Jas was lucky enough to get an invite to Harmon’s latest press presentation and wow did it reveal some awesome JBL audio tech!
Lou Schreurs, the vice president for commercialisation & sustainability consumer audio began by explaining how their products were starting to move towards their 2040 goal to become carbon neutral. With reduced packaging, recycled fabric and high-quality PCR plastic, he explained how the move was vital in order to have a sustainable product while considering the whole cradle-to-grave process. It was incredible to see a company working so hard into sustainability research.
The JBL Clip 4 Eco and Go 3 Eco were shown as examples of some of the new eco-friendly products.
JBL Dolby Atmos Soundbars were next on the agenda with 4 versions coming out in the next couple of months.
JBL Bar 1000
The flagship 800W JBL Bar 1000 looked incredible. Sporting a 10″ standalone subwoofer, 5 drivers in the front bar as well as 2 upfiring ones, what really stood out was the 2 detachable battery-driven speakers that you could deploy around the room. Altogether this product could give a true Dolby Atmos experience as well as multi-beam surround sound.
The idea of the detachable battery speakers is that they can be charged up overnight via the main soundbar, however, if you did not have the room you can power them via USB if needed.
When it comes to the tech features there is Bluetooth as well as the ability for the sound bar to work with any voice-enabled system such as Alexa, Siri, Chromecast, etc.
With JBL’s Pure Voice Tech at play, you should hopefully never be reaching for the volume control due to the voice being too quiet and the explosions too loud. Here they have managed to extract the voice from the sound being played and enhanced it to ensure that it is clear. This is certainly a feature that needs to work well!
Accompanying the JBL Bar 1000 is the 800, 500 and 300. The difference in the range, other than size, is that the 800 has True Dolby Atmos while the 500 and 300 have Virtual Dolby Atmos as well as MultiBeam.
The JBL Bar 1000 will be €1149 and is due to be available in mid-October, meanwhile, the 800 will be €849. The 500 and 300 will be released at the start of September and will cost €649 and €399 respectively.
JBL Tour ONE M2
Moving onto portable sound systems, it was revealed that a new foldable JBL Tour ONE M2 headset will join the range and come out in January 2023. With 40mm Neodymium drivers, 360 spatial sound, low EQ compensation, and true ANC, it was touted that these will be the best-sounding noise canceling headphones on the market thanks to a lot of research into the clamp force, cushions and seals.
The Tour ONE M2 has a real leather headband as well as ear cushions in order to get that perfect comfortable seal as well as tactically placed microphones to lessen any wind noise. It will use the new BT5.3 version to help reduce power consumption and sport a “smart talk” feature whereby the headphones will recognise your voice through its 4 microphones and allow you to control them verbally without pressing any buttons.
There is upto 50 hours of music playback to be had with ANC turned off and 30 hours with it on.
If this does not sound enough then there is also a “Personi-fi 2.0” tech that creates a unique sound curve for you based on your gender, age and a few other options. It all sounds very intriguing. At €299 the Tour ONE M2 could be on many audiophiles’ wish lists.
JBL Tour PRO 2
Finally, the oval tubular designed JBL Tour PRO 2 earbuds were revealed. With many of the same features as the Tour ONE M2 being present such as neodymium drivers, 360 spatial sound, 6 microphones, True ANC and personi-fi, the show stopper on this product has to be the smart case.
I don’t usually pay much attention to the earbud cases in fairness. Usually, they are just there to house and protect your earbuds as well as give you a visual understanding as to how much charge is left. JBL has gone one step further and introduced a touch screen.
The small 1.45″ touch screen acts as a way of altering your earbuds settings on the fly without requiring your phone and app as well as allows you to answer calls, and see social media notifications and messages. When I asked whether the touch screen would have a detrimental effect on the case battery I was told that as the touch screen was small it would not affect the performance with 10 hours of playback on the earbuds with ANC off and another 30 hours held in the case.
I do look forward to giving these a try and seeing them!
Arriving in January 2023 and costing €249, would you like some JBL earbuds with a touch screen on the case?
Well there you go people, some awesome-looking products from the JBL range to whet your appetite! Which one is your favourite?