Tour Pro 2 Hero

JBL’s new wireless earbuds have a touchscreen on their charging case, for some reason

Depending on who you ask, it might look like innovation in the earbud space has plateaued, even if there are many great wireless earbuds out there. We have exciting tech these days, like ANC and spatial audio, but those have been around for years, and other than that, true wireless earbuds have looked the same for a long time. Thus, manufacturers are coming up with wild new ways to make their earbuds stand out. JBL thought putting a touchscreen on its brand-new true wireless earbuds would make them stand out. Honestly, they might, but not necessarily because of the touchscreen.

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JBL has unveiled its new earbuds, the Tour 2 Pro. They are fairly standard modern audio devices, save for one detail. The case comes with a 1.45-inch LED panel that lets you manage your music, see your battery level, and switch ANC on and off. The case also wants to be a wider companion to your smartphone, letting you take calls and read notifications received on your phone. Basically, it is like a smartwatch without the strap, apps, or any fitness features.

It’s cool that JBL is trying something new, and we commend the company for it. This touchscreen is still pretty gimmicky, especially since JBL already has a smartphone app doing most of the stuff that touchscreen does. When using earbuds, most people typically just put away the case until they need charging — and this product assumes you’ll have your case on hand at all times.

The earbuds themselves, though, look great. They have adaptable ANC with an ambient mode, 10mm dynamic drivers, six microphones for crystal clear calls, and JBL’s Spatial Sound, the company’s take on spatial audio. The earbuds themselves also allow for up to 10 hours of playback, with the case’s battery adding 30 hours more. They have Bluetooth 5.3 and are compatible with LE audio.

JBL also announced the Tour One M2, its new over-ear headphones. Like the earbuds, these come with adaptive ANC. Other than that, they pack 40mm drivers, and in terms of battery, they’re good for 50 hours — 30 with ANC on.

The JBL Tour Pro 2 will be available for purchase from January 2023 in both Black and Champagne colorways, and will set you back €249. The One M2 will cost €299 and will be available in the same colorways.

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