Work and Play: JBL Live Noise-Canceling Headphones for Professional and Leisure Use

by Fransic verso
Work and Play: JBL Live Noise-Canceling Headphones for Professional and Leisure Use

JBL is Massive in Popular Culture, and There is a Good Reason Why!

For people listening through noise-cancelling headphones, music, podcasts or audiobooks can be listened to in peace without the outside world’s distractions.

They are also useful for use in noisy places like offices, cafes or public transport.

Nonetheless, when it comes to noise-cancelling headphones, they aren’t all alike, and some are better than others.

JBL has become a monster of a brand of audio products, from speakers to earbuds. If excellent headphones for both work and play are what you’re after, then let’s take a closer look at some of the JBL Live Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones range.

JBL LIVE Series – A Closer Look 

The JBL Live Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones range employs active noise cancelling (ANC) technology to block out ambient sounds and just concentrate on the music, podcasts or phone calls.

In addition, they are light in weight and comfortable to wear, last a long time on one charge, and allow you to adjust your sound and settings individually via an accompanying app.

So, in this article, we will review some of the best JBL Live headphones in 2023 and compare their:

  • Features
  • Tech and Spec
  • Performance

If you are in the market, you should find some useful information on features and the tech behind them; let’s get in there!

JBL Live 660NC

Most people will find the JBL Live 660NCs to be best suited for their needs as these headphones are well-balanced in terms of features, sound quality and price.

These over-ear headphones’ thin and clean design is available in various colours.. The ear pads are soft and roomy, fit comfortably on most ears, and the headband folds to store or carry easily. 

The right ear cup has a touch-sensitive control panel that allows you to turn up or down the volume, play some music, skip tracks, and even call on your voice assistant. You can also switch between ANC (active noise cancellation) mode and ambient sound modes of varying degrees.

It has 40mm dynamic drivers and can provide a powerful, balanced JBL Signature Sound sound. 

As a result, they have a slightly V-shape sound profile–more bass and treble than mid. They are thus particularly suited for genres such as pop, rock, hip-hop and EDM, in which they can create a thumping effect. 

TIP – However, if you want to try something different, just go into the JBL Headphones app’s parametric EQ and presets menu. 4.

The JBL Live 660NC also performs well in terms of its noise-cancelling capabilities, such as removing the sounds from rumbling engines, office chatter or whirring fans. They also come with a Smart Ambient function, allowing you to listen to your surroundings or engage in dialogue without removing the headphones. 

But you can use the app’s Ambient Sound Control feature or their TalkThru mode (which automatically mutes and raises speakers ‘volume levels) to raise or lower ambience volume accordingly. 

Sounds Like a Headphone With an excellent micro on board, your voice can be clearly picked up over the JBL Live 660NC’s good background noise filter.

The JBL Live 660NC enjoy long battery life, up to 50 hours without the ANC on or with it off. In addition, they include fast charging such that 10 minutes will provide you with four hours of playback. 

They include a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm jack for wired listening. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.0, which offers a stable, low-latency wireless connection. For instance, they can be paired with two devices simultaneously and switched between your phone and laptop.

In addition, they include a complex carrying case, USB-C and audio cables. They will work with the JBL Headphones app for iOS and Android devices. The application lets you personalise your sound, settings and controls and receive firmware updates and advice.

OK, onto the next one.

JBL Live 460NC

Regarding the on-ear designs, my first choice among JBL headphones is their Live 460NCs, which offer excellent portability and breathability. 

They are designed much like the JBL Live 660NC, with smaller, thinner ear cups that fit over your ears. 

They come in various colours with a swivel foldable headband. Just like the JBL Live 660NC, they also feature a touch-sensitive control panel on the right ear cup.

With a V-shaped sound profile and 40mm dynamic drivers, the JBL Live 660NC resembles its predecessor. They can create a full tonal sound, solid bass and clear treble. 

The application also has a parametric EQ and presets that you can use to shape your sound. But they don’t seal your ears like JBL Live 660NC headphones do, so their noise isolation isn’t as good. In other words, these can let out more sound and allow in more noise to disturb your listening.

The JBL Live 460NC is not a bad set of headphones for noise cancelling; it can make some low-level whirring sounds, such as engine or air conditioner hums, go away. 

It also comes with a smart ambient mode that allows you to hear your surroundings or hold conversations without removing the headphones. The app lets you raise or lower the ambient sound level, and with TalkThru mode, it reduces the volume of background noise, making voices much easier to understand. 

Good microphone quality: The JBL Live 460NC’s mic can collect your voice and minimise noise around you.

Their battery life is also impressive; the JBL Live 460NC can run for as long as 50 hours without noise cancellation or up to about forty with it turned on. In addition, they offer fast charging. 

You can charge 10 minutes to play for four hours. It also has a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm jack for wired listening. In addition, they are powered by the Bluetooth 5.0 protocol that offers a stable and low-latency wireless connection.

TIP – They can pair with two devices simultaneously, conveniently switching between your phone and laptop.

These also include a soft carrying pouch, a USB-C cable and an audio cord. They also work with the JBL Headphones app, which can be used on an iOS or Android device. You can personalise your sound, adjust settings and controls, and get all the firmware upgrades or tips from within the app.

And lastly…

JBL Live 400BT

The JBL Live 400BT is the best pair of cheap on-ear headphones, including active noise cancellation. The headphones have a simple, flat design that comes in various colours.  

They are equipped with soft and snug ear pads that will fit most ears and a foldable headband, making them convenient to store away or carry. The ear cups are also equipped with physical buttons that can be used to adjust the volume, play and pause, jump tracks or access a voice assistant.

The sound of the JBL Live 400BT is very nice, with a driver’s size of 40 mm and a balanced audio response. They can project clear, natural sound with a neutral bass, detailed mid-range and smooth treble. 

In addition, they include a parametric EQ and presets in the app so that you can tune the sound to your liking. Nevertheless, they are not as noise-isolating as the JBL Live 460NC since they don’t cover your ears. 

In other words, it allows them to let out more sound and admit more noise. This would be a negative for the listening experience.

Its result is that the JBL Live 400BT has mediocre ANC, suppressing only low-end noise such as engine motors or AC units. In addition, they feature a Smart Ambient function that allows you to listen in on your surroundings or talk without needing to remove your headphones. 

The app or the TalkThru mode lets users change the ambient sound level, turn it down and raise up all voices around them. One of the strengths of the JBL Live 400BT is their microphone quality; they can pick up your voice clearly.

The JBL Live 400BT’s battery life is only so-so. Battery time with active noise cancellation turned on comes in at two calories per hour, or a total of around ten hours and thirty minutes. 

TIP – They also have rapid charging, giving you 2 hours of playback with only ten minutes. They charge via a micro-USB port, with a 3.5mm audio jack for wired listening. 

They also include Bluetooth 4.2, which can wirelessly maintain a stable, low-latency connection. They can be simultaneously paired with two devices and are easy to use, switching between your phone and your laptop.

They also include a soft carrying pouch, micro-USB cable and audio cable. The JBL Headphones app is available for iOS and Android devices but is not compatible. You can adjust your sound, settings and controls in the app as you please and stay up to speed on firmware updates or tips.


The JBL Live Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones range is top-notch.  JBL are there for everyone else to try and catch in 2024.  But you’ll need more than 1-year to unseat JBL from their lofty market position. The article aimed to break down as much tech as possible without going over the top, but hopefully, you found something useful in there. And good luck if you are buying a set!

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