The JBL Tour Pro 2 are the latest flagship wireless earbuds from audio giant JBL, aiming to deliver premium features and performance in a compact form factor. As one of the biggest names in headphones and speakers, JBL is known for its signature punchy bass and lively sound.
With the Tour Pro 2, JBL has packed in some of the hottest features on the wireless earbuds market today – including cutting-edge noise cancellation, immersive spatial audio, and a unique interactive charging case with a built-in touchscreen. They combine JBL’s highly recognizable sound with modern conveniences to create a versatile listening experience on the go.
Available in sleek black and champagne color options, the JBL Tour Pro 2 retail for $249.95 making them a premium-priced product competing with the likes of Apple, Sony, and Bose. They promise up to 40 hours of total battery life, IPX5 water resistance rating, customizable controls, top-notch call quality and much more.
But are the JBL Tour Pro 2 worth picking up? Do the specs and special features translate into a stellar real-world performance? In this in-depth JBL Tour Pro 2 review, we’ll break down the design, audio quality, noise cancellation, battery life, and everything else you need to know about these unique wireless earbuds.
Design and Comfort
The JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds feature a fairly typical stem-style design reminiscent of the Apple AirPods. The earbud housing itself is relatively compact and lightweight, with short and thin stems containing the onboard microphones. You can get them in standard black or a more eye-catching champagne gold color.
Construction and Fit
The JBL Tour Pro 2 is constructed from smooth plastic and has a sleek and minimalist look. They are also reasonably lightweight at only 6.1g per earbud. The charging case is made of sturdy plastic and has a unique selling point – the integrated 1.45-inch LED touchscreen on the front, which we’ll cover in more detail later.
In terms of comfort, reviewers found the JBL Tour Pro 2 to be pleasant to wear over extended listening sessions. They come with three sizes of ear tips (small, medium, and large) to help get a secure in-ear seal. Those with very small or very large ear canals may struggle to get a perfect fit, so keep that in mind. The earbuds are rated IPX5 for water and sweat resistance allowing you to use them during workouts without worry.
The JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds have capacitive touch controls on each earbud stalk. You can customize the controls to a degree through the JBL Headphones app for iOS and Android. By default, the left earbud controls noise cancellation mode and the right controls playback. You can access voice assistant, call management, volume, and more through taps and holds.
Some reviewers did note occasional mis-taps and unregistered inputs with the touch controls. But you have some leeway to configure the gestures to your liking.
Features and Controls
The JBL Tour Pro 2 packs numerous features into its compact form, including advanced noise cancellation, transparency modes, spatial audio, and more. The unique touchscreen charging case also enables quick access to settings and functions.
Noise Cancellation & Transparency
One of the highlight features of the Tour Pro 2 is adaptive noise cancellation. Using four mics, the earbuds can continuously adjust the ANC levels based on your surroundings for the optimal effect. Reviews found the noise cancellation to be quite effective at reducing ambient noise like traffic or chatter, though some high frequency sounds still slipped through.
You can customize the ANC with additional settings like Leakage Compensation and Ear Canal Compression in the JBL Headphones app. There are also multiple noise cancellation modes to switch between as needed:
- Noise Cancelling – Blocks out external noise using adaptive ANC
- Ambient Aware – Allows surrounding sounds to pass through, adjustable levels
- Talkthru – Emphasizes voices for conversations without removing earbuds
For transparency, the Ambient Aware mode provides decent environmental awareness but can sound somewhat muffled. Talkthru boosts speech but exhibits background hiss. Competitors like the AirPods Pro and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II offer superior transparency performance.
Spatial Audio & Sound Customization
Immersive spatial audio is another trendy feature JBL has included. Through their proprietary algorithms, the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds can recreate a spatial soundstage and simulate directional audio by processing stereo sound. Movie, Music, and Game modes are optimized for different types of content.
You can further customize the sound through the JBL Headphones app. Options include:
- Built-in EQ presets or create a custom EQ curve
- Personi-Fi 2.0 – Tunes the sound based on your hearing profile
- Touch control customization
- Left/right balance adjustments
- Video/audio mode to minimize latency
Onboard Controls & Voice Assistant
For call handling, the JBL Tour Pro 2 utilizes a 6-mic setup (3 mics in each earbud). It also has useful features like VoiceAware to control how much of your own voice you hear on calls. Voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa are supported.
