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Jaybird’s new Vista 2 wireless earbuds are tough enough for the U.S. military

Many brands claim that their headphones are catered to consumers who are “on the go,” but usually this sort of language refers more to going to the coffee shop for a latte than, say, going on a trek through the Andes. Jaybird, however, is more interested in the latter, and its newest pair of true wireless earbuds is designed to be your companion through even the most extreme of journeys.

When Jaybird says that the Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Earbuds are built for athletes and adventurers, they mean it. To begin with, the company claims to have pioneered a “signature fit” to help the earbuds stay in your ears while climbing, running, biking, etc. They also come with three sizes of interchangeable “eargels” that, Jaybird claims, will make you forget that they’re even in your ears. Fit is enormously important with active headphones, and when we reviewed the Vista 2’s predecessors — the Jaybird Vista — we found they delivered in that department.

Another feature that could be helpful when adventuring is SurroundSense, which is essentially the opposite of active noise canceling (ANC). These headphones are equipped with the latter as well, but the former allows the user to amplify ambient sounds, rather than dampen them. This is an important safety feature if you happen to be running on a busy road or there’s a bear just out of sight who’s angrily growling at you. You can switch between SurroundSense, ANC, and standard modes with the touch of a button.

Any headphones designed to withstand the great outdoors have to be rugged enough to take a licking and keep on … playing. Jaybird markets this pair as “Earthproof” and claims that they’re waterproof (IP68 certified), sweatproof, crushproof, and drop-proof, too. That would seem like pure advertising speak were it not for the fact that these buds actually meet U.S. Military standards for durability.

Virtual indestructibility is all well and good, but the first and most important consideration with a pair of headphones is, well, how they sound! Once we complete our review (which is in progress), we’ll be able to let you know how they stack up in that department. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that the Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Earbuds are powered by a pair of 6mm milled drivers, and the Jaybird app (available on Android and iOS) provides customizable EQ settings, allowing listeners to create their own sound profiles and share them with other users.

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Another critical consideration for outdoor-oriented earbuds is battery life. Jaybird says its Vista 2 headphones can play for up to eight hours on a full charge, and they come with a charging case that will provide an additional 16 hours of life. The case can be charged with a USB-C cable or wirelessly and, if your smartphone features Qi wireless charging tech, you can steal some extra juice if there are no outlets to be found.

The Bluetooth-enabled Vista 2’s are compatible with Siri and Google Assistant for hands-free help when you’re on the go and will automatically pause when you remove a bud. Assuming you’re not reaching for your next handhold on a rock face or steering your mountain bike around a hairpin turn, you can control the volume, skip and select tracks, and more with the on-bud controls.

The Vista 2 True Wireless Sport earbuds are available now on the company’s website and at major retailers. They come in three colors — black, nimbus gray, midnight blue — and retail for $200.

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