JBL's latest earbuds come in a charging case with a touch display
JBL has plonked a new pair of buds into the wireless listening pond with an interesting point of difference, arriving inside what's billed as the world's first smart charging case. The newly introduced JBL Tour PRO 2 earbuds promise the type of high-end audio you'd expect from the brand, but also feature a fast-charging case with a touch display to place extra functionality at your fingertips.
The JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds follow some other interesting ideas from the audio gear maker, such as solar-powered headphones that promised potentially unlimited playtime and its versatile set of Tune Flex earbuds that allow for closed-back or open-back listening.
The 1.45-inch LED touch display built into Tour PRO 2's charging case is something we haven't seen before, however. It enables users to control music, take calls, read text messages and receive social media notifications without needing to take out their phone.
Part of this does smell a little like a solution looking for a problem – is taking the charging case out of your pocket to fiddle with your music going to be any easier than just pulling out your phone? It may well be, depending on where and how you use it, and it's the type of thing that could be quite convenient in unexpected ways. Perhaps it means the phone stays in your backpack. Or perhaps the user interface will be so intuitive that you can't believe you did it any other way (it does look like the display offers quick access to noise cancellation, for example).
On the audio side of things, the buds are packing 10-mm dynamic drivers and customizable adaptive noise-cancelling. They connect to your device over Bluetooth 5.3 and use a six-microphone array for voice calls. They offer a total of 40 hours of listening time, 10 from the earbuds themselves and a further 30 provided from a fully charged carry case.
To be available from January 2023 in black and champagne color schemes, the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds will be priced at €249 (US$250).