft touch material, which makes it feel premium. Bose’s case focuses less on aesthetics and is very easy to operate. Neither case supports Qi wireless charging, and both have manual Bluetooth pairing buttons on the inside.
Jaybird’s app is more feature-rich than the Bose Music app
You can use the buttons on the Jaybird Vista earbuds to control playback and take calls. When you download the Jaybird MySound app, you can access even more features like the option to remap the controls. Bose takes a different approach to onboard controls: the Sport Earbuds’ controls are administered through taps on the touch-sensitive panels.
At first, Bose’s touch controls were very limited, but Bose updated the firmware to include volume adjustments. You still can’t skip to the previous track, which is aggravating. To pause or resume your music, you can remove or insert the right earbud (this can also be done by tapping the earbud).
You can access your smart assistant from either pair of earbuds.
With the Jaybird MySound app, not only can you configure the earbuds’ controls, you can also create a custom sound profile, try out other users’ sound profiles, locate your earbuds, and download firmware updates. If you sync your Spotify account to the app, you can share your workout playlists with other users, and access public user playlists. It’s one of the most navigable headphone apps we’ve tried.
The Bose Music app lets you update the firmware of your Bose Sport Earbuds and assign a function to the left earbud—either skip a track or check the battery level—but you cannot create a custom EQ. Rather, the Sport Earbuds use Active EQ, which automatically adjusts the earbuds’ EQ to optimize the sound quality. Active EQ will please most listeners, but the lack of customization may frustrate some consumers. You may also use the Bose Music app to switch between paired devices, toggle the Bose voice prompts, view the current battery percentage, and customize the name of the earbuds.
The Bose Sport Earbuds support more Bluetooth codecs
The Jaybird Vista earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0, and the Bose Sport Earbuds use Bluetooth 5.1. Both earbuds remain connected in almost any environment, but the Jaybird Vista have a greater connection range of 10 meters, compared to the Bose Sport Earbuds’ nine-meter range. During our initial review of the Bose Sport Earbuds, the earphones struggled to remain connected when outdoors, but Bose has since fixed that with a firmware update too.
The Bose Sport Earbuds support the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, while the Jaybird Vista just support just the SBC codec. Unlike the Bose Sport Earbuds, you can use either Vista earbud in mono mode, because of the JBS1 chipset. With Bose, you’re limited to the right earbud for mono playback, which isn’t great for some hearing-impaired folk.
The Jaybird Vista have slightly better battery life than Bose’s earbuds
The Jaybird Vista last 5 hours, 37 minutes on a single charge and the Bose Sport Earbuds last 5 hours, 17 minutes on a single charge. To conduct our testing, we subject each headset to a constant output of 75dB until the batteries are depleted.
The Vista earbuds also quick charging, all you have to do is plop them in the case for 5 minutes and you may enjoy one hour of listening time. The case also supplies an additional 10 hours of battery life. Quick charging the Sport Earbuds takes 15 minutes and affords two hours of playback. The USB-C case provides an additional 10 hours of battery life.
Jaybird Vista vs Bose Sport Earbuds: Isolation
While neither of these true wireless earbuds have active noise cancelling, their isolation performances are still important to consider. If you’re an outdoor athlete, you don’t want your workout earbuds to completely block out the sounds of the outside world: that would be dangerous. If you’re a gym-goer, you may have a greater preference for earbuds that block out more noise, because the clanging of metal and treadmills may distract you. Still, it’s important to hear some of your surroundings in any exercise context in order to keep yourself and others safe.
Overall, the Jaybird Vista earbuds and tips do a much better job than the Bose Sport Earbuds at blocking out noise. The Bose Sport Earbuds fail to block out any low-frequency noise, which means the rumble of a nearby elliptical will come through clearly. As for high-frequency sounds, the Jaybird Vista also do a better job of blocking out noise. This makes it easier for you to focus on your music, rather than the gym’s playlist. One upside of non-isolating earbuds such as the Bose Sport Earbuds, is that you’re constantly aware of your surroundings and don’t need to rely on a poor passthrough agent.
Do the Jaybird Vista or Bose Sport Earbuds sound better?
The Jaybird Vista earbuds have a more accurate frequency response than the Bose Sport Earbuds, but most users will probably prefer the default sound of Bose’s earbuds anyway. After all, it’s no secret that we enjoy bass-heavy and treble-heavy music: this kind of tuning lets us appreciate both booming bass notes, and string instrument detail.
Both headsets feature a similar de-emphasis in the treble range, which is good. This is where unpleasant frequencies naturally resonate within the human ear canal, which is made even more disturbing when an ear tip creates a good seal. No matter, you can always adjust the Jaybird Vista sound in the mobile app, and perhaps we’ll see a similar feature added to the Bose Music app soon.
Which earbuds are better for phone calls?
The Jaybird Vista’s microphone is not great, and this is fair seeing as these earbuds are intended for exercise. The mic attenuates bass notes, making your voice sound unnatural. It also picks up a lot of background noise which is distracting.
The Bose Sport Earbuds’ microphone isn’t exceptional either. Bass notes are quieted even more than with the Jaybird Vista. If you’re someone with a particularly deep voice, others may describe your voice as “far away” or “unnatural.” However, the Bose’s Earbuds properly block out environmental noise, and focus on transmitting just your voice. Listen to these demos yourself to determine which one you think sounds better.
Jaybird Vista microphone demo:
Bose Sport Earbuds microphone demo:
Jaybird Vista vs Bose Sport Earbuds: Which workout earbuds are the best?
If you value comfort and a stable fit, the Bose Sport Earbuds are the better buy. These are the most comfortable workout earbuds around, and aren’t painful to operate, which can’t always be said of the Vista. What’s more, the Bose Sport Earbuds are a more versatile pair of workout earbuds. You’re always a little aware of your surroundings, which is good in any exercise context, though we often ding non-workout headsets for this. Yes, the mobile app could use some love, but Bose already showed its commitment to improving the Sport Earbuds when it upgraded the touch controls and connection stability.
The Jaybird Vista are still a very good buy, and even appear better than the Bose Sport Earbuds on paper. The Vista have more features, allow for greater user control, block out plenty of background noise, and have a more neutral-leaning frequency response. And let’s not forget the price: they’re generally more affordable than the Bose Sport Earbuds, though both frequently go on promotion. Still, it’s hard to recommend these over something as pleasing to use as the Bose Sport Earbuds.