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JBL shows off new true wireless earbuds and speakers at CES 2022

JBL usually shows up at CES with a bunch of new gadgets, and CES 2022 is no exception. On offer this year are three new true wireless earbud models, and seven new Bluetooth speakers, including a bicycle-friendly model and a unit that can do double duty as a car speaker and a portable speaker.

JBL Live Pro 2: $150, available in spring 2022

JBL Live Pro 2 true wireless earbuds.

JBL’s stem-based true wireless earbuds get better battery life and better protection from water when compared to the previous Live Pro+ model.

  • Up to 40 hours of playback time (10 hours in the earbud; 30 hours from charging case)
  • Adaptive noise canceling (AANC) with Smart Ambient (transparency mode)
  • 6 microphones with noise and wind isolation
  • Google Fast Pair
  • Hands-free voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Customizable touch controls via the dedicated JBL headphone app
  • IPX5 rating
  • A quick charge of 15 minutes gives you four hours of playtime
  • Wireless charging

JBL Live Free 2: $150, available in spring 2022

JBL Live Free 2 true wireless earbuds.

If you prefer a more compact, stemless design, the Live Free 2 might be the way to go. They get an entirely new design over the previous Live Free NC+, with polished accents, a more ergonomic shape, and better battery life. They also benefit from Google Fast Pair. However, the new buds aren’t as waterproof (IPX5 vs. IPX7).

  • Up to 35 hours of playback (7 hours in the earbud; 28 hours from charging case)
  • Adaptive noise canceling (AANC) with Smart Ambient (transparency mode)
  • 6 microphones with noise  and wind isolation
  • Google Fast Pair
  • Hands-free voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Customizable touch controls via the dedicated JBL headphone app
  • IPX5 rating

JBL Reflect Aero: $150, available in spring 2022

JBL Reflect Aero true wireless earbuds.

An update to the previous JBL Reflect Mini NC, the Reflect Aero now have adaptive noise cancellation, an improved ear fin design, more battery life, and better water protection (IP68 vs. IP67).

  • Up to 24 hours of playback (8 hours in the earbud; 16 hours from charging case)
  • 6.8mm dynamic drivers
  • 6 microphones with noise and wind isolation
  • Adaptive noise canceling (AANC) with Smart Ambient (transparency mode)
  • Adjustable ear fin for a secure fit
  • Hands-Free Voice Control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • IP68 waterproof and dust-proof rating, with reflective accents
  • Customizable all-access touch control through the JBL Headphones App

JBL PartyBox Encore and Encore Essential

JBL PartyBox Encore Bluetooth speaker and karaoke mics.
JBL PartyBox Encore JBL

JBL’s PartyBox returns in two new models, the $400 Encore (shown above), which will be a Sam’s Club exclusive coming in summer 2022, and the $300 Encore Essential, which will be widely available beginning in March 2022.

The two speakers are similar, with both offering 100 watts of output power, JBL’s Lightshow feature, IPX4 water resistance, Bluetooth 5.1, Bluetooth stereo pairing with a second speaker, playback from USB and aux-in inputs, and compatibility with the JBL PartyBox app.

However, the Encore comes with two digital wireless microphones, and has a longer battery life (10 hours versus 6 for the Encore Essential).

JBL Pulse 5: $250, available summer 2022

JBL Pulse 5 Bluetooth speaker.

JBL’s small but mighty portable party speaker gets a redesign in the Pulse 5 with a new speaker array, featuring a larger passive radiator, a woofer focused on delivering mid- to low-frequency sound, and an added tweeter. Now, in addition to being waterproof, the Pulse 5 is also dustproof, with an IPX67 rating.

Like previous Pulse speakers, the Pulse 5 offers:

  • JBL 360-degree Pro sound
  • 360 LED light show: A variety of light show themes and customizations that sync with your music
  • JBL portable app for light show control
  • Connect up to two smartphones or tablets
  • 12 hours of playtime
  • USB-C charging
  • JBL PartyBoost: Pair two JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers for stereo sound or link an unlimited number of JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers

JBL Boombox 3: $500, available in summer 2022

JBL Boombox 3 Bluetooth speaker.

JBL’s most powerful portable speaker gets a subtle redesign for its newest version, with a more slender carry handle. It gets a new 3-way speaker system with a racetrack-shaped subwoofer, two midrange drivers and two tweeters. JBL claims it provides a deeper bass, more “intense” clarity, and more powerful sound than its predecessors. JBL has also added dustproofing, bringing protection up to an IP67 rating.

As with previous Boombox models, you also get:

  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery with up to 24 hours of playtime
  • Connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker
  • JBL PartyBoost: Pair with two JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers for stereo sound or link unlimited JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers
  • Built-in power bank: Charges smartphones and tablets via USB

JBL BassPro Go ($550) and car kit/wall charger ($100): Spring 2022

JBL’s versatile BassPro Go can be used as a car-mounted subwoofer or a take-anywhere Bluetooth speaker. For 2022, it gets a slightly lower price ($550 vs. $590) and it has been modified to work with both the car kit (pictured above) and an at-home wall charger, both of which are available as separate accessories.

As before, the BassPro Go features:

  • 8-inch subwoofer-equivalent performance when inside a vehicle
  • Full-range audio capable inside a vehicle
  • Wireless streaming via Bluetooth when out of the vehicle
  • In-car remote bass volume control
  • IPX5 water-resistant
  • Tool-less docking and undocking
  • USB outlet for recharging devices in and out of the vehicle
  • Up to 8 hours of playtime when used as a Bluetooth speaker outside the vehicle

JBL Wind 3 ($80) and Wind 3S ($70): Available in June 2022

JBL Wind 3 Bluetooth speaker.
JBL Wind 3 JBL

JBL has updated its Wind series of bicycle and scooter-friendly Bluetooth speakers with two new models, the Wind 3 and Wind 3S. Both speakers possess a new look that brings to mind old-timey microphones from the golden age of radio, while maintaining the convenient quick-detach design.

Much like the other speakers in JBL’s 2022 collection, the new Wind models get dustproofing bringing their IP rating to IP67, for a more rugged and versatile set of devices. However, battery life has been significantly reduced, from up to 10 hours (Wind 2), down to just five hours of playtime. Some folks might also miss the Wind 2’s carabiner accessory, which made it easier to carry when not handlebar-mounted.

Both the Wind 3 and Wind 3S have:

  • Handlebar mount
  • Two different EQ modes
  • Multiple playback sources: Bluetooth, Micro SD, AUX in.
  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming
  • Hands-free calling option
  • 5 hours of playtime
  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof

With the Wind 3, you also get an FM radio with LED display.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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