JBL Live Pro + Review
With the JBL Live Pro +, we’re looking at true wireless headphones again today, which want to convince with noise-canceling, the JBL-typical sound, and voice assistants from Google and Alexa.
The JBL Live Pro + presented in April expands the already extensive portfolio with another true wireless model. This was sent packaged and not stingy when it comes to the content. In addition to the in-ears in stick design, which are housed in a matt black transport case, the scope of delivery also includes various silicone attachments for customization. The obligatory charging cable should not be missing from the list. The latter, however, is not necessary because the charging cradle has a wireless charging function as a feature, alternatively via the USB-C interface. When fully charged, the transport box should guarantee a further 21 hours of running time.
- Very good ANC.
- Well-built and comfortable fit.
- Stable and very breathable.
- High latency on PC, iOS, and Android.
Three white LEDs on JBL Live Pro + indicate the battery capacity in the front of the charging cradle. JBL puts the running time at six hours for the in-ears and 18 hours for the charging cradle, with noise-canceling activated, mind you. Without it, seven hours and an additional 21 hours should be possible. I didn’t get more than five hours at 75% volume and activated ANC, so the six hours at medium volume are believable. The quick charge function is practical. If you put the in-ears in the charging cradle for ten minutes, you will have between 45-60 minutes of rerunning time. A full charge takes about two hours.
The wearing comfort is guaranteed by the different sizes of the silicone attachments. The in-ear sticks, which weigh just under five grams, sit securely in the ear canal, so they have to be screwed in slightly when inserting. Then it is very comfortable to wear and not annoying in the ear even after hours. To check the correct fit, the JBL Headphones app is also a kind of control function. With the “Check my best fit” function, a melody and the internal microphone are used to check whether the correct silicone attachment has been selected and whether the headphones are correctly positioned. A practical feature that works, as I was able to find out. In addition, the secure hold connected with the IPX4 certification (protection against splash water) makes the JBL Live Pro + also usable for sporting purposes.
In addition, there is active noise canceling, which can convince with good effectiveness in everyday life. Road noise, monotonous noises, or even wind noise are filtered and are barely noticeable. JBL provides several levels here: standard mode, travel mode, and active mode. I couldn’t find any fundamental differences. They all work equally effectively. The minimal background noise, which is only noticeable without audio playback, should also be mentioned positively. As soon as music or other audio signals are played, the background noise no longer exists. JBL has integrated a so-called Ambient Aware function to get something from its environment, which loops the ambient noise through the external microphones to have conversations with other people or not miss announcements at a train station or airport. Practical and valuable if you don’t want to take the headphones out every time. An 11mm dynamic driver is responsible for audio playback, which is supposed to reproduce the typical JBL signature sound. Whether this is successful or not will be clarified on the following page.
The headphones are set up quickly because nothing needs to be done apart from the coupling with a corresponding smartphone or another player. Thanks to the Google interface, the smartphone also automatically recognizes that headphones are ready, and, surprise, the smartphone connected to the headphones shortly afterward. The prerequisite is, of course, that the Google Assistant is installed. If you prefer to use Amazon’s Alexa as a voice assistant, you only need to have installed the app beforehand and then configure the headphones under Settings. However, due to its widespread use, we opted for the Google variant decided. The symbiosis of music playback and the voice assistant is beneficial in everyday life, and with a simple “Hey Google,” you can contact the assistant without touching the left earphone. So you don’t miss any more incoming messages. If you are listening to your favorite album and a new message arrives, you will be informed about it and can also have it read out to you. The music is not stopped completely but continues to run slightly muffled in the background. Google only pauses the music playback when you want the message to be read aloud but continues to play seamlessly.
If you want, you can dictate a reply to the message for the voice assistant. But it is not only possible to read the news aloud. The headphones can also function as an audio guide on vacation. For example, if you need information about sights you have found or a route to the next train station, you put your finger on the left in-ear stick, wait briefly for the signal tone and formulate questions such as “What is the name of the attraction at my location?” Or “How come I go back to my hotel?” and Google searches for the correct information, creates the best train connection, provides information on current departure times, and automatically starts navigation to the next train station. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and have fully witnessed the beginning of these language assistants as a technology editor and am thrilled and shocked every time anew about how powerful the development is and how these assistants can now help you. Indeed, you have to accept a lot always to share the current location with Google because the queries, messages, music habits, etc., are stored somewhere in the world’s data swamp.
