Jaybird Bluebuds X are not sweat proof

I purchased my first set of Jaybird Bluebuds X in June 2014 as the headphones were advertised with a lifetime guarantee against sweat, feature 8 hour battery life and provide a secure fit in both under-ear and over-ear. The wireless bluetooth feature was equally appealing, as I was looking for minimalistic headphones for running.

Before I go into the issues with the Bluebuds, a couple of points to note:

  • The over-ear fit is great, but the ear-buds do not fit well at all. I eventually managed to find Comply S-500 which provided a perfect fit.
  • The bluetooth connectivity was certainly better than the Jaybird Freesprint as I could put my iPod Nano in my running shorts back-pocket and had good reception (the Freesprint failed in this).
  • The battery life is great, and I can not recall ever running out of power.
  • Wireless is great as I hate cables when running

Now back to the problems – the first set (which were white Bluebuds) lasted not more than 2 weeks and suddenly stopped working mid run during a 10km run. On the surface it looked like the device ran out of power and when connecting the USB cable to my MacBook, it charged with the red charging light on, but would not turn on. I returned it, and the sales-rep managed to reset the device, but decided to replace it with a new one.

Jaybird Bluebuds X - quality issues

Jaybird Bluebuds X – quality issues

The 2nd set (also white Bluebuds) lasted another 2 weeks and started failing around 9th August 2014. This set did not want to charge and was outright dead. I returned it and since I was the only one having issues with the white version, the sales rep suggested I should try the black version. I was also told that I am the only customer reporting issues (which is not the sentiment I read on online blogs such as CarltonBale and Amazon).

The 3rd (this time black Bluebuds) lasted until 6th September 2014 and stopped working 20 minutes into a 6km run. After getting home, I connected the USB charging cable and the device started to charge with the red LED on. The device did not complete charging for another 10 hours and I then unplugged it from my MacBook. The Bluebuds red charging light remained on, although it was unplugged and the headphones would not reset or turn off or on. By the following morning, the battery of the headphones ran empty and subsequently plugging into my Mac did not even charge the device (i.e. the red charging light would not even light up).

I personally think that it is very unlikely, that I have managed to get hold of 3 faulty units, and I am starting to think that the Bluebuds are prone to failure when exposed to sweat from even moderate sporting activities. I am not sure why, especially since Jaybird markets the headphones with a life-time sweat guarantee, and considering how many years Jaybird has been around, I would think that such a guarantee was truly based on the quality of the product.

I also doubt that my usage behaviour is unnatural – I run every day for 6-12km and as part of that moderately sweat. Having the dry winter season in South Africa, I was not even exposed to rain during my runs, and just from the current experience, I doubt that Bluebuds would withstand rainfall, considering that the headphones already fail during short runs.

I have not received a formal comment from Jaybird or the local supplier regarding the actual fault, but the feedback from other users seems to strongly suggest that Jaybird Bluebuds will fail when exposed to sweat during sport-activities, which makes expensive headphones like the Bluebuds really a pointless purchase.

For the time being I am running with my old Sennheiser OCX 685i (not a great fit, but with those I ran during heavy rain, without ever having issues) I am now running with Philips ActionFit Sports Earhook Headphones and I am waiting for the FreeWavz from Kickstarter.

Factory reset of Jaybird Bluebuds X

I could never get the Bluebuds to reset as all of the headphones I had pretty much died and the procedure below did not work, but as a last resort, this might be a viable option if you have issues:

  • To perform a factory reset on your headset you will first need to get it into pairing mode by holding down the middle power button for at least 8-10 seconds until you get the alternating flashing RED and GREEN lights.
  • Once in pairing mode, press and hold both the volume + and volume – keys ( for about 8-10 seconds) at the same time until you see an orange flash and a beep.
  • They should power off at this point with no further lights.
  • This will reset them to factory condition wiping out any software issues and allow them to operate normally again.
  • Now that they have been reset, you will now have to delete the profile from your device and re-connect them like new since the reset will delete any info they remembered.

If you are a Bluebuds X user: Please post in the comment section the type activity you do (i.e. daily 10km run at 4:30min/km) and what type of issues (if any) you had with the Jaybird Bluebuds.

