If you find premium earbuds from the likes of Bose and Sony too rich for your tastes, consider the JBL Live Pro 2 instead. These true wireless earbuds offer excellent sound that should appeal to just about everyone, along with good noise cancellation and long battery life. They are also packed with useful features, with an app that offers a frictionless user experience. In short, these earbuds are ideal for the average consumer.
- 11mm dynamic driver
- Adaptive noise cancelling
- Six beamforming mics
- Up to 10 hours battery life (with ANC off), additional 30 hours from charging case
JBL has added a couple of new features to these earbuds. For starters, there's multi-device pairing that lets you connect the JBL to two devices, such as your smartphone and laptop, at the same time. I won't say it's a must-have feature, but it's really nice to have. And it's increasingly popular even among entry-level models (see the S$138 Jabra Elite 4). Secondly, the JBL Live Pro 2 has adaptive active noise noise cancellation (ANC) that alter the amount of noise cancelling according to your environment. I also like that the earbuds will conveniently pause the music if you remove it, and resume when it's back on. It's well-done, and not as hit-and-miss as some other earbuds with this feature.
I'm usually not a fan of earbuds with stems. But I'm a fan of the JBL Live Pro 2's glossy finish, which makes it look premium despite its plastic build. JBL includes three sizes of ear-tips, but these buds don't actually go deep into the ears. So they are comfortable, but they may fall out with excessive headbanging. The touch-sensitive controls can be configured easily using the excellent JBL Headphones app. With two earbuds, you can only have two out of the three options (adjusting the volume, media playback and voice assistant control, and ambient sound control). The app, which is responsive and user-friendly, also has helpful features to find your buds, check for the best fit, as well as standard ones like a customisable equaliser. You can even change the language (11 available) of the earbuds' voice prompt.
The JBL Live Pro 2 are anything but neutral when it comes to sound quality. These earbuds places more emphasis on the bass and the trebles. The bass is solid and tight, while the vocals are bright. The soundstage is also decently wide. I personally like JBL's sound but if you don't, you can adjust the EQ settings in the app to your preference. The adaptive ANC is pretty good. It's above average at dampening the noise on public transport, though it's not quite top-tier. Higher frequencies sounds like human voices will mostly get through. The TalkThru mode designed for conversations sounds natural, and voices come through clearly.
With ANC off, JBL says you can get up to 10 hours of uptime for the earbuds, and up to 40 hours of battery life if you count the charging case. So far, that seems fairly accurate. In short, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall quality of the JBL Live Pro 2 earbuds. The user experience has been great. The app, especially, is leagues ahead of some competing brands in terms of usability and features. The sound and ANC are pretty good, too. Given that you can usually get these earbuds for S$199, they are a cheaper, yet almost comparable alternative to premium earbuds that cost S$300 and more. Get them now from Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by JBL.
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