Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Business travelEarphonesHeadphonesIn-flightNoice cancelling

REVIEWED: JBL Tune600BTNC wireless noise-cancelling headphones

Incredibly affordable and surprisingly effective, these Bluetooth cans make a play for the economy cabin

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With the likes of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM3 costing upwards of £350 – Almost as much as a long haul flight itself – the noise canceling headphones market has been crying out for a good value alternative. Not any more.

JBL Tune600BTNC headphones: design

Weighing 177g, the Tune600BTNC have an extendable headband and enveloping earcups that both swivel and fold. Although build quality is reasonable, what they really need is a protective case, which is absent from the box. As well as black, these headphones are available in pink, white, or blue.

JBL Tune600BTNC headphones: noise cancelling

Despite the rather playful assortment of colours available, these headphones get down to some serious business when we engage noise-cancelling mode using a button on the bottom of the right-hand cup. Actually, that’s a point of contention; because the buttons are close to one another, it’s very easy to switch off the headphones instead of engaging noise cancelling mode. However, once engaged the noise-cancelling mode works reasonably well. Partly because of the ear cup design, and partly because of the electronics, they do just enough to more or less cancel out the white noise of airline cabins.

JBL Tune600BTNC headphones:  sound quality

Lots of noise cancelling headphones excel at their core feature but lack any musicality. That applies as much to the brand leaders, like Sony and Bose, as it does to budget brands. JBL does not have that problem; music sounds great whether that noise cancelling mode is engaged or not, and there’s always just enough of bass.

JBL Tune600BTNC headphones: battery

Perhaps the only real issue we have with the JBL Tune600BTNC is the battery power. At just 12 hours – if you use them with both Bluetooth and noise-cancelling mode activated – they don’t compare well to the market leaders, such as Bose and Sony. However, 12 hours is easily enough for most long-haul journeys. Plus, they only take two hours to recharge.

JBL Tune600BTNC headphones: conclusion

They lack niceties such as touch sensitive buttons, or gesture control. It’s also not the most powerful noise cancelling mode around. However, since they’re nicely priced, well-designed and surprisingly effective, these headphones make for a fantastic alternative to the big brands if you’re after noise cancelling on a shoestring.

Price as reviewed: £89.99

Buy the JBL Tune600BTNC wireless noise-cancelling headphones