JBL Tour Professional 2 assessment: Welcome to the good case period

In terms of earbud innovation, nowadays advances usually are available decreased measurement, longer battery life and improved audio. Hardly ever does an organization supply one thing actually distinctive. However JBL appears to assume there’s room for enchancment in . With the , JBL has put in , providing you with entry to settings and instruments with out having to dive into its app. On high of that, these are a feature-packed set of true wi-fi earbuds, with a ton of choices for sound customization, listening to help and extra. However with the whole lot the $250 set gives, JBL would possibly’ve been too bold.


JBL’s product vary options a mixture of “conventional” earbuds, stick buds and sport fashions with an over-the-ear loop. The Tour Professional 2 suits in that center class with a design akin to Apple’s AirPods. These actually have a extra refined look, although, with a mixture of matte and gloss black plastic. The form of the internal a part of the earbud is ovular, which is, once more just like the AirPods Professional.

The curves right here mix with decrease weight to make for a snug match. The Tour Professional 2 are one of many few units of true wi-fi earbuds I can put on for hours at a time with out it changing into a chore. There’s a contact panel on the surface of each buds that may settle for single, double and triple faucets, along with lengthy presses, for a wide range of on-board controls. Plus, you’ll be able to reconfigure these to your liking contained in the JBL Headphones app.

The headline characteristic although, is undoubtedly the case. Most earbuds include a charging case, the characteristic listing mainly ends at charging. Some corporations have added wi-fi transmission to be used on planes, however nothing too loopy. The Tour Professional 2 comes with a “good case,” full with a contact display screen on the surface. As you would possibly count on, it’s bigger than what we usually see, however it’s not large by any means. It’s geared up for wi-fi charging and there’s a USB-C port on the button for wired high ups.

Software program and options

JBL Tour Pro 2 review

Picture by Billy Steele/Engadget

The Tour Professional 2 gives a ton of options for audio setup, comfort and customization. All of that are accessible contained in the JBL Headphones app and a few can be found by way of the charging case show. Whenever you pair the earbuds to the app for the primary time, the software program will immediate you to finish a number of steps for preliminary setup. These embrace an ear tip match and ear canal checks for ANC efficiency, voice assistant setup and a fast characteristic tour. The principle part of the app shows battery standing for each earbuds individually and the case proper up high.

All the pieces else is located on that essential display screen, accessible with a easy scroll. Ambient Sound Management is up high, providing you with the power to decide on between energetic noise cancellation, Ambient Conscious (transparency mode), TalkThru for IRL conversations and off. There’s the choice to additional tweak ANC by choosing Adaptive, computerized changes or by enabling leakage and/or ear canal compensation. Ambient Conscious permits you to alter the extent of environmental sound the earbuds decide up with a slider.

Subsequent on the listing is Personi-Fi. That is JBL’s tackle private audio profiles. After finishing a listening to check, the app creates a sound profile that additionally takes into consideration your listening preferences. Personi-Fi considers gender, age and extra to construct its customized preset. Earlier than finishing the method, the audio on the Tour Professional 2 was… positive. After the five-minute bout with tones at varied volumes and frequencies, my sound profile produced improved bass response from the earbuds and what felt like a barely wider soundstage. Nevertheless, the tailor-made setting did lose some element in issues like softer background vocals, guitar distortion and delicate noise.

Sound choices comply with Personi-Fi. Right here, JBL offers you a group of audio presets in addition to the power to manually alter the EQ curve. Any tuning you create will be saved for future use. You even have the choice of enabling Spatial Sound on the Tour Professional 2, JBL’s tackle spatial audio. When you flip it on, the corporate gives three choices based mostly on what you’re listening to: film, music and recreation.

The app offers you the power to vary the gestures for the on-board controls from this menu too. There’s a restrict to the fine-tuning right here as JBL has grouped all of the choices underneath Ambient Sound Management, Quantity Management or Playback & Voice Assistant Management. These are self-explanatory and you’ll select to place one on the left and a unique one on the precise. The one constant habits is {that a} lengthy press will summon your voice assistant on all three gesture choices.

Three of probably the most helpful options on the Tour Professional 2 are VoiceAware, SilentNow and Private Sound Amplification. VoiceAware is an adjustable device that permits you to tweak how a lot of your voice you hear throughout calls. JBL describes SlientNow as a quiet bubble, a characteristic that disconnects Bluetooth and activates ANC. The corporate goes a step additional by permitting you to schedule when the mode will activate, how lengthy it will likely be energetic and if you would like an alarm when it ends (in case you’re planning to nap). Private Sound Amplification is designed for listening to help, boosting environmental sound by 15-20dB and serving to with conversations. When it’s enabled, you’ll be able to alter left/proper steadiness and achieve to suit your wants.

The good case

JBL Tour Pro 2 review

Picture by Billy Steele/Engadget

Whereas the primary function of the good case is to present you quick access to the Tour Professional 2’s options. I’m glad to debate the utility of placing the whole lot on the charging accent as an alternative of leaving it in an app – software program that takes solely a pair extra faucets to open. However, should you discover the whole idea handy, I’m glad to report that the contact display screen works nicely. You swipe backward and forward to scroll by means of the myriad choices out there on the case and that panel is receptive to faucets with out subject. Plus, JBL determined to place battery ranges, a clock and helpful icons on the highest edge, providing you with essential information at a look. What’s extra, once you’re on a name, these controls pop-up on case too.

The JBL Headphones app features a part for customizing the good case. Right here, you’ll be able to alter the show brightness, choose a screensaver, allow message notifications/previews and select which options shall be accessible on the contact display screen. By default, the case reveals Ambient Sound Management, Spatial Sound, EQ presets, VoiceAware and auto play/pause (once you take away the buds out of your ears). That’s along with the lock display screen wallpaper selector, display screen brightness, timer, quantity, playback controls, flashlight and Discover My Buds that may’t be eliminated. The one further characteristic that isn’t enabled by default which you could add to the case is SilentNow.

