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JBL Tune 670NC review: Middling melodies

Our Rating :
£89.99 from
Price when reviewed : 90
inc. VAT

The Tune 670NC are on-ear headphones with excellent battery life and decent noise cancellation but are otherwise run-of-the-mill

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Effective noise cancellation
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Not comfortable during prolonged use
  • Feel cheap
  • Average in many departments

The JBL Tune 670NC are the American manufacturer’s latest on-ear headphones and visually very similar to their 660NC predecessors, which is to say they look fine for the money but do little to capture the imagination.

That theme continues when it comes to other aspects of the package. Besides bumper battery life and some surprisingly good noise cancelling, there’s not much to get excited about. They’re not a disaster – the Tune 670NC perform about as well as you would expect given their price tag – but they don’t do anything to stand out in a competitive market.


JBL Tune 670NC review: What do you get for the money?

The Tune 670NC launched alongside the over-ear Tune 770NC in September 2023 and have a list price of £90. They’re available in four colourways – black, purple, blue and white – and weigh just 177g.

Wireless connectivity comes courtesy of Bluetooth 5.3 and there’s support for LE Audio and Bluetooth multipoint along with SBC and AAC codec compatibility. In addition to their wireless capabilities, the Tune 670NC support wired listening via a 3.5mm port on the right earcup and JBL supplies a 120cm audio cable for connecting to analogue sources.

From a full charge, you’ll be getting an enormous 70 hours of playback with noise cancelling switched off. There’s still a sizable 44 hours to play with when ANC is switched on, while a short five-minute burst on charge will net you three hours of juice. Charging is handled via USB-C and there’s a painfully short USB-A to USB-C cable included in the box.

Sound is delivered via 32mm drivers with a stated frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.
An equaliser and various other features can be accessed via the JBL headphones app – these will be discussed in greater detail below.

On-ear headphones may not be as popular with those seeking an immersive listening experience as their over-ear counterparts but there’s still plenty of competition in the Tune 670NC’s price bracket. The Jabra Elite 45h (£78) have larger drivers and offer many of the same features, while the Marshall Major IV (£89) are stylish on-ears with a sound signature perfectly tuned for rock, punk and metal.

If you’re willing to sacrifice features like noise cancellation or equaliser controls to save yourself some money, the Sony’s WH-CH520 (£44) or JBL’s 510BT (£30) are worth checking out, too. For those willing to extend their budget above £100, the bass-heavy Beats Solo 3 (£129) are great for mainstream music, though they do lack noise cancellation, while budding DJs will be best served by the articulate and neutrally-tuned Sennheiser HD 25 (£129).

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JBL Tune 670NC review: What do we like about them?

The Tune 670NC have a warm and cosy fit. That’s primarily down to their muscular clamping force, which is strong enough to prevent slippage even if you’re thrashing your head to metal. It’s so strong that I could feel my heartbeat through the headphones when music wasn’t playing, which was a little disconcerting. There’s next to no sound leakage from the earcups, however, and the secure fit means the headphones can be worn while exercising.

Their design is pretty practical too, with earcups that rotate inwards for easy storage and an extendable headband that should fit a variety of different-sized skulls. There are also physical buttons which, while clicky, control volume, playback and switch between noise cancelling and ambient aware modes effectively.

In tandem with their strong clamping force, the Tune 670NC offer pretty impressive noise cancelling for on-ear headphones. I could barely hear any of the noise from a nearby smartphone’s TikTok feed with it on, despite sitting just a metre away without any music playing.

With volume turned up to around 60%, I felt protected from a lot of noise outdoors too – the polyrhythms of Gafacci’s Flute Queen were only occasionally unsettled by a light hum of passing traffic. These intrusions became more apparent when listening to more ambient tunes or podcasts and high-frequency attenuation is pretty much non-existent, but overall, ANC performance exceeded my expectations.

