JBL tends to sell a lot because simply because it offers great looking and solid sounding products at budget friendly prices. The Company also has kids in mind, producing headphones with volume limits to protect hearing. The JR460NC is the latest youth headphone, boasting ANC and 30 hours of battery life. What other features can you expect, and does it sound any good?
What’s in the Box?
Look and Feel
I’m always a big fan of how JBL products look, and these cans are a great example. The sleek white color, offset by the bright orange headband give the headphone just enough pop to attract a kid’s attention. And while you should be careful not to snap the headband, there is a reasonable solidity to the frame. Still, a carrying case would have been nice considering the clumsy, 6 year-old consumer. The ear pads are especially plush, which though made from synthetic leather, provided a super comfy and luxurious fit.
Design and Functionality
JBL Safe Sound
For this youth headphone, JBL has implemented a Safe Sound feature that limits the volume to <85 dB. It seemed to be enough to get me pumping, but it never reached loud levels.
Your kid will get 30 hours of play (20 hours with ANC) on these headphones, and it only takes 5 minutes to get a 2 hour charge.
ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)
Although the ANC isn’t particularly powerful, it does a good job of killing the hum in rooms and vehicles. But don’t expect a nap time level of silence.
Not that your little tyke is going to be making too many calls, but it should be noted that call clarity is solid and I didn’t run into any dropouts or interruptions.
The JR460NC runs on Bluetooth 5.0, which isn’t the latest Bluetooth version. Nonetheless, I didn’t experience any dropped signals, even in the middle of the city.
The JR460NC supports multi-point connection, so, you can connect to more than one device at a time.
There’s some depth to this soundstage which lends a little dimension to the space. You won’t hear any instruments reaching soaring heights, but the stereo field feels wide and appropriately expansive for this price point.
Th bass is fast and punchy, bringing ample energy to pop tracks. The sub bass frequencies also produce a rumble, lending depth to hip-hop and sub-heavy tracks. The bass is also quite clean and avoids any bloat or bleeding into the higher frequencies. So, although these cans lean bass-centric, the low-end stops short of overpowering the mix.
A very meaty feel in this range. The low-mids are given plenty of attention, giving ample body to the mix. And you won’t run into any harshness in the upper-mids. Vocals sit within the mix and it’s a soft, rich and easy listening experience. This range also presents a clean profile, providing good definition to guitars and other acoustic instruments.
That rich weightiness remains in the highs, bringing a thickness and velvety quality to vocals and pianos. There’s some roll-off in the highs, so the peaks feel smooth. The highs may not be sparkly enough for those who prefer a brighter sound signature. But in terms of keeping your kids’ ears comfy, this sound profile is perfect.
With a rich bass, natural midrange and super smooth highs, it’s hard not to like this sound signature. Add to that some decent ANC, 30 hours of battery life and a volume safety feature, and your kid has a reasonably impressive headphone. At 80 bucks, JBL could have thrown in a case. But other than that, I have no complaints.
You can buy the JBL JR460NC at Audio 46.
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