JBL Tour Pro+ noise-cancelling headphones for $200
This review is about JBL Tour Pro+ noise-cancelling headphones for $200. So read this JBL Tour Pro+ noise-cancelling headphones for $200 with full details and specs.
The JBL Tour Pro+ noise-cancelling headphones for $200
One drawback to Google’s second-generation Pixel Buds, as well as its mid-range replacement, the Pixel Buds A, is the lack of noise cancellation. It was disappointing to see the Pixel Buds lacking in noise cancellation in the face of rugged competitors like the AirPods Pro and the Galaxy Buds Pro. Instead, the most distinctive feature of the Pixel Buds series is their ability to respond to the hotword “Hey Google”, which has yet to be reproduced on third-party earphones. Until now, yes.
JBL’s latest true wireless earbuds, the JBL Tour Pro+, are the first third-party earbuds with full Google Assistant integration, including audible notifications and “Hey Google” support. For true wireless earbuds, “comfort” falls into two totally unrelated categories: comfort in the ears and comfort in the pocket. Each is a struggle between packing the biggest battery possible while not being unreasonably bulky.
Where I’m normally used to putting the earbud charging case in the otherwise useless coin pocket of my pants, the JBL Tour Pro+ case is way too thick for that. Even in my full pocket, it’s a little on the bulky side for everyday wear, but if you keep your tech in a bag, it’s a moot point.
In exchange for that mass, you get three full charges on top of the earbuds’ eight hours of playtime, meaning you can get a whopping 32 hours of playtime on a full charge. I’ve essentially never had the earbuds themselves or the battery case completely drained during my use – random charging the few times I remember doing this – which is certainly a solid trade-off. One thing to note about charging though is that I find that I can’t just “drop” every button in the case. There is a slight magnetic pull that pulls them in place, but it usually isn’t enough to twist them in the right direction to align the pins up to charge. Instead, I usually turn each knob while watching for the charge light to come on.
As for the buttons themselves, I thought they were a bit too big at first, coming from the Pixel Buds. However, with a few days of adjustment, I find the JBL Tour Pro+ comfortably snug, more out of place on the outside of my ear than in the ear canal. That said, they still like to loosen up with jaw movements from eating food or chewing gum. The design has surprisingly allowed me to wear the earbuds longer than I normally would, while still maintaining a solid seal for sound purposes (more on this later). Of course, everyone’s ears are shaped differently, so you may have a different experience or preference. To that end, however, JBL has multiple sizes of both the inner ear tips and the outer ear fins to optimize your fit.
In all categories, these earbuds sound much, much better than Google’s Pixel Buds, thanks to JBL’s decades of experience in audio engineering. And that’s before you count the noise cancellation. With active noise canceling enabled, you get a lot more isolation than normal true wireless earbuds offer. That said, JBL’s noise cancellation isn’t as effective as Bose’s or Sony’s. The main sources of unwanted noise, such as a car engine, neighbor’s subwoofer or your home air conditioners are all filtered out completely with ease. However, higher-pitched sounds such as the ringing of a dog collar, the bubbling of a fountain, and the sounds of nearby voices still manage to leak through. While far from perfect, it’s better than no active cancellation at all.
There are a few toggles in the app that let you turn off noise cancellation, make outside noise more audible for safety, or even have a conversation with the earbuds in. But unless you assign these to a gesture — more on that in a minute — it would be much easier to just take your earbuds out rather than fiddle with the app. They are nice enough in theory, but not very useful in my experience. Next, let’s take a look at the built-in controls of the JBL Tour Pro+, including the main way to access the Google Assistant. JBL has a very simple control scheme that consists of one tap, double tap, triple tap and tap and hold gestures.
Notably, there are four different sets of gesture actions, and you can assign only one set to each earbud, with no room for deeper customization. “Playback control” allows you to play/pause and skip tracks. “Ambient Sound Control” allows you to switch both noise reduction and “TalkThru” feature that is designed for quick conversations. With “Volume Control”, as you would expect, you can increase the volume up and down. Finally, there is “Voice Assistant” which allows you to access Alexa or the Google Assistant. Although the JBL Tour Pro+ offers “Hey Google” support, you have to set the gestures of one side on Voice Assistant to access the Google Assistant, either by touch or by voice. That means sacrificing access to one of the other gesture sets, making the earbuds a little harder to manage.
Wrap up JBL Tour Pro+ noise-cancelling headphones for $200
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