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Hands-on review: JBL LivePro+ TWS

By Owen McCarthy, Fri 10 Dec 2021

I have become more of a fan of earbuds since discovering my ears no longer have to ache, and they don’t have to continually fall out. JBL will be pleased to hear that no amount of head gyrating has managed to dislodge either bud.

The Live Pro+ TWS come packed with features, notably:

  • True Wireless noise cancelling
  • Qi Wireless charging
  • Hands-free “Hey Google” and Alexa
  • 3 mics for clear calls

I just checked, and “Hey Siri” is hands-free too, so let our joy be complete.

The JBL app, available in IOS and Android, will help you set up your earbuds for the best possible experience. This includes choosing the right-sized silicone tips and how to position them in your ears. I wasn’t expecting quite the precision of control the app gives the user, with options to change options with Noise cancelling, ambient sound control, and smart audio and video. You can define what you control with your earbud in the settings menu. I am having as much fun with those settings as turning noise cancelling on and off. 

As usual, my delightful life partner has expressed her views on noise cancelling, but I couldn’t hear what she said.

Just to be different, I decided that just this once I would use my iPhone to make a call using the earbuds. Woohoo! I was able to do it by simply asking Siri. She still won’t tell me if I will be saved when the machines take over, but she does respect me and thinks I’m pretty great.

Ambient control: Turning this on, you can choose between being Ambient Aware and Talk Thru. In Talk Thru, the music will fade to the background while you chat with your companion without having to remove the air buds.

Noise cancelling: This has three modes, Everyday, Travel and Active. I haven’t planned any travel in the foreseeable future but will be interested to see how these bad boys perform in a noisy hospital. It was only when I removed them that I became aware of the birds chirping, along with the other sounds of the street, the whooshing of the fan keeping me cool and the distant thrum of a neighbour’s weed whacker.

I have been impressed with the sound quality. I’ve spent my time writing while listening to some inspirational music to keep my writing muse engaged and active. 

I haven’t even bothered with the app’s EQ options, as the built-in touch controls have been so much fun to use. I love being able to hear clear bass while not muffling the treble tones and the JBL LivePro+ give superlative sound and control. However, having written this, I do have one word of warning.

If you’re a serial ear scratcher be prepared for changes in pitch, cessation of music or hanging up on whoever you are chatting with. These touch controls are great, but undiscerning. However, I cannot really blame JBL for our individual idiosyncrasies.

I was interested to see what others had said about the JBL Live Pro+TWS. Looking at some of my colleagues’ reviews, one comparison was raised several times. They compared very favourably to the AirPod Pro, in every respect but price. Coming in at around $299, JBL have packed in a plethora of features that will be the envy of higher-priced alternatives.

My review pair was black, but they are also available in white. You will have fun getting the perfect fit with the five pairs of silicone covers to choose from. And now you must excuse me while I pause to listen to the rest of the Beatle’s 'Let it Be'. I’ve got a feeling that these headphones will be on plenty of letters to Santa, oh yeah!

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