Harman/JBL Explore CES 2023 preview — Top six things we’re excited about

I was honored to attend the Harman Explore 2023 representing Gaming Trend. This virtual tour of all the Harmon/JBL products for 2023 was a lot of fun and it was exciting to see everything we’ll see on the shelf this year. With that being said, this is my top 6 products I’m most excited about from the Harman Explore 2023.

— Pulse 5

This portable speaker will be the centerpiece of many a party, you can just tell. The Pulse 5 was immediately one of the first items I was excited about during the announcement due to the amazing 360 degree LED light show that the device puts on! The pulse five is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, letting it work wonders in a pool setting, at the beach, on your deck, or simply in the living room! You can also pair the Pulse 5 with other devices in the PartyBoost family which will allow for multiple rooms to have speakers playing the same music. With 12 hours of playtime on a full charge, this is going to be a must have for anyone who has guests over or simply likes a light show. Updated drivers allow for a deeper bass than their other speakers, and woofers focus on authentic and purer sound. This will be their best portable speaker yet, I’m sure. I’m very excited about this device. While the price might be a shocker to look at, I’m hoping the quality and fun of the Pulse 5 will make it worth the purchase to make it the centerpiece of a room or deck!

— JBL Bar 1300X

The Bar 1300X will be the flagship soundbar of the new models coming in 2023. (Please read this in the Stephan voice from Saturday Night Live) This soundbar has everything; 15 Surround sound channels with 4 Up-Firing Dolby Atmos Drivers & DTS:X. It has detachable speakers you can move around your room for true surround sound. These are also not connected by any wires. I’m excited to think you could be watching something, and someone could take one to the kitchen so they can still hear while cooking while the other person is still in the living room. I also love that the detachable speakers are small yet powerful enough to be useful by themselves as speakers. The subwoofer is 12” and wireless to allow for you to move the bass to wherever makes the most sense in your setup. Our hosts talked about how easy the setup is with music services and such using the JBL app. I’m interested to see how this will work! This soundbar isn’t just for movie setups, you can use this for gaming, music; it can do it all from what we’ve seen so far! Can’t wait to see it in action.

— JBL Quantum 910X

I reviewed the Quantum 400’s and they were a large jump for me from what I was using while gaming and streaming. However, the JBL Quantum 910X looks like a massive step up for gamers of all sorts. For those of you with multiple screens or larger monitors, JBL has put in Spatial 360 Audio with integrated head tracking. You look left, the sound shifts that direction, you look right, shifts right. For all my competitive gamers out there, this is definitely an advantage. This headset also works with bluetooth, meaning you don’t have to worry about wires.

Another thing they updated from past headsets; the battery life is 43 hours and you can use the headset while it’s charging. 43 hours seems long enough to me, but to my marathon gamers out there, you’re set! Something that I loved about the Quantum 400 is the flip-up mic to mute yourself, and this continues with the 910X. I work while I game, and it makes it easy to flip the mic out of the way and answer a call instead of having to mute myself in-game or on discord. Finally, I love the ability to change the lights on the Quantum 400s, and you can once again do that with the 910X. However, you can also program it with the app on PC and use it on your console as well! Nice touch. With a price of $299.99, this seems to have everything you need for a while as a gamer, so it is hopefully worth the price tag!

— JBL Tour One M2

These are the over the ear, flagship, top of the line headphones for those of you who enjoy wonderful sound quality and nothing in your ears. The Tour One 2 has true adaptive noise canceling with custom controls, meaning you can fully cancel out the noise around you or adjust the ANC levels in the JBL app. Not to mention, 50 hours of music playback with bluetooth!? 4-Mic support with voice control will allow for a clear call session!? They really thought about everything with the Tour One 2, along with the travel aspect and comfort of adding fully detachable ear cushions, a carrying case, aux cable, and flight adapter. These headphones look like they’ll rival their competitors such as Bose, and I’m looking forward to hearing what these have to offer!

— JBL Tune Flex

The Tune Flex are much more hard plastic, so it doesn’t have an acoustic seal, but for folks with ears shaped like mine, the harder plastic fits much nicer. They provide 12mm drivers featuring JBL Pure Bass, which is always a plus. I love the 8 hour battery life, with 24 hours in the case and speed charge. I sometimes have long days at work or out and about, and I hate when my earphones die after a few hours. For the Tune Flex, if they die, it’s a 10 minute wait for 2 HOURS of playtime. They’re also splashproof, so you’ll be able to work out with them in, and full JBL app control is a Google Play or App Store visit away. For the price of $99.95 and coming in three different colors, I’m excited to see these on the market!

— JBL SPINNER BT turntable

I’ve been a fan of vinyl since I was a kid. Finding a good turntable, especially one with bluetooth and good speakers is difficult to find. I would love to see what this one has in store. It seems like JBL said it best themselves with the quote, “The JBL SPINNER BT is a testament to the joy of music and vinyl, and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce it at HARMAN Explore,” said Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, HARMAN Luxury Audio. “With Bluetooth 5.2 technology, the turntable provides listeners with an instant wireless connection to their record collections — allowing them to enjoy their albums in any way they wish without losing the signature sound of vinyl — while its sleek design makes a bold statement in any system. And with its analog output and integrated phono preamplifier, the SPINNER BT is equally at home with purists who prefer a wired connection.” This was a late entry to the announcements, but I’m glad we got it!

Adam is a musician and gamer who loves his partner in crime, Regan, and their two pets Rey and Finn. Adam is a fan of Star Wars, Mass Effect, NFL Football, and gaming in general. Follow Adam on Twitter @TheRexTano.

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