JBL Live 660NC Review

by crackler01

Today I have headphones on the test in my new JBL Live 660NC Review.

These headphones are the successful successor of the Live 650BTNC model.  The new generation of the Live series remains in an affordable price range and brings slight visual changes, but also significant improvements in the interior.

JBL Live 660NC Review

The Live 660NC deliver a surprisingly natural sound, especially considering the limitations of Bluetooth transmission.

JBL Live 660NC Specifications

  • Driver size: 40mm/1.6″ Dynamic Driver
  • Power supply: 5V, 1A
  • Weight: 265g/0.6 lbs
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion Polymer(750mA/3.7V)
  • Charging time: <2 hrs from empty
  • Music playtime with BT on and ANC off: Up to 50 hrs
    Music playtime with BT on and ANC on: Up to 40 hrs
  • Frequency Response: 16Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohm
  • Sensitivity: 97dB [email protected]/1mW
  • Maximum SPL: 94dB SPL
  • Microphone sensitivity: [email protected]/Pa
  • Bluetooth version: V5.0
  • Bluetooth profile version: HFP V1.7,
  • A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6
  • Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2.4GHz – 2.4835GHz
  • Bluetooth transmitter power: <10dBm
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Maximum operation temperature: 45°C

You can download the manual here->JBL Live 660NC Manual

JBL Live 660NC Review – Construction and Connectivity

The design can be said to be almost unchanged, which implies two-part resonators, the outer parts of which are round, while the inner parts are oval and follow the shape of the cushions. The headphones are made mostly of hard plastic, but there are chrome metal reinforcements in key places, such as hinges and sliders. The headband is completely covered with robust fabric, which is somewhat rougher on the upper side, while the lower side is hard upholstered. Soft cushions are placed on the inside of the resonator, and the frame of the resonator is hollowed out to accommodate controls and connections.

On the right side, there are multi-function buttons for turning on, Bluetooth pairing, volume and playback control, position matching, and activation of the ANC system, as well as a 3.5 mm jack for connection via cable, while on the left resonator there is a USB-C port for charging batteries.

JBL Live 600NC Controls

Controls on the right side

Inside the resonator, there are speaker units with a diameter of 40 millimeters, which is already a standard for this class. The manufacturer does not provide detailed information about the design of the driver and the accompanying amplification, so the improvements compared to the previous model are reflected only through the specifications, which state an increased frequency range from 16 hertz to 20 kilohertz.

Sale
JBL Live 660NC - Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with Long Lasting Battery and Voice Assistant - Blue
994 Reviews
JBL Live 660NC - Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with Long Lasting Battery and Voice Assistant - Blue
  • The JBL Live 660NC wireless headphones feature 40mm drivers and a sound signature that can be found in the most famous...
  • Keep the noise away and stay focused on the music with Adaptive Noise Cancelling of these Bluetooth headphones. The...
  • Get help from your preferred voice assistant using your voice or with a tap on the earcup. Activate Nose Cancelling or...
  • Stay in touch with your world by managing calls with the buttons on the ear-cup. The mic technology allows for perfect...
  • Rock on for up to 50 hours (or up to 40 hours with ANC and BT on) . Then, stop for a quick 10-minute charge to get extra...

On the other hand, the maximum sound pressure has been lowered to 94 decibels, which may not appeal to all users, but it will contribute to the preservation of hearing. Bluetooth connectivity has also been improved and is now version 5.0, which means that two Bluetooth sources can be connected at the same time. As a significant factor in every wireless headset, the internal battery has been slightly increased to 750 mAh and provides up to 50 hours of autonomy with the ANC system off, or 40 hours with ANC. JBL also claims that the battery can go from completely empty to full charge in two hours, while a quick 10-minute charge provides up to four hours of operation.

JBL Live 660NC – Sound Test

Although the changes to the exterior are minimal, the JBL Live 660NC still brings audible improvements during playback. Peter Gabriel’s first solo album sounded just right, putting in the foreground perhaps the most important quality of these headphones – excellent color. Namely, the Live 660NC provides a surprisingly natural sound, especially when you take into account the limitation of Bluetooth transmission.

The soundstage isn’t spectacularly big – in fact, you could say it’s just big enough to avoid feeling cramped – but still, the drivers, aided by a good DSP system, manage to place every note in a pleasing place. The legendary “Solsbury Hill” therefore sounded clear and sufficiently detailed, even with somewhat more saturated tones, which brought a vivid and at the same time more recognizable presentation. The ultimate definition is not clear and the tone is somewhat softer, which is quite fine for headphones of this type and price class. Much more important is the way the tones blend into the musical whole, and that’s where the Live 660NC really excels – musical, intimate, and with a touch of pleasant warmth, which will make long listening sessions and low-quality recordings more pleasant.

JBL Live 660NC Sound Test

It’s always positive when wireless headphones also offer the option of connecting via a cable – when the battery runs out or if we simply want to determine their maximum range. For this purpose, we used a portable DAC/headphone amp of three times the price, which currently brought a much higher, almost audiophile quality of reproduction. The same tracks that we listened to earlier via BlueTooth were now placed on a wider stage, with a more pronounced stereo effect and a clearer spatial presentation. The tones got precisely outlined, but not surgically sharp edges, while in the lower range the notes went even deeper while maintaining excellent definition. And, for the umpteenth time, we thought how much the Bluetooth sound would improve just by adding aptX or a similar, higher quality codec – because these headphones are capable of that.

Sale
JBL Live 660NC - Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with Long Lasting Battery and Voice Assistant - Blue
994 Reviews
JBL Live 660NC - Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with Long Lasting Battery and Voice Assistant - Blue
  • The JBL Live 660NC wireless headphones feature 40mm drivers and a sound signature that can be found in the most famous...
  • Keep the noise away and stay focused on the music with Adaptive Noise Cancelling of these Bluetooth headphones. The...
  • Get help from your preferred voice assistant using your voice or with a tap on the earcup. Activate Nose Cancelling or...
  • Stay in touch with your world by managing calls with the buttons on the ear-cup. The mic technology allows for perfect...
  • Rock on for up to 50 hours (or up to 40 hours with ANC and BT on) . Then, stop for a quick 10-minute charge to get extra...

The practicality of the tested headphones is further improved by the JBL Headphones application, which allows you to choose between five predefined equalizer modes, as well as create the sound you want. ANC works quite solidly and will neutralize most sounds from the environment, with minimal impact on the quality of playback, and Ambient Aware and TalkThru are also available. Secondary options, such as automatically pausing playback when the headphones are removed or turning off after a set period of inactivity, are also very convenient, as well as the support for voice assistants Google and Alexa.

Final Verdict

Although the manufacturer presents them as an over-ear model, the tested headphones are somewhat smaller in size, so the cushions can press the ear shell around the perimeter, which should be taken into account during prolonged use. Of course, this is a consequence of exemplary portability, because the JBL Live 660NC are extremely grateful to carry and heat up relatively little during operation, and will provide you with excellent sound and isolation from the environment in all situations.

JBL Live660NC Pro & Cons

Pros

  • Well measured ANC
  • Various options
  • Excellent color
  • Very pleasant for long listening

Cons

  • aptX or a similar codec would improve the sound over BlueTooth
Great headphones for this amount of money. You won't get anything better at this price.
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