The Quantum One (available on Amazon, Lazada and Shopee) is the flagship model of JBL’s Quantum gaming headsets.
This wired over-ear unit comes with 50mm dynamic drivers, active noise cancellation (ANC) technology and the JBL QuantumSphere 360 technology for its head-tracking and surround sound feature.
It has thick memory foams on its black ear cups and a comfortable head-band.
Finished in all-black, it looks pretty ordinary at first. But that dramatically changes when it is powered up via the included USB-C-to-USB-A threaded cable, upon which the ear-cups light up with a cyberpunk glow.
The lighting effects make it look like something from a sci-fi movie. They also make it the most visually-stunning gaming headset in the market.
All the controls and ports are on the left ear cup. There is a USB-C port, 3.5mm jack, microphone port for the detachable microphone, microphone mute button, volume dial, head-tracking recalibration button and ANC on/off button.
It is designed to be used with PCs via the USB-C connection. However, a 3.5mm threaded audio cable is included, allowing the headset to be used – albeit with diminished functionality – with consoles such as the Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
You will need the JBL Quantum Engine PC software to get the most out of the Quantum One. The software allows you to customise the lighting effects, create your own equaliser presets and calibrate the head-tracking and surround sound feature.
For the last feature, you need to input your height and diameter of your head, before adjusting the direction of the virtual speakers.
When used with my PC, the Quantum One’s audio quality is superb. I could hear almost every detail in a game’s environment, whether it was water trickling down a stream or the breathing of lurking creatures. I could even hear the shouts of non-player characters when the action gets chaotic.
The bass is punchy, providing lots of oomph to explosions. The ANC is stellar too – I did not realise my wife had walked in the room to stand beside me on one occasion when I was playing the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare first-person shooter. But I found the audio output a tad muffled when the ANC is turned off.
The head tracking and surround sound feature allows gamers to know in which direction enemies are closing in from, via their footsteps or the screech of bullets. But there are times it seems a bit off when you move your head too much. While it is just a press of a button to re-calibrate the head-tracking, it gets inconvenient in the midst of a virtual battle.
When using the 3.5mm audio connection with gaming consoles, you lose the surround sound, the ANC capability and the brilliant lighting effects. But the audio quality remains solid, just not as good as when the headset is USB-C-powered.
However, regardless of connectivity type, the detachable microphone does not seem to quite pick up my voice clearly. I have to move and hold the microphone boom really near to my mouth for others to hear me. Not ideal as your hand should be on the controls during virtual battles.
The Quantum One is quite expensive at $369 and pricier than similar surround-sound gaming headsets such as the Logitech G933S ($299) and the Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 ($359.90).
While cheaper than the superb HyperX Cloud Orbit S ($485) I reviewed last year, it can’t match the immersive surround sound quality of the Orbit S.
– Great audio quality
– Eye-catching design
– Cool lighting effects
– Mediocre microphone
– Surround sound only works for PC
Drivers: 50mm dynamic
Frequency response: 20Hz to 40,000Hz
Connectivity: USB-C, 3.5mm jack
Weight: 369g (body with battery and memory card)
Value for money: 3.5/5
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