Yet another JBL headphone has graced my desk, the $199 Live 660NC. I have to say, I never know quite what to expect from each new JBL headphone I get, as, well, they all look basically the same. That’s not to say I don’t understand why JBL chooses to go with such generic looks; they’re a big brand with a big reach, they don’t want to turn off customers with too funky a look. But can they keep their attention with a successful sound? Let’s find out.
- Comes with USB-C Charging Cable
- Optional 3.5mm Cable (to use for wired listening)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Active Noise Cancelling Technology
- 2 Hours to Fully Charge
- 10 minutes Charge for 4 hours of listening
- 40 hour battery life (with noise cancelling)
- 50 hour battery life (without noise cancelling)
Looks and Comfort
This is one of the most comfortable JBL headphone’s I’ve tried. It’s an on ear headphone, but it’s ear cups are large enough that it almost feels like an over-ear headphone (one that surrounds the ears instead of just resting on top of them). They’ve got quite a tight grip around your head, which at first made me worried I was going to snap them in half as I stretched them out to put them on, but I quickly learned that they’re sturdier than they may feel initially. Their Fabric headband has a hefty, plush build that gives these a few extra luxury points.
JBL headphones have been fairly hit or miss for me, but I’d say off the bat, these were a hit. The first good sign I noticed with them was that no certain aspect of the sound stuck out at me immediately. With some JBL headphones, I’ll be quickly off-put by how insanely bright they are or how completely muffled their bass response is. On the Live 660, nothing immediately bugged my ears.
As I settled in for a longer listen, the specifics of the Live 660's sound started to be more clear to me. These pack a lot of punch and sub-bass for a relatively compact pair of headphones. This definitely makes them well-suited for pop, hip-hop, electronic, and other modern compositions. This attribute will also allow them to add some warmth and extra heft to less current recordings and productions. While the low end on these isn’t overwhelming and won’t distract from the rest of their qualities, it will likely satisfy many bass-craving fiends.
The Live 660’s treble is not as bright as it could be, and I found vast improvement in their abilities after adding just a slight bump to their high frequencies using an equalizer (try the built in equalizer on Apple Music/Spotify, or download a 3rd party equalizer app). Their more colorful, forward mid range is very versatile and craves less adjusting than the high end, but perhaps could be a bit less flat.
Overall, JBL's Live 660NC felt impressively clean and balanced for its price and is sure to wow large swaths of listeners. If you’re in the market for a noise cancelling, bluetooth headphone, or are just a loyal JBL customer, these are definitely worth the price tag, maybe even a little more.
You can purchase the JBL Live 660NC here.