REVIEW: JBL Live Pro2 – Amazing Quality For Under $200

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Rating
10

Overall, I’m hard-pressed to find any major faults with the Live Pro2, other than the very minor quibbles addressed above.

As long as you plan on staying dry, these are the ideal buds, regardless of whether you are an audiophile, or just a fairweather podcast listener.

Amazingly effective active noise cancellation

Great JBL Headphones app allows further toggling and options

Could have been waterproof: IP57 rated instead of IPX5.

JBL is well known for punching well above its weight when it comes to its audio products.

At under $200, JBL Live Pro2 offers up a suite of premium features at an affordable price, including one of the best noise cancelling systems I have experienced.

Most notably, and importantly, music sounds amazing through the Pro2’s. The 11mm dynamic drivers deliver frequencies that range between 20Hz to 20KHz, most notable when listening to bass-heavy music, which the Live Pro2 seems to thrive with. I sampled everything from music from the 1960s (albeit, remastered in the current era to increase the sonic print) to modern day productions, such as the latest Kendrick Lamar album, and the clarity of the top end, mixed with the sheer kick of the bass is second-to-none.

jbl pro2 2 REVIEW: JBL Live Pro2   Amazing Quality For Under $200

But, let’s focus on the ANC for a minute.

In a packed pub, replete with rowdy conversation and loud music, I was able to reduce the din to a barely audible muffle – a fantastic result considering that ANC is usually only able to achieve such blockout through over-ear headphones. This is further finessed through the Leakage Compensation feature, which compensates for a break in the in-ear seal, and the accompanying Ear Canal Compensation, which scans your ear canal in a loud environment to discover where any leakage is occurring. With three pairs of silicone eartips in each package, this is unlikely to be an issue, but it’s nice to see this technology available.

Further tinkering can be done in the excellent JBL Headphones app, which allows customisation of the one-tap and double-tap prompts, offers an impressive ten bands of customizable EQ (ranging from 32Hz to 16kHz) for creating presets, hands-free Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, and various ANC options, including a volume-controlled Ambient Aware mode, and Talk Thru mode for juggling conversations and listening. You can also switch the earbuds off through this app if you don’t have the case handy – an underused but vital battery-saving option.

jbl pro2 1 REVIEW: JBL Live Pro2   Amazing Quality For Under $200

Speaking of battery, the ANC seems to drain the life rather quickly, giving just six hours with this on, rather than the ten hours without. The case adds another 18-30 hours, depending on how heavily you ride the noise cancelling features. With the charging case taking two hours to charge completely, this might see you ignore the ANC when possible, in order to extend the battery life.

The ‘Find My Buds’ feature is also flawed. It’s effective to a point, using a high-pitched beep rather than a GPS, to help you track down your disappearing bud. While this will be a godsend when attempting to locate a lost bud while at home, this feature is next to useless if you happen to lose a bud on the road.

Similarly, the IP57 rating, which allows light splashing with water – instead of IPX5, which allows immersion in water up to a metre deep – seems to be rather behind the times. The case doesn’t have any form of waterproof rating at all, meaning that you’d best wipe any liquid from the bud before charging, and unlike other buds that can take a quick rinse after a sweaty exercise session, this is not recommended with the Live Pro2.

jbl pro2 3 REVIEW: JBL Live Pro2   Amazing Quality For Under $200

 

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Rating
10

Overall, I’m hard-pressed to find any major faults with the Live Pro2, other than the very minor quibbles addressed above.

As long as you plan on staying dry, these are the ideal buds, regardless of whether you are an audiophile, or just a fairweather podcast listener.

Amazingly effective active noise cancellation

Great JBL Headphones app allows further toggling and options

Could have been waterproof: IP57 rated instead of IPX5.