Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jaybird X2 Bluetooth Headset Review

The first time I owned a pair of bluetooth earphones, the device was big, battery life was nothing to shout about (I think it was 3 hours at best), and connection to my device kept disconnecting. My device back then was an iPod 5.5Gen, the first one that can play video, and the bluetooth earphone came with a dongle that you can plug into the stereo port of the iPod.

I think that was a 1.1 version of bluetooth...

But times have changed. So much miniaturization has happened and people can put more and more electronics into smaller and smaller devices.

The Jaybird X2 is the third pair of bluetooth earphones I have owned. (I still have to write about the second one...) This is an in-ear style that has great noise isolation and is designed for sporty activities. Though this wireless earphone will be primarily used for day-to-day listening and not when I'm in the gym, I decided to get this pair anyway for several reasons.

First, the original Jaybird, the Bluebuds X Sports, got really great reviews and people said that the X2 is a great improvement to the first one. Some even suggested that, since the X2 is now out, the original X Sports will be a great, great bargain!

Second, I like that this pair has great noise isolation. Again, I will not be using this for athletic activities, but the noise isolation is a great boon for those times when I want to mute the sounds of my surroundings.

I love the construction of this pair of wireless earphones. The wires are flat, so they will surely not tangle, the control buttons are on the small side but this isn't a big issue for me since I don't wear winter gloves anymore, and the earphones come fully-packed with everything you will need:
  • the earphones
  • silicone tips (small, medium and large)
  • foam tips (small, medium and large; I haven't tried these yet though)
  • earfins
  • cord management clips
  • charging cable (which is on the short end; as in it's just about 8 inches long)
  • the silicone case (oh man! this is a great-looking case!)

Jaybird rate the battery life at 8 hours and I get more or less that long. The battery charges quickly and charging the unit for 2 and a half hours will get you back in the game. So to speak.

Jaybird says that you can pair the unit to up to 8 Bluetooth-enabled devices. However, changing from one bluetooth source to another can be a pain - the source doesn't change automatically, say, when you pause your music from your iPad then start playing music on your iPhone... You have to go to the "Settings menu" in your iPhone and select the X2 manually as the output.

Speaking of controls, you can use the in-line control buttons to answer and end calls, play/pause music, increase and decrease volume, and go to the previous or next track. You also use the Play/Pause button to switch the earphones on and off.

Listening to the X2 is a very comfortable experience. Once you have determined the size of the tips you will be using, plus attach the right-sized earfins, you can go on listening with the earphones for as long as the battery lasts and you won't feel any discomfort. And since X2 is built like a tank, you can take it to any activity that you like and expect that the earphones will be able to survive them.

I am not an audiophile and I don't aspire to be, but what I can say is that I love how this pair of earphone sounds. Base is deep, vocals are clearly heard, though the lows are on the, ahem, low side... This is not designed for listening to classical music.

And voice calls sound really, really good also!

People might say that wired earphones are still best, and I won't argue with that. But Bluetooth has come a long way and the X2 earphone has proven that great music can be heard over a wireless connection.

And as long as Nina Simone's Sinnerman sounds good, the earphone is good in my book.

The Jaybird X2 Wireless is Highly Recommended.

Photos shot with a Canon G-series Powershot.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Back at Big Handy's Grounds and Some Photos of the Milky Way

It's always nice to come back... The Milky Way is glorious to behold! I even got to photograph a lightning bolt under the clear sky!

The wife was even interviewed for a CNN Philippines feature on site!

Just realized that an f/4 aperture is not enough to photograph the Milky Way. Too much noise on my photos...

Photos shot with a Canon 5D Mark II, a Canon EF 24-105 f/4L lens and a Canon 600EX-RT speedlite.


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