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JBL has a hand in just about every aspect of modern audio headphones. The JBL Club Pro Plus is one of the company’s latest set of wireless earphones. Active noise cancellation (ANC), several EQ settings, and more are characteristic features that sets this earphone apart. This in-depth review analyses some of the core features of this headphone.
Get the JBL CLUB Pro Plus if
- You are a commuter that needs ANC for your daily trips.
- Fitness fanatic who doesn’t like the ear hook style yet needs something waterproof.
Using the JBL CLUB Pro
If you have some experience with true wireless earphones, the JBL Club Pro Plus will seem familiar. If you're looking for something that can handle just about any audio function, then this piece is something you should consider.
The JBL Club Pro Plus and its charging case are made from plastic, ensuring they have a modest weight. The Earbuds include touch-sensitive screens that provide a wide range of onboard controls customized via the My JBL earphone app.
For those with small ears, it's possible that the earbuds won't fit well because of their molded design. There are no extra stabilizers like ear fins or hooks to keep the bud in place, so it's essential to obtain a good seal with the correct ear tip. Finding a good fit should be easy with the three sizes of silicone ear tips included with the JBL Club Pro Plus.
Compared to similarly shaped cases from Apple AirPods or Google Pixel Bud A-Series, the JBL casing is a bit thicker. However, it still fits in a pocket without any issues. Magnets keep the earphones in place when charging, but a common problem is that the charging contacts may not get enough power. I often have to play with one bud to make sure they are both charging, or I will take them out and find that one is complete while the other hardly has any power.
When you put the JBL Club Pro Plus in its charging case, it loses connection to your connected device. This is true for almost every other true wireless earbud on the market. Although both buds may link with your smartphone, only one of them will remain connected if the charging connection isn't made for both. You'll have trouble answering phone calls if you've strayed too far from where you'd left your earbuds to charge.
Wireless earphones from JBL are known for their style and durability. Though there are a few aesthetic flaws, the Club Pro Plus is the brand's most appealing true wireless design to date, even though certain fashion-forward audiophiles will love or hate it.
The triangular form of these buds is more appealing than the hanging stem appearance of the AirPods Pro. There is a beautiful gloss to the bright, embossed logo. Putting the microphones at the bottom was also based on practical considerations such as ease of use for voice help and phone conversations. Know that JBL did this to pack some heavy gear inside these bad boys, despite the hefty design.
In addition, the plastic shell is tough and resistant to scratches. If dropped from a great height, you won't have to worry about the buds breaking. With an IPX4 rating, the Club Plus Pro has the same degree of sweatproof and water-resistant protection as the AirPods Pro.
Isn't it similar to Klipsch's T5 II's zippo lighter-inspired charging case without the aluminum body? The charging case is elegant. All-plastic construction ensures a sturdy but lightweight design. The flip-top lid magnet is quite powerful, which keeps the earbuds safe when charging on the move. When docked, the buds look great.
Read also our fashion-trendy alternative: The Urbanista Lisbon Earbud
Because of the Club Pro Plus style and my previous experiences with JBL products, I was concerned about how well the earbuds would fit my ears. Fortunately, these earbuds were comfortable to use. When set correctly, the tips formed a good seal and locked into place, but they could only withstand so much movement before losing their grasp on the canal before they lost their grip. During a quick sprint around the neighborhood, the left bud poked its head out a couple of times.
In addition, the little sound port made me fear for my concha, as the cavity lies on top of the inner portion of the ear, which is sensitive to sound. About two hours into wearing them, I started to feel tired.
Control System of JBL Club Pro+
JBL included a complete array of media controls into the buds using single, double, and triple tap motions and presses. It is also possible to employ on-ear recognition to automatically halt music when the headphones are removed and resume playing when they are put back on. However, the controls can be so unreliable and sluggishly unresponsive at times.
Initial single-tap efforts were unsuccessful during testing because the touch sensors needed some time to recognize instructions. On-ear detection didn't operate until an hour after I began wearing the buds, and triple taps were commonly misread as double taps. So, I was a little disappointed that the digital aid did not work as well as I had hoped.
Alexa, Bixby, and Siri can all be used with the Club Pro Plus. On both my MacBook Pro and my wife's iPhone 12 Pro, a voice prompt informed me that "Google Assistant is not connecting" whenever I attempted to use Siri.
There were no issues with the microphones, which could pick up a reasonable number of voices when Google Assistant was activated. When the function was started, the program provided some wild answers. For some reason, it responded to my questions in a bizarre manner.
What is the JBL Club Pro Plus's noise-cancellation ability?
Active noise cancellation in JBL headphones gets stronger and better with each iteration. The Reflect Mini NC left a good impact on me, and the Club Pro Plus hasn't changed that. It's not as good as the QuietComfort Earbuds, but then again, no model ever will be that good. However, the AirPods Pro and the Galaxy Buds Pro may compete with this model.
At 80 percent volume, I was happy with the quantity of ambient noise that was muffled; these buds blast sound, so keep the volume level down to preserve your hearing. While relaxing with family members in the backyard gazebo, all conversation and music were drowned out by the sound of the portable speaker. Other than dog barking and trash trucks, I was able to focus on my surroundings while out walking. Ambulance sirens and whistles were not fully muted by ANC, but their impact was lessened to the point that I was able to retain my concentration on Spotify.
