JBL’s top-of-the-line for gamers is packed with additional functionality, options, and features that enhance the sound and experience.
This is important because, for gamers, it is no longer enough just to offer a comfortable design and impressive sound; in fact, that is already the basic thing that all models must have to be taken into account.
In addition, in recent years we are seeing more and more releases that include additional functions; sometimes it’s RGB lighting in conjunction with eye-catching design, and sometimes it’s audio enhancements like spatial sound. These Quantum One, with a price of 249 euros, are one of the few that have all those additions, and more.
This is the JBL Quantum One
We are facing the most powerful and complete gaming headphones not only offered by JBL, but by any other brand. As soon as you open the box you realize it, due to the large number of cables and accessories that they include, you can basically plug these headphones in however you like, both via the 3.5mm audio jack and via USB-C, and that’s a preview of what to expect when you use them. The only thing you will miss is wireless connectivity, but in that case, JBL offers the Quantum 800.
But the first thing that will really catch your eye is the design. These are probably the biggest headphones I’ve ever tried, they’re gigantic, and depending on how big your head is, wearing them can be a bit comical. But the best thing is that all that space has been used to put in small aesthetic details that make it seem ripped from a robot; to say nothing of the integrated RGB lighting, fully customizable with three independent zones: the logo, the ring around the earpiece, and the notch on the front. Using the JBL QuantumEngine program, we can vary the effects and colors used, or opt for some of the six default options.
Despite how big they are, the truth is that the Quantum One is not heavier than conventional headphones. I think the key is in the materials used, plastic in practically the whole set; This means that, in the hand, they do not give a very ‘premium-feeling’, something that extends to the pads, which although they are very comfortable and thick, are not pleasant to the touch. Although these headphones aren’t cheap, they do seem like it and I can’t help but mark that as a negative. In its favor, I have to say that the build quality is at the level of other JBL products and that you will not notice strange noises as in other plastic headphones.
Technology to the top
It is difficult to criticize the materials used when it is evident that it is the sacrifice necessary for the huge amount of options and technology that these Quantum One have. Any function that occurs to you is present in these headphones, starting with active noise cancellation, a technology that we usually see in wireless models for mobile phones, but which is also incredibly useful in a gaming environment.
With active noise cancellation, distractions disappear and we can focus on the game; the built-in microphones capture external noise and the internal chips apply changes to the sound coming out of the drivers to neutralize it. The result is good, and while it’s not the best noise cancellation I’ve ever enjoyed, it has been enough to cover typing and minor noises, helping me focus better on my task. The worst thing is that it affects the sound quality. In my tests, I have noticed that with cancel activated I lost some details of my favorite topics, which reappeared when I deactivated it.
In the headphones themselves, we have a button, one of many, dedicated exclusively to activating and deactivating noise cancellation, or we can keep it pressed to activate the Talk through function, which reproduces the sound captured by the microphones allowing us to listen to our surroundings without the need to take off the headphones.
Another technology that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is spatial sound. The Quantum One are 7.1 headphones and have QuantumSphere 360 technology, capable of reproducing sound in 360 degrees; This is more than just an effect, as a high degree of precision is necessary, to the point that the headphones come with a special calibration microphone to ensure the best result. When activating the spatial sound, we must follow the steps indicated in the program, putting the microphone first in the left ear and then in the right, the algorithms will modify the sound to obtain a real surround effect, but we can also indicate details such as the diameter of the head.
In practice, it is a strange but very interesting sensation, it is as if we were using speakers instead of headphones, something striking considering that these headphones are closed and should not give that feeling of ‘spaciousness’. It is not revolutionary, nor is it a substitute for a real team, but it brings something very different and curious to our experience. Yes, I recommend using it in video games and not so much in music, where the effect can even be annoying.
Another curious detail is that these headphones can track the movement of your head. We can calibrate it just by pressing another of the integrated buttons while our head is upright, and from then on the sound will change from one earpiece to another depending on our movements, again, it’s an effect that resembles using speakers, and it’s the kind of thing you love or hate. Finally, it should be noted that these headphones are compatible with DTS to enjoy our movies like never before.
Before I have explained that we can connect the headphones through the traditional 3.5 mm connector, or through USB, but all these functionalities, including RGB lighting, are limited only to that last connection; therefore, we will not have them if we connect these headphones to our Xbox or PlayStation console, in addition to our PC or stereo with an audio jack. In return, as long as we connect the headphones via USB, the configuration will be maintained between all our devices.
In addition, the USB cable itself has another functionality, a selector that allows us to vary the volume of the game and the audio chat , giving more priority to one or the other; For example, if we do not want distractions from our teammates, or if, on the contrary, the noises of the game annoy us, we can vary the balance to our liking. Of course, you have to remember how you left it. In my tests, I was surprised that my music player sounded so low until I realized that I had to move the selector to ‘play’ all the way to make it sound the way it was supposed to sound.
The Quantum One are still JBLs and therefore, they measure up in terms of sound; however, they are not the best in this section, compared to other alternatives of the same brand.
As expected, JBL has prioritized bass and deeper sounds, in an attempt to deliver more sonic ‘punch’; This means that explosions, gunshots, and electronic music have a lot of punch, and if we have activated the spatial sound, we will feel it all around us. In shooting games, it is quite an experience.
However, that means that the rest of the range has been somewhat in the background; specifically, the mid-range loses some detail; It is something especially remarkable when listening to music, where the voices do not disappear, but they do lose importance. I would not recommend these headphones if our priority is to listen to music since at this price we find worthy alternatives for audiophiles; but if we are going to spend most of the time playing games or watching movies, and just a little with music, they really fall short.
I was much more disappointed with the quality of the microphone; our voice gets a very unpleasant metallic effect, and the bass is completely lost. It has bothered me because this is a full-size microphone that has to be attached to the headphones; indeed, it cannot be stored inside the headset despite how large it is.
The JBL Quantum One is the most complete gaming headset I have tried so far. They have a long list of functionalities and the latest technology, and that makes them stand out from other ‘gaming’ alternatives, which focus solely on the visual and design aspect.
To concentrate such a large amount of functionality in a headset, it is clear that JBL has cut back in some aspects, such as the materials used. In return, the spatial sound implementation is one of the best I’ve heard, and we have things like head movement tracking, which are really unique and special. It is more than just a detail, it is something that greatly changes the experience.
All in all, we are facing one of the main alternatives in the high-end gaming headset, a great option to enjoy our games.