Review: Jaybird's Athlete-Inspired Tarah Pro Bluetooth Headphones

Go big or stay home is my version of that common saying. If you’re going to go for a hike, make it epic. If it’s a run, make it a marathon. Bike ride? Better be a century. Ultra is in and you need gear that’s up for the challenge. If your legs can take a 14-hour run, why can’t your headphones?

The Jaybird Tarah Pro headphone is designed for endurance athletes and anyone else who wants extended battery life in a durable headphone with good sound. The Tarah Pro offers up to 14 hours of playback, to be exact. With a fast-charge option that provides up to 2 hours of playback after a five-minute charge, you’ll never be caught unprepared at the gym.

The Tarah Pro (MSRP: $160) are the latest headphones from Jaybird. They feature a 6mm driver with a frequency range listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. They are IPX7 waterproof rated, meaning they can be used in the rain and can handle sweat, but not swimming or extended exposure to water. They use a rather unique magnetic charging clip that is definitely not water resistant, so make sure everything is dry before charging.

The charging clip snaps magnetically to a Pogo pin connector with a USB cable. This makes it so easy to quickly attach to the charger - no fidgety charging ports, but it means if you lose the charging cable, you’re stuck. The good news is that with 14 hours of playback, you can put the cable in one place and only charge when needed. Conveniently, the headphones will turn off automatically when the two earbuds are magnetically joined, or when the built-in accelerometer detects no movement for 15 minutes.

The Tarah Pro headphones use a braided fabric-covered cord that resists tangles and has a reflective thread woven in for a bit of added visibility at night. The earbuds have a single gel-tip with integrated fins for a secure fit, even while jogging. They come with three different sizes for a tight seal that will enhance bass response. They do block out a lot of outside noise, which is good and bad. Using them on a stationary bike with a powerful fan blowing right at me, wind noise was almost completely blocked. However, I wouldn’t want to use these in a busy traffic situation outdoors where I need to be aware of external noises.

Jaybird has an iPhone/Android app that lets you easily customize the playback EQ of the Tarah Pro. The settings are stored with the headphones, so even if you pair up to another device that doesn’t run the app, the EQ settings convey. There are some preset EQ curves, including two from Jaybird sponsored athletes, but I found them both to be a bit dark and boomy. The app lets you create your own curve, or you can take a short hearing test and the app will create a curve optimized for your hearing response. I took the test and found it boosted too much bass for my personal preferences.

While there is the ability to customize the sound, it is important to evaluate them with a flat response. They have a rich, full sound that is best described as warm. The high end is smooth and accurate, but slightly pulled back. They have a natural balance that isn’t the least bit harsh or shrill. Even when the volume is stressed, the tonal balance is good. Once a good fit is obtained with the properly-sized eartip, the bass response is solid, and not exaggerated. Using the app, you can pick the exact frequency range you wish to increase or decrease, so you can get more deep impact if you feel it is necessary. I listened to a few songs off “The Greatest Showman - Reimagined” and songs like “This is Me” with Keala Settle, Kesha and Missy Elliot was solid and impressive, especially when the massive bass kicks in. The deep bass notes were full and the high notes hit by Settle and the choir were clear and sharp. Overall, the Tarah Pro headphones have an impressive sound.

It’s hard to find headphones that combine practical convenience, extended playback time, and a decent sound. Usually you need three different headphones for those three different needs. The Tarah Pro from Jaybird might be the only headphones you need, especially as you head out for epic adventures.