Huge pillowy headphones are all the range and can provide you with an awesome sound experience whilst you sit at your desk, as well as earning you fresh fashion points when you wear them out and about. However, headphones are never the best option when wanting to workout.
Maximalist headphones may look cool, but they will make your ears pretty hot and sweaty if you try to run 10k in them, and just try to complete a full sun salutation without them slipping right off your head!
Yet, workouts are one time when you most want access to your personal music collection. If you are running or cross training, you need pumping beats to keep you motivated and make you push harder. If you are stretching or toning, you’ll want some gentle music to keep you focused and calm.
And at no point in your workout do you want to be fiddling with ill-fitting headphones or listening to tinny sounds. That is why a good pair of sports earbuds are an essential part of any exercise enthusiast’s kit.
Jaybird are expert sports specialists who have had tons of success and recognition for their many earbud offerings, including the Jaybird X4, Vista and Freedom series.
Yet, with their new Tarah earbuds, Jaybird have created a neat, efficient and quality product that is more affordable than their previous models. Read on to find out if the Jaybird Tarah might be the sports earbuds you’ve been looking for.
The first thing to say about Jaybird Tarah earbuds is that they are not truly wireless. Although advertised as a wireless product, the two earbuds are in fact joined by a wire connection that is designed to run around the back of your head.
This wire is only to connect the two respective buds and does not need to be connected to your sound source however, so Jaybird are not lying when they say that these earbuds are wireless.
The joining wire actually comes in pretty handy because it helps to keep the two buds together so you don’t have to go digging around in your kit bag to see where the heck the left one has got to. It also stops you losing an earbud when you are out and about as it acts like a glasses chain and prevents them from falling to the ground.
The wireless nature of these buds is essential because plugging into a phone or tablet is really restrictive when you are trying to exercise, and there is nothing worse than your wire being tugged out from the headphone jack mid-run or getting tangled up in your wires mid downward dog.
The Tarah earbuds will allow you to avoid all this inconvenience whilst keeping excellent connectivity. These earbuds operate through a Bluetooth connection that is reliable and stable even at range and there have been very few playback issues reported by users.
Look and Feel
Jaybird Tarah earbuds have a sleek and streamlined look that is appealing in its simplicity. These earbuds are lovely and lightweight at only 141g, so feel almost imperceptible once you pop them in. You are provided with three silicone ear gels which come in small, medium and large sizings.
These ear gels are a hybrid of both the ear tips and ear wings offered by other more expensive models, and they are identical except for size. The ear gels fit well in most average ears and the winged element is well shaped so as to keep the nozzle in place even in vigorous workouts. However, this is one area where Tarahs lack options.
There are no memory foam variations offered and no alternative ear gel shapes to choose from, so you don’t get that mix and match opportunity like you do with the Jaybird X4 for example. The fit works well for most, but if you know that you have tricky ears then this might be something you should consider before buying a pair of Tarahs.
The last thing to mention about the look and feel of Jaybird Tarahs is the handy speed cinch attached to their wire. This cinch is a small detail but it can really improve your overall experience as it helps to raise the wire off your neck and shoulders by fastening it at the back of your head.
This prevents any annoying knocking of wires during workouts which is something that many runners really appreciate. Alternatively, you can use the shirt clip to anchor the connection wire to the collar of your shirt. This achieves a similar result but the speed cinch has a far less fiddly functionality.
There is nothing more irritating than being halfway through an intense cardio session and finding that your earbud battery has run dry. The music cuts out and with it goes all motivation. Luckily, the battery life on Jaybird Tarah earbuds is pretty good. It provides 6 hours of playback time when fully charged, which is 2 hours less than the 8 hour life of the X4 battery, but is still pretty impressive.
The average gym rat listens to 30 minutes – 1 hour of audio during a daily workout session, so 6 hours is nearly a week’s worth of uninterrupted playback. Not bad for an affordable earbud.
Of course, the shorter battery life does make itself known over long training sessions, so it is worth considering how long you train for and bearing that in mind before you buy a pair of Tarah earbuds.
The charging cradle is small and compact and so can easily fit in your gym bag for last minute top ups. It has a USB cable that is standard and convenient, especially if you carry a USB plug with you too. The cable is pretty short on the charger, which isn’t hugely bothersome but means you can’t reach every socket with ease.
This charger has fast charging capabilities and so just a few minutes on the cradle will provide enough power for a short workout. You will need to charge your Jaybird Tarah earbuds about 2 or 3 times weekly however, especially if you intend to use them in daily life as well.
The playback controls on Tarah earbuds are incredibly user friendly. The plus and minus buttons control volume as well as allowing you to skip through tracks, and the central button does everything else, including pausing, playing, answering phone calls and hanging up.
The simplicity of the unit is brilliant and the buttons are responsive, however it is pretty tiny so be warned, if you have clumsy fingers you may find yourself accidentally activating the google assistant when you meant to pause your hip hop track.
The control unit also holds your Tarah’s microphone, which is a really decent quality despite its size. Although not as important as the sound quality, the microphone sensitivity and clarity is a real asset and will allow you to take calls whilst working out.
This is ideal for those of you who like to multitask, as it lets you combine your work with your workout, or alternatively enables you to chat with friends whilst keeping fit.
The placement of the microphone on the wire means that it falls just inches from your mouth and so you won’t have people complaining that they can’t hear a word you are saying either.
Perhaps the most important feature of any sports earbuds is their sound quality and here the Jaybird Tarah earbuds hold their own. Although these earbuds lack some of the intensity achieved by pricier options, the difference is infinitesimal.
The memory foam buds offered in the X4 respond better to basslines and you could say they have a deeper and richer finish, but that would be splitting hairs.
Really, the silicone ear gels work perfectly on Tarah earbuds and produce a sound that will keep you on track and inspired for as long as you require. In fact, the nozzles on Tarah earbuds are angled ever so slightly inwards in order to direct the sound straight down the ear canal.
This creates a very clear and uninterrupted quality that allows you to hear every part of the composition and differentiates beautifully between levels and timbres.
Jaybird Tarah earbuds have a IPX7 build which makes them waterproof and sweatproof. This is a huge plus point for Tarahs as it means that their durability is much higher than that of less water resistant options.
The IPX7 rating means that you can wear these buds out in the rain and sleet and even snow without it affecting their playback quality or lifespan.
It also means that you can get as hot and sweaty as you like, and push your body to the limits without needing to worry about the health of your earbuds. Even if you have long hair that gets wet easily, these buds will stay sealed and continue to do their job expertly.