JBL announces new slate of headphones and wireless earbuds

Woman's hand next to JBL Live 670NC headphones in rose.
(Image credit: JBL)

What you need to know

  • JBL is launching three new pairs of Live earbuds: Buds 3, Beam 3, and Flex 3.
  • It's also launching three new pairs of over-ear headphones with the Live 770NC, Tune 770NC and Tune 720BT.
  • There are three pairs of new on-ear headphones with the Live 670NC, Tune 670NC and Tune 520BT.
  • JBL will also release its first pair of open-ear headphones called the Soundgear Sense.
  • The trio of Live earbuds will be available in summer 2024, while the Live and Tune headphones, along with the Soundgear Sense, are coming in the spring.

JBL won't be overhauling its slate of headphones and wireless earbuds at CES 2024, but it announced new models coming this year. The latest earbuds will come in three different pairs, though two, the Live Buds 3 and Live Beam 3 have the same exact features and performance, so you get to choose between which type fits your ears better or suits your tastes. As for budget, they'll each come in at $200.

The Live Buds 3 are "dot-style" buds like any other pair where the whole body sits in your ear, whereas the "stick-style" Live Beam 3 look more like AirPods with their stems hanging down. The Live Flex 3 are "open type stick," meaning they're like the regular AirPods — no removable ear tips and only an exposed slit to hear playback.

JBL is also bringing back the 1.45-inch LED screen introduced in the Tour Pro 2 in 2023 to all three pairs. The screen on the case will enable easy access to various functions on the Buds 3, Beam 3, or Flex 3, like active noise cancelation (ANC), ambient sound, EQ, volume, skipping/repeating tracks, and battery life. It will show the remaining battery life for both earbuds and the case itself anytime you want to see it. You can also manage all these features and settings in the JBL Headphones app, including multipoint to stay connected to two devices simultaneously.

JBL Live Buds, Live Beam and Live Flex in composite image.

(Image credit: Android Central composite)

Specs and features are almost identical across all three otherwise. JBL is giving them the hi-res audio treatment courtesy of LDAC codec support, along with spatial audio. The company claims ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and call quality will be better because of the six onboard microphones, though that also depends on how good passive isolation will be in how snug the fit is. The Live Buds 3 are slightly lower in rated battery life at up to 10 hours per charge with ANC off, compared to 12 hours for the other two. Each case provides an extra three full charges. Additionally, The Live Buds 3 and Live Beam 3 have IP55 dust and water resistance compared to the IP54 rating for the Live Flex 3.

All three will come in the same black and silver color variants, with availability beginning sometime in summer 2024.

A pair of wired earbuds in the JBL Tune 310c are also coming at a bargain $25 price, which the company calls "hi-res" because of the 9.2mm drivers and USB-C connectivity. There's a three-button inline mic with access to an EQ through the JBL Headphones app and a flatter cable to avoid tangling. The Tune 310c will come out in the spring, sooner than the wireless earbuds.

Tune headphones, plus Soundgear Sense debut

Man wearing JBL Live 770NC headphones in white.

(Image credit: JBL)

Of the new over-ear and on-ear headphones, the $200 over-ear Live 770NC are the most feature-rich, including Personi-Fi 2.0, JBL's own custom tuning feature within the Headphones app, and spatial audio applicable to any stereo content. ANC is more adaptive with the Live 770NC, adjusting based on your surroundings. The $130 on-ear Live 670NC are basically the exact same headphones, save for the different styles.

The Tune 770NC, meanwhile, shares a lot with the $100 on-ear Tune 670NC. For starters, JBL bumps battery life up to 70 hours per charge (with ANC off), and only a five-minute quick charge is enough to get up to three hours of playback. 

JBL's Pure Bass sound profile promises to add some weight to every track, though you can always adjust sonic preferences in the JBL Headphones app. ANC will be more adaptive here because the Ambient Sound feature can adjust the intensity based on how much noise is going on around you.

Multipoint support simplifies staying connected to two devices at once while you still get your choice between voice assistants, be it Google Assistant or Alexa. The Tune 670NC lines up exactly the same on the spec sheet, so the only real difference is the size of the ear cups. 

If you're willing to give up ANC, you can try the $80 Tune 720BT over-ears or the $50 Tune 520BT on-ears. Here, too, specs largely match up as far as audio and feature upgrades go, though you get longer battery life with the 720BT at up to 76 hours per charge. The Tune 520BT maxes out at up to 57 hours. A five-minute quick charge with either pair gives you up to three hours of playback.

All of the new Tune headphones will be available in March 2024 and come in black, blue, gold, and white. 

JBL Soundgear Sense in an open charging case.

(Image credit: JBL)

Open-ear headphones are a growing category, and JBL is entering the fray with the Soundgear Sense. The Sense uses air conduction through JBL's OpenSound technology to play audio to your ears without the headphones covering them. Like earbuds with ear hooks, these anchor the same way, with the neckband offering additional stability. 

You can detach the neckband from both ends, effectively turning the Soundgear Sense into truly wireless open-ear headphones. JBL insists the bass response will be strong — and sound leakage minimal — despite the open design. You get up to six hours per charge, with the charging case giving you another three charges for 24 hours total. 

The Soundgear Sense will start at $150 and come in black and white variants when they launch in spring 2024.

Ted Kritsonis
Contributor, Audio Reviewer

Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.