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JBL Tour One M2 review: Bang for buck

JBL Tour One M2 review: Bang for buck

JBL Tour One M2

The JBL Tour One M2 offers a whole lot of features for the price. They also sound pretty good, and are comfortable, too. For most folks who aren't too picky about audio quality, they sound good enough, and with sufficient noise cancelling to compete with more expensive rivals. In short, you're getting good value here.

Quick specs

  • 40mm dynamic driver
  • Adaptive noise cancelling with 4 mics
  • 278g
  • Up to 30 hours battery life (with ANC on)

My first impression upon removing these JBL headphones from the package: Boy do they smell! There's this really strong new faux leather smell that didn't dissipate for a few days. And there's still a faint whiff up-close. That being said, these ear cups are soft, and very comfortable. The headband, too, is well padded. At 278g, they are not too heavy, either. Overall, these headphones feel snug, though they can get a bit warm in our humid weather after prolonged use. In terms of design, the mostly matte black finish — with some silver glossy highlights — can seem a bit safe and bland. Personally, I would rather not have my headphones draw unwanted attention.

JBL Tour One M2
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Tour One M2 offers a mix of physical and touch controls. You can tap the right ear cup (once, twice, and thrice) to control media playback and calls, while tapping and holding activates the preset voice assistant (if available). There are physical volume buttons, and a toggle for power and Bluetooth pairing. The button on the left ear cup toggles between active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes. These headphones are collapsible, which is nice and convenient for travel. You can fold it and stow it in the included case, which has ample space for the bundled cables (USB-C charging and 3.5mm).

JBL Tour One M2
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Like the JBL Tour Pro 2, the Tour One M2 is chock-full of features, including wear detection, Smart Talk (lowers music volume when you start speaking), and Personi-Fi (adjusts the audio after testing your hearing). Not all of them are good — the spatial audio effect, for example, doesn't do much for me. Sound quality, though, is great — balanced and pleasant. The soundstage is wide and immersive. Bass is tight, and not overdone. The snug ear cups also offer good passive noise isolation, and help greatly with the noise reduction from the ANC, which is very good, if not quite the best. I feel the JBL would be competitive with other consumer ANC over-ear headphones in the S$400 to S$500 price range.

JBL says these headphones can last up to 30 hours with ANC enabled, and they certainly last long enough to compete with the best. At S$399, the JBL Tour One M2 is cheaper than Sony's excellent WH-1000XM5, which is currently going for S$499. For what you're getting, the M2's price seems an accurate and fair reflection. It's not quite as good as the Sony, but it's more than good enough as an affordable alternative. And these foldable JBL headphones are definitely easier to carry around than the Sony. The Tour One M2 is available now at Lazada, and Shopee.

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Note: Review unit provided by JBL.

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Solid and cheaper alternative to the usual premium headphones

Available at Lazada
Available at Shopee

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