Almost everybody knows the name JBL. You’ve seen their name on many consumer and professional audio products. They’re no strangers to wireless headphones, and it seems they’ve now released one of their most potentially impressive headphones to date. The Tour One M2 looks to be jam-packed with features, and at its $299 price point, it has the chance to join the ranks of some of the best on the market. Does it succeed?
What You Get
- 1 x JBL Tour One M2 Headphones
- 1 x Carrying case
- 1 x 3.5 mm audio cable
- 1 x Flight adaptor
- 1 x USB Type-C charging cable
- 1 x Warranty / Warning (W / !)
- 1 x QSG / Safety Sheet (S / i)
Look & Feel
It surprised me how small the Tour One M2 looked when I first took it out of the box. The ear cups are flattened out and sleek, with a black design that is reminiscent of the 1000x series. You’ll also see a gloss that outlines the top edge where the yokes are attached to the ear cups, which is a nice addition that adds to its classier appearance. This makes up one of the best fits that JBL has to offer, as the ear cushions are very comfortable even with their slimmer appearance.
Design & Functionality
With a 40mm dynamic driver, the Tour One M2 can have a big output, but with most tracks, the headphones were pretty cranked up and didn’t offer a great amount of headroom. Noise-canceling will help, and thanks to JBL’s companion app, there are a few ways to customize it. There is an adaptive feature like the 1000x series, which automatically adjusts the level of ANC based on your environment. There is also another option for leakage, which will adjust the ANC in real-time. The overall strength of the ANC is good, eliminating most intrusive noise.
There are a ton of features to sort through, like EQ, spatial sound, smart audio, and customizable gestures, but the most interesting one is Personi-Fi. This is effectively a hearing test that when completed, will personalize the sound based on your hearing. You can basically tune the sound signature to your ears, which other Bluetooth headphones have used before, but Personi-Fi gives you very detailed results. Lastly, there are the physical hand gestures that control ANC modes and playback. JBL offers both an on-board action button in addition to the Tour One M2’s touch panel, which is great. I had no issue with any of the controls, as everything was very responsive. There was very little delay between actions, and it made for a friendly user experience.
The Tour One M2 gives you Bluetooth 5.3 LE, ensuring a stable connection that is built to last. Connecting the headphones is quick and easy, with almost instant pairing.
If you have ANC turned on most of the time, you’ll probably only clock in about 30 hours of playtime, but you’ll get a whopping 50 hours of charge. Charging the Tour One M2 for only ten minutes will warrant a whole five hours of listening.
There are a lot of ways the soundstage can change based on what features you’re using. Of course, the spatial sound will be the biggest influence here, but other factors like EQ and Personi-Fi also play a role. With all of those features turned off, the Tour One M2 has some expansive qualities compared to other JBL headphones. Most sound elements stay out of a central position and grow to occupy their space in the mix. Left and right pan movements are represented well for a wireless headphone, and it does its best to establish some discernable layers. Using spatial mode with the music preset, the imaging juts forward quite a bit, especially vocals. However, the sound signature losses some fidelity, and it feels more like an EQ preset than it does 3D.
JBL’s usual bass tuning is fully on display here. It’s thick, with a rich timbre that still shows control. If you want to, the EQ makes it possible for you to go crazy with the bass tone, giving you all the boost you could possibly need. The Tour One M2 knows how to pack a punch, and it does it with balance and grace. You won’t hear any overblown or boomy bass frequencies here, at least in its standard form. When I turned on Personi-Fi, the bass became even stronger, with more vibration from sub-bass details sprinkled in.
This is a better effort than what JBL usually puts out in their midrange response. The display of midrange frequencies is mainly surface level, but it never feels distracted or inelegant. It organizes itself well, even when little room is displayed throughout. Only the low and upper midrange show some significant energy or detail, but the response still appears whole. The instruments are well put together, with vocals being the biggest standout in terms of transparency. Personi-Fi is the most active here, at least when tuned to my ears. It was a lot more picky here though. Sometimes guitars appeared honky, but other times it would fill out the timbre with more detail. What it came down to were tracks that were more dynamic would show the most flaws, while more constantly energetic tracks would benefit from the added structure.
Without EQ and other features, the highs still have an enjoyable sheen to them. There’s a balanced ringing timbre to them, and the response is never too harsh. The frequencies sprinkle over you with a fine edge to them. This is especially apparent when using EQ or using Personi-Fi. Again, like in the mids you can get mixed results, but I tended to favor the more energetic tone here.
There are a lot of things to like about the Tour One M2, as it seems like it has everything you could possibly want in a wireless headphone. It’s so chock full of features and personalization options, that it seems like there is something for everyone. The sound signature has a ton of customization with EQ and Personi-Fi, giving it a sound you can really play with. Battery life is also great, and the ANC is very effective. For $299, the Tour One M2 is a fantastic option for those who are apprehensive about Sony or Sennheiser’s models.
The JBL Tour One M2 is available from Audio46.
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