JBL Live 500BT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Alexa
Category: Audio > Headphones

JBL Live 500BT Wireless Headphones Review

The Swift Summary



  • Excellent 30 hour battery life
  • Quick charging
  • Useful TalkThru and AmbientAware modes
  • Connects to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa
  • Downloadable app for additional audio controls
  • Available in colours other than black
  • Signature JBL audio quality
  • No case included
  • The tiny font size on the Quick start guide might be a challenge for some

Features list for the JBL Live 500BT Over-ear headphones

  • Compact folding design
  • Over-ear style
  • Unique fabric headband (padded both sides and adjustable)
  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
  • Connect to voice assistants – Alexa (built-in) or Google Assistant
  • Quick charging
  • Large 50mm drivers
  • TalkThru and AmbientAware audio features
  • Quick switching between paired devices
  • Downloadable app
  • Included 3.5mm audio cable for wired connection
  • 1 year manufacturers’ warranty

Swift Thoughts


The product images for the JBL Live 500BTs really don’t do them justice. They look much better in person. I love the fabric head strap cover and use of matte and glossy areas around the ear cups.

I found the dark blue versions to be an nice alternative from the traditional black colour.

The ear cup padding is a little chunky, but you’ll be grateful for the extra support and comfort they provide.

Audio Performance

When it comes to audio performance you really can’t go wrong with JBL. They have a lot of experience in the audio industry.

The audio quality of the JBL Live 500BTs is very impressive. The sound stage is wide and fully immersive. There is good depth in the highs, mids and lows. There’s also enough oomph in the bass. Yes I used ‘oomph’ – it’s a great technical term, don’t knock it. 😉

For those who like to finely adjust sound balance and loudness there is even a JBL app you can download as well.

Build Quality

The build quality is very solid. After several months of daily use I’ve noticed nothing to mention here.


The padding on the Live 500BT headphones is extra thick and I found them to be extremely comfortable. Just make sure they sit firmly around your ears though.


As with all wireless headphones it can take a while to get used to the placement of buttons, but once you do the 500BTs work very well.

The TalkThru and AmbientAware features are a superb addition, especially for a headphone in this price bracket. TalkThru mode cuts your audio levels right down so you can listen to people talking to you. AmbientAware mode, through some clever audio trickery, lets more ambient noises in so you can hear your surroundings a bit better. Aside from the gimmicky names they are surprisingly useful functions that give these headphones an edge above the competition.

Swift Scores

Audio Performance
Build Quality
Battery Life


Q: Are they comfortable when wearing for long periods of time?
A: Yes. I’ve found them very comfortable even after several hours of use.

Q: Do they come with a case?
A: No.

Q: Can I make them really loud?
A: Yes. Download the app and crank it up!! 😀

Q: How good are they at cancelling outside noise?
A: Given that they are not technically a ‘noise cancelling’ headphone, the 500BTs do a surprisingly good job at suppressing external noises (passive cancelling). I was very impressed.

Q: How good are the batteries?
A: Fully charged they give you up to 30 hours playback. With the quick charge feature just 15 minutes of charging gives you 2 hours of playback.

What’s in the box?

  • JBL Live 500BT wireless headphones
  • AUX audio cable
  • USB charging cable
  • Warranty & safety info sheets

You want it? We’ve found it.

JBL Live 500BT headphones are available in 4 colours: black, white, blue and red.

JBL Live 500BT Headphones Black
JBL Live 500BT Headphones Black
JBL Live 500BT Headphones Blue
JBL Live 500BT Headphones Blue
JBL Live 500BT Headphones White
JBL Live 500BT Headphones White
JBL Live 500BT Headphones Red
JBL Live 500BT Headphones Red

Tech Talk

TalkThru feature

With the TalkThru mode on, the audio levels are automatically dipped so you can hear other people talking to you. A useful feature when someone is asking a quick question of you or you need to hear an announcement whilst commuting. There’s no need to take off the headphones, just press a button on the ear cup.

AmbientAware feature

With the AmbientAware mode on, the audio levels remain the same but through some clever audio balancing the headphones let in more external noises so you can hear your surroundings better. This is especially useful when you are out walking and negotiating traffic.

Useful accessories for JBL Live 500BT

If you’re looking for a suitable hard carrying case to protect your JBL Live 500BT headphones then I’d recommend taking a look at this one from Duragadget.

Form fitting padding inside and available in four different colours.

If you’re looking for a more compact design the Ultrashell carry case from Geekria is also suitable for your Live 500BT headphones.

Available in black and orange like the one shown or ugly bright red.