Just like headsets, I’ve had a lot of different pairs of earbuds in my lifetime. You go through a bit of everything; wired and wireless, bassy and trebly, huge and teeny tiny. I’ve reviewed two of JBL’s recent ones, the TWS and TWS Airs, and both are great. In fact, the regular TWS became my everyday pair. All good things must come to an end, but this time it’s because JBL’s Tour Pro 2 earbuds recently arrived on my doorstep, and I’m enthralled with them.
Inside the box you’ll find the Tour Pro 2 earbuds inside the smart charging case. Along with this is a short USB-C cable, a couple of different ear tips for the right ear fit, and the quick start guide. Something I didn’t realize right away: make sure you take all of the plastic off of your earbuds. They keep the contacts from touching in the charging case, meaning you can’t sync them up. It took me a moment to figure this out and I thought mine were defective, but after removing the plastic everything was right as rain.
The smart charging case is meant to be the star of the show, and it really is. It’s a little bigger than an airpod case, but isn’t too large either. Compared to the rectangular TWS earbud case, it’s more ergonomic in its box shape. This allows it to fit into your pocket just fine, although smaller pockets may not conform as willingly.
That’s not the reason it’s unique, however, with a touchscreen display on the front. I don’t think it’s a necessity, but it is one of the neatest ideas to hit earbuds in a while. You can control many aspects of your earbuds through the menus, including active noise cancellation, EQ, and more. You can also get notifications on the screen, and play or pause what you’re listening to. As logic dictates, you’re more than likely to have your phone out already for these things, but if for whatever reason it isn’t accessible, this is a nice extra bonus attached to the Tour Pro 2s.
As for the earbuds themselves, the design is aesthetically pleasing along with a comfortable fit. The Tour Pro 2s are very light, and with a snug fit still don’t feel like they’re going to bounce out of my ears during a brisk run. Honestly, they often don’t even feel like they’re there, which is an impressive feat for earbuds. Most feel too light, and don’t hold to your ears, and others go the opposite direction and might not slip out of your ears while feeling too heavy. The Tour Pro 2s are the best of both worlds.
One of my favorite features of any earbuds or headphones is active noise cancellation, and I was disappointed this was absent in the TWS Airs. Present in the Tour Pro 2s, JBL nails this feature. I can confidently say that because the first time I used these, my wife was working on hanging Christmas lights. I put the Tour Pro 2s in, turned on music, and then had my wife get mad at me because I didn’t hear her at all yelling for my help. Yes, I was listening to metal music, but the fact that even a sliver of the outside world didn’t get in speaks to the incredible effectiveness of active noise cancellation in the Tour Pro 2s. You can also utilize the ambient aware and talk-through features to be able to listen while using these, or turn it off entirely, which is what I’d suggest any time you’re helping your wife with something.
Listening to anything through the JBL Tour Pro 2s is a real treat. The volume is great, and the audio is crisp and full. Tweaking it how you like, with different EQ settings and spatial audio, can enhance your experience. Overall it just sounds great, especially for an audiophile like myself. Any kind of music performs well on them, YouTube and videos are engaging, and playing games is immersive. The Tour Pro 2s do it all.
When you’re using them to talk on the phone or record your voice, the Tour Pro 2s are above average. I don’t think they’re bad by any means, because my voice audio was clear and you could hear what I’m saying. All of the feedback I got on phone calls was also positive. Even so, the microphone sounds like a earbud mic. That’s not indicative of a bad feature, but it does mean I wouldn’t expect to record voice overs using the Tour Pro 2.
Battery life is always a big positive or negative when it comes to earbuds, and as far as my use goes, the Tour Pro 2s have stayed charged. I’ve only charged them up once, and while I have had an odd bug where I’m only seeing the power level at 35%, they’ve not acted like they’re dying anytime soon. JBL advertises forty hours, and so far that seems to be a fair estimate.
Bluetooth connectivity also works really well. I do miss the 2.4hz dongle featured with the TWS earbuds though, which added another form of connection. That said, this will work with any Bluetooth device you’re hoping to game with. I easily connected it to my Switch, Steam Deck, phone, and Meta Quest 2, showing it has a lot of versatility. Given the high amount of hardware you’ll have that has Bluetooth, this will be a win for most.
The dual connect feature (being connected to two devices at once) is a nice touch, but it’s unfortunately not simultaneous. This means you can’t have music going on your phone in the background while using your Switch, or vice versa. It was a bit frustrating to figure out as well, with less information on how to pair new devices than I would have thought. At least the feature works, but it’s less useful than I hoped it’d be.
This leads into my biggest annoyance with the Tour Pro 2s, the onboarding. There are plenty of videos on the JBL YouTube channel and a quickstart guide on their site and in the box, but it doesn’t explain enough. The instructions are vague, to the point I was scrubbing the internet just to figure out how to pair the earbuds to another device. A full breakdown of setting everything up in steps would be appreciated over a picture that doesn’t tell the whole story.
It also extends to the JBL app, mainly in that there are some settings I can’t find. You might think it silly, but I prefer non-military time, and the smart case has somehow defaulted to that. Finding how to change it, if it’s even possible, has been impossible. The app is fantastic when it comes to adjusting the sound, but given that’s all available on the smart case now, it’s not as useful. That means it needs to be more useful in other areas, and it isn’t.
David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.
JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds
The JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds are a fantastic, luxurious product offering more than even necessary. Crisp and delightful audio mixed with a bevy of additional functionality, like the smart charging case and extended battery life, make this an easy pick up. You’ll pay a premium, but the benefits measure up to the cost.