The earbuds connect over Bluetooth 5.3 and support AAC and SBC codecs. JBL plans to add Bluetooth LE Audio support in the future for improved efficiency.
Interactive Charging Case
And now the distinctive touchscreen charging case has a 1.45” LED display that lets you control settings and functions directly. Just swipe through the menus to:
- Manage playback
- Adjust volume
- Change noise cancellation mode
- Select EQ preset
- Customize controls
- Set timers
- Find lost earbuds
- Screen brightness
- Get notifications
- Enable ambient sound amplification
- Access flashlight
- View battery levels
Having quick access to these settings is convenient without grabbing your phone. However, some reviewers questioned how useful the touchscreen really is given that most earbud cases are stowed away in bags or pockets. The display quality also isn’t as vibrant as OLED or E Ink.
Audio Quality and Performance
Audio performance is make or break for any set of earbuds. With any high-end pair like the JBL Tour Pro 2, consumers expect great sound quality for the price. Here’s an in-depth look at the audio profile and how they fare for music, movies, calls, and more.
The JBL Tour Pro 2 packs 10mm dynamic drivers in each earbud, delivering a lively and bass-forward sound signature for which the brand is known. The frequency response range is 20Hz to 20kHz.
Many reviews describe the audio reproduction as punchy and energetic, with emphatic lows and crisp highs. The bass is powerful and deep, adding thump and impact to music without distorting at high volumes. Mids are decently clear for vocals and instruments like guitars or pianos. Highs have ample presence and detail without sounding overly sharp.
However, some critics noted a lack of openness or spatial imaging compared to rival earbuds at this price point. The soundstage doesn’t feel as expansive or immersive. Customization like EQ adjustments and JBL’s Personi-Fi can help tailor the audio to taste.
In terms of music genres, the lively and bass-forward tonality of the JBL Tour Pro 2 complements pop, hip-hop, EDM and rock. The solid low end gives an energizing boost to tracks that emphasize beats and basslines. Vocals also come through clearly for pop songs.
But for acoustic, jazz, orchestral and more laidback music, the exuberant bass can overpower nuances and micro-details. Competitors like the AirPods Pro 2 and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II outperform the JBLs in terms of subtlety and realism for these genres.
Movie & Gaming Performance
Reviewers found the JBL Tour Pro 2 delivered an engaging audio experience for movies and games. The spatial imaging isn’t as convincing as Apple or Sony’s implementations, but it does expand the soundstage for a more cinematic effect.
The lively sound profile brings out sound effects and action sequences in movies and games. Explosions and car chases have a visceral impact. Dialogue also remains clear and distinguishable from other elements.
Thanks to the 6-mic array, call quality on the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds fares quite well. Voices transmitted to the other end of the line sound clean and natural even in moderately noisy environments. The earbuds capably isolate the speaker’s voice from background chatter and noise.
For your end, JBL’s VoiceAware feature lets you control how much of your own voice bleeds into the earbuds so you don’t sound shouty on calls. This works better than noise reduction which can make voices sound muffled and unnatural.
Battery performance is a major consideration for wireless earbuds. Long runtime between charges and quick recharging capabilities are always desirable. Here’s an overview of the battery life and charging speeds of the JBL Tour Pro 2.
The JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds are rated for up to 10 hours of continuous playback on a single charge with ANC disabled. Turning on adaptive noise cancellation lowers the battery life to about 8 hours.
The charging case provides an additional 30 hours of usage with ANC off or 24 hours with ANC enabled. So in total, you can expect approximately 40 hours of playback before needing to recharge the case.
In practice, most reviewers found battery life aligned with JBL’s claims depending on volume levels. 10 hours playback per charge is very competitive, outpacing the AirPods Pro 2 and many other premium earbuds. However, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II still comes out ahead with 24 hours total, including the charging case.
Recharging the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds from empty takes around 2 hours based on official specs. The case supports wireless charging for added convenience.
JBL also built in fast charging – plugging the earbuds in for 15 minutes can deliver 4 additional hours of playback time. This is invaluable when you need a quick boost before heading out.
Overall, the charging metrics are solid for this class of wireless earbuds. The long runtimes between top-ups coupled with fast charging help minimize downtime.
