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REVIEW: Affordable Premium, JBL Live 650T Noise Cancelling Headphones

I am away over the Easter break and one of the products I took with me is a pair of JBL’s Live 650BTNC noise cancelling headphones that also come with Google voice technology built in.

This is a seriously neat pair of headphones, as I found out when trying to watch the second series of Killing Eve on the ABC iView streaming service, the noise cancelling came in especially handy when you have two noisy grand children around.

Noise cancelling is not just about commutes and air travel, I used these headphones to watch the football and a couple of movies while I was away as we were staying in an apartment close to the ocean where there was a lot of ocean background noise.

Two of the key standout features with these headphones are the manufactured quality and the price tag of just $249

Similar quality offerings from Sony and Bose are up to $125 more expensive than JBL’s Live 650BTNC which feel and look like a premium set of headphones.

The clean design is enhanced by the rounded plush leather padding of the ear cups which for me are critically important. A major test for me is can I sleep in these headphones and the answer is yes, as I found out on a flight to Hong Kong.

Being able to fall asleep on an aircraft and still be wearing your headphones is a key test, as some headphones are poorly designed with protruding cups that push back into the ear.

The cups on JBL’s Live 650BTNC are basically flat with a small concave that work similar to the AKG N60 headphones.

Another plus for these headphones is that they come in a soft case that can be easily packed into an on aircraft bag, hard cases take up too much room.
The headphones are also light, especially as you may have to wear them for long flights in and out of Australia.

The battery life is 30 hours or 20 hours with noise cancelling on.

The key controls such as on off and volume up and down are easy to access and so is the Bluetooth pairing, and noise-cancelling buttons which, all located in cascading order down the outside of the right cup.

By tapping the outside of the left earcup you accesses Google Assistant or Alexa, allowing you to skip songs or check the weather.

The bottom left earcup is where you’ll find the micro-USB charging port, and the bottom right is where you’ll find that 3.5mm jack.

These headphones significantly reduce airplane and background noise and because they are light and fit snugly due in part to the design of the ear cups, we highly recommend them over the more expensive Bose and Sony models.

They look good and work as described.

In terms of sound quality, they are excellent delivering clear audio when listening to both movie tracks and music. I paired them with a top end Samsung TV to watch the football and they worked a treat.

The bass, in particular, is very well managed and above all they deliver audio clarity.

Conclusion: The combination of material quality, design and price puts these headphones in a unique position. They are as good looking as some of the more expensive models and they also sound good. The added value of Google Assistant and Alexa adds just another layer to their capability.

They are also made by JBL, a Harman Company now owned by Samsung, they are at the cutting edge when it comes to audio development and it sows with these affordable premium headphones.

They are absolutely worth checking out.


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