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.

REVIEW: JBL Pulse 2

Having owned the JBL flip 2 for a number of years, it got used pretty hard, mainly at full volume at student pre-drinks gatherings. It had a few drinks spilt on it and unfortunately a few issues cropped up. The charging port stopped working and then after getting that fixed, recently one of the speakers blew. Thankfully, I wasn’t sitting in a silent room for long as I got hold of the newer and slightly larger JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker.

JBL has updated the Flip model with the Flip 3, but I chose to go with the Pulse 2. Being ever so slightly larger and with LED lights I had to give it a go. Thankfully, now most of JBL’s Bluetooth speaker line-up is splashproof there isn’t much need to worry about the odd drink spillage or splash by the pool.

feature-6Lights out
The LED lighting is pretty gimmicky and it can be turned off when you want to prolong battery life and use it only as a speaker. But at a party or on the beach it can add to the drama – allowing the user to choose between a number of modes or use JBL’s colour prism lens to copy your favourite colour and let the speaker portray it. So far, every time I have tried to use the colour prism option it hasn’t worked.

JBL Connect
Can’t be bothered to walk over to your speaker to change the light sequence? Just download the app and change the style of lighting from equalizer all the way to fireflies. The app will also alert you when any updates are available as well as offering tutorials to using the speaker and connecting another speaker. That’s right, you can have a surround sound system by connecting multiple speakers and if your friends can’t decide what music genres to play – the speaker will support up to three simultaneous connections.

With no date in sight for voice assistant integration at the moment, it is only something spoken of in whispers whereby you can ask Siri or Google to play your favourite songs without having to lift a finger. If you are looking for a brilliant splashproof speaker that doesn’t break the bank, don’t waste any time and get it from the JBL store for £169.99 and available in either black or silver.

 

SPECS:
Transducers: 45mm x 2
Amplifiers: 2 x 8W
Input connection: AUX/Bluetooth
Frequency response: 85Hz – 20kHz
Battery: 6000mAh prividing up to 10 hours
Dimensions: 84.2 x 194.4 x 84.2mm

 

REVIEW: JBL J56BT Headphones

Searching for a new pair of headphones? Fed up of having to untangle wires? JBL have released a set of Bluetooth wireless on ear headphones known as the J56BT. Usually when dealing with Bluetooth connectivity in headphones, prices start creeping past £250. But not all bluetooth headphones should cost silly amounts of money. These JBL J56BT’s cost under £130.

IMAG0561

Having used these headphones for a few weeks, it is safe to say that they are pretty great. Connection to my smart phone in my pocket is seamless and sound quality is immense with the signature PureBass performance, allowing you to really hear the deep bass lines in the music tracks.

The ability to skip songs, adjust the volume and answer calls without having to take out your phone is an added bonus which most people will appreciate. It does sit a little wide on the head, feeling a little like a gaming headset than a sleek pair of headphones. JBL have fitted this set of headphones with aluminium accents on the bridge of the headphones along with the logo on each arm and blue covers on the cups which house the controls on the left side. The cups are soft, supple and include noise cancelling elements meaning you can listen to music for hours on end without getting uncomfortable. They also fold into the bridge, clicking when you hit specific points into the turn, allowing you to pack them into the neoprene case for travelling.

IMAG0563

The headphones are supplied with a soft neoprene case and two cables, one for charging and one to wire it up to your device if ever needed.

Battery life is great, I have used my headphones for a few days without a need of a charge, so people using them for their daily commutes will be able to get a week or so of play if they remember to turn them off.

A few problems i have found with these headphones; the controls on the headphones tend to be a little slow when talking to my phone. When using the headphones for a call, I realised that a lot of external noise is filtered into the conversation sometimes making the person hard to be heard. So if you are looking for a set of headphones with the added bluetooth connectivity, look no further.

Audio Specifications

Driver 40 mm
Frequency Response 20 Hz—20 kHz
Maximum Input Power 30 mW
Sensitivity 115 dB SPL/V

REVIEW: JBL Flip 2

JBL Flip 2 box and speaker
JBL Flip 2 box and speaker

In the market for a bluetooth speaker? look no further. JBL have the answer with their speaker known as the Flip 2.

Like most modern gadgets, the Flip 2’s packaging is minimal, the box simply contained the speaker and its sturdy neoprene carrying case. Upon further inspection, the carrying case held the charger and instructions to the bluetooth speaker. To be fair JBL could have done without the instructions. It’s that easy to use. Press the on/off button on the side of the speaker, hit the bluetooth button and pair with your device and bang! you are ready to go.

wpid-IMAG0445.jpg

I am one of those difficult people who decided to run an Android phone whilst all my other tech is an Apple product.  This tends to bring about connectivity problems. The JBL Flip 2 has had no problems whatsoever, seamlessly connecting to my phone, Macbook and iPad.

What is great about this little speaker is that you can stand it up or lie it down depending or where you want to place it. six inches in height and crafted in beautiful metal and white rubber, it is very easy to mistake the design as part of the new Apple Mac family which is a compliment in its own right.

Another trick it pulls out of the hat, is that this speaker is also a speakerphone, great for an office or simply if you don’t want to hold your phone to your ear as you go about your business.

Testing it with two tracks, Outkast’s Rosa Parks and Muse’s Symphony part 3 where both tracks offer completely different levels of bass, treble and mid tones, the Flip 2 worked wonderfully for such a small speaker. At the beginning of Rosa Parks, there is a faint beat which is normally lost on headphones and some speakers however the JBL worked wonderfully. This speaker sounds a lot larger than it actually is and can compete with some of the top end speakers out there.

The downside that I have found with this speaker, is the battery life. It lasts 5 hours which is great but depending on the volume that figure may drop. I have found if you can plug it just do that and leave the wireless playing for when you really need it.

So go try it out and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Spec Sheet:

Transducers: 40mm x2

Amplifier power: 2x6w

Frequency response: 100Hz – 20KHz

Signal to noise ratio: 80dB

Input connections: AUX/ Bluetooth

Battery: 5hrs listening time

Charge time: 3 hours by adapter