REVIEW – I love Jaybird headphones, mostly because they allow me to select my personal favorite equalizer setting via the Jaybird app and save it to the earphones. I recently reviewed the Jaybird Tarah Wireless Sport Headphones and really liked them, but my X3’s still reigned supreme. Then, a month after Jaybird released their latest headphones, the X4’s and the Tarah headphones, they came out with the Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones which I was able to review.
I found that the Tarah Pro headphones stand out from other Jaybird headphones in several ways. They have a playing time of just over 14 hours (yep, that’s right, 14 hours!) when they’re used at a moderate volume level. Next, the Jaybird app has an additional tile on the dashboard called “Personal EQ” that takes you through some tones tests to create a personalized equalizer profile just right for you. Additionally, each earpiece pivots on its base (Jaybird calls it “Switch fit”) so that you can wear them in the over-ear or under-ear position just by rotating them while still in your ears. They also have fast charging capabilities – five minutes of charging time will get you two hours and eighteen minutes of playing time at moderately low volume and it only takes one hour and 45 minutes to fully charge them. And finally, the earbuds clasp together magnetically which automatically pauses the music you were listening to and if they are idle for 15 minutes, they will automatically shut off.
Even though they have a proprietary charging cradle, the headphones will fit in the charger in either orientation. In addition, the charging cradle magnetically adheres to the in-line remote of the headphones thus, it is easier to attach them to the charger than previous Jaybird headphones to their respective chargers.
What is it?
The Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones are an in-ear pair of Bluetooth 5.0 headphones which are great for casual users and athletes. They are IPX 7 rated which means that “they are designed to handle rain, mud and outdoor adventures. However, Jaybird Tarah Pro earbuds are not designed for swimming, showering or exposure to pool or ocean water”.
Type: In-ear style
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Speaker sensitivity: 103 +/- 2dB at 1KHz
Output max. 12mW RMS (with level limit)
Total harmonic distortion <5% (1KHz, 1mW)
Audio format: 16-bit stereo
Codec: Bluetooth SBC implementation
Response bandwidth: 20Hz – 20kHz
Driver size: 6 mm
Bluetooth version: 5.0
Frequency band: 2.4 GHz
Profiles: Handsfree, Headset, A2DP, AVCRP, SPP
Wireless range: Class 2 standard range 10m/33ft
Type: MEMS, omnidirectional
Sensitivity: -38dB +/- 3dB (Test conditions: 1KHz, 0db = 1V/Pa)
Any Bluetooth device with HFP, HSP, and A2DP
WEIGHT & DIMENSIONS
Headset: 490mm x 20mm x 22mm
Controller: 43mm x 11.9mm x 6mm
Charger: 111.8mm x 33.57mm x 7.2mm
Weight of headphones (without eargel): 20g
Weight of charger: 6.5g
Play time: 14 Hrs*
Charging time: 2 Hrs
Quick charge: 5 min = 2 hour playtime
Charging: Via USB charging cable with Pogo pin connector
Input power: DC 5V 1A
Type: Lithium Ion
Battery voltage: 3.7V
Energy voltage in watt hrs per battery: 0.28wh
*May vary depending on usage, device & aging
What’s in the box?
- Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones
- Speed cinch
- Integrated USB cable charging cradle
- Carrying pouch
- Eargels – sizes 1, 2, 3 (S, M, L)
- Shirt clip
- Quick Start guide
Design and features
The Tarah Pro headphones are made up of plastic pivoting earphones (each earphone pivots around on its base to be worn in the over-ear or under-ear position), silicone ear gels (no memory foam ear tips included), a braided reflective wire (it was not reflective in my tests), a plastic in-line remote with silicone buttons for controls, and a plastic sliding cord cinch to adjust the cord slack between the earpieces.
These Bluetooth 5.0 headphones are sweat and weatherproof (IPX7) which means,
they are designed to handle rain, mud and outdoor adventures. However, Jaybird Tarah Pro earbuds are not designed for swimming, showering or exposure to pool or ocean water. In the case of exposure to salty or chlorinated water, rinse the earbuds gently with fresh water and air dry before using them. The charging cradle is not water resistant, so please ensure your earbuds are completely dry before charging.
