Jaybird JB200 Bluetooth Headphone Review

I’ve been searching for some wireless headphone to use while watching video on my iPhone when on the treadmill. My objective is to not have a cord connected between me and my iPhone – I don’t want to accidentally knock off my iPhone and damage it. After comparing options, I was excited to try the Jaybird JB200 Bluetooth headset. So I headed to my local Target and purchased a pair. Here are my findings:

Pros:

  • Wireless design
  • Smallest wireless headphones on the market
  • Does not completely block outside noise (so you can still hear traffic if you’re running/biking)
  • Lifetime guarantee against failure from sweat intrusion
  • Includes everything you could need: USB charger dock, wall charger adapter for dock, iPod bluetooth dongle, carry pouch, USB cable, replacement ear tips
  • Fairly comfortable to wear for an over-the-ear design (but not as comfortable as the stock Apple earphones)
  • Can control iPod from the right earphone (previous/next track and play/pause)
  • Can change volume from the right earphone (press and hold the previous/next track buttons)
  • Can be used as bluetooth headset for iPhone or any bluetooth-capable cell phone (auto-switches from music to phone mode when a call is made/received)
  • Sound quality is adequate for spoken recordings (audio books) and video dialog and very casual music listening

Cons:

  • Poor sound quality – zero bass ; stock Apple headphones sound much better
  • Poor sound quality – background hiss can be heard when music volume is low, hiss increases with headphone volume
  • Poor sound quality – high frequency noise / compression artifacts
  • Expensive – $150
  • Experienced a bug where I turned power off, but LED on headset remained dimly illuminated even when I powered it off multiple times – completely drained battery
  • Overly large desktop charging dock into which earpieces do not firmly lock (can be knocked out much too easily)
  • Bright flashing blue LED on iPod bluetooth dongle – very distracting when watching video
  • Flashing blue light on the side of the earpiece – I don’t like it when my ear blinks
  • Bluetooth dongle works only with these bluetooth headphones (an FM transmitter dongle would work with any radio or car stereo)
  • Buttons are small and somewhat difficult to press and hold (must hold the earpiece with your thumb and middle finder and firmly depress your index finger tip)

Conclusion: I returned them to Target. I decided that $150 was too much to pay for poor audio quality.  The Jaybird JB200 headphones are a pretty descent solution for listening to the spoken material while exercising or for casually listening to “background” music, but that’s about it. They need larger drivers to deliver more bass and a low-pass filter to remove the high frequencies they can’t accurately reproduce.

I’ve decided to purchase an Griffin iTrip FM Transmitter for $50 and use my existing $20 FM armband radio. This gives me flexibility to listen to either my iPhone or FM stations while at the gym.  I can also play my iPod through any car stereo if I so desire. The battery life of my armband radio is much longer and swapping AAA batteries every 6 months is easier than recharging earphones every 2 weeks. The sound quality of the FM radio is not audiophile-caliber, but the bass is better, the high frequencies roll off instead of producing noise, and the price is more appropriate to the audio quality.

The Jaybird JB200 is a very compact wireless headphone solution that addresses a specific need very well (small, wireless, casual listening, exercising.)  But for me, it was not compelling enough to overcome the poor audio quality and the high price.

Written by in: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Last updated on: 2014-May-27 |

8 Comments »

  • Carter says:

    Thanks for this review. I almost bought the $200 kit this eve that included the headphones as well as both adapters. I have been reading the same “Cons” on a few sites that the battery life can not even have them last a normal everyday outing without a charge and that they have poor sound quality when it comes to base and music.

    I’m still looking for another BT ear bud solution, but don’t think any other companies have come out with such a design.

    Either way, this review has help me change my decision and now feel that I will spend my money on something else.

  • Peter Smith says:

    Thanks for the review. Was ready to purchase but don’t think I will. I bought the Motorola ROKR S9’s which sound great and the microphone is great, but they are very uncomfortable and cumbersome. I am returning to Best Buy. Thanks again.

  • You are totally outstanding, Sir Bale! I have been eye-ing on this particular headset for the last 6 months and figured “Well, it must sound great to cost THAT much!!” Which brings me to fathom why i would only see this item openly displayed in Target and not in a big place like Best Buy (in my area that is). Thank you so much for saving me the time and effort of $200.00 wasted!

  • Michael Christian says:

    Well i did buy them on about 3/15/09 and the sound in “da house” is great i likey !! However, they only go about 20 ft for good sound and im ok with that. The kicker for me is can i wear them outside on a walk? No ,nota ! i did not have an armband thingy but why would i need that when bubble gum can stick the iphone to my forehead and walla!!! Sooo NO sad waste of cash!!! oh if i find a way to make these work i will be back thank you.

  • Phillip says:

    Too bad for me. I didn’t read this review and bought them. The sound quality is horrible. No bass, so you have to turn the volume up to hear anything, then the sound gets distorted very easily. Also, iPhone doesn’t support the audio controls (volume only) to skip foward tracks, so this was a total waste of money for me. The wired iPhone headphones are still the best that I could find so far, except the button on those keeps breaking from the sweat. Oh well… still searching for something good.

  • Michael Christian says:

    I really do love these in the ” house” but I was hopeing I could use them on a walk . When used outside they are good if you sit still not if you walk/run. Hope that will change someday or somebody tell me how to make it work for walking without all the cutting out stuff please!! Inside I do love them.

  • Nick says:

    You should review them again, now the iPhone 3Gs is out. It has much better bluetooth (connection), so the quality should definitely be much better than your last experience…
    I know I’ll be trying this thing with my 3Gs.

    Nice review though.

  • […] September 2008, I reviewed the Jaybird JB200 Bluetooth headphones to great disappointment. Just over 4 years later, Jaybird released their latest model, the Jaybird […]

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