JBL has a new party in a box and lots of other big plans for your ears | Cult of Mac

JBL has a new party in a box and lots of other big plans for your ears

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The JBL PartyBox Encore is a 100W speaker with a Lightshow and two microphones.
The JBL PartyBox Encore is a 100W speaker with a Lightshow and two microphones.
Photo: JBL

Every year Samsung subsidiary JBL rolls out a tempting raft of updated or new audio products at CES, but you can’t get them right away. CES 2022, held in Las Vegas earlier this month, was no different. The company showed its new JBL PartyBox Encore and a slew of other Bluetooth speakers, earbuds and headphones. We’ll round them up below. Some are coming in spring and others in summer.

JBL PartyBox Encore

JBL’s PartyBox speaker series now includes the compact JBL PartyBox Encore. The limited-edition loudspeaker outputs 100W of sound and features a built-in light show that syncs to music. The JBL PartyBox Encore also comes with two digital wireless microphones, allowing partygoers to sing along to their favorite tunes.

The portable PartyBox Encore features a rubber-gripped handle so you can tote it to backyard gatherings, tailgates and karaoke parties. With up to 10 hours of battery life and an IPX4 splash-proof design, you can party with it indoors or out — a few rain showers won’t cause any bother.

The interface enables users to control the light show, volume and microphone settings. Through the dedicated JBL PartyBox app, you can also customize light shows with strobe effects and club lights that sync to the beat of the music.

Price and availability: $399, summer 2022

Other Bluetooth speakers

JBL Boombox 3

The JBL BookBox 3 in the color "squad."
The JBL Boombox 3 in the color “squad.”
Photo: JBL

JBL said its third-generation Boombox speaker offers “deeper bass, intense clarity and more powerful sound” than its predecessors. The company credits a new three-way speaker system consisting of a powerful racetrack-shaped subwoofer, two mid-range drivers and two tweeters.

The Boombox’s battery life is rated at 24 hours at moderate volume levels. A USB-out port allows you to charge devices. It features Bluetooth 5.3 and is waterproof and dust-proof, with a rating of  IP67. You can pair it with another Boombox 3 for stereo sound and link it with other PartyBoost-enabled JBL speakers. It will be available in black and “squad” colors.

Price and availability: $500, summer 2022

JBL Pulse 5

The JBL Pulse 5, music-synced light show included.
The JBL Pulse 5, music-synced light show included.
Photo: JBL

Contrasting the new Pulse 5 with its forebears, JBL said the updated speaker is “engineered with a larger passive radiator and acoustic volume for deeper bass, as well as a woofer focused on delivering mid-low frequency sound and an added tweeter for authentic and purer sound.”

And JBL has also brightened up the speaker’s integrated light show that syncs with music — a regular feature of Pulse series speakers.

Like the BookBox 3, the Pulse 5 has Bluetooth 5.3, an IP67 rating for combatting water and dust, and can pair with another Pulse 5 or link with other PartyBoost-enabled JBL speakers. Battery life is rated at 12 hours.

Price and availability: $250, summer 2022

JBL Wind 3 and Wind 3S

Take the new JBL Wind 3 for a spin on your bike -- with tunes.
Take the new JBL Wind 3 for a spin on your bike — with tunes.
Photo: JBL

JBL has designed new waterproof speakers for use on bikes and scooters. The Wind 3 ($80) and Wind 3S ($70) are Bluetooth-enabled and feature a microSD card slot for playing audio files. The Wind 3 also packs an FM radio and LED display panel — hence the extra $10 on the price tag. Both items feature hands-free calling, five hours of playtime and an IP67 rating.

Price and availability: $70 and $80 (3S), June 2022

Earbuds and headphones

JBL Live Pro 2

JBL Live Pro 2 earbuds offer noise cancellation with ambient sound.
JBL Live Pro 2 earbuds offer noise cancellation with ambient sound.
Photo: JBL

JBL Live Pro 2 earbuds are the company’s AirPods Pro competitors, more or less. Their specs indicate good battery life (10 hours with buds, 30 hours with charging case). Six microphones should allow for good voice quality during calls. You also get True Adaptive noise cancelling with an ambient noise function, plus touch-control or control through a dedicated JBL headphone app (also applies to all earbuds below). IPX5 rating.

Price and availability: $150, spring 2022

JBL Live Free 2

The JBL Live Free 2 earbuds are compact but still have ANC.
The JBL Live Free 2 earbuds are compact but still have ANC.
Photo: JBL

Featuring a compact design, JBL Live Free 2 earbuds nevertheless include ANC. They also use six-microphone technology for voice calling. Battery life is rated at 7 hours at moderate volume levels (28 hours with charging case). IPX5 rating.

Price and availability: $150, spring 2022

JBL Reflect Aero

Reflect Aero are JBL's latest sports earbuds.
Reflect Aero are JBL’s latest sports earbuds.
Photo: JBL

JBL’s fitness-oriented line of earbuds sees its latest entry with the Reflect Aero. Sports fins help keep the buds locked in place. They also feature ANC with ambient sound and six-microphone technology for voice calls. They’re fully waterproof (IP68) and have up to 8 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels (16 hours with charging case).

Price and availability: $150, spring 2022

JBL Quantum 910 gaming headset

JBL will release three new over-ear headphones.
JBL will release three sets of over-ear gaming headsets, including the new, top-tier Quantum 910.
Photo: JBL

JBL rolled out three over-the-ear gaming headphones at CES: The Quantum 610 ($150), Quantum 810 ($200) and the new flagship Quantum 910 ($250).

JBL Quantum 910 features:

  • JBL QuantumSPHERE 360 with integrated head-tracking and DTS Headphone: X 2.0
  • Hi-res certified 50mm drivers powered by the JBL QuantumSOUND Signature
  • Active noise canceling
  • Lossless 2.4G wireless and Bluetooth 5.2
  • 24-hour battery life, with play-and-charge functionality
  • Voice-focus beam microphone with echo and noise suppression
  • Game chat audio dial to regulate voice and game volume, developed for Discord
  • Lightweight, durable construction with leather-wrapped, memory foam ear-cushions
  • JBL QuantumENGINE PC software compatibility for the ultimate customization of EQ, RGB colors, mic mute-unmute and more

Price and availability: $250 (Quantum 910), spring 2022

JBL Quantum TWS gaming earbuds

JBL also has new gaming earbuds coming.
JBL also has new gaming earbuds coming.
Photo: JBL

JBL Quantum TWS are the company’s new true wireless gaming earbuds.

JBL Quantum TWS features:

  • JBL QuantumSURROUND (spatial surround sound for immersive gaming)
  • True Adaptive noise canceling with four beamforming mics and auto-calibration
  • Ambient Aware to filter in environmental noise to the player’s preference
  • Six beamforming microphones (three on each earbud) ensure clear communication with teammates
  • Two-device connectivity via USB-C dongle or Bluetooth 5.2 for gamer-grade low latency connection
  • 24-hours battery life (8-hours with earbuds, 16 additional hours with charging case)
  • IPX5 water-resistance
  • Multi voice-assistant support
  • Compatible with the JBL QuantumENGINE PC software and JBL Headphones app for the ultimate audio customization

Price and availability: $150, spring 2022