A journey with music
At the beginning of the year, JBL presented a new series of headphones called the Tour, which, as its name suggests, is especially suitable for use during travel.
JBL gave this series a unique My Alarm function, which is intended for use during travel.
The new series currently consists of one in-ear and one over-ear model, which have in common that they use bluetooth to connect and, more importantly, have an adaptive ambient noise reduction (ANC) system. The headphones also share the My JBL Headphones app, which is used for detailed settings, while the tonal character of both models is tuned according to the JBL Pro Sound recipe.
Tour Pro + TWS
We start testing with the in-ear model Tour Pro + TWS: these are true wireless, ie completely wireless bugs, which are delivered in a package with the inevitable box for transport and charging. Although these models usually do not have much space for the manufacturer’s design expression, JBL has managed to give the bugs a modern look with an attractive dark gray metallic body color. Slightly larger resonators are made of high quality plastic, with a discreet chrome trim and the company logo on the outer surface. On the inner part of the resonator, an accessory that we don’t see often stands out – it is a ring made of harder silicone rubber, which serves to achieve the best possible insulation, and is delivered in two sizes. The inner part of the headphones is made as usual, with angled placement for better anatomical adaptation to the shape of the ear canal, and the accessories include silicone ends in as many as five sizes.
As another part of the set, the accompanying box is visually perfectly matched with the bugs, which means quality plastic in the same finish, with dark chrome details. The finish is extremely good, and the American manufacturer has obviously understood the importance of a strong hinge, as the most endangered individual part during prolonged use. It is therefore very firm and with a clearly defined stride, with almost complete absence of idling. In addition to the protective role, the box also serves to charge the headphones, which is done every time the bugs are inserted into the sockets. The internal battery has a capacity of 510 milliampere-hours, which is enough for more than four charges. At the bottom there is a USB-C charging port, with a LE diode for status signaling and a button for manual pairing, and it should be noted that the box also supports wireless charging according to the QI standard.
During use, the Tour Pro + TWS reminded us of bugs from the Club series, and the similarity is confirmed by the same driver diameter of 6.8 millimeters. After who knows how many tested JBL headphones, we believe that we can recognize the typical tone signature of the American manufacturer, and the tested headphones are a great example of JBL sound. The tones are clean and detailed enough, but they always retain a dose of velvety warmth, which makes them very pleasant during longer listening – as if created for travel. When it comes to the sound of bugs, it must be emphasized that it largely depends on the insulation, so we recommend that you find the ring and ends that best suit the shape of your ear shells before use. Otherwise, a sound leak can cause poor bass and an overall unsatisfactory musical atmosphere. Still, once you please them, the Tour Pro + TWS will reciprocate with a comprehensive and truly powerful sound, as well as a powerful and precise subwoofer range. The rhythmicity and timing of these bugs call for a more intense rhythm, but that does not mean that they will not cope with calmer songs. On the contrary, the musicality is also at a high level, and we especially liked that the speaker units do not require much power to fully wake up, so even quiet listening brings a complete atmosphere.
As the second representative of the new series, the Tour One model arrived in our editorial office. These are over-ear headphones of a slightly smaller size, adapted for transmission and use on the go. The finish is very good, and the design is modern and elegant, so the Tour One will not embarrass you even during a business meeting. The oval-shaped resonators are made in the same finish as the smaller model, with details in dark chrome surfaces and buttons located on the edges. The headphone holder is richly upholstered in the upper part, and under the outer plastic panel there are metal mechanisms for adjusting the volume, which are made very precisely and move in sections. However, the decision of the manufacturer to place the mechanisms in the upper part of the bracket is a bit surprising, so during the adjustment of the volume on the head, they can tear you by the hair.
Let’s go back to the resonators: the command setup is complete and includes the buttons for power and bluetooth pairing, volume control and ANC system control. In addition, at the bottom of the right resonator there is an audio cable connector, as an auxiliary type of connection, while on the left resonator there is a USB-C port for charging the internal battery. The manufacturer declares a capacity of 920 milliampere-hours and up to 50 hours of autonomy, which is quite a lot, especially considering that the headphones weigh a relatively modest 268 grams. The inner edge of the resonator is lined with slightly thinner, but softly upholstered pads, and under the protective mesh on the inner side, there are speaker units with a diameter of 40 millimeters. The JBL Tour One provides a frequency range from 10 hertz to 22 kilohertz, with a maximum sound pressure of 95 decibels, and for cable use you need to know that the nominal impedance is 32 ohms.
Since the new series is specifically designed for travel, during testing we tried to carry the Tour One at extended intervals. Thanks to the excellent ergonomic design, soft pads of well-measured thickness and moderate weight, the tested headphones prove to be extremely grateful for long-term use, and can only be bothered by the slightly smaller volume of the resonator. As another important factor, there is a great sound: Tour One provides strong and vivid tones, but never loses sight of good resolution. The amount of detail is very good, as is the display of side finesse in the sound, but we would say that these headphones put musicality and a lively, playful musical atmosphere in the first place. This implies the presence of excellent dynamic values, so the headphones create a very quiet background, while the agile drivers are capable of fast and powerful dynamic shocks. In keeping with the good transatlantic tradition, the lowest part of the spectrum is quite powerful and deep, and the tones have an enviable mass and a strong impact. The middle and upper bands, again, are more vivid and velvety than detailed, so it can be said that the Tour Ones are tuned first to enjoy the music, instead of analytically parsing the soundtrack. Finally, if you do not like the factory sound settings, you can select one of the three predefined modalities (Jazz, Vocal or Bass) via the application, or adjust the equalizer parameters according to your affinities.
We have already been convinced that JBL has learned the trade when it comes to the system for suppressing environmental noise, so it is really great with the tested headphones. The negative impact on the quality of reproduction is present to a negligible extent and is reflected in a slightly quieter sound – this effect is present evenly throughout the spectrum, which is especially important. On the other hand, ANC is extremely efficient in terms of eliminating unwanted noise, and although it cannot be adjusted, it has additional Ambient Aware and Talkthru functions, which enable better interaction with the environment. In addition, JBL has given this series a unique My Alarm function, which is intended specifically for use during travel. The setting is done in three steps: first you need to determine how long you want the headphones to play music. After that, the music is turned off at the set time, but the ANC remains on; Finally, the headset wakes you up at the set time with an alarm. So, it is an ideal solution for falling asleep with music, sleeping with ANC isolation from external noise and waking up just before arriving at the destination.
In keeping with the name, the headphones from the new Tour series prove to be the perfect choice for travel as well as for everyday use on the go, and we believe that, thanks to their sleek design and great microphones, they would serve very well during business communication. Great ergonomics are complemented by generous batteries and advanced features, so before the travel season it’s up to you to choose between a discreet in-ear model or large over-ear headphones.
JBL Tour Pro + TWS
Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Sound pressure SPL: 96 dB
Connectivity: Bluetooth v5.0
Speaker unit diameter: 6.8 mm
Battery capacity: 55 + 55 + 510 mAh
Additionally: microphone, ANC
Weight: 7.5 + 7.5 + 57 g
Price: about 210 euros
JBL Tour One
Frequency range: 10 Hz – 22 kHz
Speaker unit diameter: 40 mm
SPL: 95 dB
Impedance: 32 Ω
Connectivity: bluetooth v5.0, cable
Battery capacity: 920 mAh
Additionally: microphone, ANC
Weight: 268 g
Price: about 300 €
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Source: Hi-Files by www.hi-files.com.
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