Headphones and earphones are experiencing an explosion over the last year and more so during the last 18 months, thanks in part to the recent lockdowns and working from home becoming the new normal. It’s not just because of the nature of COVID-19 where the growth in ANC headphones and earphones are being experienced, but also thanks in part to certain device manufacturers like Samsung and Apple who are removing the 3.5mm audio jacks in their devices leaving consumers looking for wireless alternatives.
The recently launched JBL Tune 760NC wireless headphones have a wired option are available for $199 but can they balance between work and play?
Design and Features
The JBL Tune 760NC is well padded, perhaps too much at the top as it created some pressure regardless of how I adjusted them.
The headphones were a little tight for my personal taste. While this isn’t bad short term as it creates a good seal for the sound to transfer, after a couple of hours it makes your ears feel pretty hot on a warm day. For many, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but something to consider given we are heading into the summer months.
When it comes to controls, the right ear cup has a simple button setup containing the power button which also acts as the Bluetooth connection button. Next to the power button is the Active Noise Cancellation(ANC) button followed by volume and playback (stop/pause/Google assistant) control buttons. It can be frustrating at first, but once you’ve got the muscle memory for controls, any issues disappear.
The 3.5mm port that can be connected by the 1.8-meter cable is also housed on the right earcup ready for times when you’re low on battery. Under the right ear cup immediately next to the hinge is the USB-C charging port, but you might want to keep your own USB_C cable to hand because the 20cm included cable is a bit short for functionality.
The hinge for the ear cups is very angular and sharp — similar to the Tune 660NC — and I found sometimes when adjusting the length and fit of the headphones I could occasionally nip myself. This feeling could be fixed with slightly rounded edges, making them feel more friendly and the design look more polished.
Sound and Battery
To my taste, the JBL Tune 760NC does offer good sound quality and experience. The vocals are clear, the bass is deep and it offers a pleasant overall experience. I noticed that by turning the volume right up the headphones would lose their bass clarity. I can understand the reason for this but I find it can just make the whole experience slightly less pleasurable.
I also found some of my favourite songs I like to listen to that do have quite a deeper bass and beat to them, that the JBL Tune 760NC would sometimes struggle with, leaving me with occasional flat bass. The JBL Tune 760NC can last up to 35 hours with ANC on and without ANC, up to 50 hours. Charging can take up to 2 hours to charge from flat, which isn’t too bad but I found I could get up to 2-3 days before needing to charge them.
What’s it good at?
Paring the device was as simple as going into the Bluetooth setting or if you have Google fast pair enabled, the headphones were able to be connected with a couple of taps on your devices screen.
ANC mode is very good and said to be capable of filtering up to 97% of background noises when listening to music. I did find that some noises still came through readily on video calls through Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
What is it not good at?
So as mentioned, I noticed a loss of some audio clarity when turning the volume right up. I can understand the need for this as we’re only looking at small drivers which could be damaged if they’re over-driven. There is a JBL app but I struggled to get it to connect, so I wasn’t able to utilise all of the features including the equalizer to balance the audio.
Hopefully, this is an issue with my device otherwise it’s a missed opportunity preventing better user experience and updated software/firmware to be pushed out to the headphones. It would also allow users to be more actively notified of battery levels vs the notification from the Android OS which you really need to keep an eye on.
We have reached out to JBL for further assistance on the app connectivity and are awaiting a response.
Should you consider buying one?
Thinking long and hard about this question and I have to be honest, I have to say despite the flaws, such as some aspects of the design and the button layouts could have been further refined or changed. The JBL Tune 760NC does offer some great sound, the issues with playing music at a higher volume and the loss of depth and clarity may be an issue if you’re a user who prefers to play their music loud but they’re still a good value offering.
If you’re after some decent headphones that offer ANC, sound quality and prefer headphone over in-ear buds then I certainly could recommend the JBL Tune 760NC Headphones. They’re available to purchase from the JBL website alongside retailers such as MobileCiti, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Catch.com.au and Amazon for $199.99