Update 2014-09-14: Heard back from my retailer, and they will give me the 4th set of BlueBuds X next week.

Update 2014-10-11: I have received my 4th set of BlueBuds X (this time white edition).

Update 2014-10-17: Headset is still going. Battery life is certainly less than 8 hours. I fully charged on 11th October, did five 30 minute runs and the headset needed to be recharged on 16th October.

Update 2014-11-05: I have been running for the last few weeks without any issues. I did the longest run at 1:59 (half-marathon) over the weekend and the Jaybirds were holding up without any issue. I am now not sure what to think of it. Having 3 sets failing so quickly seems to almost indicate a manufacturing fault or lack of quality control.

Update 2014-11-30: The 4th set has just died. When turning the head-phones on for my morning run, the Jaybirds did not turn on. Despite the device being fully charged, I could not pair it or reset it.

Update 2016-10-26: I am surprised at how many consumers continue to raise the same issues in the comment section. My 2 year old wired Philips Action Fit still work and I wear them daily for my morning run. Those Philips have been through heavy rain and have been soaked several times in the last 700 runs. Just fascinating how Jaybirds X2 show the same problem.

Update 2017-03-23: Today I learned that Jaybird has blocked my access to their Twitter page. This probably happened quite some time ago and speaks volume about Jaybird’s ethics when it comes to critical reviews.

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  • Jay

    I just sent the second one back and they’ve shipped out a third piece. I really like the bluebuds. They’re great when they work. It’s frustrating that it just suddenly decides to quit working 🙁 I was in the middle of a long sweaty run as well when it gave out. I am going to try a sweat band with this new one that I receive. Hopefully, that makes some difference!

    • I am now on my 4th set. Only had it for a week, and battery life is about 5 hours and not 8 hours. I am now on a white set as I was told those are “newer” – but my 2nd set was also white and also broke.

      • Jay

        Hi @GNaschenweng:disqus I’m still with my third one. Touch wood! I just used it in the Chicago marathon (3 hours 37 minutes of running) and had no issues. I also make sure to use the headband while running on treadmill and it seems to help. I hope it stays that way!

  • @disqus_oAuwebkSp1:disqus I honestly think that the Bluebuds can not be used for sweaty workouts and Jaybirds advertising of life-time sweat guarantee is non-sense. Even with my moderate daily running of 30-45 minutes, expensive headphones should not break. Nevermind, that most people also need to get different foam-tips as the fit is not great.

  • I’m going for my first return through Amazon, will probably ask for a refund. When I connect mine the light will turn green but the headphones just won’t turn on. Bummer, I really thought they were going to be great headphones.

  • Ross

    A couple of years ago I purchased a Plantronics BBGO, primarily for use in the gym. After 2 failures (their returns handling is excellent), I decided to avoid using them for sport, and they have worked flawlessly ever since.

    Last December I saw that they released a BBGO2 which included a special hydrophobic treatment. (They actually added that treatment to the BBGO, but after my purchase). The BBGO2 lasted about 3 months (and was replaced).

    I had an opportunity to sell the BBGO2 to a friend, and ‘upgraded’ to the Jaybird BBX. Given the warranty against sweat and the longevity of the company/product, I figured it was worth the extra expense. They lasted 6 weeks before failing to turn on. When I plug them in, the LED turns red momentarily and then green. No other sign of life. I am now waiting for their replacement…

  • WilliamH

    I don’t think it’s just the sweat. I believe my first pair died due to sweat but the replacements they sent me died before I ever had a chance to get them sweaty. I get the impression there is a firmware issue but they aren’t fessing up.

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  • Fla

    My 4th set just died today. I love in Floroda and run 2 to 3 miles a day. As long as they keep providing me with a replacement I will keep using them. It is a big pain however.

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  • john-woods

    I have exactly the same issues here, I am now ordering my 4 set of these headphones. I’m extremely disappointed with their performance compared to their cost. I run around 45 minutes only 3 times a week and in 1.5 years I’m on my 4th set. Definitely they aren’t sweat proof.

    • I think you are still “lucky” – at least in your case you managed to go through 4 sets in 1.5 years – in my case I hit the 4th set in under 4 months. What really is frustrating is that Jaybird should then own up and be transparent about the product flaw.

