JBL Quantum One is a wired full-size gaming headphone with high-quality surround sound, stylish design, and lighting. The main “feature” is precisely the surround sound, which consists of 7.1 emulations with sensors that track head movements. The sound panorama changes accordingly—an exciting solution. In the review, we’ll figure out what’s what in terms of sound and functionality and whether the headphones are worth the requested money.
JBL Quantum One Review – Specifications and Equipment
JBL Quantum One specifications:
- Headphone type: over-ear, gaming headset
- Acoustic design type: closed with active noise reduction
- Emitter membrane diameter: 50 mm
- Headphone frequency response: 20 – 40,000 Hz
- Resistance: 32 Ohm
- Sensitivity: 114dB @ 1kHz / 1mW
- Maximum input power: 30 mW
- Sound scheme format: 2.0 with 7.1 virtual surround sound
- Microphone: yes, unidirectional on a removable flexible boom
- Microphone sensitivity: -41 dBV
- Microphone frequency response: 100 – 10,000 Hz
- Headset Connection: Wired via USB or 3.5mm AUX
- Weight: 369g
- Price: $299.95
- USB cable with remote control
- Audio cable
- Detachable microphone
- Calibration microphone
JBL Quantum One Review – Appearance and build quality
JBL Quantum One comes in colorful packaging. Here and a colorful cover and the manner of the book open. What’s inside? A lot of things:
- Headphones themselves;
- Long USB to USB Type-C cable with balance control on it;
- Audio cable (3.5mm to 3.5mm) with a small remote control;
- Detachable microphone (with soft pop filter);
- Calibration microphone;
Why do you need a calibration microphone here, and what to prepare it with? I will tell you below.
JBL Quantum One’s look is a clear application of their signature style in music models (the latest Club series, at least) to the gaming segment. The bowls seem to be of standard shape (without any rhomboids), but I even want to look at them with so many small details on them. And it does not seem pretentious, but interesting – no doubt.
Even with the backlight turned off, this model looks exactly like a gaming headset. And it’s worth turning on the backlight. There is a lot of it here, and even more settings. You can turn yourself into a Christmas tree or hang on one if there is no garland. The appearance can be seen in detail in the photographs.
I and everyone at home like the way the headset shimmers while lying on the table. Adds a festive atmosphere, which is especially important now. But when I put it on, I turn off the backlight. But unlike me, many people like it, and there is something to like it.
There are no complaints about the JBL Quantum One assembly: everything is of high quality, there are no backlashes, squeaks, and so on. Yes, the construction is entirely plastic, but it looks reliable—matte plastic (with glossy inserts), pleasant to the touch, and not easily soiled. Of course, I would like the headband base to be metal, but what do we have. The earpads are deep and thick: the inside is a soft material with a memory effect, the outside is high-quality leatherette. Interestingly, the lining of the headband is covered with a different, denser leatherette.
All controls (wheel and 3 buttons) and connectors (Type-C, 3.5 mm for audio cable and microphone) are concentrated on the left ear cup. And I want to say a few words about wires. Both are braided, as is the cable between the bowls. The JBL Quantum One audio cable is quite thin and soft, and there are no complaints about it.
The JBL Quantum One’s USB cable is very thick and solid. It is prone to confusion, to maintain an awkward shape, not the most convenient option. It also has a game and chat balance regulator. It is quite large, and it spins comfortably, it stands securely on the table, there is even an indicator so as not to lose it in the dark, for example. Well, the tangled cable (and it often gets tangled) constantly strives to turn this remote control over.
And the very idea of this regulator seems to be ambiguous. Why build such a large remote with only one function? Which for fans of single players, for example, is not needed at all. Ideally, you could make a wheel on the right bowl, and that’s it: you can’t confuse it with the volume and there is no extra piece of plastic on the table.
The last thing I would like to note is that this model is larger than many analogs in size. And on the head, it looks accordingly. And just to summarize, we can add that the headphones look interesting, assembled with high quality. Yes, there are some nuances, but nothing critical.
JBL Quantum One Review – Comfort and connectivity options
JBL Quantum One is quite comfortable headphones. You can stay in them without discomfort for about 2 hours, after which it is felt that the ears are overheating. The ear cushions are very tight, and the construction is closed – here is the bath for the ears. However, they have excellent sound insulation (even passive, without noise reduction) due to these same features. And the fit is generally comfortable: the weight is distributed well, any ears will fit into the ear pads, the headband does not rub. They were overheating only.
Frankly, it is useful to break away from the game every 2 hours, I know from myself.
I don’t need that much sound isolation in gaming headphones. I want to roughly imagine what is happening around in the room when I play. And here it is not only that the earpads already cut off almost all sounds (unless, of course, you are playing right next to the high-speed track or airfield), but also the noise reduction is quite working. It crushes well the hum of computer coolers, air conditioners, and the like. If you sit in an empty room, put on headphones (just, without sound in them), you no longer hear anything except the computer’s noise (in my case, 4 coolers after all). Turn on noise reduction – that’s it, vacuum.
