RELIABLE, REFINED AND RELATIVELY UNEXCITING.
WHILE THE X4 may rest a little too heavily on its predecessors laurels, the piggy-in-the-middle of Jaybird’s latest lineup is still an excellent choice for everyday listeners and gym junkies alike.
The sound quality out of the box is great, but pumping the bass via the EQ in Jaybird’s companion app allows them to truly shine. There isn’t any perceivable difference between the X4’s audio quality and that of its predecessor, nor between the new Tarah or Tarah Pro, and the near-identical specs seem to confirm this suspicion.
The same 8-hour battery life returns, but now the quick charge functionality can give you an hour’s playback with only 10 minutes charge rather than 20 in the X3. Although we’re still not a fan of the company’s reliance on proprietary charging cables, we understand its role in keeping the unit watertight, which now gets an official IPX7 rating, allowing it to be submerged up to a metre for 30 minutes.
The cable-cinch has been re-designed and works as it should, but otherwise the familiar modularity of ear-tips and wings returns from the X3, including the Comply Foam tips which remain exclusive to the X-series.
If you’re looking to upgrade from your previous Jaybirds, the Tarah Pro (and their 14 hour battery life) make a more compelling choice given how subtle the X4’s refinements are. However, if you’re yet to delve into this brand’s in-ears, the X4 are an excellent option, although the Tarah sacrifice very little (two hours of battery life and some accessories) to hit their lower price point.