JBL Tour Professional 2
Premium earbuds with sharp coloration touchscreen embedded in charging case to manage playback and entry key settings and options
Good sound, noise canceling and voice-calling efficiency
Sturdy function set
Robust battery life
LE Audio suitable
Do not like
Sound might be barely higher for the worth
No head-tracking for spatial sound mode
When JBL first introduced its Tour Professional 2 earbuds ($250, £220, AU$350) in January, they obtained loads of consideration for having one thing we hadn’t seen in a set of earbuds earlier than: a full coloration touchscreen show embedded within the case that means that you can entry the earbuds’ key options and management playback in addition to alter quantity ranges. Fairly cool, however is that touchscreen helpful or only a gimmick?
After testing the Tour Professional 2 buds for a number of days, I might say the reply is a bit little bit of each. However earlier than I dig into that dichotomy, I will begin with how the buds sound, carry out and match, which is what most individuals wish to learn about when shopping for earbuds.
Highly effective bass
The JBL sound signature tends to intensify the bass. To not the purpose the place it overpowers all the pieces, however at their default setting, the Tour Professional 2s’ bass is what jumps out at you together with a reasonably huge soundstage. They exhibit first rate readability, however these aren’t essentially the most detailed sounding earbuds and may’t fairly measure as much as among the best-sounding buds just like the Sony WF-1000XM4 ship when it comes to sound high quality. You’ll be able to tweak the sound profile within the JBL Headphones app or toggle by means of some EQ presets proper on the case. (OK, I am again to that touchscreen.)
For no matter purpose, I went with the “Jazz” preset as a result of it felt proper for the eclectic music I hearken to, whether or not it is electronica, rock tracks, hip hop and even a few of immediately’s pop hits. The “bass” setting made all the pieces sound a bit muddy and the “vocal” setting is sweet for podcasts however not music. The “studio” setting, which is meant to be essentially the most impartial made all the pieces sound a bit flat. You can even create your individual customized EQ settings or higher but, run Personi-Fi from the app, which creates a customized sound profile based mostly on a listening to take a look at. (My Personi-Fi sound profile dialed the bass again a bit and popped up the treble a tad whereas leaving the mids untouched.)
General, I preferred the sound. These aren’t as clear or balanced sounding because the Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 3, however they’ve new upgraded 10mm drivers and provide barely bolder, extra dynamic sound in comparison with JBL’s Stay Professional 2 earbuds, that are a great worth after they dip to $100 in flash gross sales.
As at all times, how good these buds sound will depend upon how tight a seal you get from one of many included ear ideas. You’ll be able to argue over simply how premium these earbuds feel and appear — I believe some individuals may anticipate barely extra from $250 buds. However they match my ears properly (I used the most important ideas), and I discovered the buds match securely — I might run with them with out worrying they might fall out (they’re IPX5 splash-proof). I do not suppose these are fairly as snug because the AirPods Professional 2, however they need to match most ears properly. That stated, they may not struggle everybody’s ears.
As far audio as codecs go, you are AAC (for iPhones and Android units), however a future firmware improve will add Bluetooth LE Audio, a JBL rep informed me. Bluetooth LE Audio helps such options as Auracast (broadcast audio) and the LC3 audio codec, which helps streaming of higher-resolution music if in case you have a music streaming service that helps high-res streaming.
Good adaptive noise-canceling and voice-calling efficiency
No, these do not block out noise in addition to the Bose’s QuietComfort 2 earbuds, however should you get a decent seal, they do a great job muffling sound. I wore them within the streets of New York and on the subway and thought they successfully diminished ambient noise within the low and higher mid frequencies (I might nonetheless hear voices) and blocked out a lot of the noise that my considerably noisy HVAC unit emits in my kitchen.
The buds are multipoint Bluetooth enabled, which implies you’ll be able to pair them with two units on the similar, corresponding to a pc and smartphone. I used them with an iPhone 14 Professional to make calls and callers stated my voice sounded pretty clear in my checks calls from the noisy streets of New York (it’s a actual torture take a look at). Callers stated they did hear a little bit of wind and background noise, however they have been decidedly above common for calls although not fairly on par with the AirPods Professional 2 for voice readability. It is also price noting that you would be able to select how a lot of your voice you’ll be able to hear within the buds whereas making a name by taking part in round with the VoiceAware settings within the app or on the case’s touchscreen.
