The latest addition to JBL’s noise-cancelling headphones will be featured in our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review today.
It’s a product that not only features the company’s signature sounds. The Live 660NC also comes with adaptive ANC and a lengthy battery life for longer music enjoyment.
Out of the box, it comes with a bit of a bass-heavy sound profile. But if you want a different sound, JBL’s companion application provides a couple of presets and a parametric EQ. These will help tweak its sounds to your preferences.
Let’s start off our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review by looking into its packaging and contents.
When we got our black-coloured Live 660NC, it came in your typical-looking JBL box. The product’s image is at the front of the package, while JBL’s logo is on the upper left corner. Its key features are listed on the right, while adaptive noise cancelling is noted on the lower-left corner.
The sides and rear portion of the box have additional details about the headset.
Inside, the Live 660NC comes with other accessories like the audio cable, Type-C charging cable, and a carrying pouch. In addition, JBL included a warranty warning and a safety QSG sheet inside the package.
There’s nothing more on the packaging of this product. So, let’s move on to the design and functions section of our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review.
JBL Live 660NC Headphones Review – Design and Functionality
The Live 660NC sports a simple and minimalist over-ear design that looks almost like the Live 650 BTNC Wireless. It has plastic ear cups that are huge enough to fit JBL’s logo at the centre.
In contrast, its headband sports a mesh coating that also features JBL’s logo on the top portion. Again, we got the black-coloured Live 660NC, but if you want a different shade, there are others to choose from. These included blue, pink, and white.
Generally, the Live 660NC has a great build quality and is made from plastic. For its padding, JBL used faux leather. The headband is wrapped in mesh fabric, while a metal plate is inside for reinforcing the frame.
The headphones are stable due to their clamping force. And, the product stays fixed on your head when used for regular to moderate activities.
Its ear cups trap in enough heat while its good seal blocks unnecessary airflow. However, you’ll likely feel some difference when wearing the Live 660NC during physical activities. There’s a possibility that you’ll sweat more, so keep that in mind.
In addition, its ear cups are made to swivel inwards. JBL did this to make it easier to fit the headphones in your bag. As we mentioned earlier, the company included a carrying pouch in the box. It’s a drawstring container to put the Live 660NC in when you aren’t using them or are on the go.
Let’s continue our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review and discuss the different controls of the headphones.
It comes with good controls too, and they’re positioned on both ear cups for ease of use.
Its volume up/down buttons lets you skip tracks forward/backward simply by pressing then holding the respective buttons. The centre button allows you to pause/play audio, as well as answer or end calls. If you need to decline a call, you can use this button too.
The JBL logo on the left ear cup activates Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa when pressing it for two seconds. If you don’t use these voice assistants, you can easily activate yours by holding the centre button for two seconds.
If not, you can press the ANC button to either switch this feature on/off or activate Ambient Aware. The latter is a feature that lets you hear background sounds while simultaneously listening to audio.
In addition, you can press the ANC button twice for talk-throughs. Doing so will let you chat with others without having to bother removing the Live 660NC from your head.
Key Features of the JBL Live 660NC Headphones
Now, our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review will focus on the different key features of these headphones.
Ambient Aware and TalkThru Technologies
This allows you to listen to music while hearing ambient sounds so you can safely walk the busy streets.
Another feature is TalkThru which amplifies speech. This technology lets you easily chat with people around you while keeping your headphones on.
JBL Signature Sound
The 40mm drivers and sound signature of JBL provide exceptional audio quality. With that, you can enjoy high-quality audio as you listen to your favourite songs.
Voice Assistance for Convenience
Using your voice or a tap on the Live 660NC’s ear cup lets you utilise your preferred voice assistant. By talking, you check the headphones’ battery life, switch its power off, and more.
When using the JBL app, you can set your preferred voice assistants. But remember, this app is only available on Android version 6.0 or higher. This is to fully access Alexa features using the headphones.
Google Fast Pair
Google Fast Pair lets you immediately connect the JBL Live 660NC to your Android device. The best thing about this is you can pair it with multiple devices by only tapping on their screen.
