What you need to know
- JBL has launched its flagship Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds.
- The earbuds come in a case that features a 1.45-inch touch screen to check status and change modes.
- The Tour Pro 2 sport an impressive 40 hours of playback, with 10 hours per charge.
Every now and then, there's a product that makes us scratch our heads. This time around, it's JBL's new Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds, which come with a touchscreen on the charging case and a bit of an identity crisis.
Yeah, apparently, JBL wants the case to double as a smartphone of sorts. The Tour Pro 2 charging case sports a 1.45-inch display that can be used to check the battery levels of each earbud and the case itself, control playback, or change the listening mode. According to JBL, the earbuds can also "receive calls, messages and social media notifications in real-time without touching your phone."
From the looks of it, there are a series of screens users will have to scroll through for different functions.
It could prove useful if you're someone who tends to carry their charging case everywhere they go. That said, I'm someone who brings my case with me maybe half the time, and it's usually sitting in my backpack while I workout or in my car if I am grabbing groceries. I typically carry my phone everywhere anyway (along with my smartwatch), so it just seems like unnecessary bulk for the perceived convenience.
Still, it's a cool feature nonetheless, regardless of how useful you may actually find it. And the earbuds themselves don't sound half-bad on paper. They're built with 10mm drivers and support adaptive noise canceling and customizable ANC. Users will be able to toggle between ANC and ambient modes using the display on the case.
There's also JBL Spacial Sound support, a 6-mic setup, and Bluetooth LE Audio.
Battery life is rated at 40 hours, with 10 hours per charge, which isn't bad when compared to some of the best wireless earbuds on the market.
The Tour Pro 2 will be available in January 2023 for £220/€249. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a U.S. release on the schedule, but hopefully, we'll be able to get our hands on a pair to give this smart charging case a try.
JBL also announced the Tour ONE M2 wireless headphones with 40mm dynamic drivers and up to 50 hours of playback per charge. These will also be available in January for £279.99/€299.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.