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HomeTechThe best earbuds of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

The best earbuds of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

The JBL Tour Pro 2’s innovative touchscreen case is so user-friendly and ahead of its time that even Apple is (reportedly) taking notes. Pause or play, reduce or increase the volume, switch from noise-canceling to ambient aware to talk-through mode, accept or reject calls, or even locate that missing left earbud, all through the touchscreen case. 

The first time I wore these earbuds during my morning commute to work, I was surprised while waiting at the subway platform when I looked up from my phone to find the subway had shown up — I barely heard its arrival. Needless to say: the noise cancelling on the Tour Pro 2s is legit, and the buds deliver clean and crisp sound. 

Review: Forget AirPods: These wireless earbuds offer clever features that Apple doesn’t

While exercising with the Tour Pro 2s, I could lightly touch the right earbud to pause or play music and switch between noise canceling (ideal for deep concentration, but not-so-ideal for jogging outside) to ambient aware (great for environmental awareness) with ease. The buds stay in your ears while you’re on the go but get a little slippery as you begin to sweat with them (which you can do without any worry of water damage since the earbuds have a water-resistant IPX5 rating). The call and microphone quality isn’t as good as other high end earbuds, like Apple’s, but the Tour Pro 2s are a little less expensive than other noise-canceling earbud options on this list, and they offer a slate of features that some of the more popular tech brands, like Apple, simply don’t have yet. 

One Reddit reviewer said that the noise cancellation is great — “maybe better than I remember my [first generation] AirPods Pros ever being.” Though many reviewers, myself included, say that the transparency mode could be improved. 

JBL Tour Pro 2 tech specs: Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 | Battery life: 8 hours with ANC on and 
10 hours with ANC off | Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz | Noise cancellation: Yes | Waterproof rating: IPX5

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