JBL LIVE 500BT headphones review: Reliable sound and long battery life

first_imgJBL LIVE 500BT headphones review: Reliable sound and long battery lifeThe newly launched JBL LIVE 500BT headphones come with Ambient Aware and TalkThru features that allow users to talk to people and move around in a crowd without removing the headphones.advertisement Shweta Ganjoo July 3, 2019UPDATED: July 4, 2019 12:39 IST 8/10HIGHLIGHTSJBL launched JBL LIVE 500BT headphones last month.JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are priced at Rs 9,999.JBL LIVE 500BT headphones offer in-built support for Google Assistant and Alexa.Headphones, headphones everywhere, don’t know which one to pick! Market today is full of headphones. Some focus on treble, others offer astounding bass, yet there are others that offer to keep the distractions at bay using features such as the active noise cancellation (ANC). While all these features look good, sometimes the presence of all these features can also confuse a person looking for a decent pair of headphones. Sometimes, all you need a pair of comfy headphones that offer a balanced sound and give you the flexibility to focus on your favourite music and outside noise when you want to. The newly launched JBL LIVE 500BT headphones offer users exactly that.JBL, last month, launched its LIVE series of earphones and headphones consisting of the JBL LIVE 100, LIVE 200BT, LIVE 400BT, LIVE 500BT and LIVE 650BTNC in India. The price for the series starts from Rs 2,499. Of these, we at India Today Tech got to review the JBL LIVE 500BT that packs the best of both worlds – top-notch features of the series along with the best battery life offered by the series.The JBL LIVE 500BT is priced at Rs 9,999 and it is available in India in five colours — black, blue, green, maroon and white. It comes with some of the best features – Ambient Aware and TalkThru – offered by the newly launched LIVE series. While the TalkThru features enables users to talk to people near them without having them to remove the headphones, the Ambient Aware feature reduces the music to a bare minimum and allows the headphones to capture outside noise especially when you are outside in a crowded place.advertisementIn addition to some very useful features, the newly launched headphones offer in-built support for Google Assistant and Alexa, all of which make it a great pair of headphones to walk around with. But what makes the LIVE 500BT standout from a lot of other headphones that you see in the market is that it offers a clear and balanced audio experience that remains stable even at high volume levels.More on that later, first let’s talk about the design.Comfortable to wearThe JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are around-the-ear type of headphones, which means that they blanket your ears in a way that you can forget all about the outside distractions and conveniently get lost in the melodies playing inside your ears. The headphone cups are made of soft cushiony material that is covered in a layer of faux leather. This layer is connected with the rest of the device using plastic heads, which in turn are connected to the headband via hinges. These hinges allow the ear-cups to rotate at an angle of 90 degrees right and left, which makes it easy to pack them. These hinges also enable the ear-cups to move inwards towards the headband, allow you to pack them in a more compact manner when needed. The big ear-cups house a gigantic battery on one side and controls on the other. On the left side of the ear cups is a micro USB port that can be used for charging the headphones via an accompanying charging cable. On the right side, there is a toggle switch for turning the headphones on or off. Just below the power button are three buttons, while two can be used for controlling the volume, the third can be used for invoking Alexa or Google Assistant. On the other end of the right earcup are two buttons each of which can be used for pairing the device with your smartphone and for controlling the Ambient Aware and Talk Thru features. There is also a 3.5mm jack that can be used for pairing your smartphone with the device via a wired connection.As far as the headband is concerned, instead of sporting a faux leather finish, it is made up of a fabric, which makes it resistant to sweat and hence ideal for a walk outside. The overall build is quite comfortable and ideal for prolonged usage.If you are the kind of person who loves to disconnect from the rest of the world by getting lost in their favourite tracks then the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are ideal for you.If you are the kind of person who loves to disconnect from the rest of the world by getting lost in their favourite tracks then the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are ideal for you. Granted it doesn’t have the active noise cancellation feature (ANC) feature, which is a hit among those who love to live a distraction free life, but its comfortable over the ear design ensures that no outside noise bothers you unless you choose to.advertisementReliable and smooth soundSound is the most important aspect of any audio device. And like I mentioned earlier, while some audio devices focus on the clarity, other channel their energies in packing a punch. Simply said, every audio device, or in this case pair of headphones, has their signature audio quality, which for the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones translates into offering a balanced audio experience.One major problem with a lot of headphones is that you cannot