At $249 the JBL Live Pro+ true wireless earphones are smack bang in the sweet spot for most people looking for a great new wireless sound, and the even better news is – they deliver it all in spades.
JBL is renowned for their audio quality, their signature sound, but when you take all their big booming sound and speakers and minimise it into headphones you always risk some compromise. Over the years though they’ve proven it possible in a huge range of headphones, but these JBL Live Pro+ are an important model for JBL, taking on the biggest sellers in headphones, Apple, Sony and likely Jabra too.
I’ve been using these now for over a month, and they’ve not let me down, or disappointed.
Remembering that these are $249 RRP, you’re looking at a set of earphones I’m comparing to Apple’s $400 set, and Sony’s latest at over $400.
While I appreciate that Apple and others are able to do some great things with their audio products, and when I listened back to back to each of the Apple, Sony and jBL offerings, I really found that while I appreciated the ability for Apple Airpods to really seperate the sounds in a track, I think most of us want the more natural all around sound that I’m hearing with the JBL and the Sony.
But when you consider the price here, it’s hard to imagine spending more than $249 on a set of headphones.
One of my biggest gripes these days is that a gadget like this doesn’t have customisation within an app – but it does.
Each earbud’s “stalk” is touch sensitive and you can customise the controls, for your voice assistant on one side and play controls on the other etc.
They are the right size too, the stalk isn’t so long that it looks strange, and in the black colour (White is also available), they look bloody great.
Sound quality on calls is great, most people I spoke to never said a word or even noticed I was using headphones, which is what you want.
Most importantly, the 7 hours life in the earbuds themselves is impressive battery performance. Plus, there’s 21 hours more in the case which itself is Qi wireless compatible.
The real headline here is noise-cancelling. That’s what you’re getting with the Airpods Pro and Sony 1000’s these aim to compete with.
In lockdown, there ain’t no flights. So true testing of the noice cancellation is difficult – I’ve always said that the concept of noise-cancelling isn’t to block out the kids around you, its tuned for flights when that silence helps you rest, or allow you to focus on the movie you’re watching.
But, with a bit of sample white noise, I can certainly tell you these do a great job of cancelling out that ambience around you.
No, they’re not as good as Apple AirPods Pro, or the Sony’s – but I think on balance, for the value, it’s an outstanding level of cancellation.
The charging case is small, comfortable in the pocket and the Earbuds click in place with ease.
Honestly, these are hard to fault. I can’t imagine anyone spending $249 and being disappointed.