top of page

Audio = Ground Zero: A deep dive into JBL’s headphone range

When it comes to running or more vigorous types of exercise, there are few things that are more of a buzzkill than ill-fitting earbuds that will not stay out of your way or cause more distraction than sonic motivation.

An ideal pair of workout earbuds fits firmly yet comfortably, is resistant to water and sweat, has easy to use controls and can also be used to take the occasional ill-timed call.

After quite a bit of trial of error, I found a pair that ticks quite a few of the aforementioned boxes, i.e. JBL’s Endurance Peak II, which not only comes with hooks to ensure a secure fit but has comprehensive touch controls. Despite being located in an affordable price bracket, they do not lack in the sound performance department either – au contraire, they add a welcome hint of bass without running danger of muddying the mid-range.

Sturdy in appearance and with a solidly compact and slightly oversized case, which is bisected with a seam, this set of IPX7 rated earphones comes equipped with JBL’s Power Hook technology, i.e. by separating the hook tails from the core unit, the buds are activated and triggered to pair with your device of choice. Once the connection has been established, going forward the same process will establish an immediate connection.

A definite plus of the JBL Endurance Peak 2 and one of the many reasons that make them a formidable workout buddy is the fact that they do not necessitate a whole lot of fiddling around to work the controls as well as their reliability when it comes to faithfully maintaining a connection via Bluetooth, supporting both AAC and SBC, without getting confused by the plethora of other peripherals that are usually present in a gym context.

As far as battery performance is concerned, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 lasted me over six hours per single charge and once the accompanying USB-C case is fully charged after two hours, provides an additional four charge cycles, making it a total of more than thirty hours of playtime without the need for an electric outlet.

With its oblong shaped ear tips, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 isolates nicely, effortlessly managing to keep undesired noises at bay and with its microphone system, calls can be taken in both mono and stereo modes. While I would not necessarily use them for business calls due to their average intelligibility, they do an okay job.

Summa summarum, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 is a smart, well performing and - priced below $100 - a very affordable choice in the workout focussed earbuds range with all the features needed and most importantly the stability, water / sweat resistance, intuitive touch controls and secure fit I have been looking for the longest time.

Aight, let’s leave the confinements of workout earbuds and enter high fidelity territory, shall we?

If you are a dedicated music afficionado, your criteria pertaining to Bluetooth headphones will certainly be bit more sophisticated, which is where JBL’s new Tour One come into play.

Having used my over-the-ear Bose headphones for international travel for the last decade accumulated a fair bit of wear and tear, it was high time for a replacement and upgrade in terms of functionality.

Housed in a hard-shell zipper case with utensils like an airplane adapter, a flat USB-C cable, and a 2.5mm to 3.5mm headphone cable, the feathery light and symmetrical shaped Tour Ones come with a subtle, slightly understated design.

Featuring volume, on/off, Bluetooth buttons, the audio input jack, and a tiny microphone grille on the right and customizable function buttons and the USB-C charging port correspondingly on the last side, things are arranged in an intuitive manner.

The headband, which is metal and sandwiched in a melange of faux leather and memory foam, can be fitted to both large and delicate gullivers, with the ability for the earcups to swivel inward if need be.

Now, how do the Tour Ones sound?

Stating that they sound “balanced” would be an understatement par excellence, as they do a fantastic job – both, wired and connected via Bluetooth – with exceptional clarity and sound layering / separation giving prominence to finer nuances with an emphasis on the mid-range with the option to customized EQ settings via the easy-to-navigate JBL Headphones app.

The fact that the earcups are slightly bigger than comparable models, makes the Tour Ones comfortable to wear from the get go and the ability to intuitively switch between multiple audio source devices by simply toggling the Bluetooth button downward is a welcome feature.

As far as the touch sensitive controls are concerned, it could not be easier to summon voice assistance and again seamlessly move between truly adaptive noise cancellation, Ambient Aware and Talk Thru level modes.

What I love about the Tour Ones is the lightning fast charge time and the extended battery life: Charging for fifteen minutes gives you close to four hours of audio pleasure and if you go for the full round of two hours, it will result in keeping you immersed in sound for more than two days, given that True Adaptive Noise Cancelling is not activated as otherwise it is halved to a respectable twenty-five hours, with the automatic off function ensuring that they won’t be drained when not in use.

Essentially, the Tour Ones are more than a worthy investment if you are in the market for a comfortable, high performing, superior noise-cancelling model with enhanced audio fidelity that is easy on the eye with its classy vibe.

Yet another example of how JBL caters to the whole claviature of audio products.


images from company website

T • August 2, 2022


bottom of page