Jaybird Tarah Pro Waterproof Sport Headphones Review
One of the most difficult challenges in finding a good pair of sport earphones is fit. Add “waterproof” to your list of requirements, and it gets even more difficult. They always seem to either emphasize durability over comfort—or they simply fall out when you move too much. The Jaybird Tarah Pro Waterproof Sport Headphones have a really good, secure fit that doesn’t loosen when you’re running.
Jaybird Tarah Pros Fit & Function
The Jaybird Tarah Pros include replaceable rubberized earpieces that keep them comfortable while fitting securely in your ear canal. I actually enjoyed playing with the various EQ presets and customization available in the Jaybird app. The app isn’t required, of course, but you may find that it helps you dial in your preferences—depending upon whether you listen to talk radio while you jog or something with a bit more rhythm and bass.
The cord length between the two earpieces is adjustable. It’s also thicker and (apparently) more durable than other running earbuds I’ve used. Even while moving, I found the controls easy to learn and use. This included listening to music and also making calls—which I did several times.
If you need to take the Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones out of your ears for a spell, they magnetically “snap” together.
Jaybird Tarah Pro Audio Quality
First ff, the Jaybird Tarah Pro earphones produce ample volume. I found that I could adjust it to taste regardless of whether I found myself out in traffic or in a quiet office. The passive noise isolation provides a good amount of reduction of ambient noise. In fact, it almost works too well. If you do a lot of cycling, the ability to hear road noise plays a huge safety role and these might dampen that a bit more than we’d like.
I listened to a combination of rock, country, instrumental, and a capella music to get an idea of the sound quality. I was pleased with how well they produced dynamic range, especially listening to vocal-heavy or even vocal-only music.
EQ and Customization
The standard flat EQ is just that… flat. Within the app, I found that the “Signature” and “Warmth” presets were the ones I went to most often. While some may opt for the most authentic sound possible—at times you can benefit from some EQ due to the environment you find yourself in.
Going through the Personal EQ setup, the Jaybird Tarah Pro earphones seemed bass-heavy at first. As I compared it to other presets, I found that it actually did a good job of bringing out some of the frequencies I wasn’t picking up as well in the others. Making a little tweak to the lows in customization, I found a happy balance. The presets (also customizable) and personal EQ alone makes the app worth downloading. You also get a “Find My Buds?” feature that uses your phone’s GPS to track where it’s being used.
With all that said, we did notice a very slight distortion at the top of the volume range. It’s not enough to deter us from listening to these headphones since the high end is louder than I’m comfortable listening to. Overall, I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal for most listeners.
Making Phone Calls
We did make some phone calls with these earphones. The microphone pickup gives the caller plenty of volume at a normal conversation level. It does, however, sound very much like you’re talking to the other party from a speaker phone—complete with ample amounts of room tone. It’s certainly usable, but we’ve used better. If you intend to use it a lot for calls, you may want to look elsewhere.
Run-time and Battery Life
Clearly, runtime plays an important role in deciding on a pair of earphones or headphones. We think the ~14-hour runtime on the Jaybird Tarah Pros provides more than enough. In fact, they should outlast most endurance athletes at the ultra level!
You can also quick-charge these earphones. Connecting them to USB power for just 5 minutes gives you another two hours of listening time. That’s phenomenal for when you need to run (literally) and you forgot to charge them overnight. Fill your water bottle, change into your gear, or grab your nutrition, and the Jaybird Tarah Pro earphones will be ready for your run.
We thought the short, proprietary charging cord was a bad call. It features a standard USB A plug on one end and a snap-on adapter on the other. I normally charge on my kitchen counter, and the cord is way too short to reach our outlets without “dangling” the Jaybird Tarah Pro earphones in the air. Also, the unique port means I can’t turn to a micro USB or USB C cord if this one goes bad.
The Bottom Line
Keeping in mind that these are earbuds rather than over-the-ear headphones, the overall quality is excellent. You can get better, more audiophile-level earphones at higher price points. For the ~$130 price on these, however, we find them a notable value compared to either paying more for premium solutions or going with cheaper products in the $50–$100 range.
If sound quality and security are your highest priority as an athlete, these are a big win. For most users, it’s a nice upgrade in sound quality compared to most athlete-centric earbuds.