Also, according to the documentation, the headphones provide up to 14 hours of playtime and have very basic calling features.
The headphones are magnetic and when clasped together, they pause whatever you are listening to. If they remain idle for 15 minutes, they will shut off. Each ear gel of the Tarah Pro headphones integrates the ear tip and ear fin (or wing) into one piece instead of two separate pieces per earphone just like the Tarah headphones. Each ear gel is labeled “L” (left) or “R” (right) as well as 1, 2, or 3 to indicate its size (small, medium, or large).
In the above photo, you can see a black tab on the earphone that is positioned inside the base of the ear gel’s fin. You can see more clearly the black tab (labeled “L” or “R”) on the earphone that helps to position the ear gel correctly over the earphone.
Again, just like other Jaybird earphones, the Tarah Pro headphones have a proprietary charging cradle. NOTE: Each of the Jaybird headphones has their own specific charging cradle that will not work with other Jaybird headphones. The headphones’ in-line remote contains (from left to right): the Volume Down button, the microphone, the Middle button, the LED status light, and the Volume Up button. The back of the in-line remote contains the contacts for charging the headphones. Because the charging cradle’s contacts are centered on the in-line remote as shown in the photo above, you can place it in either direction into the cradle. The remote magnetically attaches to the charging cradle thus making inserting the headphones into the charger much easier than other Jaybird headphones.
The pairing of the Tarah Pro headphones is exactly like that of the Tarah headphones. To pair the Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones with my Pixel 2 XL phone, I first made sure that Bluetooth was turned on in my device and then tapped on “Pair new device” (you do this last step only if you are using Android 9). Then, with the Tarah Pro earbuds completely off, I long-pressed the Middle button (center button on the in-line remote) for a total of about six seconds to put them into pairing mode.
While I was holding the Middle button, I heard the ascending power-on tones, a female voice prompt which said, “Battery [%] charged”, more tones, and then another voice prompt that said, “Ready to pair. Download the Jaybird app for an assisted setup.” The white LED status light blinks quickly when in pairing mode. I then went back into my device’s Bluetooth settings (or Connected device settings in Android 9) and tapped on the newly discovered Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones, after which I heard additional tones, and finally, a voice prompt which said, “Connected.”
The Tarah Pro headphones will remember up to eight paired devices and when powered on, they will connect to the most recently connected device. They do not yet support being actively connected to two devices simultaneously (multipoint connection) but are supposed to in the future according to the Jaybird Community support page.
Resetting the headphones
Resetting the Tarah Pro earphones is also almost exactly like the Tarah headphones. I first removed them from my phone’s Bluetooth settings (or Connected devices settings) by tapping on the gear icon next to the name of the headphones and then selecting “Forget this device”. Next, with the headphones powered off, I put them into pairing mode as described earlier. While in pairing mode, I double pressed the Middle button to reset them. The LED flashed red once and the earbuds shut off. Then after about one second, they powered back automatically on in pairing mode.
Like the Tarah headphones, to power on the Tarah Pros, I needed to press and hold the Middle button for about three seconds, after which I heard a series of ascending power-on tones and the LED flashed white once. There is no way to tell when the headphones are powered on because the LED light does not stay on nor does it flash.
I tested the automatic shut off of the Tarah Pro headphones and found that they will indeed automatically shut off when they are magnetically clasped together and have been idle for 15 minutes.
To power off the headphones, I had to press and hold the Middle button for two seconds after which I heard a series of descending power-off tones and the LED flashed red once.
Bluetooth connectivity was maintained up to 83 – 85 feet when in line-of-sight of my Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 7.
I also found that I was able to listen to my earbuds with four walls separating me from my connected device without drops or interruptions. That’s impressive.
I did not experience any connectivity issues when using the Tarah Pro headphones with my Pixel 2 XL or iPhone 7.
The Tarah Pro headphones can be worn in under-ear or over-ear positions. I tend to prefer the under-ear position (shown in the photos above).