Sound high quality and noise cancellation

The default tuning on the Tour Professional 2 is fairly common. There’s some first rate readability and element, however the soundstage feels compressed regardless of an excellent quantity of bass and a smidge of punch within the treble. Total, issues converge on the midrange, leaving the additional oomph on the desk with tracks like Higher Lovers’ “30 Underneath 13” and boygenius’ “$20.” Personi-fi helps open issues up a bit, however as I discussed, it comes at the price of misplaced element. You lose among the texture of the vocals and guitars in that boygenius track, for instance.

One other prime instance of the dearth of area within the sound profile is on Nickel Creek’s Celebrants. That album was recorded in a means that sounds such as you’re within the room getting a non-public efficiency. Guitar, fiddle, mandolin and bass encompass you with vocals sprinkled round to finish the vibe. On the Tour Professional 2, you lose the sense of the digital room, so the songs simply grow to be music in your earbuds as an alternative of capturing the environment and vitality of the monitoring session. Personi-fi makes no noticeable distinction right here.

Whereas there are a selection of audio customization choices in JBL’s app, they don’t do a lot to enhance issues. Actually, some make the sound worse. Spatial Sound’s effectiveness can fluctuate relying on the style. Generally there’s a noticeable enchancment within the immersive nature of the audio. However with some content material, like that Nickel Creek album, it looks like positioning is simply moved up barely, prefer it’s making an attempt to simulate up-firing drivers in a soundbar. In these instances, the sound is simply relocated, not improved. I discovered it finest to go away Spatial Hold forth.

Gallery: JBL Tour Professional 2 assessment | 11 Photographs

By way of ANC efficiency, the Tour Professional 2 does a strong job in most circumstances. They’re superb at blocking the fixed roar of a dishwasher, garments dryer or white noise machine – issues that conspire for the each day droning at my home. Nevertheless, the earbuds wrestle with human voices, particularly if the particular person is closeby. Take heed to something comparatively quiet and also you’re positive to listen to the chatty particular person behind you.

One word on noise isolation that’s price stating. Regardless of the ear tip match check figuring out that every one was nicely with the Tour Professional 2, there was quite a lot of sound leakage so the individuals round me might clearly hear what I used to be listening to. My spouse was the primary to note, and whereas she says it occurs often whereas I’m testing, it has by no means been this dangerous. Certain sufficient, when she popped within the earbuds, I might clearly hear the tunes at volumes above 60 p.c or so. It’s one thing to contemplate should you wish to blast heavy steel within the workplace.

For calls, the Tour Professional 2 is a blended bag. Confusingly, the TalkThru possibility within the Ambient Sound Management menu can’t be activated right here. You possibly can allow ambient sound mode, however that doesn’t decide up a substantial quantity of your chatter. As an alternative, there’s that separate VoiceAware characteristic and it solely works throughout calls. Once more, it’s adjustable, so you’ll be able to choose the quantity of your speech you need despatched again by means of the earbuds. It really works okay, however it’s nowhere close to as pure sounding as what you get on . Whereas TalkThru is supposed for in-person conversations, it doesn’t pipe in far more of your voice than the transparency mode Ambient Conscious. So, even should you might use it for calls, it’s not an awesome possibility for them. Ultimately, it simply looks like completely different options right here do variations of the identical factor. Total, name high quality is simply okay right here, regardless of JBL’s promise of “excellent calls” by way of six on-board mics.

Battery life

JBL Tour Pro 2 review

Picture by Billy Steele/Engadget

JBL says you’ll be able to count on as much as eight hours on a cost with ANC on, plus one other three full expenses within the case. Flip noise cancellation off and you can muster two further hours on each the buds and per cost within the case. Throughout checks consisting of “regular” use – a mixture of ANC, transparency mode, calls and leaving the buds to energy off robotically – I bought seven hours earlier than having to dock the Tour Professional 2 within the case.

Oddly, I began getting low battery notifications when the case was nonetheless exhibiting 25 p.c left on each earbuds. Energy plummeted rapidly from there and after lower than half-hour the pair was useless. I point out this to level out that the battery estimates on the case don’t appear to be totally correct, particularly once you hit 25 p.c. In case you unexpectedly encounter a faster-than-expected drain, there’s a 15-minute quick-charge device that offers you as much as 4 hours of use.

The competitors

In terms of premium true wi-fi earbuds, are one of the best you should buy proper now. The corporate consists of simply as many options as JBL, if no more. You gained’t discover a good case, however you will see that helpful instruments like Converse-to-Chat computerized pausing once you begin speaking and the power to robotically change sound settings based mostly on location or exercise. Plus, the M4s supply higher sound high quality and more practical noise cancellation on high of all of the conveniences. They’re beginning to get some age on them as they debuted in mid-2021, however meaning you’re presently aware about a reduction: they’re presently going for $200.


JBL threw each characteristic it might on the . And that’s with out even contemplating the good case. That touch-screen-enabled accent is the primary draw however I’m not bought on the idea simply but. Certain, there’s one thing to be mentioned for straightforward entry to settings, however that solely works should you go away the case sitting out in your desk. In any other case, you’ll be able to in all probability get your telephone out simply as rapidly. JBL placing a show on a charging case, so who is aware of, possibly it would grow to be customary. Tour Professional 2 do supply helpful instruments like VoiceAware, SilentNow and Private Sound Amplification. However total they’re a mean set of earbuds with okay sound, first rate ANC and so many options you won’t use a few of them greater than as soon as.

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