• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

JBL Live 460NC Wireless Headphones Review

pma

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
3,572
Likes
7,582
Location
Prague
JBL Live 460NC Wireless headphones

The JBL Live 460NC Wireless are on-ear headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC).

Technical Specifications (according to the manufacturer)
  • Driver size: 40mm/1.57" Dynamic Driver​
  • Power supply: 5V, 1A​
  • Weight: 210g/0.46 lbs​
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion Polymer (750mAh/3.7V)​
  • Charging time: <2 hrs from empty​
  • Music playtime with BT on and ANC off:50 hrs​
  • Music playtime with BT on and ANC on:Up to 40 hrs​
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz​
  • Impedance: 32 ohm​
  • Sensitivity: 96dB [email protected]/1mW​
  • Maximum SPL: 92dB​
  • Microphone sensitivity: [email protected]/Pa​
  • Bluetooth version: V5.0​
  • Bluetooth profile version: HFP V1.7, A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6​
  • Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2.402GHz – 2.48GHz​
  • Bluetooth transmitter power: <13dBm​
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK​
  • Maximum operation temperature: 45°C​

What’s in the box:

- Live 460NC headphones
- Audio cable: jack 2.5mm to jack 3.5mm
- Type-C Charging Cable
- 1 x Warranty/Warning
- 1 x QSG/Safety Sheet

This is how the headphones look like:

IMG_4153-1.JPG


IMG_4155-1.JPG


IMG_4156-1.JPG


These are wireless headphones, but they may be connected via a cable as well. The headphones are equipped with a Li-ion battery that is placed inside the left ear cup. The battery is not removable and is connected by soldered wires into the electronic board placed in the left ear cup as well. There is a question what will happen after the battery lifetime ends, because there is no chance for a simple, user friendly battery replacement.

The built quality is very good, the feeling is solid and sturdy.

The sound is very good and neutral. There is a slight noise if the headphones are on, playing no music and ambient noise is low. During playback, the noise is not detectable by listening.

I am not speaking about the price, because it strongly depends on the part of the world you live in.

Measurements

I am not able to make frequency response measurements good enough, so I am posting a link to another review that includes plenty of measurements.

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/jbl/live-460nc-wireless

I made my own measurements of harmonic distortion, below are the results. Measurements were done at about 97dB SPL. Harmonic distortion at 1kHz was low, as well as the sweep measurement distortion, however there is a distortion peak at about 5.3 kHz and I am not able to explain its origin. With music, this is inaudible.

JBL460_2.png


JBL460_HD.png



Conclusion

This is my first wireless headphone. I like the fact that I am not connected with the sound source by the annoying cable. I also like the built quality and the sound quality. The clamp force to head is a bit higher, so after 1 hour or so the headphones start to be tiring. I am curious what will be the battery lifetime.
 
Last edited:
OP
pma

pma

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
3,572
Likes
7,582
Location
Prague
The measurements above were in the direct mode, with headphones connected via a cable. In the bluetooth mode, we use internal electronics of the headphones and we may see much more high order distortion components:

JBL460_BL_1k.png


Their level, however, remains quite low in case of intermodulation distortion:

JBL460_BL_CCIF.png
 
OP
pma

pma

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
3,572
Likes
7,582
Location
Prague
I have made an attempt to measure THD (blue) and THD+N (green) vs. input level at 1kHz, in Bluetooth mode, with NC off. X-axis calibration is in dBFS re source digital output level. Headphone volume is set to maximum by means its arrow up button. Of course, noise level is affected by the microphone intrinsic noise. Distortion seems to be reasonably low, though.

JBL460_BL_thdnlevel_Apex.png
 
OP
pma

pma

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
3,572
Likes
7,582
Location
Prague
Wireless vs. wired mode

Let's talk about differences in wireless and wired mode. There is a big advantage of the wireless mode (Bluetooth V5.0 here), that we get rid off the annoying cable connecting the headphones with the DAC, or PC, or phone. However, there are some drawbacks that should be mentioned. I made more measurements in the wired (cable) mode and also some listening comparisons between the wired and wireless modes.

  • First, in the wireless mode, the maximum achievable SPL is 92dB, according to the user manual. This is of course limited by the internal electronics that is operated from Li-ion 3.7V battery.
  • Second, there is an intrinsic noise level, in the wireless mode, that is audible without music, and may become audible if we listen to the classical music with big differences in dynamics (ppp, pp ..... ff, fff).
  • In the wired mode, we get much higher SPL and also less intermodulation distortion. This is measurable and will be shown below.

JBL460_wired_CCIF_Apex.png

Wired mode, 19+20kHz IMD, compare to post #2.


JBL460_wired_Cordell_Apex.png

Cordell triple tone intermodulation (9k, 10k, 20k).

These IMD results in the wired (passive) mode are stunning and they are better than we get from many cheap class D amplifiers (TPA32XY and similar).

As for listening comparison, wired mode is cleaner than the wireless mode. Still, wireless operation is limited by the electronics used in the headphone and by the low operating battery voltage.
 
Top Bottom