Most headphone manufacturers dream of making something for everyone – to appeal and sell to as big an audience as possible – but not many brands fulfil that aspiration quite like JBL.
Want a dirt-cheap pair of wired earbuds for less than the price of a round, premium wireless over-ears with adaptive noise-cancellation, or something in between? Unless you’re after truly high-end cans, the US audio brand’s diverse catalogue has you covered.
The JBL Tune 750BTNCs are among those occupying that ‘something in between’ middle ground. They are wireless over-ear headphones with noise-cancellation and a modest price tag, aiming to satisfy those who don’t have the budget for its flagship ‘Club’ models or the class-leading likes of Sony WH-1000XM3, Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless and Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones.
Their price dictates modest expectations when it comes to top-flight features – class-leading battery life, multi-level noise-cancellation and aptX Bluetooth support are, unsurprisingly, not on the menu.
Design Over-ear (circumaural)
Active Noise Cancellation Yes
Bluetooth version 4.2
Frequency response 20Hz - 20 kHz
Battery life Up to 30 hours (with ANC)
Weight 220 g
But the Tune 750BTNCs are pleasingly on par for their position, sporting a battery life of 15 hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancelling activated, 22 hours with Bluetooth alone, and 30 hours listening through the wire with noise-cancelling on. A two-hour recharge time is speedy, too.
They can pair with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, so you won’t miss a call on your phone while listening to music through your laptop – just hold down the middle and volume up on-cup controls to initiate multipoint pairing.
Their noise-cancellation, while not adjustable, successfully drowns out the hammering of laptop keys and street noise – although due to the COVID-19 lockdown we're yet to test they're effectiveness aboard a train or plane.
Those looking to squeeze out more battery life by deactivating noise-cancellation will be pleased to know that the JBL’s over-ear design alone provides enough isolation to give you and your music quality time together.
The soft pleather earpads attached to the avocado-sized, oval-shaped ear cups clamp around your ears firmly, providing a nice seal that doesn’t become a burden over long periods. They’re lightweight enough to get away with minimal headband cushioning, too.
While you shouldn’t expect the fancier frills of pricier models, such as premium materials, their matte-finished plastic exterior, also available in red, blue and white, bears an assurance of quality. Just watch yourself while handling the sharp corners by the swivel mechanism.
On a practical note, the right ear cup’s playback buttons for playing, pausing and skipping songs, answering and ending voice calls and activating noise-cancellation are spread out for quick location during use.
And stuffing them into a bag or even coat pocket is easy enough thanks to their foldable design, which allows the earcups to collapse inwards into a neat little bundle.
At this price, the Tune 750BTNCs offer a fine, entertaining listen that is otherwise competitive. The JBL’s balance has been tuned with those in mind who have a penchant for bass. Its low-end has the punch for the iconic beat in Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean to feel truly energising, as well as the depth to draw you into the meaty bassline that drives Muse’s Hysteria.
It can be a little overwhelming in tracks with particularly droning bass notes, such as Drake’s Money In The Grave, and its presence here recesses the midrange and treble a little. Both are still clear and crisp enough to rear their head when needed, though. With Caribou’s You And I, the beat rolls forward thick and fast while the accompanying breathy synths still manage to sparkle above it.
The JBLs aren’t designed to exhaust their owners either, opting for openness over directness to provide an easy, undemanding listening experience. In L.A Salami’s When The Poet Sings, there’s plenty of elbow room and headspace for guitar work to move around.
The trade-off is a presentation that doesn’t pull you into the music as if its life depends on it, but if you listen as a distraction during travel, perhaps that is preferable.
JBL hasn’t broken the mould with the Tune 750BTNCs, or any of its recent wireless noise-cancellers for that matter. But it has produced another practical, well-featured and pleasant-sounding pair that should please anyone whose budget doesn’t stretch to the elite in the noise-cancelling headphone world.
But we cannot recommend these JBLs over the multi-Award-winning AKG N60NC Wirelesses, which are currently reduced and now available at a similar price. The AKGs are notably more textured and nuanced, dynamically and rhythmically accomplished and, given the choice, that’s where our money would go.
- Sound 4
- Comfort 5
- Build 4
Best noise-cancelling headphones 2020
Read our AKG N60NC Wireless review
Read our Sony WH-1000XM3 review
Read our Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless review
Read our Bowers & Wilkins PX7 review