Mis à jour le 18 August 2023.
After testing the successful JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds, today we’re reviewing the JBL Tour One M2. Launched at €299, JBL’s latest headphones have many advantages: active and adaptive noise cancelling, Smart Ambient technology (Transparent mode), voice control, support for Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair… All with a battery life of up to 50 hours! Successors to the JBL Tour One, what improvements do the JBL Tour One M2 have in store?
JBL Tour One M2: accessories
The JBL Tour One M2 headphones come inside their hard carrying case. The box also contains a fight adapter, the USB-C charging cable and the 2.5mm to 3.5mm mini-jack audio cable. A quick start guide and a leaflet containing safety instructions accompany the headphones.
JBL Tour One M2: presentation
The JBL Tour One M2 Bluetooth headphones are designed for everyday listening, during your commute, at the office, in your living room, etc. To this end, the Tour One M2 are equipped with 1.6” transducers that provide a frequency response ranging from 10Hz to 40kHz. Several JBL exclusive technologies, active noise cancelling and an ambient mode are all integrated to tailor the experience to the listener’s needs, no matter the situation.
Design and appearance
When you open the box, the JBL Tour One M2 are housed in their rigid, compact carrying case. The headphones feature 90° pivoting ear cups that fold inwards for flat storage and ideal compactness. These over-ear JBL headphones are equipped with large memory foam earpads. With a structure composed mainly of high-quality plastic, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones are very light, weighing only 272 grams. Moreover, the headband is adjustable to distribute this weight evenly across the user’s head, providing excellent comfort even after several hours of use.
In addition to their comfort, the JBL Tour One M2 wireless headphones have an elegant, discreet and minimalist look. Matte black is the main feature, but a few touches of gloss black on the ear cups and headband reinforce their stylish appearance.
In order to listen to music wirelessly, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones feature Bluetooth 5.3 LE technology that is compatible with the SBC and AAC codecs. Unfortunately, aptX and LDAC codecs, which guarantee hi-fi quality listening, are not supported. On the other hand, we didn’t notice any latency between the picture and sound when watching videos (YouTube and Netflix).
We appreciate its compatibility with Multipoint technology, which allows you to simultaneously connect the headphones to a computer and a smartphone, for example. This allows you to listen to content on a computer without missing any phone calls.
Note that the headphones are compatible with the Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair features. This allows them to be quickly paired to nearby compatible Bluetooth devices. During this procedure, the phone quickly displayed a large pop-up window showing a picture and the name of the accessory, making pairing easy.
Naturally, JBL provides a 2.5mm (earcup) to 3.5mm (source) mini-jack cable so you can listen to music with a wide range of sources, even those that don’t support Bluetooth. Another asset is the ability to use these headphones with a wired connection, even when the battery is empty.
Controls and app
Physical buttons or tactile controls? The JBL Tour One M2 headphones have both! The first physical button, on the right earcup, takes the form of a switch. Positioned at the center, it turns the headphones on. When pushed all the way down, it activates pairing. Positioned upwards, it switches the headphones off.
Underneath the switch, there are two buttons for volume adjustment. The main advantage of using buttons rather than a touch-sensitive surface to adjust volume is precision. Although some models offer the option of adjusting volume via a tactile zone, it is often less precise.
The touch-sensitive surface is situated on the right earcup and allows the following actions:
- next/previous track
- answer or end an incoming call
- activate/deactivate the voice assistant
Lastly, on the left earpiece is the button for activating Transparent mode or active noise cancelling.
Note that each gesture is accompanied by a confirmation sound to confirm that the command has been taken into account. Overall, the controls are easy to get to grips with.
JBL Headphones app
Of course, JBL allows you to pair these headphones with the JBL Headphones app. The latter lets you adjust settings and activate certain functions of the JBL Tour One M2. In particular, it provides access to a 12-band equalizer to customize the sound according to the listener’s preferences and the musical genre. The JBL Tour One M2 also include dynamic equalization at low volume. This enhances bass intensity at moderate volume levels (< 50%).
The app also offers the Personi-fi feature. The latter analyzes the user’s hearing and adapts the equalization accordingly. This involves performing a test in which several frequencies are played and the user is asked to indicate when the sound becomes inaudible. Although we prefer to manually adjust the sound with the equalizer, this function is a good way of easily improving the audio.
Moreover, the JBL Tour One M2 Bluetooth headphones offer a Spatial audio mode that improves sound immersion depending on the content (3 modes: music, films and video games). Of the three modes, Film mode seemed to us to be the most effective in terms of spatial impact and sound immersion. However, when this function is deactivated, the reproduction is more accurate.
Noise cancelling and Transparent mode
In addition to the passive isolation provided by their over-ear ear pads, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones excel when it comes to active noise cancelling. All low frequency sounds such as engines and ventilation noises are completely erased. While the reduction of voices could be better, JBL has made significant progress and is now among the best noise-cancelling headphone manufacturers.
As for the Transparent mode, which JBL calls Ambient Aware, it is useful for hearing announcements during commutes or to have a brief conversation without taking the headphones off. While the reproduction isn’t natural, this feature is satisfactory and much better than with the first generation JBL Tour One headphones.
