REVIEW: JBL Live 660NC: Perfect All-Purpose Headphones

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These headphones are made to be taken places.

Bend them into your bag, don’t bother with the charger unless you’re camping, and leave all protective casing at home.

The JBL Live 660NCs do the job. They provide bright sound, throaty bass tones, and decent enough noise cancellation for the sub-$250 price point, and they will soon become your go-to pair of headphones, despite the expensive pair hanging in your house, just waiting to be used.

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The biggest issue with relying upon these headphones in all conditions is that the noise cancellation isn’t as advanced as the more pricy models, which obviously makes sense. It’s still very solid though, and unless you’re on a building site, won’t give you any hassles.

They are also not IPX rated at all, which means that you’d better keep them bone dry – away from pools, gyms, exercise – many of the places you’d use such a pair of headphones without thinking they could be ruined.

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Having said that, the battery power is mighty impressive, with over 44 hours of use between charges, even with the ANC on. So these are very handy, indeed.

Sound-wise, these are very solid for the price point, with full, rich bass tones, high end that never strays into tinny, thin tones, and immersive mids — especially with the noise cancellation — that belies its price point. In fact, these would make a great pair of studio headphones, which is unusual for any pair under $500.

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As with all JBL headphones, the build is nice, a snug, comfortable fit without the usual ear-squashing that can occur. They appear flimsy, but repeated use proves this assumption incorrect.

These headphones will take a beating – just don’t toss them in the pool afterwards.

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