JBL has two new flagship noise-cancelling headphones promising 'best ever' performance: the JBL Tour PRO 2 true wireless earbuds and the Tour ONE M2 headphones.
Both models use JBL PRO-tuned drivers for superior audio, feature adaptive and customisable ANC, and boast long-lasting battery life that rivals Sony's flagship headphones.
The Tour PRO 2 earbuds' party trick is the first-ever smart charging case, which sports a 1.45-inch LED touch display on which you can control music playback, choose ANC mode, customise the earbuds and even handle notifications and calls. It effectively brings the JBL Headphones app's comprehensive features to the touch screen, and you can choose which settings are actually displayed on it, personalising it to your needs. This is an interesting, innovative new feature we never knew we needed, and negates the need to fire up the JBL Headphones app on your phone.
JBL claims using the touch display is 7x quicker than using the app, and with the earbuds such a feature-rich product, it cuts down on the hassle of using the features when it's available more readily.
We had an early preview of the smart case in action and it works smoothly, with options quick and easy to pick from the screen. It also syncs with your phone to show the time and displays full battery life across both buds and charging case.
Inside each Tour PRO 2 earbud is a 10mm driver, with an oval tube design that comes with multiple ear tip sizes to ensure the perfect seal. The earbuds themselves are 30 per cent smaller. You can also run the Ear Canal Test in a noisy environment to fine tune the earbuds' ANC performance, while six mics ensure your voice is crystal clear on calls.
You get a huge 10 hours in the earbuds, with 30 in the case – that's 40 hours of total music playback with ANC off. In comparison, our current class-leader the Sony WF-1000XM4 has 12 hours with ANC off for a total of 24 hours in the case.
The Tour ONE M2 over-ear wireless headphones combine hybrid True Adaptive ANC – which adjusts to your surrounding in real time to eliminate sounds accordingly – with 40mm dynamic drivers to deliver a performance that "outperforms the competition and JBL's own previous headphones". That's a bold claim, and we can't wait to hear how these cans sound for ourselves.
JBL has updated the design to look more premium than the previous Tour One headphones, furnishing it with better cushions on the headband and earcups.
The headphones weigh 268g and are a foldable design, making them ideal for taking with you on the move or on a long commute. The headphones claim up to 50 hours of playback with ANC off, which goes down to 30 hours with ANC activated.
'Smart Talk' on the Tour ONE M2 uses advanced built-in voice recognition that pauses music when you speak, automatically enabling Ambient Aware and letting you have a conversation without taking the headphones off. Additionally, four mics are used to deliver 'superior calls'.
Both Tour models also feature immersive JBL Spatial Sound (which can be adjusted when listening to music, movies or games), true adaptive noise cancelling with a customisable ANC slider, and a tailored sound experience with Personi-fi 2.0. All these options – and many, many more – can be tweaked using the updated JBL Headphones app.
They're also compatible with Bluetooth 5.3 LE "Low Energy" Audio and the upcoming LC3 codec, which aims to bring better sound quality and longer battery life to wireless headphones, and the ability to pair more than two pairs of headphones to one device for simultaneous listening.
The new Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro were the first earbuds to feature Bluetooth 5.3, with LE Audio support coming later in the year. JBL says the LC3 support update will be available on both headphones when ready – which should be by the time they are officially on sale in January 2023.
Available in black or champagne colours, the Tour PRO 2 earbuds will cost £220 / AU$350 / €249 and the Tour ONE M2 headphone will cost £279.99 / AU$429 / €299. US pricing is TBC.
Our pick of the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones
The best wireless earbuds you can buy