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Head to Head: Jaybird Vista True Wireless vs Razer Hammerhead True Wireless
Tue, 25th Feb 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

For an earbud to stay in your ear (literally and figuratively), there are a number of areas they need to shine, especially if a brand wants to rule the roost. From comfort to connectivity, and competitive pricing to a cushy form factor, being able to tick all the boxes is essential for a budding earbud brand.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless (RRP $189)

For under $200, I wasn't expecting much from Razer. Coming in at a significantly cheaper price point, I didn't see a lot of room to excel in a crowded market.

Connectivity is the first hurdle Bluetooth headphones have to overcome when it comes to ticking the box. Aside from a few initial teething problems (which I'll put down to an ageing smartphone), pairing smart devices with the Razer earbuds is a quick and painless process. It took less than a minute to initially pair the earbuds with my smartphone, which also included unpairing another Bluetooth device.

After hitting play, I'm seriously impressed. The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds are packing some serious sound, especially for a respectable mid-range price point. With 13mm custom-tuned drivers in each earbud, the audio comes across clean and crisp, and the deep bass is worth noting. Razer has included a great microphone too: commendable considering the price point.

What stood out most about the Razer Hammerhead earbuds is the design of the earbuds themselves. The sleek design is paired with a brushed black finish, which looks great both in and out of ear! The Razer logo on each earbud also doubles as a touchpad, servicing a variety of pretty intuitive touch motions, which I found to be a nice touch. They feel great in your ear, and I found I could go quite a while without needing to give my ears a break.

The case is slim and smooth, but quite weighty – you definitely won't forget it's in your pocket. The brushed black design is again, sleek, and the embossed Razer logo on the top is a design winner. The earbuds slip easily into the case, especially when charging, and the handy RGB light lets you know how much juice your buds have left. Not that you'll run out anytime soon - 16 hours of battery life is more than enough for the average user.

In an otherwise perfect design, the one thing I would change would be the placement of the charging port, which is located right beneath the hinge and tends to be an annoyance.

Jaybird Vista True Wireless (RRP $284)

The Jaybird Vista True Wireless earbuds are an experience beyond compare. As far as almost everything goes, the Jaybird Vistas are worth every cent of their higher price.
Created with running and sports in mind, there doesn't seem to be anything the Jaybirds can't do. They're sweatproof, IPX-7 waterproof, knock proof and seemingly bulletproof. If earbuds came from the school of hard knocks, the Jaybirds graduated with first-class honours.

The rugged, geometric case the Jaybirds come in is sturdy and seemingly indestructible. More than once, it slipped out of my hand and was punched across the room in a feeble attempt to catch it. Despite its bulky style, it comes with a pretty snazzy lime-green trim. It has a satisfying click when it shuts, and the charging port is easily accessible on the front of the case. Like the Razer earbuds, using the industry-standard USB-C is a great move from Jaybird. When it comes to battery life, the Jaybird Vistas are also on par, with a solid 16 hours of charge.

As far as sound goes, the Jaybird Vistas are beyond good. With an EQ customiser available on the Jaybird app (not as pesky as it sounds) the highs, lows and midtones can all be set accordingly, which really lets the sound pop. The earbuds also have three different silicon sleeves that will suit your ear type, and despite needing a university degree to insert the earbuds properly the first time, once you've figured out how to get them in your ear they definitely won't come out.

One of the only shortfalls of the Jaybird Vistas is the microphone - I've certainly heard better on wireless earbuds. While the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds had an infallible microphone, the Jaybird Vistas tended to create a bit of distortion during use, which is disappointing for people working in noisy environments.

My other gripe with the Jaybird Vistas is the buttons used to control the user interface. I found they required a lot of force to activate, which put me off using the buttons. The upside is they're nice and big, which helps for clumsy hands like mine.

So who should buy what?

These earbuds definitely cater to different markets, and different price points too. If you're a smooth operator, looking for something stylish to wear as you listen to your favourite podcast on the morning commute, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless have the price point, crisp sound and aesthetic for you.

In contrast, if you're looking for something that won't come out of your ear (even if you ask it nicely), the Jaybird Vistas will do the trick. For a considerably higher price point, the earbuds ticks the boxes, and create a sense of rugged refinement that can win over even the most aesthetic-obsessed audiophile.