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[Review] Jaybird RUN vs Powerbeats 3

Things have changed! 

If you are someone who still threads headphone cables up your shirt in order to listen to music at the gym you are behind the times. 

I ran a poll on the Sleekgeek Group and it seems that 126 people still use ‘Old school’ headphones, while 91 have moved to wireless with 36 of respondents not using headphones. 

So of those that had earphones only 40% have made the move to Wireless. 

I made the shift to Wireless in January 2017 with a top end pair of Powerbeats3 by Dr Dre. 

I almost died spending so much money on headphones – about R3,500 – but I figured since I spend so much time in the gym, on the promenade and hiking it would be worth it 


It was worth every single penny. 

No matter what price range you enter once you have gone wireless you will never go back. It was life-changing for me. Eric did the same and he agrees 100%. 

I used my Powerbeats quite happily until now until along came the folks from Jaybird who challenged me to test their Jaybird RUN. 

I told them I was in love with my Powerbeats and it was OK – but since they were sponsoring 4 pairs of Wireless Headphones for our Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge I would give them a test and see how it goes. 

Enter the Jaybird RUN. My latest obsession. 

I thought that I was already in wireless Nirvana  until I opened this box. 

It was love at first site… 

A next level. 

Here is a Live video of me unboxing the product on the day it arrived with my first thoughts 


The reason is that the chord on the Powerbeats always irritated me ever so slightly. It was discreet. Far more discreet than on old-school headphones but they were there. 

Especially when doing movements like squats in the gym I found myself conscious of the wires. They were nice from the perspective that if someone wanted to talk to me at the gym I could unhook one and keep them rested on the back of my neck but otherwise a minor irritation. 

Moving to a pair of headphone with no wires at all was a next level. I have not tried the Apple Airpods yet but I always thought they looked a little silly dangling out of your ear as though a chord is missing. I am sure the quality is good though. 

So the fact that the Jaybird RUN had no chord won me over in this battle. 

Next up. Could they compete with the Powerbeats on performance? 


Battery Life? Powerbeats win here statistically with 12 hrs vs 4 hrs for the Runs with the case holding another 8 hrs charge. With Powerbeats there is no charging case. However both have a quick charing function where you can get enough juice to power a workout with a 5min charge. 

With my lifestyle reduced battery performance is not an issue. I am used to charging devices fairly regularly anyways. 

Another difference I did note and you may regard this as a positive or a negative. It was a major positive for me. When I wear the Jaybird RUN I hear less peripheral noise around me compared to Powerbearts. So for example when in the gym if I put in my RUNS all other sounds seem to disappear and I am in my own world. With the Powerbeats I am aware of other sounds in the environment. 

I love to be in my own world when the headphones are in so that worked for me. 

People asked me if the RUN earbuds would fall out of the ear and I can assure you that once those babies are in they are going NOWHERE. There is also a selection of various ear fittings (as is the case with most upmarket pairs of wireless headphones you buy) 

No problem with sweat on either pairs. 

The only thing I cannot test is long term durability. I have used the Powerbeats for 18 months and the RUN for only 2 so far. 

I do really love the RUN’s hard charging case for travel purposes but as a guy maybe a little to big to put in my pocket. 

Overall I was surprised by the Jaybird RUN. I started off unwilling to change but in the end I prefer then to the Powerbeats for my personal use. 

I intend to use them going forward. 

Of course these are expensive devices and if out of your price range Jaybird have a wide range of various styles and price points. 

In South Africa https://www.takealot.com is a great place to shop for headphones. 

Here is a brief spec comparison for your interest 

  Jaybird RUN Beats by Dr. Dre® Powerbeats3 Wireless
Fit Style In-ear/Earbud In-ear/Earbud
Earcup Type Closed Closed
Earcup Width x Height 0.953″ x 0.706″ 1.342″ x 0.683″
Noise-cancelling No No
Mic For Taking Calls Yes Yes
iPhone Control Yes Yes
Lightning Connector No No
Android Control Yes Yes
Frequency Response 20-20k Hz Not Given
Sensitivity N/A dB N/A dB
Impedance 16 Ohms N/A
Weight 0.24 ounces 0.9 ounces
Cord Length N/A 19″
Storage Case+pouch Case
Charging Case Yes No
Volume Control No Yes

See you at the gym folks! 

Happy training. 






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