Other than the features, our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review will also talk about the different specifications of these headphones. Let’s check them out now.
The JBL Live 660NC uses Bluetooth 5.0 and has a 40mm driver integrated. Its driver sensitivity at 1kHz / 1mW (dB) is 97dB SPL 1kHz/1 mW. For its dynamic frequency response, it ranges from 16Hz to 20kHz.
The impedance of the headphones is 32 ohms, and it weighs a total of 265g.
JBL utilised a lithium-ion polymer battery for this product, and it charges for two full hours from empty. If you have ANC off, the total music playtime lasts for 50 hours. But if it’s left on, you’ll get 40 hours of music play time instead.
Now, we can shift to the performance of the headset. We’ll discuss our hands-on experience with it here in our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review. It’s a great way to determine if it’s something you really need or if it’s on par with your expectations.
Hands-on with the JBL Live 660NC Headphones
Before we look into how well it performed, we’re first discussing JBL’s application for the headphones.
JBL Headphones App
This app is necessary to utilise the parametric EQ and presets to easily customise the headphones’ sounds to your preference. You can switch Ambient Sounds on/off, then shift between Ambient Aware, ANC, ANC off, or talk-through with ease.
Additionally, you can automatically auto-pause on/off, adjust auto-off timers, view the battery life, and set your voice assistants.
The app comes with a smart audio mode to optimise audio latency based on your activities. It has three settings: Audio Mode, Video Mode, and Normal. Output audio was great, so we don’t have any complaints after trying them all.
This is where you can make your own sound profiles or choose one from the available presets. These include the JBL Club Pro+ TWS, Jazz, Bass, and Vocal.
Rounding out the application are the firmware updates, battery level indicator, voice assistant toggle controls, and auto-off setting. The latter is for placing the Live 660NC on sleep mode when inactive.
Let’s continue our JBL Live 660NC Headphones review and talk about its audio quality.
Although well-balanced for various audio, the headphones do have a slight bass-heavy sound profile for extra punch and thump. With that, it has superb bass accuracy, and its over-emphasis on mid and low-bass gives off an extra boom. Yet the high-bass’ dip weakens its boom a bit.
We have no complaints about its mid-accuracy since it’s outstanding, and its range is superbly flat and well-balanced. So, lead instruments and vocals are accurate, clear, and detailed.
Treble accuracy is decent, though it’s under-emphasised across the range, leading to slightly-veiled lead instruments and vocals. For cymbals and other sibilants, these turn out a bit dull.
We’re glad that the company’s noise-cancelling features improved throughout the years. Although it’s still a few steps behind Sony, Bose, or Apple, it’s still efficient for blocking ambient noise.
So if you’re wearing the headphones at home, usual distractions like doorbells, phone alarms, or kitchen appliances won’t be heard.
Ambient Aware worked best outdoors since it’s designed for use while outside. When activated, we were able to hear cars, barking dogs, and other ambient sounds while listening to music.
For TalkThru mode, this made vocals louder and clearer even without removing the headphones. We were able to hear people and chat with them while wearing the Live 660NC.
The Live 660NC’s Bluetooth compatibility was great during our tests. It successfully paired with two devices at once which is perfect if you love staying connected to your computer and smartphone.
Despite the wireless connectivity, the headphones had low latency on Android and iOS. This makes it great for streaming videos. But take note that some apps and devices differ in how they compensate for latency.
JBL Live 660NC Headphones Review Summary
The Live 660NC from JBL offers strong yet high-quality audio, noise cancelling, and a long battery life. It also has other impressive features and a user-friendly utility software that makes it a great pair of headphones.
These are great for those who love enhanced bass and want noise cancellation. Its 40mm drivers maintain JBL’s signature audio with punchy lows and solid midrange. With the 40-hour battery life, it provides long hours of playback which is something we loved about these headphones.
The Live 660NC headphones’ noise cancellation feature worked excellently too. This is ideal for eliminating ambient noise to keep you focused on your music.
Overall, the JBL Live 660NC is a great pair of headphones that we highly recommend. If you want to get your hands on this product, you can purchase it from the company’s official website.