JBL Quantum One Gaming Headset Evaluation

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JBL is lastly stepping into the gaming enterprise. The longtime speaker producer will launch its “Quantum” line of gaming audio gear this spring, together with seven gaming headsets at varied worth factors, and a desktop speaker set. On the prime of the heap, the Quantum One exhibits that it has what it takes to compete and excel as a headset-maker. Pumping out a high quality sound and delivering top-of-the-line bells and whistles like head-tracking and lively noise canceling, the Quantum One exhibits that JBL is aware of precisely the best way to calibrate its audio experience for gaming.

Design and Options

The Quantum One’s headset design splits the distinction between “gamer” model and conventional, minimalist audio look to create a synthy soft-cyberpunk aesthetic. Although the physique is constructed from molded black plastic, the Quantum has colourful accents scattered throughout – a brilliant orange “R” and “L” painted on the material within the earcups and a three-part RGB lighting scheme on the edges of the cans.

It additionally has a stable match, if a bit on the free aspect. The highest band is fairly broad, so whereas there’s some stress holding the headset in place, it doesn’t really feel such as you’re getting squeezed. Although it was a terrific match for me, I might additionally see it feeling a bit free on smaller heads. Each the highest band and earcups are effectively padded with leatherette-covered artificial reminiscence foam cushioning: Although it appears prefer it needs to be heavy, the 369 grams by no means weighed me down.

Wanting nearer on the cans, there are a whole lot of inputs and I/O. Every thing is on the left aspect, together with a sturdy suite of on-set controls: Mic mute button, a quantity dial, a fast head-tracking recalibration button, and a “speak by means of” button to disable the lively noise canceling. You even have the ports for the mic, a 3.5mm jack for a direct connection on consoles, and a USB-C port for connecting by way of USB, which you’ll want to make use of the head-tracking. The USB-C to USB-A cable additionally contains a easy chat/game-audio mixer, which is useful when calibrating audio in multiplayer.

Talking of which, the Quantum One’s lively noise-canceling looks like an enormous improve, even when it isn’t new or modern expertise. Lively Noise Canceling, which performs a low-frequency tone to dam ambient sound, is comparatively widespread in high-end headphones, however hardly ever finds its manner into gaming headsets. It ought to, although: Blocking outdoors noise makes it simpler to listen to the nuances of the sound of a sport (or music, or Netflix). Even when enjoying alone in a quiet room, it blocked the sound of my PC’s or console’s followers: I didn’t understand how distracting that sound might be till I labored for every week with out listening to it.

Contained in the cans, the Quantum One sports activities 50mm drivers, which ship a sophisticated, sharp sound. There are specs that help this, in principle, although I’d argue there isn’t anyone component that immediately interprets to a greater sound: At 114 dB, the Quantum One has a better sensitivity than the typical headset, which suggests it’s coming in louder (and probably clearer) even at decrease quantity. It has the identical 20-40,000Hz “Hello-Res” frequency response that you just have a tendency to seek out in high-end headphones, however hardly ever in gaming headsets. These are robust indicators of high quality, however in the end the proof is within the sound. The place many headsets, even good ones, are available a bit bassy and may get a little bit fuzzy when there’s an excessive amount of occurring, all the things that comes by means of the Quantum One feels balanced and clear.

Possibly the one actual low level on the Quantum One is its removable microphone. The quick, bendable growth is roofed with a rubbery plastic that doesn’t really feel like a high-grade product. It really works advantageous, nevertheless it’s simply advantageous. I usually have a tough time getting a headset mic proper the place I need it, however it may be particularly robust to seek out the very best placement with the Quantum One mic since you don’t have a lot bendable arm to work with.

Software program

JBL created a brand new configuration app, QuantumEngine, for its Quantum line of gaming headsets. The app means that you can regulate the audio combine within the headphones, and save customized audio profiles, along with the pre-made settings accessible out of the field. For the Quantum One, the app is crucial, because it means that you can calibrate the headset’s head-tracking and spatial audio, and configure the RGB lighting on the cups.

QuantumEngine appears clear and is straightforward to navigate. The areas of customization are clearly damaged down, and every class matches on a single panel. And but there are a surprisingly giant variety of settings to tweak. When trying on the Sphere360 spatial audio, you possibly can regulate digital speaker positions, your physique top and head diameter to excellent how the simulated sound hits you. The place most headsets with RGB lighting have a single glowing component, the Quantum has three customizable areas which may be set to comply with lots of the similar patterns discovered on keyboards and mice.

That stated, JBL is clearly nonetheless working a number of the kinks out of the software program. For a lot of my testing, the head-tracking appeared to lose monitor of its alignment very simply. This appears to have been fastened with a latest patch, however I nonetheless discover it must be calibrated on startup. It’s very simple to calibrate and solely takes a second, however having to take that step each time looks like an imposition.

Gaming

Crucial factor about any gaming headset is the way it sounds. Over the course of some weeks, I examined the Quantum One with a number of video games throughout PC, Xbox One, and PS4, together with Name of Responsibility: Fashionable Warfare, Doom Everlasting, Teamfight Techniques, Ori and The Will of The Wisps, and Nioh 2.

Normally, the Quantum One outputs clear, nuanced soundscapes. The bass booms. The mids sing. The highs whine. Even when utilizing a direct 3.5mm connection, which doesn’t permit for 7.1 encompass sound or head-tracking, you hear a whole model of the music and sound results that you could be not get on cheaper audio gear (like your TV’s audio system). You get most out of the distinction in sound high quality, I believe, in a sport like Doom Everlasting, the place you actually need to hear each guitar lick, but in addition want to obviously decide up the crackling sound of a fireball whizzing in direction of your head.

The encompass sound, notably when mixed with the spatial audio and head-tracking software program on PC, could be very exact. You may comply with an enemy’s actions in Fashionable Warfare by following their footsteps. It’s notably cool to note how the sound positions to match your head actions IRL. Saying that these options work precisely as they’re presupposed to doesn’t essentially sound like excessive reward, however it’s. Secure, dependable positional audio builds immersion in a refined, but in addition wonderful manner.

Buying Information

The JBL Quantum One gaming headset might be accessible at main electronics retailers for $299 beginning Could 4, 2020.

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