Powerbeats 4 vs Jaybird X4: Choosing Sport And Fitness Wireless Earphones

Getting your groove on while you’re in the gym or out on a run is pretty key to enjoying workouts. You’d want a nice pair of sweat-resistant wireless earphones that let you move about without worrying about falling ear pieces. Beats’ new Powerbeats 4 aims to give you just that, and it’s being released at a much lower price point than its predecessor to boot. See how it compares against the Jaybird X4, one of the solid standout choices currently available.

Powerbeats 4 vs Jaybird X4 Wireless Earphones Comparison Chart

ModelPowerbeats 4Jaybird X4
Powerbeats 4 Wireless Earphones - RedJaybird X4 Wireless Earphones - Black Metallic / Flash
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
FitIn-EarIn-Ear
Ear Tip Sizes44
Speed CinchNoYes
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX7
Built-in ControlsYesYes
Custom EQNoYes
MicYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
Battery Life15 hours8 hours
Quick ChargeYesYes
ColorsRed, Black, WhiteBlack Metallic, Storm Metallic
CompatibilityAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS

Design

The Powerbeats 4 has earhooks while the Jaybird X4 has ear fins and a speed cinch.

Powerbeats 4 vs Jaybird X4 Sport Headphones Design
You’ll have to carefully consider whether the design of the Powerbeats 4 (left) or the Jaybird X4 (right) fits you better.

The problem with truly wireless earbuds is that they can be prone to falling out of your ears if you move a lot, which doesn’t make them too great for working out. Connecting cables and ear hooks or fins address that, which is what the Powerbeats 4 and Jaybird X4 have in common. Both can be relied on to stay affixed once you’ve put them on properly, and the cable makes them easy to store, find, and use.

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Where the Powerbeats 4 has earhooks that loop the cable over and behind the ear, the Jaybird X4 uses ear fins to secure its position while you string its cable over your ears as well. You’ll have to see for yourself which style feels more comfortable for you. The Jaybird X4 has a speed cinch that you can use to get the cable to fit snugly behind your neck, but the rounded cable of the Powerbeats 4 is designed to reduce friction.

Each pair of earphones also come with multiple sizes of ear tips so you can choose the best fit for the occasion. However, the Jaybird X4 includes silicone tips as well as their signature Comply Ultra Foam Tips, which are much better for relaxed use. You get a bunch of ear fin sizes too, letting you adjust fit perfectly whether you’re wearing the Jaybird X4 over the ear or with the cable straight down.

Sound Quality

The Powerbeats 4 has a more full-bodied sound than the Jaybird X4.

Powerbeats 4 vs Jaybird X4 Sport Headphones Sound Quality
No longer just a brand known for bass-heavy sound, Beats has refined the tone and power of the Powerbeats 4 considerably.

Apple has accomplished quite a feat helping the Beats brand move away from its notorious bass-loving sound into the premium, well-balanced quality it now offers. The Powerbeats 4 is a premier example of this refinement, as it still packs plenty of bass without overpowering the mids and highs. They sound great whether you’re listening to loud hip-hop or articulate classical tracks.

In contrast, you might not get the same power with the Jaybird X4, but it does feature Custom EQ settings so you can personalize sound quality to your taste. Pairing it with your phone and installing the app lets you try different presets saved by Jaybird as well as musicians, athletes and other users. You’ll want to do this right away since the Jaybird X4 is tuned flat out of the box.

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It’s pretty important to select the right ear tip size to enjoy the best out of your earphones, since the sound suffers if they don’t fully seal. This can be a bit of a struggle with the Jaybird X4 since you’ll need to find the correct combination of ear fin size, ear tip size and type. The ear hooks of the Powerbeats 4 is straightforward in comparison.

Battery Life

The Powerbeats 4 lasts longer on a single charge than the Jaybird X4.

Powerbeats 4 vs Jaybird X4 Sport Headphones Battery Life
Get all-day music with a fully charged Powerbeats 4.

There’s no question that the Powerbeats 4 has the big lead here, claiming 15 hours of listening time compared to the 8 hours of the Jaybird X4. Both will likely last you a good part of the day while you hit the gym and take care of errands and such. However, for whole day hikes and longer outdoor adventures, the Powerbeats 4 will outlast the Jaybird X4 easily.

Both also have quick charging features so you can grab an extra hour of playback by charging the Powerbeats 4 for 5 minutes and the Jaybird X4 for 10 minutes. The included proprietary charger of the Jaybird X4 is a bit awkward and challenging to use though, since its cable is very short and docking it correctly can be a chore. You’ll want to confirm that the charging indicator is lit up or you might check back later to an uncharged or partially charged device.

Other Features

The Jaybird X4 is sweat and waterproof while the Powerbeats 4 is only resistant.

Powerbeats 4 vs Jaybird X4 Sport Headphones Other Features
You can pretty much stand in the rain with the Jaybird X4 and immerse yourself in music.

Sport headphones need sufficient water resistance to survive repeated use since they’re ideally worn during strenuous activities. The Jaybird X4 has an IPX7 rating, so it’s fully sweat and water proof. You can run with it under all weather conditions and not worry about shorted circuits. In comparison, the Powerbeats 4 is only IPX4, making it still sweat and water-resistant but just not to the same level as the Jaybird X4.

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There are more advanced features on the Powerbeats 4, however, such as hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ access thanks to its Apple H1 chip. Its controls are also on the ear pieces themselves, with a customizable button if you want to use a different voice assistant. It also has an accelerometer that detects whenever you’re speaking, allowing its dual-beam forming mics to focus on your voice while filtering out the background.

Verdict

The Powerbeats 4 offers better sound quality and lasts longer than the Jaybird X4.

Though it’s a bit more expensive, the Beats Powerbeats 4 is definitely worth the extra since you get better out-of-the-box sound quality and nearly twice as long battery life. We found its adjustable ear hook design to be more secure in keeping the earphones in place, and they do look more stylish too. If you have an iPhone to use it with it’s even better, since you get near-instant pairing and stronger wireless connections along with hands-free Siri.

There are many scenarios where the Jaybird X4 might be better for you. If budget is tight you can grab it when it’s available with a discount and save quite a bit. You’ll get custom EQ settings to personalize its sound to what you like best, and you can do the same with how it fits your ears too.

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.