  • Jwills

    I got my first set at the beginning of December 2014. On January 2nd, they turned off by themselves as I was finishing my workout. I turned them back on and they turned themselves back off about 3 times before I gave up. I tried charging them but the red light just stays on and they will not turn on or do anything. I believe they are not really sweat resistant. I am not sure what to do because there is not a clear troubleshooting section on their site or a place to send them an email to get assistance.

    • One option is perhaps to try a factory reset (I updated my blog post with instructions on how to do it), but if your BBX do not reset it is best to ask for a return or a refund.

  • MrBaZ

    it just died today, after 4 month

  • frustrated

    im on my 5th one. its definitely not sweat proof. when i train on a treadmill. sweat builds eventually ruins the headphones. its very inconvenient. i get a replacement from the jaybird, but i always have to front the shipping cost and wait about a 1-2 weeks to get them replaced. the last one i have…im in the proccess of another RMA, one side stopped working.

    • Fritz

      The same here, i also run on a treadmill (4 to 5 miles a day) and my 4h one just died. It’s about one month passed its 1 year warranty. It will be easy for them to say that its not sweat and not replace it for me and I will have no way of proving them wrong.

  • RandomRunner

    I have had mine for over a year. Been through rain and sweat without issue. They even went through the washer dryer once and emerged no worse for wear. The microphone was affected by the washer/dryer experience, but the headphones work great. I guess I got extremely lucky.
    I love these things to death and use them all the time.
    Now I’m faced with reduced battery life due to excessive use (every day for well over a year). I bet the hour being tumble dried at high heat probably impacted the battery life too.
    Anyone know if I can replace the battery?

  • stoner

    My third set just died. I bought the first one from Best Buy with the BB warranty not knowing that it has a lifetime warranty against sweat through Jaybird. I returned the first for a second at BB which died about 6 months of light use. Returned the 2nd to Jaybird for a 3rd and now it’s dead after several months of light use (~3 times a week at 45 min runs). I paid full retail at BB. They are worth the money if they actually ARE sweat proof. But unfortunately they are not.

  • God is dead

    Meh, mine have lasted for over a year. Maybe it’s the idiot operating the bluebuds?

    • David Dzienciol

      Maybe you don’t run or don’t sweat.

    • This has nothing to do with the user, but the actual usage. The majority of users use the BlueBuds in the gym and never break a sweat you would break when running more than 8km.

      I think it is deceitful marketing from Jaybird to say that BlueBuds are sweatproof and they are not. What made me suspicious is that Jaybird on the last incident offered a replacement which was a “double coated (liquipel waterproof coating) BlueBuds”.

      Some of our local resellers have stopped selling Jaybirds due to the high failure rate as they had to honour the life-time warranty and replacement (in my case 4 brand new devices died within a matter of 4 months).

      Someone who only uses BlueBuds as a wireless headset and does not do any heavy activity which results in sweat exposure for more than 20 minutes will be perfectly happy with the device. Active users like us however will not get any joy out of the device with such high and unpredictable failure rate.

  • David Dzienciol

    Just burned through my 2nd set last week. Because I bought my first pair off a seller on eBay that I now realise wasn’t a licensed Jaybird reseller, Jaybird were reluctant to honour their warranty, but did anyway as a one-off. After about 3 months of use (treadmill running, 3x 8km per week approx, moderate to heavy sweating) they died again. This time Jaybird refused to honour the warranty because they were bought on eBay. As a sweetener they gave me a $100 US credit towards another pair, which doesn’t get me too far once I buy a new pair of Bluebuds through them directly and have them shipped to me in Australia (probably another $100 US) but they say they will then honour any sweat related faults on them for life. Hard to believe. The guy at customer support says that apparently they will soon be releasing an update which addresses the sweat issue. But when? One month? One year? I don’t really want to want that long and my credit is waiting for me…

  • Daniel

    I have had my jay birds bluebuds for a year now and have had no problems with mine so I would say you guys just got a defective set among the other sets

    • No, if you read my post you will have noticed that 3 brand new Jaybird Bluebuds died within weeks. I get the point to have a faulty set, but when 3 sets break, then this is a quality issue. When I spoke to the local reseller about 4 weeks ago, he said that they stopped selling Jaybird due to the number of complaints from customers and the high failure rate.

