JBL unveils Tour-, Tune-, and Live-branded wireless headphones at CES
Several new models in those product lines caught our attention.
By Scott Wilkinson
JBL introduced several new headphones in three different lines at this year’s CES. I’ll focus on the over-ear and on-ear models here.
Starting at the top of the price heap, the new Tour One is a Bluetooth headphone with ANC (active noise cancellation) that JBL designed for business professionals who are looking for headphones with advanced technology, smart features, and a sleek design. But why would those attributes be attractive only to business pros? They seem awfully nice for anyone who enjoys listening to music on headphones.
The Tour One offers what JBL calls True Adaptive Noise Cancellation, which monitors the environmental sound and adapts the level of noise cancellation accordingly. In addition, a feature called SilentNow lets you engage ANC without activating Bluetooth, providing a quiet sanctuary while extending the battery life. Related features include Adaptive Ambient Aware and TalkThru, which help you navigate through your environment as needed.
Thanks to JBL Pro Sound, which is powered by 40mm drivers, the Tour One is Hi-Res Audio certified, supporting frequencies up to 40kHz. Another innovative feature is Smart Audio Mode, which lets you optimize the Bluetooth connection for high fidelity in Music Mode or lower latency in Video Mode.
In addition, its battery provides up to 50 hours of playtime if you’re using only Bluetooth or 25 hours with Bluetooth and ANC. And if you’re in a hurry, a quick 10-minute charge gives you two hours of playtime. Other features include voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and four microphones for superior voice quality during phone calls. Plus, you can customize your experience with the My JBL Headphones app.
The Tour One will be available in May 2021 for a list price of $299.95.
If that’s a little too rich for your pocketbook, consider the JBL Live series, which includes the Live 660NC over-ear and 460NC on-ear models. Both offer an identical feature set, including JBL Signature Sound, Adaptive Noise Cancelling with Smart Ambient, and voice control using Alexa and Google Assistant. The battery lasts up to 50 hours with Bluetooth only or 40 hours with Bluetooth and ANC, and a 10-munite charge give you four hours of playtime. And both are customizable with the My JBL Headphones app.
Both models will be available in March 2021; the Live 660NC will list for $199.95, while the Live 460NC will carry a price tag of $129.99.
For those whose budget is even more limited, there’s the Tune series, including two on-ear models, the Tune 660NC and 510BT. Both offer JBL Pure Bass Sound and Bluetooth 5.0. As the model number indicates, the 660NC provides noise cancellation, while the 510BT does not. Battery life for both is excellent: 55 hours (Bluetooth only) or 44 hours (Bluetooth and ANC) for the 660NC and 40 hours for the 510BT, and both provide two hours of playtime with a quick five-minute charge. They also support voice assistants, though which ones are not specified in the press materials.
Both models will be available in March 2021; the Tune 660NC will have an MSRP of $99.95, and the Tune 510BT will list for $49.95.