JBL unleashes a huge new lineup of Bluetooth headphones and true wireless earbuds
Just because Samsung subsidiary and audio industry veteran Harman unveiled an "all-star fall lineup" of JBL-branded headphones and speakers including more products this writer could count on the fingers of one hand around four months ago, that doesn't mean the company isn't doing the same exact thing all over again today.
earbuds alone, with a grand total of 11 models across four different families officially announced at prices ranging from as little as 40 bucks all the way up to $300 in anticipation of commercial releases taking place this upcoming spring.This time around, you'll need more than two hands to count the all-new headphones and
The ultra-affordable options
The JBL Tune series is known for striking a great balance between decent features and reasonable pricing, with the latest on-ear and in-ear additions to the budget-friendly wireless family looking like no exception to that rule.
From a specification standpoint, it's pretty much impossible to differentiate the JBL Tune 215BT from the 125BT, with both in-ear options priced at $39.95 a pair while offering identical Pure Bass Sound technology, Bluetooth 5.0 support, 16-hour battery life rating, Speed Charge capabilities for providing one hour of music playback after just 10 minutes of charging, and even the same tangle-free flat cable design.
The shape of the buds is different, however, as Harman seemingly aims to cater to the individual needs and preferences of basically every type of listener out there.
Meanwhile, as the name suggests, the JBL Tune 660NC come with a major advantage over their on-ear Tune 510BT siblings, rocking active noise cancelling technology at an excellent price of $99.95. The non-NC-supporting headphones will set you back $49.95 starting March 14, also downgrading the maximum battery endurance score from 55 to 40 hours.
The all-inclusive lineup
If you don't mind spending anywhere between 130 and 200 bucks, the expanded JBL Live series has everything you might need. We're talking on-ear, over-ear, and true wireless designs, the costliest of which essentially covers all the bases, from Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology to native Alexa and Google Assistant integration, Speed Charge support, and an impressive battery life of up to 50 hours.
Incredibly enough, the $129.95 on-ear JBL Live 460NC cans come with pretty much the same features and capabilities as the $199.95 over-ear Live 660NC, which strongly suggests the pricier model will sound better and do a far superior job of drowning out your surroundings.
The $149.95 and $179.95 true wireless Live Free NC+ and Live Pro+ earbuds also have extremely similar lists of features, although the latter variant offers "adaptive" noise cancellation while the former settles for "standard" ANC. The "compact" charging case accompanying the Live Pro+ takes the 14-hour endurance rating of the Live Free NC+ case up to 21 hours, but curiously enough, the cheaper model is IPX7 waterproof, compared to its IPX4 water resistant sibling.
Just like the four new JBL Tune headphones, these four Live additions are scheduled for a joint March 14 US commercial debut.
The business-friendly options
Just in case you felt Harman's JBL-branded product portfolio was not already rich and diverse enough, the Tour One over-ear noise cancelling headphones and Tour Pro+ true wireless in-ear buds mark the beginning of a beautiful new series.
Elegantly designed to appeal primarily to "business professionals", these bad boys share state-of-the-art Adaptive Noise Cancellation, as well as JBL Pro Sound technology and a bunch of other premium features including Adaptive Ambient Aware and TalkThru.
Obviously, the large and stylish JBL Tour One cans come with a superior total battery life rating of 50 hours in uninterrupted music playback, as well as a fairly extravagant $299.95 price tag. In contrast, the teeny-tiny Tour Pro+ are set to cost $199.95, providing up to 30 hours of combined listening time. The Tour Series will go on sale stateside on May 30 in a single classy black hue to take on Apple's AirPods Max and AirPods Pro.
The sporty true wireless option
If you're looking for a considerably cheaper alternative to the hugely popular AirPods Pro, the $149.95 JBL Reflect Mini NC TWS should come out at some point this spring... with active noise cancelling functionality on deck, as well as premium 6mm dynamic drivers for top-notch sound, and up to 7 hours of battery life (or 21 hours when combined with a bundled USB-C charging case).
While the adjustable built-in ear-fins of the newest Reflect earbuds are likely to put off a number of potential buyers who might consider the "cleaner" AirPods easier on the eyes, that's a necessary compromise to make in order to guarantee the comfortable fit, stability, and versatility badly needed during those long (indoor or outdoor) workouts.
Speaking of the outdoors, we should also mention the Reflect Mini NC TWS are IPX7 rated for sweat and overall water protection. Not too shabby for 150 bucks, eh?