    • Michael Poplin

      Well look at you.

  • Daniel

    And js I bought one from jay birds website and use mine everyday and sweat a lot and they still work the way I got them and still last 8 hours

  • Ridwan Santoso

    i think they send me more than 5 buds i already its a lot already and i lost count,not including freedom sprint i think this one already 4th set im living in indonesia im running 10km in morning sometimes + 5km afternon my pace its around 4:50 per km

    • Khoirus Sobri

      cara nukernya gmn yah mas?

  • Carlos Galli

    I am looking for a sweatproof bt earbud set. Does anybody know a bt earbud brand/model that is actually sweatproof and would last longer than just a few weeks/months?

    • I had the original jaybirds. The big ones. They lasted me for over 2 years of hard use while road cycling in high heat and I’m an extreme “sweater.” They even one spin cycle when I accidentally washed them with no issue. Unfortunately I replaced them with the blue buds x model, and those lasted less than a month. If you can find the original Freedom model, I highly recommend it.

  • Kaler Jonson

    I purchased my set through amazon 4 months ago, and in that time I have burned through 4 sets. Each of them has died similarly – sudden shutdown in the middle of using them, then they will no longer charge or respond in any way. I am very gentle with them, keeping them in the case, drying them between uses, etc. I ran out of amazon warranty coverage and I’m now awaiting my 5th set from jaybird themselves. Very frustrating.

  • John Martin

    I have had exactly the same experience. I’ve had three pairs die, and have now given up and gone with a pair of Plantronics BackBeat Fit – they’re not as nice, but if they will at least get through runs without spontaneously dying that will be progress!!

    In my case, my first pair lasted 6 months and then died about 3km into a long run. Apple store replaced them and the second pair lasted 2 WEEKS before dying in the same way. Third pair died yesterday. They were being used about 3 or 4 times a week on runs anything from 5-20km.

    Luckily the Apple Store are very good when it comes to returns / replacements. I’ve given up on these headphones now – a shame because when they worked they were really nice!

  • Colin Paul Heim

    Jump rope, Bluebuds x stopped working about 10-20 minutes in. Granted, I sweat more than 90% of people. BUT as you stated, they promise life-long sweat-resistance. Just finished writing them (the reseller, not Jaybird, who told me that electronic devices are usually not guaranteed against sweat-resistance and to contact Jaybird directly.) to tell them they gave me information that directly opposed reality, and asked what they’re going to do to make me feel like ever buying from them again. Not optimistic for a positive response, but that’s that.

  • Emmanuel Cortes

    I have had 3 pairs the first lasted 8 months before suddenly dieing the 2nd lasted 3weeks they were fully charged but would not turn on the third lasted 4weeks today the left ear bud lost almost all volume while the right remains normal wich makes it seem like the left has no volume at all i practice on my soccer 5 days of the week i have completely given up on these.

    • Craig C

      Did Jaybird make you pay to return them each time?

  • Craig C

    I’m having the same issue. First I could only get them to turn on by plugging them in for a few seconds. Then they would not power on at all (I would plug them in and always get a red light).

    I contacted support and they had be exchange them (I had to pay the shipping fees to send them back).

    A week after getting my new headphones, they also stopped working. But with these, i get nothing at all. When I plug them in, I get no light.

    So disappointed in this product.

  • Brad

    I bought a pair a little under two years ago. I’m an active runner, running 10KM or so 3-4 times a week. The headphones worked great up until this week. At first, it was just an issue with the skip song and power buttons not inputting the correct function when used, though I thought the issue might have been with my phone (it’s getting quite old).

    Now my headphones won’t even turn on despite charging them fully and attempting a factory reset (the power button seems to do nothing).

    I’ll put in a RMA request and hope to get a new pair, but it’s extremely annoying that something marketed as sweatproof isn’t really as effective as they claim it to be.

  • PPPPJ

    I’m a marathoner, doing regular 5-15 mile runs every week. I am not on my 6th pair of these. Every time they have died mid-run, usually on a sweaty day, but not always outside (treadmill). I had the X1s for the first five pairs but then they upgraded me to X2s. But those also have not lasted very long. I just don’t think they are made for long-distance running and being constantly covered in sweat. It amazes me that these are the “official headphone of USA triathlon”.

