JBL’s new earbud charging case has a touchscreen so you can ditch the phone

JBL has just announced the Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds, featuring adaptive noise cancellation and customizable ANC alongside a charging case with a 1.45-inch LED touchscreen control panel.

The display on the charging case allows you to flick through multiple screens where you can manage your music and make adjustments to your earbuds, as well as receive calls, messages, and social media notifications without having to first grab your phone. It’s being advertised as a productivity feature, and that does appear to hold some weight if you don’t already own a smartwatch or if you don’t tend to keep your phone in an easily accessible pocket.

The Tour Pro 2 earbuds themselves are Bluetooth 5.3 LTE compatible and come equipped with 10mm drivers, up from the 6.8mm that featured on the Tour Pro Plus. JBL says they’ll last up to 40 hours, with the earbuds themselves capable of running for around 10 hours before needing to charge in the case.

This is an improvement on the claimed 32 hours total and six hours per usage claimed on the Tour Pro Plus when ANC is active, though a review from Rtings places real-world usage closer to 4.2 hours usage and 16.8 hours total battery life. Aside from that, the Tour Pro 2 feature six built-in microphones like the Tour Pro Plus, which didn’t perform well according to this Tom’s Guide review. We can only hope that the Tour Pro 2 earbuds provide better battery life and microphone performance to avoid the same disappointments as its predecessor.

JBL is also releasing the Tour One M2 over-ear wireless headphones, which the brand claims “combines JBL’s best-ever hybrid True Adaptive ANC with JBL Pro-tuned drivers.” This is a successor to the original JBL Tour One, offering improvements to battery life when ANC is active (from 25 hours to 30) and a connectivity upgrade to Bluetooth 5.3. Overall battery life remains at 50 hours, though the Tour One M2 offers fast charging, giving you five hours of juice in just 10 minutes.

Frustratingly, you won’t be able to nab either of these new releases if you live in the US. The Tour One M2 cans will retail for €299/ £279.99, while the Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds will go on sale for €249 / £220. Both the JBL Tour Pro 2 and Tour One M2 will be available in black or champagne and are available to buy from January 2023.