You can optimize the JBL Tour Pro 2’s battery life by:
- Turning off ANC when not needed
- Using a lower playback volume
- Disabling unnecessary features like spatial audio
- Keeping the earbuds and case topped up regularly
- Turning on the Power Saving mode in the app
Properly caring for the batteries and avoiding excessive heat exposure will also help maximize lifespan over years of use.
Comparison to Alternatives
The true wireless earbuds market is highly competitive, with many options from brands like Apple, Sony, and Bose. Here’s how the JBL Tour Pro 2 stacks up against some of its major rivals.
JBL Tour Pro 2 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2
The 2nd generation AirPods Pro are among the top contenders in the premium earbuds category. They offer:
- More natural, balanced sound with better clarity
- Superior noise canceling with minimal hiss in transparency mode
- Seamless integration with Apple devices
- Wireless charging case with lanyard
- Handoff and spatial audio powered by head tracking
- Long 30 hour total battery life
However, the JBL Tour Pro 2 provides:
- Touchscreen case for quick settings access
- Greater water resistance (IPX5 vs IPX4)
- Customizable sound and controls via mobile app
- Spatial audio modes for music, movies, and games
- 40 hour total battery life outpaces AirPods Pro 2
For iPhone owners, the tighter Apple integration gives the AirPods Pro 2 an edge. But the JBL Tour Pro 2 offers a more customizable experience for Android users.
JBL Tour Pro 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM4 earbuds are another top choice, with:
- Balanced, natural sound powered by V1 and LDAC codec support
- Industry-leading noise cancellation
- Extensive app-based customization
- Wireless charging case with Qi support
- Solid 24 hour total battery life
But the JBL Tour Pro 2 counter with:
- Unique touchscreen case for quick settings access
- Sweat and water resistance for exercise (IPX5 vs IPX4)
- Punchy, energetic sound signature
- Lower price – $250 vs $280
For those who prefer powerful bass in their audio, the JBL sound profile has appeal. But Sony edges ahead in noise canceling and overall audio performance.
JBL Tour Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are regarded for their balanced, natural sound. They offer:
- Lifelike audio quality with crisp details
- Adjustable noise cancellation with minimal hiss
- Simple and streamlined app
- Wireless charging case
- Excellent call clarity
- Up to 24 hours total battery life
The JBL Tour Pro 2 advantages include:
- Fun touchscreen case for on-the-go adjustments
- More customizable sound and features
- IPX5 water/sweat resistance rating
- Total battery life reaches 40 hours
Bose still leads in terms of sheer audio fidelity. But the JBL case innovations and longer runtime give it unique selling points.
Conclusion and Verdict
The JBL Tour Pro 2 delivers an overall solid experience but falls short of excellence in certain areas. Here is a final verdict on who these wireless earbuds are best suited for and if they warrant their $250 price tag.
Where the JBL Tour Pro 2 Excel
There are several clear strengths of the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds:
- Touchscreen case – The interactive charging case is innovative and adds quick settings access, though niche in usefulness
- Battery life – Up to 40 hours total outlasts much of the competition
- Audio customization – EQ, spatial audio, and personalization through the app
- Water resistance – IPX5 rating enables worry-free workouts
- Call quality – 6-mic setup ensures clear voice pickup
Where the JBL Tour Pro 2 Fall Short
However, the JBL Tour Pro 2 stumble in a few areas:
- Audio fidelity – Critics found the sound doesn’t match the best in class at this price point. Lacks clarity, subtlety, and imaging of top rivals.
- Noise cancellation – Decent ANC but still allows higher frequency sounds to pass through. The ambient mode sounds artificial.
- Comfort – Those with very small/large ears may struggle to get a secure fit with the ear tips provided.
The JBL Tour Pro 2 delivers a bass-forward sound signature and a strong set of features, including class-leading battery life. However, audio quality falls slightly behind competitors like the AirPods Pro 2, WF-1000XM4, and QuietComfort Earbuds II.
For Android users wanting a lively sound and fully-featured earbuds under $300, the JBL Tour Pro 2 merit consideration. But critical listeners and those seeking more natural audio should look at alternatives. The touchscreen case, while novel, is not game-changing today.
In the end, the JBL Tour Pro 2 are well-executed wireless earbuds that falter mostly on their ambitious $250 pricing. They exceed in some areas like battery and customization, but the audio experience leaves room for improvement to compete against the elite truly.