REVIEW: JBL Club Pro+ TWS – Great Sound, But Squash The Bugs, Please
JBL is making a big push into the true wireless space with a variety of new earbuds. The Club Pro+ are billed as offering “the ultimate in true wireless performance” – so we put them to the test.
First impressions: the JBL Club Pro+ buds come in a compact, squarish flip-top case that offers wireless charging. Open the case and the buds will automatically connect with your phone once they’ve been fast-paired, which is handy.
They sport a quirky, somewhat triangular design which creates a good seal on the ear when connected (helped by the app, during initial setup, helping you adjust them to find the best fit). As someone who generally isn’t a fan of buds due to comfort reasons, these buds sadly do very little to cure my aversion to them. They’re fine enough at first, but after 10-15 minutes or so they start to ache and need to come out.
The audio quality on the buds is great – no complaints here. Clear and crisp, with solid bass, good strong sound, and decent (if slightly “twangy”, according to my conversation partner) call quality, helped by capable active noise cancellation.
ANC is one area where buds do have an advantage versus over-ear headphones, for me: I’m one of those people whose ear pressure goes haywire when using ANC over-ear, and I don’t have this problem on these buds. I was definitely impressed by the ANC on these – there was a noticeable difference between having it off and having it on, even on a busy train.
Features-wise, the Club Pro+ buds have both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, as well as support for native phone voice assistants. The touch controls on the left bud can be remapped to either launch and control Google Assistant or Alexa, or to control the active noise cancellation; either way, a long press on the right bud will launch your native voice assistant.
I definitely had some issues with the touch controls on the Club Pro+, however. Oftentimes it will take more than one tap for the buds to realise you’re trying to tell them something, and even then on a bit of a delay. What’s more, they have a curious habit of sending multiple push notifications to your phone telling you they’re connected (even if the buds are in fact in their case in your pocket), which can get annoying. JBL needs to iron out these bugs.
Overall, the JBL Club Pro+ offer superb sound and robust active noise cancellation, hampered by buggy touch controls. At $329, they’re not the most affordable around, but if JBL can squash the bugs they’ll be a great choice for anyone looking to get a bit more audio quality out of their true wireless earbuds.
• Great sound
• Top-notch ANC
• Seals well to the ear
• Wireless charging
• Buggy touch controls and push notifications