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JBL Tune 660NC headphones in hand
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys

JBL Tune 660NC review

The JBL Tune 660NC brings wireless connectivity, active noise canceling, and great battery life to the on-ear headphone market.
By
April 5, 2023
7.6
JBL Tune 660NC
The bottom line
The JBL Tune 660NC is the best value you can get from a set of on-ear headphones. There's no companion app so you don't get many additional features, but everything the JBL Tune 660NC sets out to do, it does well. At this price, the JBL Tune 660NC is an easy recommendation for on-ear headphone lovers.

JBL Tune 660NC

The JBL Tune 660NC is the best value you can get from a set of on-ear headphones. There's no companion app so you don't get many additional features, but everything the JBL Tune 660NC sets out to do, it does well. At this price, the JBL Tune 660NC is an easy recommendation for on-ear headphone lovers.
Release date

February 15, 2021

Price

$99.95 USD

Dimensions

Ear cup diameter: 20mm

Weight

166g

Model Number

JBLT660NCBLKAM

Waterproof
What we like
Sound quality
Active noise canceling
Battery life
Bluetooth multipoint
What we don't like
Cheap design
Mild discomfort
No water resistance
7.6
SoundGuys Rating
8
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
9.7
7.7
8.0
Bass
9.6
7.7
8.0
Midrange
9.9
9.3
9.0
Highs
9.5
8.7
9.0
Isolation / Attenuation
4.7
7.3
7.0
Active Noise Cancelling
7.0
6.6
7.0
Durability / Build Quality
5.0
5.8
6.0
Value
8.5
9.0
9.0
Design
6.0
6.3
6.0
Connectivity
5.0
9.1
9.0
Portability
7.0
9.6
10.0
Battery Life
9.8
9.0
9.0
Feature
7.0
7.3
7.0
Comfort
7.0
7.9
8.0

Interested in on-ear headphones? The JBL Tune 660NC appears to be a strong contender among this increasingly rare headphones style. With wireless connectivity and active noise canceling, are these the best on-ear headphones money can buy?

Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

About this JBL Tune 660NC review: We tested the JBL Tune 660NC over a period of one week.

For the Goldilocks that considers in-ear headphones to be too small, and over-ear headphones to be too big, the JBL Tune 600NC could be just right. Anyone that commutes to school or work every day will greatly appreciate the long battery life, wireless connectivity, and active noise canceling. Frequent fliers will also appreciate the combination of portability and performance of this headphone.

What’s it like to use the JBL Tune 660NC?

JBL Tune 660NC headphones on model
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
On-ear style headphones can cause some pain depending on your ear shape.

Perhaps my biggest gripe with this headset is its uninspired design. While I don’t expect build quality in line with the best premium headphones, it would be nice to see a little more novelty in the design. The all-plastic build of the JBL Tune 660NC does little to stand out from the $10 headphones you might find at your local convenience store. There’s also no dust or water-resistance rating, so be careful where you take these headphones.

An on-ear design has inherent flaws, since the ear cups sit directly on top of your ears, rather than around the outside of them. This results in constant ear pressure. The extent of the discomfort largely depends on the size and shape of your ears, but if you’ve had a problem with this style of headphone before, you’re going to have a problem here too.

On the other hand, a major benefit of this design is how portable it is. The plastic construction keeps the headset lightweight, and the foldable on-ear design makes tucking it into your backpack easy. If you wear glasses, you might find the on-ear design more comfortable than over-ear alternatives, although this is really up to personal preference and the shape of your ears.

How do you control the JBL Tune 660NC?

A close up image of the buttons on the JBL Tune 660NC
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The physical buttons make it easy to adjust playback while wearing the headset.

There are five physical buttons on the JBL Tune 660NC, and they are all on the right ear cup. This creates a bit of a learning curve, but once you remember all the buttons, adjusting playback while wearing the headphones is easy.