But if you have no reservations about the “transparent person” problem, nothing stands in the way of intelligent support in everyday life because it works terrifyingly well. But back to the headphones. How efficiently the development is progressing and how these assistants can now help you. Indeed, you have to accept a lot always to share the current location with Google because the queries, messages, music habits, etc., are stored somewhere in the world’s data swamp. But if you have no reservations about the “transparent person” problem, nothing stands in the way of intelligent support in everyday life because it works terrifyingly well. But back to the headphones. How efficiently the development is progressing and how these assistants can now help you. Indeed, you have to accept a lot always to share the current location with Google because the queries, messages, music habits, etc., are stored somewhere in the world’s data swamp. But if you have no reservations about the “transparent person” problem, nothing stands in the way of intelligent support in everyday life because it works terrifyingly well. But back to the headphones. But if you have no reservations about the “transparent person” problem, nothing stands in the way of intelligent support in everyday life because it works terrifyingly well. But back to the headphones. But if you have no reservations about the “transparent person” problem, nothing stands in the way of intelligent support in everyday life because it works terrifyingly well. But back to the headphones.
To enjoy the full functionality of the headphones, I just had to download the JBL Headphones app from the Playstore. Here, too, various data usage guidelines have to be approved when starting for the first time. Unfortunately, this is standard practice, and the location query is inevitably linked to Bluetooth use. However, the app itself is kept very clear and, with its typical JBL orange color scheme, offers good readability and quick access to essential functions. In addition to displaying the battery status for all three devices: left and right in-ear and the charging cradle, the ANC, i.e., noise-canceling, can also be controlled in the modes already mentioned. The headphones are also controlled intuitively and can be adjusted in the app. For this purpose, touch-sensitive surfaces are available on the right and left earplugs, which can handle simple functions such as volume control, music control, or call acceptance. The already mentioned voice assistant can also be called up by touching it.
The JBL Live Pro + surprised me positively in terms of audio playback. Even if the typical JBL sound, many dynamics, and rich bass range cannot be assigned by hand, even with the JBL Live Pro +, the headphones also convince with a very appealing resolution. For example, in the song Never Enough by Loren Allred, the voice reproduction is very emotional, so goosebumps are guaranteed. Impressive and completely unexpected, even if the headphones exaggerate a little in the high-frequency range. This can be seen in the sometimes sharp tones, especially at higher volumes. Also, at Brick by Brick by Katy Perry, the “S” sounds are sometimes shown with a bit of a hissing sound, which can make playback exhausting for one or the other. This cannot be avoided entirely, even with the excellent equalizer, but it can be reduced slightly.
JBL Live Pro + in Test
If it gets heavy, like with Till I Collapse by Eminem, it hardly matters because the fat beat rattles so hard that the song is simply brilliant. Dynamics and depth are clear strengths of the headphones but controlled without dominating everything so that the rap-singing and the other elements are given sufficient acoustic space. That doesn’t just sound right. It’s fun and looks balanced. If you want to take it to the extreme, choose the predefined “Bass” setting, and then the in-ears show what they’re made of. That is certainly not healthy for the ears but especially tracks like Hypericum by Luca Agnellilive from it. It isn’t very comforting when the beat starts right after 60 seconds. How powerful but controlled the bass is presented up to the highest levels. This is certainly not healthy in the long run, but it is excellent. The sound of the JBL Live Pro + is good, except for its minimally exaggerated high-frequency range. The in-ears are very well-coordinated, convince with an unbelievable deep bass, lots of dynamics, and reasonable resolution. That makes it usable for every genre of music, but my recommendation is more in the fun area.
In conclusion, I can say: The JBL Live Pro + picked me up in terms of sound and practicality. In addition to good quality and sensible scope of delivery, the noise-canceling convinced me of its effectiveness. In addition, there is a practical “conversation mode,” good battery life, and a successful app with many functions, including the excellent equalizer, which stands out positively.
In terms of sound, the headphones are a beauty in the truest sense of the word. Of course, friends of the well-groomed low frequency will have fun with the headphones. But I don’t want to reduce it to that. The overall coordination is successful. Dynamics, punch, voice reproduction, and resolution complement each other or round off the sound. Only the minimally exaggerated high-frequency range, which sometimes came to the fore here and there, sometimes a little more or sometimes a little less, would be the only point of criticism that I have to chalk at the JBL Live Pro +.