JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

The JBL Tour One M2 stands as a premium active noise-canceling (ANC) over-ear model, boasting an array of intelligent features. Positioned directly against formidable contenders such as the Sony WH-1000XM4 / XM5 and Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 within the approximately $300 price range, the product enters the fray with confidence. In this JBL Tour One M2 review, we delve into the new over-ear wireless headphones, complete with environmental noise cancellation.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

JBL Tour One M2 Review

Design

Regarding design, the JBL Tour One M2 exhibits several parallels with the Sony WH-1000 series. JBL also includes a robust, shock-resistant hard case, housing a plane-use adapter, a charging cable, and a 3.5mm cord.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

Elevated to the echelons of high-end environmental noise-cancellation headphones, the JBL Tour One M2 showcases an exceptional degree of refinement. The headband and the pair of soft ear cushions deliver a comfortable and gratifying wear experience.

Adopting a similar articulating design to the Sony WH-1000XM4, the joints can be neatly folded and horizontally rotated to stow away within the carrying case. Nonetheless, JBL’s design occasionally perplexes when it comes to storage due to its tendency to reverse unintentionally if not meticulously observed. This is in contrast to the Sony WH-1000XM4’s compartmentalized case.

An aspect that stands out about the JBL Tour One M2 is its segmented extended frame. Once accustomed to it, one need only remember its position for seamless donning without recurrent adjustments.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

The control system for this headset is exceptionally straightforward, intuitive, and easy to acclimate to. Positioned on the left, a solitary button takes its place. Out of the box, this button toggles between Noise Cancelling, Ambient Aware, and TalkThru modes. Should one desire, the JBL Headphones software permits the inclusion of an option to completely deactivate Noise Cancellation/Ambient Aware. Adjacent to it resides the USB-C charging port for powering the headset.

To the right, the 3.5mm AUX port finds its place alongside the combined power and Bluetooth connection button, volume up and down controls, and integrated touch-sensitive surface for pausing/playing music, skipping tracks, and other customizable functions via the app.

Connectivity

What impresses me the most is the smart, easy-to-use Bluetooth connection and power button, not the long press like many other Bluetooth headset models. Specifically, this button offers three positions: pushed to the uppermost activates the power-off function, while pushing it down to the middle marks it as on.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

Establishing a connection with a fresh device entails a simple manual pull-down of the button followed by release. The button then reverts automatically to the middle position, enabling connection mode for the headset.

Features

Internally, the JBL Tour One M2 employs a 40mm Dynamic Driver complemented by a total of 7 microphones distributed across both earpieces, serving dual purposes of noise cancellation and conversation facilitation.

An array of features enriches the headset’s repertoire, easily customizable via the corresponding phone application. Notably, the Smart Talk feature, when enabled, activates TalkThru mode automatically during conversations.

Sound

In terms of audio quality, the JBL Tour One M2 exhibits robust bass reproduction, adept control, and agility for swift tracks. The mid-range detail is commendable, and the soundstage exudes spaciousness, further elevated when used in wired mode. Overall, the headset’s audio quality finds itself either on par with or slightly surpassing the WH-1000XM4, subject to individual preference.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

Putting the JBL Tour One M2 through its paces with music, calls, and video content using my iPhone 14 Pro as the primary source yielded positive results. Additionally, intermittent pairing with an Android and MacBook Air provided reference points. While listening to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” the headphones adeptly accommodated the varying tempo. The gradual buildup centered on vocals flowed delicately and gracefully, seamlessly transitioning to the faster, rhythmic segments.

This adaptive and versatile sonic disposition extended to fast tracks like “Rap God” by Eminem and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. Here, the headphones lent sufficient potency to the fast rhythm, coexisting harmoniously with the traditional Tyneside folk song.

However, in the realm of Noise Cancelling, the JBL Tour One M2 falls notably short of its Sony competitor. The Tour One M2 adequately counteracts moderate-level air conditioning hum or minor noise sources. However, for louder environments, such as bustling coffee shops, the WH-1000XM4 emerges superior.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

While the pressure exerted on the ears during noise-canceling activation remains tolerable, individuals with heightened ear sensitivity might find it slightly uncomfortable. Environmental sounds and conversations within Ambient Aware and TalkThru modes are commendable, retaining the authenticity of surrounding voices without inducing an artificial sense of dimension.

Battery life

Concluding with battery life, the JBL Tour One M2 delivered approximately 30 hours on a single charge with environmental noise cancellation activated, while the duration was extended to around 50 hours with noise cancellation switched off, both at moderate volume levels.

JBL Tour One M2 Review: Environmental Noise Cancellation with Impressive Battery

This endurance suffices for a week of typical usage and proves accommodating for lengthy flights. Impressively, our JBL Tour One M2 review testing uncovered significantly superior actual usage time in comparison to the WH-1000XM4. This, perhaps, emerges as the most notable distinction when pitted against rivals.

Charging proved relatively swift, with the headset reaching full capacity in approximately two hours. When the battery is depleted or when heightened audio quality is sought, connecting the 3.5mm cord transforms the headset into a conventional wired variant. Notably, my experience using music sources from Apple Music showcased discernible improvements in sound quality, marked by enhanced detail and a more expansive soundstage.

Final line

Overall, the JBL Tour One M2 is a quality headset, with high perfection, good sound quality, many features, and easy to use. However, if you expect too much noise cancellation, perhaps Sony’s headset models have not found a worthy competitor in the same segment.

In terms of pricing, the JBL Tour One M2 is listed at $299.95 on Amazon. Within this range, the headset presents substantial value, offering an attractive design, active noise cancellation, easy controls, app integration, promising sound quality, and impressive battery life.

About Ankeet Solanki

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