The JBL Tour Pro 2 landed in my lap at just the right time. My existing earbuds were ready for retirement and I was in desperate need of a new pair. While I’ve been enjoying the JBL Tour One M2 over-ear headphones for the past few weeks, I actually prefer a pair of in-ears for listening to music as I work. They’re lightweight, keep my ears free, and as a person with a big head, I don’t have to worry about head discomfort after a few hours so I can stay in flow all day long. JBL’s new flagship earbuds - the Tour Pro 2 - also has a new and unique feature that could potentially add a nice layer of convenience - a touchscreen charging case. After a couple of weeks of testing these earbuds, this is what I thought of them.
Design & Comfort
The Tour Pro 2 has a sleek and simple stick design. There’s enough of a stick to make handling your buds easy and convenient, but it’s small enough to be discreet and barely there when the earbuds are in. There’s a touch panel on the outside of each bud. The earbuds feature a mix of black and glossy and matte dark greys for a simple and refined look. They come with four interchangeable smooth silicone tips so you can achieve the perfect seal for your ear canals. With the right fit, they provide decent passive noise cancellation!
Once I had the right silicone tips fitted for my ears, these earbuds felt super comfortable and they are super lightweight too! I can easily wear these for hours on end which has allowed me to stay in the zone and focused as I work. While the earbuds themselves are sleek and comfortable, they aren’t the most interesting part of the design. Let’s get onto the headline design feature…
Some will question whether a touchscreen charging case is a gimmick or if it’s a game changer. While some might find it unnecessary, it certainly enhanced my experience with these earbuds so I love it! I’m someone who tends to struggle with touch controls on headphones and end up missing calls, hanging up, toggling everything on and off, before I finally get to the control I want. There are already so many things swirling around in my head waiting to be absorbed into my memory, some of the touch controls miss the boat. Controlling music and volume from my phone can be a cause of distraction at times, so the ability to control it from the charging case has been a welcome convenience and great for my productivity. My phone can now be hidden away, out of sight and out of mind.
Additionally, you can answer and hang up phone calls; toggle ANC, ambient aware, and talk-through; customise equaliser settings; toggle and adjust spatial sound settings; adjust voice aware settings; and set a timer from the case too! Sure you can do these things on the app, but as previously mentioned, the more I can do away from my phone, the better. Plus, not everyone likes clogging up their phone with apps so this allows you to take control over these settings even if you don’t have the JBL app installed on your phone. I’ve noticed myself making use of different equaliser settings far more than I have with any other earbuds or headphones in the past, simply because I can change it so easily from the case. The case definitely has its perks and I’m sure we’ll see this picked up by other manufacturers down the line!
Sound & ANC
The sound on the JBL Tour Pro 2 is good. You won’t find full, rich and super detailed sound here so they’re not the earbuds for the audiophile. If you’re looking for earbuds to use while you work or study; listen to podcasts or audiobooks; or listen to music casually, without the desire to get fully swept up in the music; then these earbuds will work for you perfectly well. The earbuds produce nice sound with decent clarity and detail, although it is lacking a bit in depth and dynamic range. Whether it’s an issue or not depends on your use case and if you’re used to super premium and full sound from your earbuds (in which case, you’ll notice where it’s lacking, otherwise you might not). The good news is that you can fine tune the sound, utilising the equaliser to better suit your preferences and music.
The noise cancellation on the Tour Pro 2 is surprisingly good! I honestly wasn’t expecting much, especially compared to some of the big players, but I was pleasantly surprised. I first realised this when I noticed on my security camera that unbeknownst to me, someone had been knocking on my front door for a good few minutes one day. Normally this is loud enough to startle the cat but with these earbuds in, I had no idea, even though I was working in my office with the door open just a couple of metres away. Another time, my partner had been standing at my office door talking to me and calling my name for a little while before I noticed. According to him, I was effectively deaf until he raised his voice - at which point, I only thought I might have heard something and turned around. I got a pretty good seal with the silicone tips in my ears, so I’m sure some passive noise cancellation played a part too. While some sounds still make it through, overall, the noise cancellation performance is solid.
Connectivity & Battery Life
After experiencing the top-notch connectivity of the Tour One M2 headphones, I had high hopes for these earbuds. While it didn’t meet the same mark, it is still pretty good. The Tour One M2 effortlessly connected to multiple devices in an instant, while the Tour Pro 2 had some trouble initially but got there in the end (I found I had to disable Bluetooth on one device while I connected to the other, but once connected, there were no issues). From there, I was able to use it seamlessly between two devices.
Battery life is excellent. The Tour Pro 2 earbuds will last up to 8 hours with continuous listening (or up to 10 hours with ANC off) and the case can add up to an additional 30 hours of charge. This is longer than many premium and competing earbuds. Another perk of the touchscreen case is that you can see how much charge each earbud and the case has left.
Overall, the Tour Pro 2 is a decent set of earbuds. They offer good sound, solid noise cancellation, great comfort, excellent battery life, and a smart touchscreen case. They come in at quite the premium however, sitting at around $350. For those who prioritise sound, the fact that there isn’t anything particularly outstanding about the sound might not justify the price point. It does offer something unique in its touch screen charging case, as well as excellent battery life and comfort however. If these are more of a priority for you, then perhaps it tips the scale enough to make these earbuds worth your purchase.
To learn more about the Tour Pro 2 True Wireless Earbuds - check them out below or head over to the JBL brand store!