Moreover, the ANC quality here is worse than that of the leaders in the segment of headphones with active noise cancellation. But for the home – more than enough. Share in the comments if you need such soundproofing in gaming headphones.
JBL Quantum One gaming headphones can be connected to your computer in two ways :
- Via USB. The main option. With this connection, all the possibilities are available: surround sound, backlighting, setting through the application. There are no problems. The wire is long, the segment before the balance regulator is also not short; it is enough. However, as mentioned above, the wire can very easily turn this remote control over, so it is worthwhile to choose a place for it thoroughly.
- Audio cable. In this case, all electronics in the headphones are turned off, and they work in passive mode—no backlighting and surround sound. The microphone and control panel is on the wire, conveniently located. Simultaneously connect (to work) USB and 3.5 mm will not work. The wire is long enough to connect to the system unit on the floor.
JBL Quantum One comes with a detachable gooseneck pop-filter microphone. Voice quality is average for gaming headsets, and this is quite enough for a comfortable game. Speech is transmitted well, legible. Sometimes you may need to raise your voice a little, but this happens naturally often. The microphone will often pick up ambient noise, but only in the near field. And they don’t interfere with communication.
JBL Quantum One Review – Management and capabilities
The JBL Quantum One controls are located on the left bowl, and the remote on the cable. The remote is a simple game and chat balance twist, and everything is straightforward. And here’s what’s on the bowl (top-down):
- Noise-canceling button. Pressing – turning on / off noise cancellation (there are voice prompts), holding – activating the TalkThrough mode (the sound in the headphones is muffled and ambient sounds are heard, you can answer something if someone contacted you).
- Centering button. Need, which is logical, to center the sound. It is a volumetric panorama based on head movement sensors. I press every time I put it on and look directly at the monitor. Centering periodically gets lost when the headphones are on the table—apparently a common thing.
- Volume wheel. It turns quickly enough, but you can’t accidentally turn it; the movie is comfortable. The system volume is regulated, and not separately in the headphones, separately in the OS.
- Microphone mute button. The microphone is muted by pressing. And holding it turns off / turns on the backlight.
Everything seems to be okay. But I miss the physical on/off button for surround sound. And some analogs have such an opportunity. Without an application, you will not be able to use the model’s main “feature.” By the way, it won’t work when connected to a PS4, for example, or a phone.
JBL Quantum Engine App
The JBL Quantum Engine proprietary application (can be downloaded from the official website) offers many possibilities. Here are the main ones:
- Equalizer. 10 bands and multiple presets
- Backlight. Setting up three zones separately, while the setting is very detailed (you can add many colors to one zone). There are also ready-made presets.
- Spatial sound. The most interesting point. There is a DTS surround sound option, but this is better suited for movies. But for games – JBL Quantum Sphere 360 (unlike JBL Quantum Surround in the 800th model, e.g.). And for its first setup, you need to use the same calibration microphone. It’s simple: instructions appear on the screen. We connect this microphone to the standard connector, insert it into the left ear (it is best to crumple the ear cushion well, insert it into the ear and wait until it straightens out there), then put on the headphones and run the test. Then we do the same for the right ear. A couple more clicks and calibration is complete. Further, in the settings, you can select the advanced mode, adjust the head size and height (do not significantly affect the sound in my experience). Of course, you can calibrate again and check the channel setup. There is a centering button in the upper right corner of the application window – an analogue of the physical one on the bowl.
- Microphone settings. The volume and audibility of your voice.
- Updating the firmware.
- Help section and FAQ.
Visually, the application is beautifully designed. Brutal, one might say. Also, in the window, you can find an indicator of ANC and TalkThrough activation. You can turn off the spatial sound and sensors, a microphone, adjust the balance of the game/chat, and more. The app as a whole succeeded. The only moment, it does not provide for switching between headsets. Therefore, if you have 2 or more models, there will be some difficulties. For a specific model to appear in the application, it must be connected first. Or the only one. And then to configure another, the first must be disabled.
JBL Quantum One Review – Sound quality
The JBL Quantum One gaming headset won’t let you down with sound quality. Excellent virtual volume and localization of sources for games. Not a bad choice for music if you like dark sound (bass are accented, treble is simplified). Among the competitors, they are distinguished primarily by the implementation of surround sound. Previously such an option (with sensors) could only be found on much more expensive models.
- Low frequencies (LF). The bass here is “JBL-evskiy”: accentuated, but not too elastic and powerful. Explosions and shots sound rich, and the music creates a good “base” for the composition. There is no dirt and excessive bloat.
- Medium frequencies (MF). By themselves, they are even, but at the lower end of the range, they are somewhat lost behind the low frequencies. However, no losses are felt in games. You will hear an explosion, and footsteps, and a conversation against the background of all this (apparently, about who went somewhere after the explosion).
- High frequencies (HF). They are smoothed and simplified. However, not to the level when they are not heard or heard “through the blanket.” In games, no inconvenience is delivered. Conversely, potentially harsh sounds are sometimes smoothed out.