Sensible options, numerous them
Like most buds which have lively noise-canceling, the Tour Professional 2 have a transparency mode that means that you can hear the surface world (it sounds considerably pure although not as pure as what you get with the AirPods Professional 2’s transparency mode). These buds even have a Private Sound Amplification mode that means that you can amplify the world round you a bit, turning the buds into pseudo listening to aids.
The fact is these are fairly function filled with numerous little extras, together with wi-fi charging, ear-detection sensors and a “spatial sound” mode that is lacking head-tracking however has settings for films, music and gaming (alas, with out head monitoring, spatial audio is not that fascinating). The Discover My Buds function is a bit completely different from Apple’s in that you would be able to select to play a high-pitched sound out of both earbud that will help you find your buds, which is beneficial should you drop a foul in a spot you’ll be able to’t see it. You need to use both bud independently in case you have been questioning.
After which, there’s that “good” case with that touchscreen. (It is heavier and barely bulkier than your typical earbuds case however not an excessive amount of so.) As I stated, it is a bit of gimmick but considerably helpful, serving as a distant management to your buds.
Positive, you possibly can entry all of the options you’d discover on the case’s touchscreen within the JBL Headphones app in your iPhone or Android smartphone (and the buds do have restricted contact controls on the buds themselves), however you will have take your cellphone out of your pocket, go to the app and discover what you are in search of. As a substitute, I left my cellphone in my pocket and stored the case in my hand and used it to advance tracks ahead and mess around with the EQ and ANC settings. You’ll be able to even add your individual display saver to the case’s unlock display (you faucet the display to wake it up, then slide your finger throughout it to unlock it), obtain notifications on the display, reply and finish calls (form of nifty), and switch the LCD into a really small flashlight.
The case’s touchscreen is not fairly as responsive as that of your iPhone or Android machine, however it would not really feel sluggish, although you could end up swiping the display twice to get the following setting. I’ve seen different instances which have embedded LCDs that show how a lot battery life the case and buds have left (this one reveals that too) and Poly’s new Voyager Free 60+ UC ($329) earbuds have a largely monochrome touchscreen that means that you can entry some settings and alter quantity ranges. However the touchscreen within the Tour Professional 2’s case is essentially the most superior display I’ve seen in a charging case. That stated, the Poly case, just like the $400 Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2 case, does convert right into a Bluetooth transceiver that plugs into the headphone jack of an inflight leisure system and means that you can ship audio to your buds wirelessly. The Tour Professional 2’s case would not have that function (I would not anticipate it to at this worth).
JBL Tour Professional 2 remaining ideas
By and huge, the JBL Tour Professional 2 are excellent earbuds with a strong function set, robust battery life (they rated for as much as 8 hours with noise canceling on at reasonable quantity ranges) and that particular function — the eye-catching touchscreen of their “good” case. Whereas they sound fairly good with the correct EQ setting, yow will discover a bit higher sounding earbuds for the cash, which might be the most important rub in opposition to the Tour Professional 2s.
The touchscreen is cool and enjoyable to make use of, however it will not be cool sufficient — or helpful sufficient — to sway loads of iPhone customers away from the AirPods Professional 2, which are sometimes promote for $50 or $200 lower than these earbuds. That most likely signifies that within the not-so-distant future we should always see these discounted, as JBL is wont to do. When that occurs — and after they’re upgraded with LE Audio and the LC3 audio codec — I will revisit their ranking.
The JBL Tour Professional 2 earbuds key specs, in response to JBL
- True adaptive noise canceling with customizable ANC and ambient sound
- 1.45-inch touchscreen embedded in charging case
- Excessive-res audio licensed with 10mm dynamic drivers (LC3 audio codec coming quickly)
- IPX5 splash-proof (case is IPX2 water resistant)
- Customizable sound by way of JBL Headphones app for iOS and Android
- Battery life: 10 hours within the earbuds with 30 hours within the case, or 8 hours plus 24 extra within the case with ANC activated
- Get 4 hours of battery life from a 15-minute cost
- 6-microphones (3 mics in every bud) with VoiceAware for voice calls
- Bluetooth 5.3, LE Audio suitable
- Value: $250
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