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Audio = Ground Zero: JBL

For People Who Listen

We live in a time and age where traditional headphones have almost completely been replaced by earbuds and while them being wireless, small and convenient to use, more often than not especially the free ones that come along with your phone purchase are of questionable quality and tend to not last overly long.

Now, in a more than crowded market, choosing the most suitable ones for your individual needs and balancing budgetary constraints and specific features elevating outcomes when it comes to audio fidelity and noise cancellation can be a challenge.

After a period of trial and error, testing both headphones and ear buds for both working from home with video conferencing and going for long runs in between, I have grown to appreciate some new styles, which are able to connect to the computer and phone via Bluetooth, sound fantastic and in terms of design prove much more convenient to use than headsets or headphones with a cord between the two earbud components.

Before selecting earbuds, checking the product specifications is an essential first step as e.g. matching the impedance of the source to the impedance of the earbuds; the right level of sensitivity; the range of audio frequencies the earbuds can repeat (which should correlate with the type of music you prefer) and the quality of drivers will all impact on the overall sound quality, the listening experience and to an extent the health of your ears.

Another important factor is figuring out the shape of your ear and what you will feel comfortable with when it comes to earbuds nestling in your ear cavity and depending on the kind of activity you will be using them for, how they work to isolate sound, cancel noise and resist sweat during strenuous workouts.

After having tried many models, I settled on a couple of models that have become reliable companions during work, travel and running. A more recent one is the Live Pro+ TWS, which is a wireless earbud specimen from JBL, a company I have not had any experience with before.

The combination of dynamic drivers aimed at getting the most out of most common music genres paired with a noise cancellation and “ambient aware” features that are adaptive the Live Pro+ tick two important boxes for me, especially the latter when working in public spaces and need to block out the world around me. Needless to say, the noise cancelling qualities also come in handy when trying to nap while travelling.

Another bonus is not only the fact that the JBL Live Pro+ can be charged wirelessly and with the combination of seven hours of playback plus a further twenty one in the case, they keep humming along all day long.

As I am not an avid user of voice assistance, the fact that I could use them for those purposes is not a selling point for me personally, but surely for anyone who is borderline married with Alexa, Siri and co.

Now, an important feature for using them while running is not only the fact that the Live Pro+ are water resistant, but that they come with a handful of sets of silicone ear tips to create the perfect fit for your auricle, even when wearing them with gators or masks.

If you experienced wireless earbuds when they first hit the market, you would be acutely aware of how important it is for phone calls for the microphones to give at least a semblance of a real conversation, which is where many earbuds still fail. With these babies and the noise cancellation qualities of the phone, taking calls while running proves to be doable without running danger of sounding like a robot in a wind tunnel and what I love about listening to music while running is how the long bars outside the ears let me control music playback functions to perfectly calibrate the sound you are aiming for without feeling like you are knocking directly on your ear drums.

Sound-wise, I would not have expected these tiny buds to deliver such a clear, punchy and big sound, with a customizable broadly range EQ to refine nuances to a tee. All around an well-priced, versatile and great sounding product that delivers what it claims.

Based on the experience I have had, I checked out what JBL has to offer in other areas of audio equipment and opted for one their Bluetooth speakers when it came to getting a new one for outside activities and blasting tunes while on the move or settling into hotels, et cetera.

The JBL Charge 5 is a compact, durable and portable powerhouse built in a manner that not only looks sleek and aesthetically pleasing, but is fully water- and dustproof, i.e. it is the ideal speaker to kick about when having debauched parties, the work shed, shenanigans in the shower or outdoor workouts with the squad.

Being moderately priced paired with the fact that sound wise things are on the balanced and articulate end of the spectrum even when using it outdoors, the feature that sealed the deal for me was that it doubles as a power bank and works incredibly well with voice assistants.


images from company website

September 13, 2021

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