JBL Live460NC Review

So, I have been using the Jlab Rewind headphones as my training headphones. They are fairly small and cheap, so naturally the sound isn’t phenomenal. However, after trying over 20 pairs of headphones for training, those seemed to be the best balance I could strike for my specific aims.

Enter the JBL Live460NC headphones. I got these because during my initial tests, the Live400 were pretty damn close to being my choice. So, I decided to give the newer version a try.

So right out the gate, I could already tell that these didn’t feel as snug and tight as the first JBL live400s I had. That was an immediate red flag for me because one of my major sticking points and a dealbreaker is whether or not the headphones stay on head during training. These were slipping and sliding despite a fairly strong grip. I presume that it’s also got to do with the material on the point of contact. I don’t know, but they didn’t stay in place and that is an instant disqualification.

These headphones do have a pretty cool feature when using spotify. The music pauses and stops playing when you adjust or pull them off. That is somewhat cool but was also getting kind of annoying and I was already thinking of turning it off. Sometimes I adjust for comfort, and every time I did, the music stopped. That was kind of irritating.

The sound quality was okay, but after testing the Beats and the Bose over the ear headphones, there is absolutely no comparison in the audio quality. However, they do sound way better than the rewinds they are meant to replace. The buttons are nicely situated and big enough for even fat fingers like mine. Attaching this to my iPhone over Bluetooth was simple and effortless.

I tried to use this with Smule for karaoke. The Bluetooth sync seems to actually be slightly better than the others, but background noise is prevalent. If you have any external noise, it will be picked up, such as the AC and so on. Once I turned off my AC the recording was clean and almost in sync. It did require a minor adjustment to the timing.

I also tested using these with Telegram. The audio sounds pretty decent when recording and listening from the headset. Even with my AC on in the background, the quality was decent.

I wore them for a while while cleaning the kitchen, and my ears did feel a little fatigued after doing dishes. But honestly, it’s the same with the rewinds when I work out. Hence the adjustments for comfort I mentioned before.

The real test was training though. And while working out, they really didn’t feel as secure as the 400 did. That was disappointing. While doing the stair climber they felt like they could fall off. Then while stretching and doing forward folds, they didn’t stay in place and slip forward. Finally, the ear pads absorbed all the sweat I was releasing, and I had to clean and squeeze out the excess liquid.

These are a decent pair of headphones, but for my needs, this pair isn’t going to work. There are too many potential pitfalls that I noticed just after one workout. Unfortunately, these are going to get returned and my search continues. For now, the rewinds will continue being the chosen ones.

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