In true JBL style an old Berlin car Garage was transformed not just into an event space, but a party space for JBL where they announced a range of new products, some incrementally upgraded, others radically new and at the same time setting a path forward for all JBL products.

I’ll go into a couple of the individual products in more detail over the day ahead, but for now, here’s the top line of JBL’s latest products for 2023/24. And I should note that this was a European launch, so there’s no word yet if or when these products will make it to Australia, but, I’d be surprised if they weren’t all in the roadmap and I’d also be surprised if Aussie retailers like Harvey Norman weren’t banging down the doors for some of them.

JBL Soundgear Sense

These are a new breed of headphones. They’re no in-ear, they’re not your traditional over-ear. On the face of it they look more like the active products we’ve seen with a loop over the ear and a tip in the ear.

But in fact they are an “Open Ear Design” – something very new, but vastly different to those bone conducting headphones you might have seen around.

Essentially, the “speaker” sits outside your ear – so nothing jammed into your ear canal, but it’s floating outside your ear supported by the over-ear hoop.

The design allows the Soundgear Sense to shoot the audio into your ear canal with a directional driver that reduces leakage.

With 6 hours battery, and another 18 hours battery in the case, they’re made to be worn for extended duration without the ear canal fatigue some headphones create.

Additionally, there is a behind the head strap that clips through the hooks for additional support for those out and about hiking or running with the Soundgear Sense.

JBL Live over-ear updates

Two over-ear headphones get a revamp this year, with the Live 670NC (the “on ear” style) and the Live 770NC (over ear style) maintaining their design styling, but receiving improvements internally to offer better noise cancelling, more EQ customisation within the app, and more microphones.

They do have thicker cushions for better comfort and improved passive noise cancelling too.

Partybox goes Boom!

Now the Partybox 1000 has always been a bit of a beast. Genuinely huge and massive sound.

JBL like many companies often talk about market share in a category, but when it comes to these party speakers, JBL say with over 80% share they “are the category” and it makes sense with Party speakers in all sizes and prices.

The new Partybox Ultimate is a huge 3-way speaker system with a new multi-dimensional light show even around to the sides, and it comes with dual microphones for some epic Karaoke too.

The sound is 40% louder than any other partybox, enough to cover two basketball courts with 1100 Watts of entertainment.

Of course the JBL logo is bigger to match the recent speaker styling, but there are new wheels for better movement, and the top party pads have been reduced to just three curiously.

Critically, the new Partybox Ultimate features WiFi streaming and I believe there is a button or buttons you can program to instantly hit play on one of your online playlists too.

At 1,499 Euros, this will be a product that could easily top $2,500 in Australia but as mentioned, no word on pricing or availability from JBL in Australia.

Retro Style with in-home speakers

While JBL can and does dominate many of the categories they play in, there’s one area they admit to having lost sight of – and that’s in-home audio.

I don’t think we’re referring to soundbars here, instead, think about the market that Sonos fits in, speakers that sit in your lounge room, dining room, kitchen.

And for many – yes, there might be a JBL speaker there, a Charge, or a Flip bluetooth speaker. But it’s not really part of the decor of the home now is it.

Enter the new, JBL Authentics. These. Are. Stunning.

With design cues coming from products like the JBL L100 the Quadrex foam cover is iconically JBL.

This new range features three speakers, the Authentics 200, 300 and 500.

Each have a stunning set of materials chosen from brushed metal to a leather-look, with hand stitching and just really beautiful design.

The Authentics 500 has a 270W Amp, and along with it’s siblings the front foam cover is curved to give a feeling of the depth you get – it’s really a great look.

Down to the 200 and this is made for the smaller rooms, but still features the same audio capabilities as the whole range with both Bluetooth and WiFi streaming options.

The 300 might be the pick of the bunch with a great looking and feeling handle to ensure that you see it as a portable device to take to the room you’re in.

I’ll have more to say about these soon, but take it from me, you’re going to want to see – and hear the JBL Authentics.

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