To celebrate its 75th anniversary, JBL has expanded its headphone lineup with the new JBL Tour Series. These headphones, which will offer both an over-the-ear and a true-wireless option, are perfect for business professionals who want a sleek design with smart features and advanced technology.
The JBL Tour series of headphones is launching with two models, the JBL Tour ONE and the JBL Tour Pro+. The JBL Tour ONE is an over-ear model with active noise cancellation, while the JBL Tour Pro+ is the true wireless in-ear offering; it, too, has ANC.
As Ralph Santana, Chief Marketing Officer at HARMAN notes,
The Tour Series is dedicated to consumers looking for the best in noise cancelling technology, elegantly designed with business professionals in mind who are constantly on-the-go and taking work calls. By launching with two different models, we’re ensuring that all consumers’ preferences are met, whether they prefer the comfort of over-ear cushions or the ease and minimalism provided by true wireless in-ear buds.
Both models have Adaptive Noise Cancellation, JBL Pro Sound, Adaptive Ambient Aware, and TalkThru technology. You can also quickly call up your choice of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant using either the services’ hands-free voice capabilities or by pressing and holding the earcup for a highly personalized user experience. I appreciate having this integration with the two most common voice assistant services (sorry Apple, you dropped the ball with Siri), and I especially appreciate being able to choose whether you use hands-free “keywords” to activate the assistant or a physical person the ear cup.
JBL Tour ONE
I had the chance to speak one-on-one with Harman’s Chris Dragon, Senior Director of Marketing for Lifestyle at HARMAN. During the conversation, I raised the issue of ANC. I mentioned I was struck by the fact that all four of the new models have it and asked his thoughts on the impact ANC has on the audio quality.
Dragon agreed with my statement that ANC could, and in many cases does, have a detrimental impact on the quality of the audio produced. But he explained that they worked hard, and in his opinion succeeded, at addressing this. Even with ANC on, the sound, he said, is “stellar.” [We’re looking forward to seeing if we agree.]
Dragon went on to explain some of the innovations that went into the new headphones. The JBL Tour ONE, for example, doesn’t just offer best-in-class ANC, but it has “True Adaptive Noise Cancellation technology.” This technology constantly monitors environmental sound and automatically adapts the level of noise cancellation needed in that environment.
Let me explain why that’s a bigger deal than you might otherwise think.
My wife Raina will go back to working from her office in New York City at some point. If she were to put a different pair of headphones with ANC on when she gets on the train, the headphones would either turn on ANC, or they would turn on ANC and adjust to the train’s environment. But when Raina gets off the train and is walking down the street, even though the sound that requires “cancellation” has changed, the headphones would still behave as if she were on the train.
The Tour ONE headphones constantly monitor the surroundings and automatically adjust as things change. That means the same headphones would offer different ANC levels on the train versus on the street without Raina needing to do anything. I’ve tried other headphones that claimed to offer this feature but have been disappointed. Dragon assured me I wouldn’t be disappointed with the Tour ONE!
The headphones also offer a SilentNow feature for those who want quiet. SilentNow lets users activate ANC with the touch of a button without the need to activate Bluetooth, for complete isolation from outside noise.
The headphones also feature JBL Pro Sound and HARMAN’s new Smart Audio Mode. Smart Audio Mode allows users to optimize their Bluetooth connection depending on what they are doing. Smart Audio Mode increases fidelity when in “music mode” for “normal listening” but switches to low latency when in “video mode.” The Tour ONE has four-microphone technology and offers up to 50 hours of total playback per charge.
JBL Tour ONE Features:
- True Adaptive Noise Cancelling
- JBL Pro Sound powered by 40mm dynamic drivers
- Hi-Res Audio Certified to support frequencies up to 40kHz
- 50 hours of total music playback
- 25 hours with Noise Cancelling and Bluetooth on
- 50 hours with Bluetooth only
- Speed Charge (10-minutes of charging = 2 hours of playback)
- Adaptive Ambient Aware & TalkThru
- 4-mic technology for superior call quality
- Hands-free voice capability with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Auto Play/Pause
- SilentNow and “My Alarm” feature for traveling
- Smart Switch, optimized for listening to music versus a movie
- Compatibility with the JBL Headphones App to customize listening and using behaviors
- Fast Pair
The JBL Tour ONE will sell for $299.95 when they arrive later this spring. We’re excited to check them out.
JBL Tour Pro+
JBL has also announced the Tour Pro+. Ideal for those looking for a great in-ear true wireless headset, The Tour Pro+ also has Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology that can shut out ambient noises or, if the person wearing them needs to stay aware of their surroundings, can let in background audio.
Fast Pair makes it simple to pair the earphones. Open the case, and the Tour Pro+ automatically pair with an Android user’s device. In addition, they have Dual Connect + Sync, which lets users enjoy music or make calls with either one or both buds. This is a great feature, and I’m not sure why so few TWE offer this. Also, the Tour Pro+ delivers up to 30 hours of total music playback, comes with a battery case that is also Qi wireless charging compatible, and has 3-mic beamforming array technology. Hence, you get the best voice clarity possible when using the earbuds for calls.
