jaybird x3 vs bose soundsport

Bose Soundsport Wireless vs. Jaybird X3 Sport: Best For Workouts?

After a month of testing, I determined Bose SoundSport Wireless is the best set of workout headphones because of their superior sound and comfort. Jaybird X3 headphones are typically more affordable and have a better design with more battery life, but they’re not comfortable outside the gym, and the bass isn’t powerful enough.

I’ll compare and contrast two wireless headphones (Bose Soundsport Wireless vs. Jaybird X3 Sport) by evaluating six categories: sound, comfort, battery, exercise, design, and software.

Bose SoundSport Wireless (Quick Points):

  • Sound: You get rich, crisp sound with stronger bass than Jaybird. They stay consistently balanced at all volume levels.
  • Comfort: The silicone ear tips are softer than other brands yet still stable.
  • Battery: You get about six hours of battery.
  • Exercise: They’re not going to fall out of your ears no matter how intense your workout is.
  • Design: They’re huge, much bigger than Jaybird, and awkward-looking.
  • Software: You can manage your connected devices and EQ options in the app.

Best for you if…

You want the most comfortable and best sounding headphones for working out. Bose SoundSport headphones are an almost-flawless product. They’re versatile and work well for exercise or less vigorous activity. They’re my favorite fit of any in-ear option I’ve ever tested and friends who’ve tried them agree. The downsides are their awkward appearance and short battery life.

Jaybird X3 (Quick Points):

  • Sound: They sound fantastic, do a better job at blocking out wind noise and have cool EQ options, but the bass is lacking.
  • Comfort: They’re perfect for a short run or workout but become uncomfortable quickly.
  • Battery: You get about eight hours of battery.
  • Exercise: They can handle sweat and won’t fall out.
  • Design: They’re a perfect size and unobtrusive.
  • Software: You can do cool things with the app, although I prefer Bose’s app.

Best for you if…

You want a rugged workout headphone with lots of battery life and don’t plan on using them for longer than an hour. Jaybird X3 has an excellent eight-hour battery life and solid sound quality with lots of preset equalizer options. They won’t budge during a workout, but they’re not the most comfortable pair to wear outside the gym and the bass is subpar.


Grade: A+

Bose Soundsport Wireless

Sound (A+):

  • Bose SoundSport Wireless headphones sound amazing! These sound the best of the eight that I tried. I assumed Bose’s sound may be overrated due to their brilliant marketing, but these are the real deal. I don’t think there’s a better, in-the-ear, Bluetooth sound experience.

Comfort (A+):

  • These are by far the most comfortable. The silicone ear tips are softer than other brands yet still stable. They look big and heavy, but after they’re in your ears for a couple of minutes, you completely forget about them. I had a few of my friends try them on, and we all decided these are the most comfortable.

Battery (C+):

  • These gave me around six hours of battery.
  • For $50, you can buy the Bose Charging Case, which gives you an extra 18 hours of playback.

Exercise (B):

  • They’re not going to fall out of your ears no matter how intense your workout is.
  • While some users complained of these not being fully sweatproof, Bose released a fix for the problem.

Design (C):

  • I don’t love the design. They’re huge and look awkward (they’re way bigger than any of the others).
  • Sometimes the power button and volume buttons are hard to press.

Software (A):

  • The Bose app is awesome. It makes it easy to connect (via NFC and Bluetooth) and change music devices. You can also tune the sound. For instance, there are settings for podcasts/movies vs. music.
  • The mic works great for receiving phone calls, and you can sync your contacts with the headphones.
  • You can have two devices paired simultaneously.

Grade: B

Jaybird X3 Sport

Sound (B):

  • The Jaybird X3s sound great. I wouldn’t mind a little more bass, but these are top-notch headphones without a doubt.

Comfort (D):

  • The Jaybirds are not falling out of your ears, but they sacrifice comfort to achieve this. They’re perfect for a run or workout, but not something I’d want in my ears for over an hour.

Battery (A+):

  • You’ll get about eight hours of music playback.

Exercise (A+):

  • These headphones can handle sweat without a problem.
  • They won’t fall out of your ears.

Design (B):

  • They’re perfectly sized, 34% smaller than the previous generation.
  • There are a bunch of attachment options so these headphones will not fall out of your ears. There are too many size options not to find the right fit. There’s an earplug type (if you want noise canceling) and the normal rubber type, with three sizes for each.
  • Everyone has Micro USB cords laying around (it’s a standard). But to charge the Jaybirds, you’ll need the particular base piece between the Micro USB and the headphones. If you lose this piece, good luck finding a new one.

Software (B+):

  • A voice tells you the battery life when you turn them on. It’s a simple but useful feature.
  • The app is cool and well designed; it lets you change the sound and EQ settings.
  • When you power on the headphones, there’s a loud, annoying intro sound played each time. It can’t be turned off.
  • You can have two devices paired simultaneously.