The Tune 670NC’s sound profile is as I’ve come to expect from JBL headphones: bouncy, energetic and slightly bass-inclined. Low frequencies aren’t as pronounced here as on other JBL headphones I’ve tested, like the in-ear JBL Live Pro 2, but the bass on Machína’s Trusted was tight and well-controlled.

Upper frequencies are ever-so-slightly elevated while the middle frequencies sit fairly flat as the most accurate part of the Tune 670NC’s frequency range. I have some reservations about their overall sound, as I’ll come to later, but there are certainly plenty of worse-sounding on-ear headphones available at this price.

JBL’s in-app equalisation options are among the best around and the Tune 670NC’s sound signature can be adjusted using a variety of presets or a ten-band graphic equaliser. The latter gives you free rein to tune the headphones exactly as you please and is extremely easy to use, while the presets available (Studio, Jazz, Vocal, Bass, Club and Extreme Bass) are all impactful. Of the six, Studio was my favourite, dialling back the bass a touch to create a more balanced presentation.

The Tune 670NC’s relatively limited feature set means there aren’t a huge number of other options to play around with in the companion app but you do get access to a few handy tools. The 670NC has a Video Mode that effectively reduces latency, VoiceAware settings to change how much of your voice you can hear during calls and an Auto Power off (30 min, 1hr or 2hr) feature to save on battery.

You probably won’t need to bother with that last one, however, as the battery life on these headphones is incredible. Seventy hours is an outstanding figure and makes stamina one of the 670NC’s key attractions, while fast-charging capabilities are also very welcome.

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JBL Tune 670NC review: What could be improved?

While their sound is perfectly acceptable for the price point, the Tune 670NC have a relatively narrow soundstage and would benefit from better detail retrieval across the board. I found myself regularly pushing volume levels up to around 70% in search of greater clarity and spaciousness; anything below around 45% felt quite muddy and compressed. Stereo imaging isn’t as precise as it could be, either.

The Tune 670NC may be at the more affordable end of the headphones spectrum but build quality leaves a bit to be desired. The headphones feel quite cheaply made and the plastic headband doesn’t instil a great deal of confidence in their durability. The fact that they can be folded up is useful for storage and transportation but JBL doesn’t include a carrying case, so be prepared for the surfaces of the Tune 670NC to pick up scratches over time.

The tight clamping force they exert also makes the 670NC difficult to wear for long stretches. My ears began to ache after less than an hour due to the firmness of the padding in the earcups and though they softened up over time, I found Sennheiser’s HD 25 far more comfortable during extended listening sessions. Your mileage here will vary, but if you’re after headphones to wear for hours on end, you’re better off opting for one of our favourite over-ear alternatives.

There are a few other little misses and oddities. It takes around ten seconds to switch from Audio Mode to Video Mode, which may not seem like much but was enough to discourage me from dipping into the app before changing the type of content I was consuming. There’s no wear detection either, nor useful functionality like wireless charging or audio sharing, both of which the Marshall Major IV offer.

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JBL Tune 670NC review: Should you buy them?

The JBL Tune 670NC are affordable on-ear headphones that will serve daily commuters reasonably well. Their lightweight and foldable build means they can be easily packed away without bother, while their padding is cosy for short-term use. Capable ANC by on-ear standards means you’ll be sufficiently isolated when on the move and is paired with functional controls, outstanding battery life and passable sound for the money.

However, unless you have your heart set on on-ear headphones, you’ll be able to find better quality and better value among the swathes of over-ear options out there. The likes of the 1MORE SonoFlow (£64), for instance, have a similar feature set and battery life while also supporting Hi-Res audio and offering improved noise cancellation.

And even those who simply can’t abide over-ear headphones should consider what their priorities are before stumping up for the Tune 670NC. If noise cancellation is high on the list, there’s a case to be made for them, but if comfort or audio quality take precedence, there are superior options available, including the Marshall Major IV and Jabra Elite 45h.


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