Thanks to JBL, we were lucky enough to get our hands on the JBL LIVE 400BT to review, and I’m impressed despite the tight fit on my large cranium (If you’re a normie, you’ll be fine). These snazzy Bluetooth (optional 3.5mm cable included) headphones fit the bill of a light but powerful on the go headphone with a variety of applications. We put these through the ringer, listening to music and watching films, playing games, and working out at the gym. We used the voice assistants and we tried out every little feature we could, so you didn’t have to. Well, you may want to… That’s kind of the point of a review.
The JBL Live series of headphones are a mid range solution with a variety of over-ear, in-ear, and wireless devices designed for everyday use. I have never used Bluetooth headphones before, other than my wireless running ones. I always default to wired headphones, mainly because I’ve had difficulties with my own Bluetooth headphones and maintaining a stable connection in high density areas.
Let’s crack into the techy mumbo-jumbo first, and then we can launch into the review:
- Voice Assistant – Google and Alexa
- 40mm drivers
- 24 hour play time
- Optional 3.5mm cable, for no battery use playback
Like I said in the title, these headphones are very clearly not designed for the larger headed members of this planet. While length ways was fine, the feeling of the my ears being squished was enough to make reviewing these bad boys a bit of a mission. But on the flip side, my partner absolutely adored them, and loved how fantastic they felt. So small/normal head = yes no squishy, big/large/enormous heads = no, painful squishy.
Some people may prefer the stronger clamping pressure but for me it’s a no. I guess at least it meant they were less likely to fall off?
Whilst not my usual look, as I tend to prefer bigger cup sizes and brighter colours but there is something about these little bad boys that really just works. They look fantastic in person, on and off, plus they even fold up into a cute little number. The included 3.5mm cable is nice and feels part of the device rather than a tacked on extra, and the signature JBL orange charging cable is a nice addition. I honestly think these are a really cool looking set of headphones and will appeal to a lot of people. Pictures don’t really do them justice, take a look see next time you’re in your favourite electronics store.
The most important part of any headphone review ’cause we all want to be sure our stuff works. I thought I would cover sound, usability, and the extra features in this one sweet little section.
The sound is honestly great, and if it weren’t for the head crushing feeling I’d probably want a pair for myself. Both Bluetooth and 3.5mm connections are great and work perfectly on a range of devices. The range was more than adequate, meeting just above the 10m mark throughout a house and between walls even. They did start to cut out once I went outside a couple of times, but those are double brick walls so they’re forgiven!
The pass through button which lets you hear sounds around you is awesome but when active stops you from being able to adjust the volume of the sounds playing, meaning that you typically end up with more background noise than the noise you wanted. It would be nice to have a wee toggle to adjust this somewhere and tune into your surrounding a bit better. The voice assistant features are awesome and it’s wicked to see them included in such an affordable pair of headphones, but for many people will likely prove to be a gimmick.
If you’re not of the large headed community then this is a great and affordable pair of headphones with some pretty cool features. Whilst the lack of thought on sizing was frustrating, the clean aesthetic and impressive battery makes the JBL LIVE 400BT well worth the purchase. Especially considering the price! You’d be hard pressed to find another alternative at this price point with the same quality and feature set. Just try them on first.