The CES 2022 international trade show took place in January, with brands from all over the world showcasing their new technology. Everything from new computer processor advances to straightforward consumer gadgets were on display, and JBL, one of our favorite headphone brands, unveiled a few new devices of its own. If you could use a new pair of buds, then the new JBL Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 are now available, and they’re two excellent AirPods alternatives that are worth considering. Here’s what you need to know about them, including how much each pair will set you back.
JBL is a big name in the world of audio, making some of the best Bluetooth speakers as well as great headphones. The brand is typically pretty active at CES, too. For the 2022 trade show, JBL rolled up with a few fresh devices including its updated Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 true wireless earbuds, which are second-gen iterations featuring a few noteworthy improvements over previous designs.
The JBL Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 true wireless earbuds feature 11mm dynamic drivers, which are powered by JBL Signature Sound technology to deliver crystal clear audio. Both models also offer adaptive active noise cancellation (with a Smart Ambient mode that lets you remain aware of your surroundings when need be), IPX5 water resistance, Google Fast Pair for Android devices, six directional microphones for improved call quality, touch and voice controls, and Qi wireless charging cases.
Where the JBL Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 differ is mostly in their respective form factors: The Live Pro 2 earbuds feature a stem-based design, whereas the Live Free 2 are a bit smaller. The trade-off is in the battery life. The JBL Live Pro 2 buds offer a combined playback time of 40 hours (10 for the earbuds with another 30 from the wireless charging case); the Live Free 2 earbuds deliver a combined playback time of 35 hours (seven hours from the earbuds plus an additional 28 from the charging case). Aside from that, the two new models are the same under the hood, so it really boils down to which style you prefer and what premium you place on battery life.
There’s no price difference to make your decision any easier, though: Both the JBL Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 true wireless earbuds will set you back $150, and they’re now available for sale directly from JBL. We haven’t seen any discounts yet, but that’s still a pretty good price for premium
- Bowers & Wilkins and McLaren launch special-edition Px8 headphones
- The most innovative headphones of 2022
- What is aptX? Cutting through the clutter of Qualcomm’s codecs
- Next-gen Qualcomm chips make wireless earbuds, headphones better for gaming and spatial audio
- FaceTime with spatial audio is nothing short of magic