There will always be an opportunity for a soundtrack whether it's a sultry evening in the woods or on a rumbly, jumbly bus. It just so happens that JBL is announcing a horde of headphones and a posse of portable speakers today, so you'll soon have new purchase options to think over.
After 2 years, the Harman-owned manufacturer is updating its series of portable speakers for the outdoors with the Flip 6. Some major improvements from the Flip 5 include the jump from Bluetooth 4.2 to 5.1 — this allows for PartyBoost synchronization with other wireless speakers — and an IP rating change from X7 to 67 for complete protection from particulates like sand. Sound quality also gains fidelity with a dedicated tweeter and a dedicated woofer flanked by two bass-enhancing radiators. But with the changes, including the omission of the 3.5mm connection, comes the same great battery life at 12 hours.
Expect to see them in five colors on store shelves in the U.S. starting December for $130 and in Europe in November for €139.
Still portable yet larger and flashier speakerboxes are also on the way. The PartyBox 110 can dole out a light show with its LED array and up to 160W of peak sound with its 12-hour battery. It takes in ¼" and ⅛" TRS inputs plus Bluetooth and USB. The IPX4-rated box is available starting today for $400 or €359.
The PartyBox 710 raises the bar with more lights, a place to set your phone or tablet to let people DJ or jukebox the thing, and up to 800W of output between dual tweeters and excursion drivers. Also IPX4-rated and with all the same ports, Europeans can grab the 710 beginning in October for €749. In the U.S., the big day is November 14 and the price is $800. It's such a heavyweight, did we mention it comes with its own wheels?
Looking for some earbuds instead? JBL has all of the earbuds. The Tune 130NC (left) are truly wireless, run on the latest Bluetooth 5.2 with Google's Fast Pair, have 10mm drivers with four mics for active noise cancellation among more typical uses, 8-10 hours of battery life with three extra cycles via charging case, and an IPX4 rating. The buds are available in black, white, and blue for $100 or €99 from October 17. The Tune 230NC are stemmed versions of the 130NC with 5.8mm drivers and many of the same features mentioned above and will go on sale in the same colors on the same date for the same prices.
Sporty people can grab the Endurance RACE wireless earbuds with a full-on IP67 rating and a TwistLock™ mechanism to keep them in your ears while you're going the distance. With 10 hours of battery life and 20 more through the case, the RACE will also be available on October 17 for $80 or €68.
Also for athletes who want to keep their earbuds held together by a string, the Reflect Flow PRO with Bluetooth 5.0 bumps things up to six mics for adaptive noise canceling, an even fuller-on IP68 rating, and 8-10 hours of battery life with up to 20 more hours provided by the wireless charging-enabled charging case. These go on sale November 14 for $180 or €179.
Going over the ears, the Discord-certified Quantum 350 wireless headset hustles to kill latency with a 2.4GHz USB dongle and 40mm drivers capable of what JBL calls QuantumSOUND Signature — because branding is important. It takes five minutes' charge on USB-C to get an hour of operation and more time to fill up the 22-hour battery. Look out for this headset starting next month for $100 or €119.
Last but not least is the JR 460NC. Yes, the JR stands for "junior" and there's active noise cancellation on there, too, limiting loud noises down to 85dB to protect your kids' hearing. Whether wireless or with a detachable cable, children will be able to listen to their favorite stories for up to 20 hours at once. Let's hope they don't wear them for that long.
The 460NC will cost $80 and go on sale starting in September.