talk to people next to you when you are wearing them. This becomes a particular hassle if the pair headphones of headphones that you are using are on-the-ear or around-the-ear ones. The JBL LIVE 500BT solves that problem by allowing you to listen (and hence respond) to conversations near you in the TalkThru mode. All you need to do is press a button on the right earcup and the headphones will let in just the right amount of sound so that you can converse with people at ease without removing the headphones.Another thing, headphones usually come with the ANC feature that is designed to block outside noise completely and give you a distraction free audio experience. Generally, headphones don’t come with a feature that would let the ambient noise come in. The idea, well, is that without the ANC turned on, the headphones would let sufficient noise in. However, headphones that offer ANC are capable of cutting down the outside noise without the feature turned on as well. This is true for the JBL LIVE 500BT as well. Thanks to its design, the JBL LIVE 500BT does the noise-cutting without any specific features on board but when needed – say when you are out in the market — you can let the ambient noise in using the Ambient Aware feature. Enabling this reduces the music to a bare minimum as it lets more outside sound come inside your ears. You can access both these features by pressing a button on the headphones or by tapping the desired option in the JBL app. During my time with the JBL LIVE 500BT, I found the TalkThru feature particularly useful as it enabled me to talk to my colleagues without removing the headphones every time I turned my head to talk to them.The JBL LIVE 500BT also features in-built support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and for most parts it works flawlessly with both of them. You can ask Alexa to play your party playlist from Amazon Prime Music app or Google Assistant to pull up your favourite music video all on the tap of a button. However, you will have to reset the speaker to use it with another AI assistant once you have used it with other.Now comes the most important part of this review: the sound quality. The JBL LIVE 500BT offers a stable audio output that is balanced in nature and stable in consistency. What this means that sound doesn’t distort or lose focus with music genres or with volume level. You can listen to pop songs like Lean On by Major Lazer Attention by Charlie Puth at 80 per cent – which by the way is very loud — volume and the sound won’t bleed in your ears. Or you can listen to Shammi Kapoor classics and the music will sound as pleasurable to you as you have known it to be.advertisementDuring my time with the JBL LIVE 500BT, I found the TalkThru feature particularly useful as it enabled me to talk to my colleagues without removing the headphones every time I turned my head to talk to them.What I like about the JBL LIVE 500BT is that it offers great bass. Popular EDM numbers such as Wake Me Up and Lonely Together by Avicii and Titanium by David Guetta are clear and pack a punch that is hard to miss. You can easily distinguish between every guitar strum and every drum beat. All this sound good at relatively high volume levels. However, as you take the volume a notch or two up – say 80 per cent or above – the sound loses its clarity. Yes the sound remains stable, but songs like Ed Sheeran’s Happier, that are known for their vocals, don’t sound as pleasurable at higher volume levels as they do otherwise. A part of that can be fixed using the equaliser in the JBL app. You can tap on the Vocals option to focus on the mids. You can even try to tweak the graph above to customise your settings, which may offer some help if not much.Long lasting batteryWith the LIVE 500BT headphones, JBL promises to deliver up to 30 hours of battery life and true to its word, the battery of these newly launched headphones does deliver the promised performance when used in the wireless mode.I used the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones for over a week averaging at five to six hours every day and I had to charge the headphones only once in a span of roughly 10 days. With a battery life like that you can go on a mini vacation and forget about your headphones running out of juice in between. What I particularly liked about these headphones is that while the battery takes long to discharge, it gets charged completely in one and a half hours. Besides this, you can also track the battery status from the My JBL Headphones app.Should you buy JBL LIVE 500BT headphones?Yes. If you are looking for a pair of headphones that you can use as your second skin, or may be in this as your second pair of ears, the JBL LIVE 500BT are a great pair of headphones to roam around with. They are comfortable and compact. They offer a battery life that will serve you for almost a week. And they come loaded with features that make them ideal for outside (and even inside) use, which is all anyone, can ask for in a pair of headphones.Another good thing about these headphones is that they pack a punch and offer a stable audio output even at high volume levels. Granted that they may not offer clarity, at least not the kind that audiophiles drool over, but they do allow users to customise the sound as per their likings, which offers an instant fix for some of those issues.JBL LIVE 500BT headphones review8/10ProsComfortableGood batteryConsMids not clearGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShweta Ganjoo Tags :Follow JBLFollow JBL LIVE 500BT Nextlast_img read more

Continue Reading