The Tarah Pro headphones did not fit quite as well as the Tarah headphones did for me. I had problems getting the ear gel (size 3) in my right ear to seal properly. Something is different from the Tarah ear gels. Perhaps it’s little smaller than the size 3 ear gel that comes with the Tarah headphones, although they look the same. However, after a few seconds of adjusting and readjusting the earphone, I was able to find the right position to get it to seal properly.
You can also wear the Tarah Pro headphones in the over-ear position as well (shown in the photos above) just by rotating the earbuds while they are in your ears. Although this process sounds easy when reading the instructions, in practice, I found that it was actually easier to take them out of my ears, rotate them, and then reinsert them into my ears.
When I use the headphones for casual purposes, the headphones are comfortable for about two hours, after which the fins start to hurt my ears. At this point, I pop the ear fins out of my outer ears while leaving the earphones in my ears canals. This allows me to wear them for many more hours comfortably.
When exercising, I found that the headphones stayed in my ears well as long as I used the ear fins and tucked them into my outer ears. The fins really help keep the headphones in place when you’re doing high impact workouts.
Jaybird MySound app
This Jaybird MySound app works only with Jaybird Freedom, Freedom 2, X3, X4, Run, Tarah, and Tarah Pro headphones. All screenshots for this review were taken using my Pixel 2 XL.
The first time my Tarah Pro headphones were powered on and connected to my Pixel 2 XL, the MySound app found them and thus I was able to immediately start customizing them. However, if you need to connect your headphones to the app manually, you can do so by tapping on the Menu icon located in the upper left corner of the MySound app dashboard then tapping on “Pair new headphones”. A message will pop up informing you that this will remove the already paired device.
NOTE: You cannot connect more than one set of Jaybird headphones to the app at a time. Therefore, if I want the Tarah Pro headphones to connect to the app, I have to have all other Jaybird headphones powered off and then open the app.
Dashboard: There are very minor differences in the app depending on which set of Jaybird headphones you have powered on and connected with the app. All of the Jaybird headphones that I have (X3, Tarah, and Tarah Pro) have the following dashboard information. The MySound Dashboard contains (starting at the top left of the app): menu (three-line menu icon), notifications (bell icon), edit the dashboard (pencil icon) and add a new preset (“+” icon). The app also has three tabs just below the previously mentioned icons: Presets (equalizer icon), Running Music (music note icon), and Profile (profile icon) as shown in the above three screenshots above.
When you launch the app, the dashboard shows your current EQ preset frequency response curve beneath the tabs. And if you wish to customize that preset, you may do so by tapping on the “Customize” button and adjusting your frequency preferences.
Beneath the current EQ preset frequency response curve, there are several tiles: “Discover more presets”, two default presets – “Flat” and “Signature”, “Personal EQ” (added when using the Tarah Pro headphones), as well as each of your saved presets (those that you create or those that you save from the “Discover more presets”).
Equalizer tab: Just like my review of the Jaybird X3s and Tarah headphones states, using the MySound app, you can do many things. The app allows you to try out the sound presets created by other Jaybird headphones users when you tap on the “Discover more presets” tile. I was able to preview others’ EQ presets by tapping on the Preview button (I needed to be playing music to preview) and if I liked it, I could save it to my dashboard.
Personal EQ dashboard tile: One of the really cool MySound app additions that shows up when you use the Tarah Pro headphones is the “Personal EQ” dashboard tile. When I selected this tile for the first time, I had to tap on the “Personalize” button located in the area above the presets. Then, when the next app screen pops up, I tapped “Start” to start the app assisted EQ customization process. The app guides you through tone tests. On each app screen, you slowly slide the bar up until you just start to hear the tone. After which you’ll tap on the “Next” button.
The app guides you through “Sub bass” as shown above in the last screenshot…
… “Bass range”, “Low midrange”, “Midrange” …
… “Upper midrange”, and “Presence and brilliance” frequencies as shown in the screenshots above. When you are finished, you’ll tap on “Go to dashboard” to see your “Personalized EQ” frequency response curve. In my case, this worked fairly well. However, I found that I still preferred my “Hi Res + Bass” preset (which is my very slight alteration of Colton Tate’s “Hi Res” preset) over all others.
