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JBL Live 650BTNC review

Over ear headphones. Priced at $279.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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What is the CHOICE Expert Rating

CHOICE Expert rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

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Good points

The product's best features and benefits

Bad points

Drawbacks or issues you need to know about
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Recommended View more details.

We recommend models with an overall score of 70% or above.

CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

This overall score is made up of listening with noise cancelling on (30%), listening quality (30%), listening with noise cancelling off (15%), comfort (15%) and durability (10%) scores.

Sound quality score View more details.

This score is an assessment by a listening panel of the audio quality of the headphones when reproducing music, regardless of the noise-cancelling or isolation effectiveness.

Listening score – NC on View more details.

We test the headphone's sound isolation effect with noise cancelling feature turned on.

Listening score – NC off View more details.

We test the headphone's sound isolation effect with noise cancelling feature turned off.

Comfort score View more details.

Takes into account placing in or on ear, removing from ear, potential to accidentally fall out of ear, restrictiveness of the wire, suitability for left-handed users as well as those with weak grip, limited sight, limited hearing and colour-blindness.

Durability score View more details.

Our testers rate the quality of the material used in construction and any areas of obvious concern. They also stress test the cables to replicate getting caught on arms or around the neck and to make sure they're strong enough, and perform a tangle assessment.

Battery life (hours) View more details.

Measured in hours. Note, turning off noise cancellation can increase battery life in some models.

Availability View more details.

'Tested' means you ought to be able to find this in retailers. We check availability every time we test, which is about 3 to 4 times a year. 'Discontinued' means you may have trouble finding this product, however it may be available online locally or overseas. CHOICE publishes information on discontinued products as members have expressed interest in older models.

Discontinued model
Price View more details.

In $AUD as supplied by manufacturers.

Wired/wireless type View more details.

Wired headphones connect to your device or stereo via a cable. Wireless headphones connect via WiFi or Bluetooth, but have a band or cable connecting each can/bud. True wireless headphones connect via WiFi or Bluetooth and do not have a cable connecting each earbud (such as the Apple AirPods.

Headphones fold
Cups twist 90 degrees so that they lie flat
Transport bag View more details.

Is a travel case included.

Battery type
Custom unit
Cable length (cm)
Not applicable
Weight with cable (g) View more details.

This measurement includes the cable and control unit.

Detachable cable View more details.

Some models include a 3.5mm jack and cable, so you can alternate between wired and wireless connectivity. This cable can be removed.

Has controls on headphone or cable View more details.

Control on the cable or headphone for volume, pause/play, stop or taking a phone call.

Type of controls
Vol +/-, Play/ Pause, Answer/ End call, VA, Next track, Previous track, Decline call, NC
Can be used to take phone calls View more details.

Whether the models on test can take a phone call, either through wireless Bluetooth or via a cable connection.

Supports mobile assistant View more details.

Headphones with this feature can be used to communicate with a digital assistant such as Ok Google, Alexa, Bixby or Cortana.

USB charging cable supplied
Adapter for aeroplane use

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