One thing that deserves its own paragraph is the new “Check My Best Fit” feature. Most in-ear earphones are designed to sound best when there is a good seal between the wearer and the earphones. This feature checks for “air leakage” and can tell users if they should try a different size tip. This is especially important because, as Chris Dragon was quick to point out, no two ears are exactly the same. Some people, Dragon among them, use a medium-size tip in one ear and a small tip in the other. This feature tells you if one or both ears would be better served by one of the other included ear tips.
JBL Tour Pro+ Features:
- Adaptive Noise Cancelling
- JBL Pro Sound powered by 6.8mm dynamic drivers
- Over 30 hours of total music playback
- 6 hours with Active Noise Cancelling
- 8 hours with Bluetooth only
- Speed Charge (10-minutes of charging = 1 hour of playback)
- Adaptive Ambient Aware and TalkThru
- Voice Clarity with 3-mic beamforming array technology
- Dual Connect + Sync and Fast Pair
- Hands-free voice capability with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- IPX4 Sweatproof
- SilentNow and My Alarm
- Smart Audio & Video, optimized for listening to music versus a movie
- Customized tap panel control
- “Check My Best Fit,” allowing users to check the ear fit by app
- Compatibility with the JBL Headphones App to customize listening and behaviors
The JBL Tour Pro+ will have an MSRP of $199.95 and will also be available sometime this spring.
JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS
HARMAN has also announced the new JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS. The JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS are,
a perfect fit for an active lifestyle. For the first time in the REFLECT Series, the JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS are equipped with Active Noise Cancelling with Smart Ambient, so listeners can focus on hitting their goals with zero distractions, or take the earbuds outdoors for a workout that allows them to stay aware of their surroundings. Featuring an even more compact design and adjustable ear-fins for a comfortable fit, this model boasts an IPX7 waterproof design with up to 21 hours of playtime.
The earphones offer a choice of blue, white, or black and, for added safety, have a reflective JBL logo. They have some of the same technology seen in the Tour Pro+, including Dual Connect + Sync technology with Bluetooth 5.0 enables Fast Pair and the ability to use either bud independently for music or calls. This is a great feature since, among other things, it lets you extend the runtime of your earbuds by letting you use just one of them at a time while the other recharges in the case.
But there’s more:
The JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS is also designed for ease of use. An embedded sensor in the charging case allows the earbuds to pair with a user’s device the moment the case is opened. Music automatically pauses when the buds are removed from ears, and mics on both earbuds enable perfect stereo calls.
JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS Features:
- Up to 7 hours of music playback, 21 hours when combined with USB-C charging case
- Premium 6mm dynamic drivers featuring JBL Signature Sound
- Active Noise Canceling with Smart Ambient
- Adjustable ear-fin for a secure fit
- Built-in voice capabilities with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- IPX7 waterproof and sweatproof rating with reflective accents
- Hands-free stereo calls with auto-pause
- Dual Connect + Sync – Independent earbud use
- Google Fast Pair
- Compatible with My JBL Headphones App
The JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS will have an MSRP of $149.95 when they come to market this spring.
JBL LIVE PRO+
Finally, there is the JBL LIVE PRO+. With IPX4 water-resistance, these true wireless earbuds are designed for spots. Packed with technology, they are a great way to take your tunes everywhere. As the company notes, the JBL LIVE PRO+ in-ear true wireless headphones:
feature a ‘stick’ design and are equipped with Adaptive Noise Cancelling with Smart Ambient, so consumers can enjoy natural conversations without removing the earbuds. They also include three mics in each earbud with echo-canceling technology to ensure crisp, clear calls, even in noisy and windy environments.
Device Action support allows for easy access to preferred voice assistants using voice commands or a tap on the earbud. IPX4 water-resistant, these headphones are versatile enough for conference calls, running errands or lounging at home. With Qi-compatible wireless charging, 10-minutes of quick charge equals 1 hour of instant playback.
Arriving in mid-March, the earphones will have an MSRP of $179.96.
JBL LIVE PRO+ Features:
- JBL Signature Sound
- Adaptive Noise Cancelling with Smart Ambient
- Wireless Charging; Qi-compatible
- Echo Cancelling Mic Technology
- Dual Connect + Sync
- Auto Play/Pause
- Up to 7 hours of playback in the earbuds (6 hours if using the noise-canceling feature)
- Compact charging case that holds up to 21 hours of battery life
- All-access touch control
- Customizable with My JBL Headphones app
- IPX4 water-resistant
- Fast Pair
- Speed charge via USB Type-C
- Hands-free voice capability with multiple voice services (Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant)
- Hotword and Device Action support
Those are just four of the products JBL announced as it begins its celebration of 75 years of audio innovation. And while they all look great, we’re especially excited to check out the JBL Tour ONE.