Furthermore, the TalkThru mode is similar to the Transparent mode, but it emphasizes the midrange frequencies and human voices. This is convenient for short conversations, although we still feel like it is rude to not remove your headphones…
Once again, JBL has made strides. JBL Tour One M2 headphones offer satisfactory voice pickup in quiet environments. Vocals remain clear and intelligible, although certain syllables can sound slightly nasal and sibilant. In noisy environments (shopping malls, streets, etc.), the noise reduction algorithm manages to eliminate unwanted sounds.
Not hearing your own voice during a phone call can be very unnerving. That’s why the handy Voice Aware feature (activated via the app) lets you hear your own voice. This voice feedback can be adjusted via the app to the desired intensity. What’s more, the headphones offer personal sound amplification, similar to the ambient/transparent mode, so you can hear surrounding noise.
In terms of battery life, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones are pretty impressive as they can provide up to 50 hours of continuous playback without noise cancelling, and 30 hours when the feature is activated. As a result, it is possible to listen to your music all day long.
The JBL Tour One M2 wireless headphones feature wearing sensor technology, which pauses audio playback as soon as the listener removes the headphones. As well as ensuring that you don’t miss out on any of your music or podcast, this function prevents the battery from being unnecessarily depleted.
Finally, it’s important to note that these headphones can be used in passive mode, which means you can continue to use them even with a cable, even if the battery is flat.
JBL Tour One M2: key specifications
- Design: over-ear
- Transducers: 1.6”
- Frequency response (passive): 10Hz to 40kHz
- Frequency response (active): 10Hz – 22kHz
- Sensitivity: 117 dB measured at ± 3 dB at 1kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Bluetooth 5.3: SBC, AAC
- Autonomy: up to 50 hours
- Active and adaptive noise-cancelling, transparent mode
- Weight: 272g
JBL Tour One M2: listening conditions
We tested the JBL Tour One M2 headphones in Bluetooth mode with an Android smartphone and a laptop. We also tried a wired connection with a USB Audio DAC. We listened to Hi-Res music on Qobuz.
JBL Tour One M2: listening impressions
The JBL Tour One M2 Bluetooth headphones provided a very good listening experience, even with their many features deactivated. On Kali Uchis’ track Moonlight, the sonic elements and stereo effects were accurately reproduced, creating a beautiful sense of space and depth. The bass was present but not overpowering, and well controlled. Of course, the equalizer can be used to boost bass presence if needed, providing all the punch required by the musical genre you’re listening to.
With Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s Dream a Little Dream of Me, the instruments were nicely reproduced, and the vocals stood out in particular. The highs have a nice sparkle to them. In wired mode, Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie had slightly deeper and more precise bass. The mids were bursting with details and the highs were accurate and bright.
When watching the series The Witcher, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones provided good immersion. The spatial audio mode (Films) delivered a slightly wider soundstage, but didn’t give us the impression that we were enveloped by the sound.
JBL Tour One M2: compared to…
deeBee dB Pulse: sold for €280, the deeBee dB Pulse win when it comes to design thanks to their elegant look and interchangeable earpads. However, the JBL Tour One M2 have a longer battery life, a very wide range of features and more effective noise cancelling. Soundwise, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones scores points with more powerful bass and a deeper soundstage.
Sennheiser Momentum 4: available for €299, these Sennheiser headphones are slightly better when it comes to noise cancelling and support the aptX Adaptive codec. The JBL Tour One M2 headphones are easier to take on the go thanks to their foldable and more comfortable design. Both models pay particular attention to detail and clarity, while offering punchy bass. Although the sound signature is customizable for both headphones, the JBL offers a more advanced app with more features, including 12-band equalization as opposed to 3-band for the Sennheiser.
JBL Tour One M2: who are they for?
With their foldable design and Bluetooth connectivity, the JBL Tour One M2 headphones are perfect for listeners looking for an excellent audio experience for music, movie and video games, both at home and on the go. These headphones are also suitable for those who appreciate the advanced features, such as the active noise cancelling for optimal sound immersion, or the transparent mode. The high quality voice pickup makes them the perfect companion for those who spend a lot of time making phone calls. Moreover, they are easy to use thanks to their intuitive touch controls. Users will also enjoy how comfortable they are, even for long listening sessions.
JBL Tour One M2: conclusion
The JBL Tour One M2 are a remarkable model offering a multitude of features. With a customizable sound signature thanks to the equalizer and the Personi-Fi feature, they allow users to adjust the music reproduction to suit their preferences. In addition, the battery life is excellent and the active noise cancelling exemplary. The JBL Tour One M2 Bluetooth headphones are a serious contender among the wide range of noise-canceling headphones under €300.
- The effective active noise cancelling
- The powerful, balanced and detailed sound
- The excellent comfort
- The long battery life
- The ability to use them in wired mode when turned off
- The comprehensive and intuitive app
We would have liked
- Support for aptX and LDAC
- Greater immersion in Spatial Audio mode