JBL Tune 760NC Review
Of all the truly major audio companies with hundreds of thousands of customers, JBL generally earns my respect more than the rest. As a Harman offshoot, most of their tunings are somewhere around the Harman target, which is a happy, inoffensive medium for casual listeners and audiophiles alike. Today I’ll be taking a look at the JBL Tune 760NC, a wireless over-ear release from the company going for a fairly affordable $129. Let’s see if the Tune 760NC can hold its own amongst the stiff wireless competition at this price point.
What’s In The Box?
- JBL Tune 760NC
- 3.5mm to 3.5mm Headphone Cable
- USB to USBC Cable
- Manual and safety guide
Look and Feel
To start with what I like, the synthetic leather that went into the earpads and the headband padding is pretty comfortable. My ears admittedly did feel the heat during my listens, but whatever material was used here didn’t stick to my ears like it sometimes does with synthetic materials on other headphones around this price point. I’m also quite a fan of the robust flexibility we see, with the cans being able to rotate 90 degrees backwards for an easy and comfortable around-the-neck wear style, and fold upward into the headband for extra portability. I’m also appreciative of just how light the JBL 760NC feels on my head at a mere 220 grams; I doubt anyone is going to be complaining about how much these weigh.
Now, I’m less of a fan when it comes to the particularly cheap plastic we see throughout most of the housing. However, this is just about the market standard when it comes to wireless headphones at this price point. I suppose I’m glad to see some cost cutting went into build rather than sound quality, and its also worth considering that this plastic is likely responsible for the exceptionally lightweight frame. This is just to say that its easy to forgive JBL for this somwhat questionable characteristic.
When it comes to fit, I have to admit I was pretty put off by the extreme clamp pressure coupled with the on-ear wear style when I first put the JBL Tune 760NC on my head. I did get used to it pretty quickly as the ear pads have a decent, squishy consistency that does a adequately effective job in offsetting the headphone’s vice-like grip. So while this didn’t end up becoming a long-term fatiguing quality, I still think they could have taken it a little easier here.
Technical Design and Wireless Overview
|JBL TUNE 760NC
|35 Hours ANC on, 50 Hours ANC off
|5 minute charge = 2 hours listening
I’m usually not expecting much in the way of rich spatial character when it comes to a wireless headphone at this price point, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard in this regard with the JBL 760NC. Though it’s by and large linear and two dimensional in its presentation of parts, a modicum of depth came creeping into the stage here and there throughout my listens. Pans are sometimes felt on the face, and there’s a nice fluidity in tracks’ stereo movements. Like most headphones or buds that I’ve gotten to try from JBL, nothing feels congested or compressed. Parts within tracks are afforded solid spatial separation from one another that contributes to a casual and enjoyable clarity.
As I noted towards the beginning of the review, JBL generally goes by the Harman target in their tunings. This target is the product of an ongoing scientific study to produce a signature that sounds “universally” pleasant. So, I’m not surprised by the generally pleasant, articulate, and inoffensive tuning exhibited by the JBL Tune 760NC.
Bass response strikes a well balanced equilibrium, offering a fun presence without overpowering the rest of the sound signature. It provides a solid foundation of depth and impact for the rest of the signature to build off. There’s a touch of high bass warmth that comes across with a tasteful moderation that entirely avoids muddiness.
Mid range finds a realistic presence and a flat accuracy. Vocals sound as they should, with their lower mid range fundamentals falling naturally in line with their ensuing upper mid overtones. There’s not much of an expressive colorful character here, but hey, they’re perfectly accurate, and avoid the pillowy, overemphasized low-mid sound that often plagues the mid ranges on wireless headphones.
Treble follows suit with the rest of the signature, adequately expressing transient and harmonic details of cymbals and reverbs without coming across as peaky or harsh. While treble balance leaves me with nothing to complain about, there’s something about the treble timbre that maybe reveals the “economy” nature of the JBL Tune 760NC. Though its smooth and not at risk of causing high-frequency pain for listeners, it’s not quite as lush and immersive as the rest of the signature. This might just be a case of a headphone nerd like myself picking too deeply at the balance of a pair designed for more casual listeners. So that said, I don’t think the more casual listeners reading this are going to have this perhaps nitpicky criticism.
The JBL 760NC offers quite a solid and moderately-above-average sonic performance for wireless headphones in this price tier. As usual, JBL outperforms more conventional big names like Apple or Beats. Listeners are given a clean, detailed, and mostly neutral sound that, typical to Harman, holds a universal appeal that seems unlikely to offend. My only complaint at the end of the day lies with the intense clamp pressure that might give listener’s with larger heads, myself included, a bit of a squeeze. But with all qualities taken into consideration, the JBL 760NC is more than worthy of its $130 price tag – in fact, it’s a pretty appealing wireless option for its price point.