JBL LIVE 650BTNC review: Noise-cancelling headphones that will never let you down

JBL LIVE 650BTNC review: Noise-cancelling headphones that will never let you down

White noise

Text: Janice Sim

Over the years, the presence of technology has taken on the prefix of luxury — whether it be found in the oh-so-pretty iPhones XS or that Rimowa x Bang & Olufsen baby that just dropped. But surely, the underlying function should prevail.

That we found recently in the trusty cushions of JBL LIVE 650BTNC. While its model name might not be the coolest, nor would we dub the headphones as the most stylish accessory your outfit's missing; it doesn't have to be. As long as it serves its first and foremost purpose — to deliver a solid auditory experience coupled with noise-cancelling abilities that work to a tee.


Unlike other problems you might face at first with other audio companies, pairing the LIVE 650BTNC to your device is a breeze. The wall between you and the world comes up the minute you put the headphones on — never mind that you haven't played a tune yet – that's the true testament to how sound-proof the plushy ear cushions are. Or rather, JBL's active noise-cancelling technology just seriously works.

Once you do hit play on Beyonce's Homecoming setlist, noises and voices are drowned out. That means not being able to hear the sounds of other conversations or the noise of a coffee machine, imagining that you are trying to concentrate in the prime spot of a busy café. If you are concerned of being too left out, hit ambient aware mode and you can control the amount of external sound to let in. Or if you're trying to filter in sentences in the midst of an uplifting Vampire Weekend song, the headphones' TalkTru setting will lower the volume with a touch of a button — just so to skip out on the step of physical removing the headphones just to be present for a one-word reply.


Let's not forget the brilliance of the sound; LIVE 650BTNC is equipped with 40mm drivers, alongside a stellar bass that won't let any song down. Sure it might be a tad heavy for commuting everyday, but we have to say — blocking out the sea of crying toddlers or even your Grab driver's choice of music would be worth it.

The JBL LIVE 650BTNC is now available at all leading retailers at $249.