JBL recently released their most powerful and feature-rich pair of headphones yet - the Tour One M2. These headphones combine JBL’s best-ever hybrid True Adaptive ANC with Pro-tuned drivers to fill your ears with incredible JBL sound, whether you’re on-the-go, at work or at home. As their flagship pair of headphones, it has all the best that JBL has to offer while coming in at less than $400! While they’re easier on the wallet compared to competitor's flagship models, do they stack up performance-wise? I put the Tour One M2 to the test for the past couple of weeks and here's my take!
The Tour One M2's design may not be flashy, but they offer exceptional comfort. With just the right amount of clamping pressure, they sit securely on the head without feeling too tight. The headband and earcups are cushioned with ultra-soft padding, which really add to the level of comfort. As someone with small ears, I find the moderately-sized ear cups to be a great fit - something I haven't experienced for myself in a while. Additionally, their lightweight build means these are comfortable to wear all day. These headphones are collapsible so when you’re not wearing them, you can conveniently pack them away into the hard-shell carry case.
The Tour One M2 has great controls with a convenient blend of physical and touch buttons. I’m personally not a fan of all-touch controls as I prefer simplicity (i.e. not having to remember all the different touch controls), so this is a welcome feature. On the right ear cup, there is a power button that you slide down to turn on, and hold down to enter pairing mode; and just below that are the volume buttons. The touch controls are simple - tap once to play and pause, twice to skip a track or answer/end a call, and three times to skip back a track. You can also touch and hold to mute/unmute your microphone during a call, or to use the voice assistant. On the left ear cup, you can switch between Noise Canceling and Ambient Aware mode with the press of a button.
Active Noise Cancellation
The Tour One M2 features JBL’s hybrid True Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation technology. Is it any good? Well, as someone living on a busy main road, I really need solid noise cancellation to stay sane and focused. Luckily, these headphones do a great job and offer effective noise cancellation. With music on, it effortlessly drowned out the noise of cars speeding past on a rainy day. I also tested this while out walking - right beside all the cars and buses (with their noise amplified by the wet conditions). It didn't completely eliminate the noise, but it considerably reduced it, leaving it faintly in the background at a level that didn't bother me at all. Adaptive ANC will automatically use 4 noise sensing mics to adjust to your surroundings in real-time but you can also manually adjust settings via JBL’s Headphones app.
If you want to stay aware of your surroundings while listening to music, Ambient Aware mode can easily be toggled using the button on the left ear cup. With this on, surrounding sounds will be amplified so you can still hear things such as train and bus announcements easily. You can adjust these settings to have more control over the level of ambient sounds you hear via the app.
Sound & Microphone
The first thing I noticed about the Tour One M2 is the clarity of sound coming through them. Music sounds clear and balanced; and with JBL’s Spatial Sound technology, I found myself in a spacious sound stage, with sounds coming from seemingly all around me. That being said, the bass performance was a bit lackluster for my tastes. A lot of the music I listen to is filled with lows and sometimes, depending on my mood, I love to feel the bass vibrating through my body. That didn’t happen here (though to be fair, that's a pretty high expectation) so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re a bass lover. That doesn’t detract from the fact that the Tour One M2 offers all-around great sound quality though, albeit from a more neutral approach. Sound wise, they’re a great choice for those who enjoy clear, balanced audio.
If a quality microphone is important for you, this gets a tick! The Tour One M2 uses a 4-mic crystal call algorithm to produce superior call quality, even in loud or windy environments. With VoiceAware, you can choose how much of your own voice to hear by controlling the amount of mic input routed back into the headphones - this is adjustable through the app. After a few phone calls with these headphones, those I spoke to reported clear audio with good volume and minimal background noise.
Battery Life & Connectivity
The Tour One M2 offers an excellent battery life. With noise cancellation on, they’ll last approximately 30 hours; and with noise cancellation off, they’ll last approximately 50 hours. Charging the battery from 0% will take approximately two hours.
The connectivity of these headphones is top-notch. I didn't have any issues with drop-offs and pairing with devices was a breeze - they connected almost instantly. I enjoyed a smooth, seamless experience, easily connecting with multiple devices and switching between them.
In summary, the JBL Tour One M2s are a great set of over-ear noise-canceling headphones! Considering their features and price, they offer a truly competitive package. Boasting exceptional comfort for all-day wear, clear and balanced audio, effective ANC, fantastic call quality, and reliable wireless connectivity, these headphones are a solid pair worth considering.