JBL is known for making audio Equipment for as many different lifestyles and situations as possible. One of their more extreme examples is the JR 460NC Headphone, which is a headphone specifically designed for children. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, people's lives became primarily online. JBL recognized this and tailored the JR (get it? Junior...) specifically for children transitioning into online life. JBL wanted to make sure that the JR is safe, durable, and easy to use, all while still delivering its signature high quality audio. At $79, these aren't cheap, and I'm going to see if its a worthwhile investment or a clever marketing tactic.
What’s in the Box
JR 460NC Headphones
USB-A to USB-C Charging cable
Look and Feel
Upon first glance, these look like normal JBL headphones. Subtle details were implemented to simplify their design and make the experience as user-friendly as possible. The left and right ear cups are very visibly labeled, the button scheme is simplified, featuring a power button for power/bluetooth control, a universal Pause/Play/Skip command button, and the active noise canceling button, which is indicated by a “ ;) “ face icon. They 're comfortable and feel like they can be worn for hours and most importantly, they were built to be incredibly durable and flexible. Kids are very good at breaking things, and while JBL didn't make these indestructible, they also made it so if they were to break, the hazard would be minimized by its lightweight and smooth design.
Despite its simple user interface, the JR has some powerful features. Active noise canceling allows for focus in any environment and can also be used as ear protection in noisy environments. The battery is designed to function for 20 hours of continuous use on a single charge, thought the charging port's placement makes it difficult to simultaneously use and charge the headphones. The bluetooth can be paired to multiple devices at once and utilizes Google fast pair to streamline to connection process. The JR is designed primarily to be adapted to any day-to-day scenario your child might need them for. The built in mic is very clear and seamlessly integrated.
The JBL JR460NC has a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz and an impedance of 32 Ohms.
The actual sound performance of the Jr is where JBL really put the most thought. These sound great and made specifically with safety in mind. Even at max volume, they never got loud or distorted, but still stayed clear and defined. I can tell the frequency response has been tailored to give these a pleasant sound character. Apps like Zoom or Tik Tok can have really harsh high frequencies due to the audio compression, which can be fatiguing after extended listening. Thankfully, JBL had this in mind and did their best to EQ out these frequencies. The stereo field in the soundstage sounds great, but is still minimal enough to not become jarring or disorienting. I specifically tried to push the Jr to its limits and see if I could get them to sound too loud, harsh, or distorted; and every attempt failed. The Jr sounds great and you don't have to worry about your kid accidentally blowing their hearing out with these.
As a 23 year old, it was very interesting to review a product not intended for my age range. The idea of a headphone designed specifically for children isn't immediately obvious as something to make, but it makes so much sense. Headphones are dangerous in the wrong hands, and can cause serious damage if not used properly. The JBL JR460NC is specifically designed so that your kids can use headphones for extended periods of time while eliminating this risk. While $79 is a bit steep for something your child will outgrow, I feel that it would be worth it just to get some peace of mind. I'm not a parent, but if I were, I would definitely consider getting the Jrs for my child.
You can buy the JBL JR460NC here