JBL Live 650BTNC Review – JBL’s Budget Noise-Canceling Headphones

JBL Live 650BTNC Review – JBL’s Budget Noise-Canceling Headphones

With so many high-performing, impressive headphones with powerful noise cancelling that gather attention, it feels like it is almost impossible to find a quality ANC headset that doesn't require breaking into a bank vault. If you set aside all these prodigious expensive headphones, you'll spot the JBL Live 650BTNC headphones, a fantastic budget-friendly model.

The American company JBL decided to offer a better variant of the JBL E65BT Noise-Canceling headphones. The headset is sold for under $200, and inside the scope of delivery is included: a pair of JBL Live 650BTNC, charging cable, carrying case, AUX cable, and documentation.

It becomes appallingly painful for a Bose 700 user to see that 650 BTNC Live is capable of charging while playing music. For us, in this case, it is a very positive aspect.

JBL Live 650 BTNC Review

1. Overview

Type: Closed-back Over-ear Noise Canceling Headphones | Bluetooth: 4.2 | Bluetooth Profiles: SBC, HFP v1.6,A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5 | Latency: 180 ms (average) |Battery: 30 Hours (20 Hours with ANC) | Charging Time: 2 Hours | Quick-Charge: 2 Hours in 15 mins | Drivers: Dynamic | Drivers Size: 40 mm | Weight: 249g | Microphones: Integrated | Frequency Response: 20 – 20000 Hz



2. JBL Live 650 BTNC Review​

The over-ears don’t impress much in terms of design. The headset is stylish and comfortable. It is clean-cut, mildly interesting, but nothing spectacular. It doesn’t compare to models from Bowers & Wilkins, Bang & Olufsen, AH-GC25NC from Denon ($100 more expensive than Live 650 BTNC), or Ultrasone Go, the $150 on-ear Bluetooth headphones.

In terms of looks, they highly incline toward the youth generation, especially since the Bluetooth headphones masters the lower end of the sonic spectrum, portraying powerful, imposing, and energetic basses.

3. Ergonomy

Overall 4.9/5

The JBL Live 650BTNC rests on the head easily. Listening to music on hours in a row is attainable since the comfortable material in which the earpads and headband are made of provides sufficient comfort. The upholstery is of high-quality and feels very soft at touch.

4. Controls & Connectivity


The audio management is straightforward and allows you to change volume, switch between songs, accept/reject incoming calls, play/stop music, or connect the headphones to a source via 4.2 Bluetooth,

Although it has no aptX compatibility, the headset maintains a stable connection over the duration and can even play movies without delay between sound and image.

The presence of a multipoint feature greatly enhances the value of JBL Live 650BTNC, but also practicability. It allows the headset to connect with multiple devices by remembering the Bluetooth connections. You can, for example, watch YouTube videos on a laptop and have your phone connected at the same time for incoming phone calls. Furthermore, JBL provides a mobile application My JBL Headphones (available on iOS and Android), which includes some handy features such as battery indicator and an audio equalizer.

In terms of autonomy, JBL Live 650BTNC is optimal, offering up to 20 hours of playback in Bluetooth with ANC activated. With the wires plugged in, it lasts 10 hours more, up to 30 hours runtime. 20 Hours takes a while to consume, and it only takes 2 hours to charge entirely. And as quick as 15 minutes to refill 2 hours

5. Noise Canceling


In addition to the intuitive app, a set of built-in hands-free microphones provide several functions: voice capture, Ambient Aware, and Talkthru technology. Communication is straightforward, and the recording is mildly intelligible. The Ambient Aware technology is similar to Jabra’s HearThrough, which allows you to be aware of your surroundings by serving the sounds recorded by microphones. While Talkthru lets you hear your voice while speaking.

The active noise reduction of JBL Live 650BTNC is particularly useful at this price. Aside from the low-end and the upper-end frequencies, the noises are properly reduced.

6. Sound Quality


The Live 650BTNC succeeds because of its bass range, pleasant and dynamic sounds even for demanding bass lovers who enjoy a marked, conspicuous, lower range. Bassheads will find this model appealing.

Fortunately, even with powerful, deep basses, the audio spectrum is just mildly affected, the upper end of the bass range retains a well-controlled frequency response. The vocals in the distance are still audible and discernable. Trebles are also pleasant and don’t suffer from any spike.

The JBL Live 650BTNC is better equipped for contemporary electronic music such as dubstep, electro, pop than it is for classical music that involves various musical components and nuances. Its dynamics aren’t prepared for heavy-in-detail music like it is the case with Jazz, Baroque, Opera, and other classics.

If you’re committed to heavy bass synthetic music and want to buy a pair of high-quality over-ear headphones with active noise reduction under $200 that are stylish, look modern and feel amazing on the head, JBL Live 650BTNC is the right companion for you.

7. Conclusion

Overall 4.8/5

In the end, for modern music listeners, JBL Live 650BTNC is a fantastic option that provides good comfort, quality basses, various built-in microphones that allow good communication, active noise canceling, and a few other handy features.

The headset isn’t the cheapest around, and for the price, we would have expected aptX support for Hi-Rez audio playback via Bluetooth, JBL sadly failed to include.

It is doubtful that this JBL’s audio configuration would satisfy you if you don’t like bass or don’t listen to pop or electronic music. And for those looking after a pair of modern headphones with bass, it is hard to find a model with such characteristics on the consumer market, at least not without vast spendings.



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