Cancelling out the world is coming to more ears and more price points, as JBL adds a couple of choices, and a couple more without.
One of the trends we expected in 2021 was the rise of better portable sound, and given the sheer number of earphones and headphones out there to pick from, it’s largely been confirmed. But it’s not just about the wide availability of solid sound, but also some of the features tricking from premium down to everyone else.
Of course, you need features to grab you, to motivate you to make an upgrade, and in the headphone world, the obvious one may well be noise cancellation.
A technology built to cancel out repeatable sounds like aircraft engine noise and the hum of a bus trains, in lockdown noise cancellation can seem rather irrelevant as we’re not taking many flights. However the technology can be used to help seal yourself in a bubble of sound, which is why it’s so useful during lockdown.
When the noise of the world is getting to be a little much, noise cancelling headphones can provide a bit of a comforting space solely for yourself, though you clearly need a pair before you can try.
Active noise cancellation technology is still a fairly premium feature, though we’ve seen it trickle into lower priced earphones recently — Nothing’s $149 Ear (1) springs to mind — and JBL also has a couple of choices on the way, as well.
Launched this week, they’re coming in the Tune 660NC and the Tune 760NC, $150 and $200 (respectively) models that bring noise cancellation with JBL’s approach to balanced audio plus some hefty bass to two types of form-factors: on-ear and around-ear.
For the on-ear variety, it’s the JBL Tune 660NC, a pair of ANC headphones designed to be portable, offering a foldable design and up to 35 hours of battery life for the $149.95 mark.
Slightly bigger, the $199.95 JBL Tune 760NC delivers the same 35 hour battery life and similar bass output, but switches to an on-ear (or around-ear) design, encasing your ear in the headphone cups — something sound experts call “circumaural” — while keeping the build foldable.
They’re not the only new headphones JBL is releasing, though the other two lack noise cancellation, focusing on sound without a significant cost, delivering an on-ear ANC-less Tune 510BT — similar to the 66NC, but without noise cancellation — for $80, while the ANC-less Tune 710BT gets an around-ear style like the 760NC for $130 without the noise cancellation, as well.
“The Tune Series has been designed for those who want impressive features and performance in their headphones, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on them,” said Marcus Fry, General Manager of Harman in Australia and New Zealand, the brand that produces both JBL and Harman/Kardon.
“You get JBL quality and Pure Bass sound from these Bluetooth headphones and some offer Active Noise Cancellation but at a sharp price that wont break the budget,” he said.
JBL’s additions are available now at retailers across Australia.