NOTE: You can only edit (customize) or reset the “Personal EQ” preset if you are using the Tarah Pro headphones with the app. Other Jaybird headphones can use the preset, but cannot alter it.
Creating your own preset: You can also create your own equalizer presets. To create my own EQ presets, I tapped on the “+” icon located at the top right of the MySound dashboard. The next screen allowed me to adjust the frequencies to the levels that I prefer by moving the circles around – up, down, and side to side (middle screenshot above). By tapping any circle, you will be provided adjustable vertical boundary lines on either side of the circle that allow you to isolate and adjust a particular range of frequencies as shown in the first screenshot above. After several adjustments and finding my preferred frequency levels, I tapped on the Save button located at the upper right of the screen. I then named my equalizer settings and could add a description, select the music genres that it works best for, and select whether or not to share it with other Jaybird headphone users (last screenshot above).
Saving a preset to my Tarah Pro headphones: When I decided on a favorite preset, I selected it (the last preset that you select is the one that is saved to your headphones). I was then able to use that particular preset which was saved on the Tarah Pro headphones on all devices and all apps and media. And if I wanted to change that preset, all I had to do was open the MySound app, make sure that the app was connected to my Tarah Pro earbuds, and then select a new preset from the list of my other saved EQ presets.
Running Music tab: I finally tried out the “Running Music” tab (screenshot above) on the dashboard for a very brief time. This section of the MySound app only works with Spotify. The available playlists are those used by other Jaybird headphones users (I only use the free version of Spotify so I think my use of this app feature is limited). This is a great way to discover new music and share your own playlist.
Menu: In the MySound app menu, you can also access the headphone’s settings, how-to guides, find your fit, contact Jaybird support, pair new headphones, or shop Jaybird (shown in the screenshot above).
The settings section of the app is another place in the app that is specific to the Jaybird headphones that you are using (shown in the screenshot above). The Tarah Pro headphones settings contain: “Find my buds”, “Voice prompts”, “Name your buds”, and “Battery status” settings.
By turning on “Find my buds”, the MySound app provides you with a map to see where they were last used. The “Voice prompts” setting allows you to select “Voice prompts and tones” or “Tones only” for your headphones. This is also the area where you could change the language. And when the “Battery status” toggle button is turned on, it allows Android users to view the headphones’ battery status in the notification bar when they are connected.
I love Jaybird headphones because of the MySound app. I’m not sure I could switch to any other in-ear headphones and be as happy as I am with these. The fact that app allowed me to create or select my own EQ preset and save it to the headphones is invaluable to me. This allows me to use that particular preset saved on the Tarah Pro headphones across all devices and all apps and media. And it was easy to change the preset at any time, although I found that I didn’t need to.
I tested the music controls of the Tarah Pro headphones. A short press of the Middle button allowed me to play/pause music on Pandora, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Netflix, and YouTube. However, I was completely unable to play or pause Amazon Prime Video content using the in-line remote on my Tarah Pro headphones which were connected to my Pixel 2 XL phone. Yet, the play/pause feature does work on Amazon Prime Video when using the headphones with an iPhone 7.
A short press of the Volume Up or Down buttons successfully increased or decreased the volume when listening to music or watching streamed movies. The volume buttons were also synchronized with each of my devices. While listening to music, a two-second press of the Volume Up button skipped ahead a song and a two-second press of the Volume Down button skipped back a song.
The Jaybird website states that the headphones will play for 14 hours on one full charge. I found that the playing time of the Tarah Pro headphones was mind-blowing. They provided me with a whopping 14 hours and 45 minutes of playing time on one full charge when I used them at a moderate volume level.
The Jaybird website states that the Tarah Pro headphones take two hours to fully charge. When connected to my laptop, I was able to fully charge my Tarah Pro headphones in one hour and forty-five minutes.
The printed Quick Start Guide states that “Wall/car adapters/chargers that supply more than the 5.5 V may damage your Jaybird earbuds and should not be used.” Using my USB multimeter, I made sure to test that my laptop and desktop multiport charger were not delivering more voltage than that specified in the Quick Start Guide. It’s a little difficult to see in the above photos, but my laptop and Aukey multiport desktop charger provided 5.03 V/0.27 A and 5.07 V/0.27 A, respectively, to my Jaybird earbuds.