Single pressPress and hold for 2sDouble pressPress and hold for 5s
+ button
Single press
Volume up
Press and hold for 2s
Next track
Double press

Press and hold for 5s

Middle button
Single press
Play/pause, answer call
Press and hold for 2s
Pair to second device, Reject call
Double press
Virtual assistant
Press and hold for 5s

- button
Single press
Volume down
Press and hold for 2s
Previous track
Double press

Press and hold for 5s

ANC button
Single press
ANC on/off, mute microphone on call
Press and hold for 2s

Double press

Press and hold for 5s

Power button
Single press

Press and hold for 2s
Device on/off
Double press

Press and hold for 5s
Manual pairing mode

Is there an app for the JBL Tune 660NC?

The JBL Headphones app currently does not support the JBL Tune 660NC. Without a companion app, there’s no easy way to make EQ adjustments to the JBL Tune 660NC or download firmware updates. You’ll also miss out on any opportunities to customize the onboard controls.

How does the JBL Tune 660NC connect?

JBL Tune 660NC on desk with cables
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
Wireless connectivity and active noise canceling make this a great travel headset.

The JBL Tune 660NC connects to nearly any device over Bluetooth 5.0. The only Bluetooth codec support you get is SBC and AAC, which is great news for Apple users, but slightly underwhelming compared to higher-quality codecs available for Android devices. With Bluetooth multipoint support, you can connect the JBL Tune 660NC to two devices at the same time. This is great for quickly switching from watching a video on your laptop to answering a phone call on your phone. JBL also includes a 3.5mm jack cable for wired listening.

To connect to your first device, simply press the power button on the headphones for two seconds and then pair from within your device’s Bluetooth settings. The JBL Tune 660NC supports Google Fast Pair, so it should instantly pair to your Android device.

Once connected to your first device, you can pair a second device by pressing the multifunction button in between the volume rocker for two seconds. Alternatively, to enter manual pairing mode you can always press and hold the power button for five seconds.

How long does the JBL Tune 660NC battery last?

JBL Tune 660N being held up by a hand, with the ear cups facing outwards.
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The ear cups are small and not very plush.

JBL states that you can get up to 44 hours of battery life out of the Tune 660NC, even with noise canceling turned on. In our testing, the JBL Tune 660NC lasted 37 hours and 9 minutes with ANC on. While this falls slightly short of the benchmark set out by JBL, it’s still incredibly good for any pair of headphones. You can easily use the JBL Tune 660NC for an entire week without having to pull out the charging cable. If you do happen to run out of juice, you can still listen to music the old-fashioned way with the included 3.5mm cable.

After only five minutes of charging using the included USB-C cable, you’ll get an extra two hours of playback time.

How well does the JBL Tune 660NC cancel noise?

JBL Tune 660NC isolation and ANC chart showing significant attenuation to high frequencies
For an on-ear headphone, isolation and ANC performance is quite impressive.

Most on-ear headphones struggle with isolation, which means hearing less of your music and more annoying noise around you. The JBL Tune 660NC counters this by including active noise canceling, which significantly attenuates low and mid-frequency sounds. ANC provides a 10dB reduction to low-mid frequency noise, which means that all background noise sounds at least 50% quieter when wearing the headphones. While this doesn’t hold a candle to the best noise canceling headphones, it’s still quite impressive for headphones in this price range.

If you are a frequent commuter or flier, you’ll greatly appreciate the way the ANC cuts down on engine noise. Moreover, the passive isolation from the ear cups almost entirely reduces high-frequency noise, which is great for blocking out traffic noises while walking around busy downtown streets.

How does the JBL Tune 660NC sound?

JBL Tune 660NC frequency response chart showing a curve that closely follows the SoundGuys house curve.
The JBL Tune 660NC closely follows our ideal consumer headphone curve across almost all frequencies.

For a wireless headphone in this price range, the JBL Tune 660NC sounds excellent. The frequency response of the JBL Tune 660NC closely follows our ideal target curve for consumer headphones. This means most people will enjoy the sound quality of these headphones, no matter what genre of music you prefer listening to.

There is a slight exaggeration to both the lowest and higher frequencies of the audible spectrum, but this isn’t uncommon for headphones in this price range. The low frequency response is of course highly dependent on the fit of the headphones on your ears.