  • PPPPJ

    I just posted but can’t edit. I meant I am “now” on my 6th pair.

  • Elijah

    mine died the 1st hour

  • Diego Da Mota

    I am having the same problem with the X2.

    First of all, I bought a Powerbeats 2 Wireless, which lasted for about 5 months, then it stopped charging. I got a new pair from Apple Support in Brazil. The new pair stopped working after 11 days, now the mic and volume buttons stopped. Could listen, but not talk or receive calls. They sent me a new one and after 2 days of use only at the gym, during my workout, 2 hours a day, it stopped charging again. On the thrid day it would never turn on, no lights were flashing or anything. Died.

    So, I bought a pair of the Jaybird X2 Black. Loved the piece. The only thing that Beast actually beat the X2 was the fit. Everything else the X2 is a lot better. However, after a few days of use (3 or 4 days), after recharging it a couple of times, I came back from the gym, cleaned it with a dry cotton fabric, as I was used to do every day after using them, they did not turn on. They were suppose to have at least 50% of batteries, since I had them charged the day before and used them for about 2 hours to listen music and answer a couple of calls.

    So, I put them to charge and surprise: the green light was on. So, they had batteries but wouldnt power on! After reading a few reviews I realised that this problem exists since the Bluebuds X.

    I use them to workout, lift some weight, run for about 30 minutes, which takes about 2 hours a day, 3 times a week. I sweat a lot! I wear an Apple Watch and also a Fitbit HR, and have an iPhone 6 Plus.

    So, I dont know if both pieces, Powerbeats 2 WL and JB X2, are not sweat proof as they claim they are, or they have interface problems with the other gadgets I wear, or the problem is with the connectivity with my 6 Plus… Or maybe I am the Magneto and dont know how to control my powers yet.

    One thing I know is that I am pissed. They are very expensive earbuds, but don’t have a good quality as they have good advertising.

  • Richard Gregory

    Same story here. I bought a set in late 2014 and have had to send them back for replacements 5 times. Their customer service is decent, but it’s pain to have to keep paying for postage and to be without headphones for weeks at a time.

  • scot

    Same story here also. I bought mine Bluebud X in mid 2014 and had to replace it 6 times. going possible 7th time. The first 3 times, they replaced it with another Bluebud X and then next 3 times, they replaced it with Bluebud X2 but nothing improved. Seems like it would happen in the midst of my run/workout when I’m sweating the most. This last time, it just stopped working so plugged it in the charger for about a min and then repowered it up and it started working again. Then, after about 20 min or so, it shut off again. So, redid the same procedure and it worked again. Then it shut off again, so I let it alone for couple hours and repowered it on again and it’s working fine now but I’m not working out/sweating at the moment. So, if it shuts off again, I’ll have to replace it again. Already contacted customer service about it. Speaking of, I wish their product was as excellent as their customer service. Just tired of returning it and paying for shipping and with no earbuds for a week.

  • Every pair of Jaybirds I have used has stopped working (permanently) within 15 minutes of starting to sweat (whether I’m wearing them loosely or in the tighter, “advanced”, arrangement). (Because you asked me to include this: I run 3-6 miles a few days around 6:30-8min/mi a few times a week; I run on an indoor track when it’s hotter than 72 degress outside).

  • Tim Skabo

    Jaybird has gone to hell. Mine died a month ago. They are upgrading their database so they never responded… fishy. I called and supplied proof of purchase. They told me the “lifetime” warranty is only for 2 years. Such crap. They will not replace and said they can’t make any exceptions. I guess this is what happens when Logitech takes over. Mine were replaced 3x. ‘This pair actually almost lasted a year.

  • RAY OBSK

    Does anybody know if Jaybird is still going? i have a faulty pair and haven’t heard from them via mail and customer service don´t answer!
    help!

    • I also haven’t heard from Jaybird in about two weeks. We were in the middle of resolving a case with my pair. I replied to their last message as instructed. No response. I’ve tried to follow up twice.

      Their support site has been giving an error message for over a week now: “Our Web site is temporarily unavailable while we perform routine system maintenance. We are working on the site to improve its appearance and functionality.”