The noise-cancelling earbuds kept out appliance timers, doorbells, and loud televisions in the home. Even with the QuietComfort Earbuds on, I could still hear the buzzing noise from our central AC and my neighbour’s baby crying during tummy time.
Additionally, JBL added its Ambient Aware and TalkThru modes, which are both ways of ambient listening. By opening the microphones and dropping the volume by 15%, Ambient Aware allows you hear what's going on around you while you listen to music. TalkThru, in contrast, magnifies ambient noise. It's possible to utilize both modes, but I found TalkThru more convenient since I could communicate with family members without having to remove my earphones.
What's the battery life of the JBL Club Pro Plus?
While the Club Pro Plus may last up to six hours on a single charge, JBL claims that's not too far off the mark. If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds with a continuous output of about 75dB, the JBL Club Pro Plus's left earbud will last you for 5 hours, 23 minutes, while the right will last for 5 hours, 53 minutes. It's reasonable to expect the earphones to last eight hours without ANC, and JBL claims they should.
We haven't observed anything contradicting JBL's assertion that it has enough charge in the charging case for 18 hours of ANC audio or 24 hours of non-ANC audio during our tests. However, considering how often one or both earbuds fail to connect, it is difficult to understand the case's charge capacity. Notwithstanding, wireless charging is also supported with Qi-compatible charging pads included in the case.
What is the connection method for the JBL Club Plus?
Since Bluetooth 5.1 is used, the JBL Club Pro Plus cannot use capabilities like Bluetooth LE Audio or the LC3 Codec (which will launch using the 5.2 firmware). Because truly wireless earbuds only support SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs by default. Although designed specifically for Apple devices, AAC is generally usable and doesn't perform well when used outside the Apple ecosystem.
Sound System of JBL Club Pro+
What is the JBL Club Pro Plus's Audio quality?
The JBL Club Pro Plus has a warmer sound profile than previous models form JBL, but its overall sound is more balanced. Lows and mids and highs all join to provide for a vibrant listening experience.
It took a song like Nas' "One Love" to show out the buds' full spectrum of musical expression. The xylophone's exotic notes harmonized well with the drum rhythms to give this melodic banger the auditory expression it deserved. John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme, Part II" pleased me with its complexity. The guitar's introduction made me feel like I was in the presence of a player who was plucking each string one by one. Since a result, the instrumental separation was even more stunning, as every musical instrument was clearly audible.
On the video side, these earbuds are good enough. YouTube videos included clear and accentuated vocals. Even though there are settings for various types of media the default EQ is more than enough.
As long as you're in passive mode, you'll be able to hear some of the ambient noise. Listening to music with ANC enabled is a good bet if you want a little additional oomph at the low-end.
Is the JBL Club Pro Plus capable of making and receiving phone calls?
The JBL Club Pro Plus microphone sounds about average for a set of truly wireless earbuds. Things like wind noise are reduced, and the constant hum and rumble of appliances like refrigerators and washing machines are filtered out. Even if it's pretty quiet, there will still be a fair amount of background noise. It should work perfectly for phone conversations in most cases. The earphone is about the level of quality you'd anticipate from genuine wireless headphones, with 75% of people rating the mic sample as "OK" or "good."
Is the JBL Club Pro Plus worth the investment?
As long as you're okay with a few minor inconveniences, the JBL Club Pro Plus is an excellent option for wireless earbuds with excellent audio and noise cancellation.
The JBL Club Pro Plus looks excellent on paper. An IPX4 certification means you may work out without fear of damaging your headphones by sweating on them, and it is a good fit.
Read our review on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
There are some issues with the microphone and the absence of a high-quality Bluetooth codec for Android. Even though they have an IP certification, these headphones aren't secure enough in the ear to be used for many strenuous exercises (like running). As soon as you get on the bus in the morning and one or both of your earbuds run out of power, you know you're in for a rough ride. Furthermore, the JBL Club Pro Plus battery life isn't great.
However, if you don't mind these minor annoyances, the JBL Club Pro Plus is likely to be awesome for you.
In terms of exercise earphones, the Bose Sport Earbuds cost less, sound fantastic, and include adjustable ear hooks for a more comfortable and secure fit than JBL. If you're a runner and need to be aware of your surroundings, these earphones are ideal alternatives.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, like the JBL Club Pro Plus, costs USD $$$.$$ and has more audio codecs, more adjustable controls, Spotify integration, a more secure fit, and a better IP certification than the JBL Club Pro Plus. When ANC is used, it has reduced battery life, but it does not suffer from the same charging troubles as the Club Pro Plus model.
The JBL Reflect Flow Pro is good for JBL's home sound fans who desire a more portable speaker. It's not quite as good, but the battery life of the Reflect Flow Pro more than makes up for it. The Reflect Flow Pro's battery life is approximately four hours better than the Club Pro Plus's (a little over nine hours). The JBL Reflect Flow Pro is a better match for medium- to small-sized ears.