JBL launches Tour headphones for business professionals

JBL is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and has been releasing a foray of products including a new range of headphones targeted at business professionals.

The market for noise-cancelling headphones is pretty crowded as it is, with the Sony XM4s wearing the crown, Bose’s 700s, Microsoft and Sennheiser among a number of others so these JBLs will need to stand out to leave their mark.

The Tour series have already been awarded the CES 2021 Innovation Awards “Best of Innovation” honors. The series includes two headphone models, the JBL Tour ONE over-ear noise cancelling headphones and JBL Tour Pro+ true wireless in-ear headphones.

The Tour One (over ear) offers True Adaptive Noise Cancellation technology, which monitors environmental sound and adapts to the perfect level of noise cancellation for the user’s environment, eliminating distractions in real time. JLB’s ‘SilentNow’ feature also gives users the ability to simply touch the dedicated button to activate noise cancellation mode without activating Bluetooth. Along with ‘SilentNow’, the headphones also have ‘Smart Audio Mode’ which allows the user to optimize the Bluetooth connection for “normal listening”, increase fidelity in “music mode” or watch videos with the low latency “video mode”.

The headphones have 50 hours of battery life, that is reduced to 25 when using ANC and Bluetooth but can be boosted with a quick charge where 10 mins of charging will offer two hours of music playback.

If in-ear headphones are more your thing, the JBL Tour Pro+ is the set for you. Offering the same technology as the over ear headphones, the Active Noise Cancelling shuts out all outside noises or lets in background audio if users need to stay aware of their surroundings. Both sets of headphones have fast pairing with Android devices and the in-ear buds allow use with either one, allowing users to take calls and listen to music in whichever ear they prefer. These offer 30 hours of music playback and have wireless charging compatibility.

Both sets of headphones will be available from May 2021 with the over ear Tour One coming in at €299 and the Tour Pro+ coming in at €199.

Cocooning your passengers: Harman individual sound zones

How often do you want to listen to your favourite radio station on a long journey but to keep the peace in the car you have to listen to what the kids want? Family car games had become a thing of the past when in-car technology made leaps in terms of entertainment. We have DVD players, games consoles and even internet connectivity, but now Harman intend to push the boundaries a little further. Presented at the CES in Las Vegas this week, Harman have created an in-cabin technology that will allow you and your passengers to listen to whatever pleases them.

Prompts from the Navigation system and phone calls are not important to the occupants so they are only directed to the driver. Individual sound zones or ISZ helps maximise speaker directivity and minimize cross talk in and between zones. Harman is keen to point out that the speakers in the individual sound zones will not eliminate all sounds so it could sound like you are crossing through different music rooms in a nightclub when sitting in different positions.

“Individual Sound Zones and the HALOsonic technology suite enable automakers to offer enhanced experiences to passengers,” said Michael Mauser, president of Lifestyle Division at Harman.

78429 HARMAN_ISZ_Technical_Drawing

Speakers in the headrests equipped with micro speaker technology as well as very thin and flat (6mm deep) Electro Dynamic Planar loudspeakers in the roof lining create these individual zones. This allows the system to temper signals from other zones without distracting the passenger from their choice of entertainment.

Over the past few years, kids have encased themselves in tech by simply plugging in headphones and doing what pleased them. With ISZ, there won’t be need for headphones and by the sounds of things the driver will feel more isolated in the car than ever before.