      This company is laughably bad.

      • I finally heard from Jaybird — or Logitech now. And they sent me another replacement; this time the X2s.

        I’m guessing the switch/merge/buy-out with Logitech is what caused so many delays in their support process.

  • Kirk

    same problems. on my third pair, they just wont turn on anymore after a month or two of use. also had a hard time getting this last pair exchanged because their site was down (same as other were saying) and couldn’t get a email response. Finally called and sat on hold for 50+min. They are now sending me my 4th pair. the service rep says sweat could be getting in through the mic hole if wearing over the ear against the head. Also they say not to charge them directly after a workout and don’t leave them charging all night. will try their suggestions and see how it goes. it’s just a hassle to send them back each time but i do like them when they work!

    • Jay

      ditto… I’m on my 5th or 6th one now. They had sent me X2 in Jan. Worked fine until today. It just turned itself off during my sweaty run and won’t turn back on no matter what I do.. same sad story 🙁

      • That stinks! I gave up when I received the X2s. I just sold them before even using them to try to make back some of my money (and I made sure to mention that they are by no means waterproof).

        • Jay

          I chatted with them today. Had to go through the same drill of sending them a receipt from 3 years ago and now waiting on them to send me an email after they “research” if I am eligible for another replacement. No email yet. Running without music now… arghh!!

  • Ross

    Two years ago my first pair failed a few weeks after I purchased them (and a couple of Plantronics BBGO/2s before that). They were quickly replaced and are still working to this day. Alas… I no longer use them in the gym or for sport (which is what I bought them for).

  • TOMOTORO

    Bought some X2 at best buy today since they’re around 80 bucks. The moment I turned it on and connected to my phone after a full charge, it had issues with receiving the music off my phone. Same with my laptop so it seemed like I purchased a defective set on my first experience with the X2. Disappointed, I returned it and replaced it with another set. The second set worked just fine but after reading the reviews and what everyone’s going through with the bluebuds and X2, I feel like maybe I should return the product and get my money back and buy the cheap 20 dollar ones on amazon. Those at least lasted me 4 months… decent quality sound, better than no sound. Oh and I lift while I use the earphones, that’s about it. 1-1.5 hours

  • Sander Verhaeghe

    Mine just failed after getting a new set one year ago… Just requested a new one

  • Ant

    Had X’s, they died within the 2 year “lifetime” warranty but JB said that they won’t replace. My X3’s died after less than 3 weeks. Exact same problem – working fine during run. then won’t turn on. charging shows red light only, won’t turn off, won’t charge. can’t reset. only 5th or 6th run since i got them. JB sending a replacement *fingers crossed*. These are still definitely NOT sweat-proof.

  • CMB

    I was lucky enough to get 3 months out of my Bluebirds X. I don’t run as much as lift, so maybe I don’t sweat as much as heavy runners.
    I’ve contacted the company twice and heard nothing back. At this point it’s been 4 months since I first contacted the company. Obviously, I’m not hopeful to get new headphones or get my money back.
    I can’t believe a company can blatantly rip off consumers like that and get away with it.

  • Had this exact problem with my X2’s today. They were working fine at the gym this morning now they turn themselves off after 30 seconds despite being fully charged or put themselves into sync mode all without me touching the controls.

    I checked my receipt and it turns out I bought them a year ago to the day. They literally died the same day the warranty expired! From reading some of the comments it seems like Jaybird’s support isn’t the best, anyone want to comment on whether it’s worth my time/sanity trying to chase a replacement?

    • If you are in the US, I would chase a replacement. In South Africa I had to go through a reseller who eventually blamed me for breaking them and refused to swop them out.

      Shortly after I posted my blog post, Jaybird offered me a free replacement shipped to South Africa which also had “special waterproofing” – they would not go into detail what it meant. I never accepted the replacement as it would have incurred import duties and at that time the 4th set died.

  • Michael Webster

    Same issue here – my first pair lasted me about 7 days. It had been raining here for a bit, and they might have gotten exposed to a tiny bit of moisture in my bag on the way to work.

    I will attempt to return them for a refund, rather than go through multiple different returns and subsequent failures.

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