The guide also states that five minutes of charging time provides two hours of play time. I tested this and found that I was able to get two hours and eighteen minutes of playing time when the headphones were set at a moderately low volume. This is so awesome.
Calling features and call quality
I have learned that the “How to Guides” in the MySound app are riddled with inaccuracies, so if you need information on fit, controls, and waterproof info, consult the printed Quick Start Guide that comes with the headphones. According to the printed Quick Start Guide for the Tarah Pro earbuds, the headphones have very basic calling features. These include accept/end a call, reject a call, and call volume controls. That’s it. They do not have mute/unmute, redial, or switch-a-call features. 🙁
I tested the “Accept/End Call” feature (short press of the Middle button), “Reject Call” feature (double press of the Middle button), and the volume controls. They all worked well. And just in case the Quick Start Guide was incorrect, I tested to see if the mute feature existed by long pressing and double pressing all the buttons, but alas, no – it does not exist.
During my tests, I noticed that the call audio quality was very nice on both ends.
When I received the Tarah Pro headphones I thought that the default audio quality settings were fine but lacked strong enough bass. I fully expected that and I knew that I would be using my favorite EQ setting “Hi Res + Bass”.
After selecting the “Hi Res + Bass” preset, the audio quality was vastly improved (a non-audiophile opinion). After choosing this preset, all frequencies remained clear but the bass was louder. I was able to thoroughly enjoy all different kinds of music (classic rock, blues, jazz, classical music, pop, electronica, etc). I listened to “Salute” by Little Mix which is a pop song that has nice strong bass; “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, a jazz tune performed by Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie which has lovely vocals; “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive which has a nice balance of instruments and vocals; and the Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor (Moonlight Sonata) where the piano sounds beautiful. I loved all these using the “Hi Res + Bass” preset.
While using the headphones to listen to music or watch videos, I did not experience any lag when using the earbuds with my Pixel 2 XL or iPhone 7.
What I like
- The headphones play for about 14 hours and 45 minutes.
- The MySound app helped me to create a customized sound preset with the “Personal EQ” dashboard tile.
- The app also allows me to create my own equalizer presets and save one to my headphones.
- I can change the EQ preset saved on my headphones at any time using the app.
- The audio quality is great after having saved my favorite preset to the headphones, making all genres of music enjoyable.
- The Bluetooth range (83-85 feet in line-of-sight) and connectivity (maintained through four walls) is awesome.
- The headphones charge very quickly (one hour and forty-five minutes).
What needs to be improved
- The headphones use a proprietary charging cradle.
- The headphones have only basic calling features (accept/end call and reject a call).
The Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones are now my favorite Bluetooth earbuds, supplanting my Jaybird X3s. This is mainly because they play for 14 hours and 45 minutes when set at a moderate volume level. In addition, just like my other Jaybird headphones, the MySound app allows me to create and select my own equalizer preset(s) and save it directly to the earbuds. And changing the preset is easy – I just select a different preset in the app which then saves it to my headphones. Being able to use my own preset makes all genres of music sound great.
There was no lag when watching video streaming apps and the headphones’ music controls work well when using music and video apps on my Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 7 (although the play/pause did not work on Amazon Prime Video when using the headphones with my Pixel phone). In addition, the Bluetooth range and connectivity are fabulous and the charging time was awesome (about one hour and forty-five minutes to fully charge). They also fit me fairly well (my right earphone needs a few seconds of adjusting to get a good seal) and were comfortable to wear for up to two hours or so when I kept the fins in my outer ears (which you can easily pop out and still use the headphones as long as you are not being very active). And last, they stayed in my ears very well while doing high impact workouts with the help of the ear gel fins.
The Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones are kind of expensive ($159.99) and only have very basic calling features, but since they play for over 14 hours and you can create your own EQ presets and save them to the headphones to be used across all your devices, well, that’s huge to me. Thus, I would definitely purchase them for those two reasons alone.