JBL Live Pro 2 wireless earbuds review

I’m not a big fan of wireless solutions to things that work well wired – that’s why I’ve run Ethernet cable throughout the house. I long resisted the desire to own a set of wireless earbuds as my wired Apple set was working fine, but my mind changed as the plug was developing issues, leading to erratic behaviour such as audio jumping or speeding up suddenly. I had initially set my sights upon the Sennheiser CX Plus, but they were not available at the store where I wanted to buy them. I was offered the JBL Live Pro 2 as alternative.

These come with a small charging case, a USB charging cable, and three sizes of silicone earplugs. I found the smallest size to be the most comfortable. There’s an app for configuration which on iOS is ridiculously large at almost 700 MB. It lets you configure the noise cancelling, EQ, controls, and other options. The default controls (tapping left for noise cancelling on/off, tapping right for play/pause) work well for me. You can switch between two coupled devices as well.

I have used these for three weeks now. My main use case is listening to podcasts while walking the dog, but I have also used them for watching video and listening to music. I have used them in multiple locations, including in the tram and metro. Sound quality is good, I use an EQ setting that doesn’t over-accentuate the bass (as so many headsets do). There is a bit of latency which causes the audio to be out of sync when watching video. This can be helped by turning on video mode, but this causes occasional glitches during playback.

I have no experience with other noise-cancelling headphones, so I can’t compare there. The noise cancelling is most effective at eliminating low frequency rumbling noise, such as that by ventilation systems and electric motors. I haven’t had a chance to test them on an airplane, but they should be perfect there, too. There can be a bit of high-frequency hissing at times. Other sounds such as voices are suppressed somewhat, but not totally eliminated – so these are not going to isolate you completely in a busy office. Nevertheless I would recommend to use them in „Ambient Aware“ mode when situational awareness is required, such as when walking or biking.

Conclusions

+ Good sound quality
+ Good at cancelling out background noise
+ Competitively priced
+ Unobtrusive design

– Not great for video
– Large app

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