- Scene (volume). So we have a traditional 7.1 emulation with a “Jibiel approach” (slightly less wide than analogs, but more voluminous), supplemented by a shift in the sound picture depending on the head’s position. I must say right away that the effect of motion sensors when playing on a small monitor is not particularly noticeable. This is a trick for VR or some very large displays. But in general, it sometimes turns out to be interesting: if in the game you are in a cave, especially. The head’s minimum turns are also monitored. If there are many sounds around (echo in a cave or, say, the noise of a city), then the effect will be more or less noticeable. If we talk about the implementation of surround sound in general, then it is very high quality. The sound picture is wide (obviously wider than the head) and worked out in-depth. The dynamic range is good, and quiet sounds are not lost against the background of loud ones. Sources are localized perfectly; the only thing that the direction up and down is not always clear, however, like most analogs. In stereo mode, the localization of sounds is just as good, but the immersive effect is lost. It’s even better for competitive games, though.
- Detail and naturalness. This is more about music. And here, everything is at an average level. Bass sounds have a certain synthetic color (the same contrabass has many “parasitic” overtones), the upper frequencies can sometimes be muffled. If we talk about games, then there are no complaints: natural sounds seem natural, I did not notice the loss of detail.
- Musical genres. It is better to listen to music in stereo here. Although, to be honest, in this version of the 7.1 implementations, the music did not cause sharp rejection in me. Sounds quite interesting “in volume,” only the instruments are smeared throughout this volume. In stereo, it is quite good. By the nature of the presentation, modern synthetic genres are better suited to headphones. Electronic bass sounds juicy, energetic delivery, enough detail. Something tricky and with an abundance of live instruments is not so pleasant to listen to, but it is possible. Honestly, not every gaming headphone (even in this price category), in principle, can listen to music without negative, but here you can.
- Applications (games, movies, music). This model may well become universal home headphones. We turn on surround sound from JBL and play, switch to DTS – watch movies. While JBL can be kept as well, each has its advantages. I found DTS more interesting for films. Well, if you switch to stereo, you can listen to music. An audio cable can, if possible, even connect to a TV, for example, or to a telephone. Although I don’t see these headphones as portable ones – they are too oversized.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning the option of connecting via an audio cable. Only stereo sound works here because, as mentioned above, the headphones go into passive mode. It is very similar to stereo when connected via USB, although some differences can be found. It is quite comfortable to play in this variant, but the immersion effect is worse.
JBL Quantum One Review – Summary
JBL Quantum One is an interesting gaming headphone. The original implementation of surround sound brought the head tracking function to a slightly more budgetary segment, which is not bad. However, it cannot be the main reason for buying this model since the effect is not so noticeable on a regular monitor. Overall, the price seems reasonable. It’s not that very expensive headphones, but they contain all the gaming “chips” from the backlight to the same motion sensors. Of course, only the wired connection is partly frustrating. But this is not a mistake, but positioning.
- High-quality sound (+7.1). A fascinating implementation of surround sound. The immersion in the game is excellent. You can play with motion sensors; they add (a little, but still) involvement. Excellent localization of sound sources, good dynamic range. Online competitive games can be played in stereo, and positioning is also very accurate. The headphones are also suitable for listening to music, especially modern popular genres.
- Comfortable fit. This headset is not a record holder for comfort, but you can stay in it for 2 hours without inconvenience, which is already good. The weight is distributed well, the ear cushions are soft, deep, and pleasant to the touch, and the headband pad does not push or tire.
- Interesting design and lighting. Even with off garland backlit headphones look gaming; you just have to look at the cups and headband’s texture. And if you turn on the backlight, then we get a very beautiful gaming headset for fans of a bright appearance.
- JBL Quantum Engine app. Functional and stable. Of the interesting features: detailed settings for surround sound, backlighting, and the presence of an equalizer.
- Excellent soundproofing. Even without noise cancellation, it is better than most gaming headsets. Again, in my opinion, this is a dubious plus, but I’m sure many will like it. It helps to immerse yourself in the virtual world – for sure.
- Do not enable surround sound without an application. For many, this will not be a disadvantage, but it seems to me that the main feature should be included without downloading the application. Moreover, because of this, you cannot turn on surround sound, for example, on the console. PC only.
- Not a very convenient USB cable. Too tight. Because of this, it is prone to confusion. And turning over the balance adjustment panel.
- Work only in passive mode via an audio cable. There is no built-in battery in the headphones. If you connect with an audio cable, then the USB will have to be disconnected (they do not work simultaneously), which means that the power is lost. Backlighting and all volumetric effects disappear. And it would be nice to build in at least a small battery so that you can bring surround sound to platforms other than PCs. Although, perhaps, this would significantly increase the weight.
- Landing features. Ears start to overheat after 2 hours with headphones. This is not an unambiguous minus, but many models in which the “bath” does not come so quickly. Although, nevertheless, this model is more comfortable than not.
- Game/chat balance panel. In my opinion – not the most successful implementation. Yes, it is convenient to turn. But why not make this setting with the knob on the right earcup (so as not to be confused with the volume on the left)? Why do I need this little piece of plastic on the table? But this is a nitpick, of course.