Not long after JBL launched the successful Live Pro + with protruding microphones, the Tour Pro + now comes with a more “regular” shape. That is, without the microphone booms. The battery life of the Tour Pro+ is stated to last one hour longer; up to 8 hours in the plugs themselves, while the charging case provides three extra charges.
Tour Pro+ can otherwise be the same as the sister model. It has both active noise reduction and ambient sound (noise from outside is amplified so you can hear the surroundings), which is activated by tapping the left earplug. Download the JBL Headphones app to make settings.
Noise cancellation and ambient noise
The noise cancellation has no levels, it is on or off. Which is OK, as it works just fine. On the other hand, there are two different forms of ambient sound: Ambient Aware lets in as much as possible from the surroundings, with a wide frequency range. TalkThru, on the other hand, lets through more midrange and less bass, to highlight human voices in a conversation. I actually think TalkThru sounds most natural and works best in most situations.
JBL Tour Pro+ supports the voice assistants Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and in the app you can choose whether you want to press the right or left earplug to call the assistant.
JBL Tour Pro+ in practice
The app provides some choices around Bluetooth modes in terms of sound quality. Normal promises a more stable connection in situations with a lot of interference from other devices, as something at the expense of sound quality. Audio should give the best sound on music, while Video should give the least delay and the best lip sync on film and games. I experienced just about the same delay regardless of mode, and must say I am disappointed that Video also has some delay and thus the risk of the sound coming out of sync with the image, depending on which streaming app you use.
Several different earpieces are included, so it is very likely that some of them provide an optimal fit. The JBL plugs basically give rich bass, but a thin midrange and a slightly sharp treble.
The party trick is that the app has a really good EQ, so you can set the sound as you want. You can plot as many points along the frequency curve as you want, and fine-tune properly. The most important thing is to raise the midrange range slightly, and reduce the sharp frequency range around 6 kHz. In addition to this, you can fine-tune according to your own needs.
I still miss several pre-selections in the EQ, for those who are not comfortable with posing themselves. Jazz removes all midrange, Vocal removes all bass, while Bass amplifies the only range that I see no reason to tweak.
With the sound well tuned, I get fuller sound than with the Supra Nero-TX Pro, so that the singing voices come out better, and the soundscape gets a bigger scene. Piano transients are fine, and I can enjoy both classical and popular music. The sound quality is very similar with and without noise attenuation activated, but the slightly better speed in transients with the attenuation off.
The speech quality is quite good, the recipient hears what is being said. But it sounds a little sharper and less natural than with the best earplugs with protruding microphones.
JBL Tour Pro+ is a set of earbuds with several nice features, good battery life and with well-working noise cancellation and ambient sound.
The sound quality is basically good enough, but you should definitely adjust the EQ in the app to bring out the midrange and remove a sharpness in the treble. The good EQ is the rescue for these earplugs, which would otherwise be mediocre.
Also in this test
Supra Nero-TX Pro
The king of bass
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Beats Studio Buds
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Sennheiser CX True Wireless
Great sound, but ...
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OnePlus Buds Pro
Excellent AirPods copy
It is quite clear that OnePlus has used AirPods Pro as a template, yet Buds Pro is so successful that they deserve to be seen as something of their own.