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JBL unveils a phalanx of new headphones and speakers at IFA 2021

If there’s one thing you can find crawling all over the IFA conference each year in Berlin, it’s all things audio. And that rings true even in 2021. JBL brought more than a few new wares to the floor, both physical and virtual, with a bevy of earbuds, headphones, and portable speakers.

The bulk of the new line comes in the “truly wireless” category. Let’s break ’em down.

JBL Endurance Race headphones.
The JBL Endurance Race truly wireless headphones, announced at IFA 2021. JBL

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro lead the way at $180 and feature the company’s “Powerfin” design to help keep them securely in the ear of athletes (0r anyone who just walks really hard, we suppose). They’ve got adaptive noise canceling alongside JBL’s “Smart Ambient” mode, which ensures that you can still hear what’s going on around you while you’re exercising thanks to the half-dozen microphones tucked inside. They’ve got an IP68 rating for protection against sweat and rain, and support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for protection against having to do too many things for yourself. The batteries should be good for up to 30 hours of playing time, JBL says.

The JBL Tune 230NC are up next, coming in at $100. They’re also truly wireless, with four microphones and 5.8mm drivers for that JBL “Pure Bass Sound.” They’re supposedly good for 40 hours of play time with the case helping out, but a mere 10 minutes on the charger will get you an hour’s worth of listening.

The JBL Tune 130NC ($100) sport some seriously large 10mm drivers and that “Pure Bass Sound.” Combined play time comes in at 40 hours.

And the JBL Quantum 350 ($100) are the latest in the Quantum gaming series. They have 2.4GHz wireless connectivity and are optimized for PC or PlayStation whether you’re using wireless, a USB dongle, or wired with the included USB-C cable. They’ve got 40mm drivers and are compatible with the JBL Quantum Engine PC software, which lets you customize things as much (or as little) as you want.

The final two offerings are exclusive to the United States, and both land at $80.

The Endurance Race offer the same durability and comfort as the JBL Endurance Run, Sprint, Jump, Dive, and Peak headphones, only with that truly wireless form. Charging gets you up to 20 hours in addition to the 10 hours of continuous playback time, and you can get an hour of playback in just 10 minutes of juicing up.

The JBL JR 460NC — also $80 — are the first headphones in the JR line to feature active noise cancellation, meant to help keep your kids focused, while limiting the volume to 85 decibels. Two hours of charging gets 20 hours of playback time, and the built-in mic will keep teachers and friends alike within easy reach.

And JBL has brought three new speakers to the party, too.

The JBL Flip 6 adds to the popular portable line with bigger sound, an IP67 rating against water and dust, and 12 hours of playback time — all for $130.

And, finally, there are two new entrees to the JBL Partybox line with the 110 (retailing at $400) and the 710 ($800) to keep things going all night. Both also boast an IPX4 splashproof rating.

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Phil Nickinson
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