The JBL Tune 770NC headphones, priced at $199, are an affordable option in a market where top-tier headphones can reach up to $600.
These mid-range headphones offer sound quality that stands out in their price bracket, though they come with comfort issues due to a tight fit and firm earcups.
While the plastic design raises durability concerns, there are a few things to like here. The physical buttons for navigation work well, the active noise cancellation (ANC) is pretty good, and the battery life is impressive, lasting up to 40 hours with ANC on.
While they may lack advanced features, premium materials, and top-tier audio quality, their performance and affordability make them a good option for those on a budget.
- Good audio quality
- Competent ANC
- Massive battery
- No on-head detection
- Plasticky design
The Tune 770NC are mid to low-range headphones that cost $199. To put this in perspective, the best over-ear wireless headphones NZ cost closer to the $600 mark.
The Tune 770NC look and feel like mid-range over-ear headphones. They don’t feel as luxurious as premium headphones and are uncomfortable. They feel incredibly tight, and the clamping force (how much the headphones squish your head) is very strong, making it difficult to wear them for extended periods.
The tight fit is made worse by the firmness of the earcups. Instead of providing a space where I could comfortably tuck my ears in, they rest on them. It’s uncomfortable and can be an issue for those with bigger or differently shaped ears.
The headphones are very plasticky. This raised concerns about their durability and contributed to their lack of comfort. The headband doesn’t provide a wide enough cushion to cover the top of the head and as a result the edges of my head were resting on plastic which was also uncomfortable.
On the brighter side, in terms of functionality, the 770NC utilise physical buttons – as opposed to the touch gestures that are becoming increasingly common in many modern headphones – and they work very well. They’re intuitive and responsive, with controls for song navigation, volume adjustment, and changing between active noise cancellation (ANC) and Ambient Aware.
The earcups fold into the headband for storage, adding convenience for those on the go. And the headset comes in three colours – Black, Blue, and White – each of these look fine.
The JBL Tune 770NC headphones deliver noteworthy sound quality for their price range. They produce clear and detailed sound in both the mid and high frequencies and are suitable for various music genres. Whether it’s a more mellow song like Stay by Roary or a rock track like No Hurry by Tera Lightfoot, it all sounds pretty good.
Out of the box the default sound profile leans towards more bass and it sometimes can be overpowering and will muddy the mix slightly. With that said you can always equalise the sound to your taste with the EQ in the JBL Headphones App and if you’re into more bass-oriented music like Trap, Hip Hop or Trance, you won’t be disappointed.
At higher volumes, there is a decline in sound clarity. The audio becomes slightly tinny, and there’s some overlap of frequencies. But for the price point, the JBL Tune 770NC provides a reliable audio experience with the flexibility for customisation through the app.
The ANC here is very good. It’s not as good as the best of the best, but it does a good enough job to cancel out most noise.
I noticed it struggling with the extremes of the frequency range. High-frequency sounds like someone clapping would seep through, and low truck or bus engine rumbles would also be noticeable. Also, if you were close to a particularly loud noise the audio would distort as the ANC tried to keep up.
There is a limited number of advanced features here – to be expected at this price point – but what is here works well. Ambient Aware works just as well as it should, allowing the listener to hear the outside world without having to take off the headphones. There’s VoiceAware which enables you to hear your own voice during a phone call, making it sound more natural, support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and Auto Power-Off functions. There is no on-head detection here in which the headphones would pause when you take them off, though.
The JBL Tune 770NC lasts around 40 hours with ANC turned on and 70 hours with it turned off; it’s very good.
You can charge the headphones via the USB-C port from zero to 100% in around two hours and there’s a fast charge feature that will provide three hours of playback after 5-minutes of charging. Not bad.
The JBL Tune 770NC headphones serve as a reasonable choice for those who prioritise sound quality and battery life and are working within a budget.
At this price point, you’ll need to be prepared to make concessions on a lot of things like sound quality, ANC capabilities, a lack of advanced features and less premium materials. However, you shouldn’t have to make concessions on comfort, and unfortunately, these headphones are uncomfortable.
But, for the price, they are worth considering for those who don’t want to spend $600 and who still crave quality sound. They have capable ANC; the controls are easy to use and they’re incredibly affordable.