Lows, mids, highs

We really have to nitpick to find flaws in the sound quality of the JBL Tune 660NC, as these headphones score close to perfect on our scoring system. That said, the low-end is a tad overbearing when listening to tracks with a boomy sub-bass such as GREECE by DJ Khaled and Drake. Moreover, when listening to this track the hi-hats are noticeably louder in volume compared to the vocals. This is due to the sharp boost in frequencies between 5kHz and 10kHz on the JBL Tune 660NC. This boost to high frequencies causes some fatigue when listening at loud volumes.

Can you use the JBL Tune 660NC for phone calls?

A chart showing the microphone frequency response of the JBL Tune 660NC
The JBL Tune 660NC microphone reproduces the most important frequencies for voices.

Microphone quality on the JBL Tune 660NC is perfectly fine for taking quick phone calls on the go. As you can hear in our standardized microphone samples below, the JBL Tune 660NC accurately reproduces voices from a variety of people. In the simulated noise environment samples, the headphone does a decent job of separating voices from background noise.

JBL Tune 660NC microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

JBL Tune 660NC microphone demo (Office conditions):

JBL Tune 660NC microphone demo (Street conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

512 votes

Should you buy the JBL Tune 660NC?

JBL Tune 660NC headphones on desk next to a phone
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The JBL Tune 660NC is a great option for on-ear headphone users.

If you’re in the market for on-ear headphones, the JBL Tune 660 should be near the top of your list. Great sound quality, good noise canceling, and excellent battery life—what more could you ask for?

JBL Tune 660NC Wireless HeadphonesJBL Tune 660NC Wireless Headphones
JBL Tune 660NC Wireless Headphones
Active noise-cancellation • Fast USB-C charging • Bass-heavy
MSRP: $99.95
Proving that ANC headphones don't need to cost an arm and a leg
The JBL Tune 660NC are active noise-cancelling headphones. They have the distinct bass-heavy sound of JBL products and will last upwards of 40+ hours with ANC on. Fast USB-C charging will help you out if you run out of juice.

On-ear headphones will forever be the awkward middle child between more portable earbuds, and more comfortable over-ear headphones. If you aren’t set on this style of headphone, we recommend checking out some of the alternative options below before settling on your purchase.

How does the JBL Live 660NC compare to the JBL Tune 660NC?

The JBL 660NC lays on a leather surface next to a Pixel 4a running the JBL Headphones app
You get access to the JBL Headphones app with the JBL Live 660NC.

To our continued disdain, headphone manufacturers love confusing naming conventions for their products. In your research for the JBL Tune 660NC, you’ve probably also come across the JBL Live 660NC—a similar product with a few key differences. The JBL Live 660NC is a slightly more expensive headphone but comes with a larger and more comfortable over-ear design, as well as support for the JBL Headphones app. If you have the extra money, it’s worth it to upgrade to the JBL Live 660NC model instead of getting the Tune.

What should you get instead of the JBL Tune 660NC?

The Jabra Elite 45h on-ear Bluetooth headphones next to a Samsung Galaxy S10e smartphone and wireless car keys on a white table.
The Jabra Elite 45h is a capable alternative.

There are some other good on-ear headphone options out there. The Jabra Elite 45h has great battery life, and has a nicer design than the JBL Tune 660NC, though you will have to sacrifice active noise canceling. On the other hand, the AKG N60NC has great noise canceling, but makes sacrifices in battery life and sound quality.

If you’re willing to consider over-ear headphones, you’ll find a lot of great options for under $100. The Monoprice BT-600ANC is a great value with its excellent ability to block out noise. If you really care about sound quality, check out the Sennheiser HD 350BT instead.

Frequently asked questions

As of writing, the JBL Tune 660NC is not supported on the JBL Headphones app, or any other companion headphone app.

Yes, you can listen to music wired once you run out of battery.

Since these headphones don’t have any water or dust-resistance, we would strongly recommend you don’t use these headphones while working out. Consider our list of the best Bluetooth headphones for working out instead.