JayBird vs Jlab: Battle of the headphones.

I am a huge advocate of learning how to run in all conditions.  Rain, shine, cold, heat…all of it.  The thing that I didn’t think about when I first started running through was running with or without headphones.  I should have though.  My first half marathon was a learning experience.  That is to say that anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  I had only trained up to nine miles, my period started the day before, it started raining right away….and my headphones got waterlogged.  It was the first time I had really run without music.

Leaving the race I was happy though and I chalked it all up to things that I needed to work on.  RIght away though I knew that I couldn’t control rain or lady time rearing its ugly head.  But I could learn how to run without head phones or music, something that I recommend to everyone.

These days when I train with headphones, I like to listen to podcasts.  It keeps my heart rate normal and I don’t jump into sprints when Munford and Sons go into a heavy solo.

So the next big question.  When picking headphones which ones do you go for?  There are a ton on the market but mainly what you should focus on is the kind of fit that you like and that they are sweat proof.  Yes sound quality is important but you are wearing these on a run so it shouldn’t be too loud (Safety) and its not going to matter much if they are falling out of your ears.

I have two that I have used.

JayBird X3


Great headphones.  I loved these and intend to buy a new battery pack in the future and use them again.  They have a bunch of fittings so you can decide what works for you and adjust them.  4 hours of battery life plus a little battery pack that clips on and will give you another four hours after that.  They boast that they are built by runners, for runners.

The catch?  Well as I go online to look up the price I see that they have already upgraded to a new model.  Thats 2 times in the three years I’ve been running that they have changed this design so that you will have a hard time finding replacement parts like the battery back if you lose it (Like I did on a run when it was in my belt).

Even on clearence, these are still $90-$129.  With Minor yet yearly changes, it makes it hard to justify dropping that much on headphones.


  • Adjustable fit/ in-ear wings
  • Has its own app to change the sound and find playlists
  • Great Quality
  • Light


  • Many parts that can get lost easily
  • Does not charge off a normal USB
  • High price point
  • Constantly changing models

Jlab Audio Fit Sport Ear Buds


As I said, I lost the little battery pack for my headphones a few months back, a week into the training cycle, and to buy and ship them would be 30 dollars.  So I needed something to last me until then.  I ended up finding these guys at best buy for 30 dollars and honestly, I really like them.  I’ve never had a problem with them. The Connection is good and while they don’t have wings, the fit over the back of the ear is comfortable and stable.  They only have 4 hours of battery life but for most runs, that’s more than enough.  Plus without the little battery pack adding weight, they stay in my ear better.

Granted that these are the cheaper end of Jlabs headphones ( they can get up to $150) they have never me a problem.


  • Over-ear for good fit
  • easy USB charging
  • The much more reasonable price point


  • Shorter battery life
  • Needs to be linked to Spotify or another account
  • Bulky shuffle button

Wrap Up: Really it’s up to you what you want to spend money on when it comes to sporting equipment.  I prefer to spend it on tights, socks, and shoes, but to some, the high price point of Jaybirds might be worth it.  They have much better sound quality and adjustability but for me and most people that aren’t doing more than five hours of running at a time (and that’s at the absolute longest) the Jlabs work perfectly fine and don’t have the custom features that in some cases can make it hard to find parts.


What headphones or products do you like for your runs or workouts?

Note that this post is not sponsored and is the personal opinion of the writer.

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