JBL has been in the audio game for ages and is now jumping into gaming with its JBL Quantum gaming headset lineup. The new lineup, announced at CES 2020, includes a whopping seven headsets and one speaker system.
Not only were we given a first-hand look at the new series, but we were also invited to demo the JBL Quantum ONE (which received a Best of CES 2020 award here at Techaeris) at the Harman/JBL room at the Hard Rock Cafe. If anyone can jump into the crowded gaming headset market and make a splash, it’s JBL. The Quantum ONE demo definitely reinforced that, at least in my mind.
Building on JBL’s 70 years of audio experience, the seven new gaming headsets offer up options and price points for every gamer. The first six are PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, mobile, and VR compatible while the flagship Quantum ONE works best with PC.
“Our world-class team of acoustic engineers worked tirelessly to define the most accurate soundscape in gaming. During the design process we tested extensively with gamers around the world to develop the most advanced predictive algorithm, making every game immersive and every gamer more competitive. The JBL QuantumSURROUND™ technology is engineered to outperform the most popular spatial sound technologies available for gaming headsets today.”Pascal Van Laer, Vice President and General Manager, Headphones and Wearables at HARMAN
So what’s the difference between all the models? All headsets in the series include JBL QuantumSOUND Signature sound, a boom mic, and a 3.5mm connector. The mid-range Quantum 300, 400, 500, and 800 feature JBL QuantumSURROUND powered by the JBL QuantumENGINE PC software.
The Quantum ONE gaming headset features JBL QuantumSPHERE 360, which is quite mindblowing. In a nutshell, when the headset is powered on, the gamer looks straight ahead at their monitor, presses a button on the earcup to “center” the headset and the magic happens. With proprietary algorithms and integrated head tracking sensors, this is the first headset I’ve personally worn and experienced true surround spatial audio. While other headsets offer surround or virtual surround, the QuantumSPHERE 360 mimics a full surround sound speaker system. If someone is talking on the screen and you turn your head to the right, the voice fills your left ear. Turn your head left and it fills your right. Turn right around (which you’d likely never do while gaming but it had to be tested) and the voice comes from behind you. In other words, wherever you turn your head, the sound you hear remains in place in relation to your gaming display.
Other minor differences include detachable or flip-up microphones depending on the model. The Quantum 100, 200, 300, and 400 feature PU leather-wrapped memory foam ear cushions while the Quantum 600, 800, and ONE models are outfitted with premium leather-wrapped memory foam ear cushions.
Features and differences of the JBL Quantum gaming headset lineup include:
|JBL QuantumSOUND Signature||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|JBL QuantumSPHERE 360||√|
|DTS Headphone 2.0||√||√||√||√|
|JBL QuantumEngine PC Software||√||√||√||√||√|
|Headset Design||Wired Over-Ear||Wired Over-Ear||Wired Over-Ear||USB Wired Over-Ear||Wireless Over-Ear||Wireless Over-Ear||USB Wired Over-Ear|
|3.5mm + USB Audio Adapter||3.5mm + USB Audio Adapter||3.5mm+ 2.4GHz Wireless||3.5mm + 2.4GHz Wireless & BT 5.0||3.5mm + USB Audio Adapter|
|Integrated Head Tracking Sensor||√|
|Noise Control||Passive||Passive||Passive||Passive||Passive||Active Noise Cancellation||Active Noise Cancellation|
In addition to the seven gaming headsets, the JBL Quantum DUO speaker utilizes JBL QuantumSOUND Signature with Dolby Digital for a PC gaming speaker setup that provides a more immersive gaming experience. The Quantum DUO has exposed drivers and tweeters for better sound clarity and RGB lighting effects. The speakers are compatible with PC, Mac, Windows, and consoles.
The JBL Quantum Range will be available for purchase at major retailers and on JBL.com starting April 2020. The JBL Quantum headsets will be priced from $39.95 to $299.95 and the JBL Quantum DUO will be available for $149.95.
Are you excited for the new JBL Quantum gaming headsets? Do you think you’ll be picking one up later this spring? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe and don’t forget to check out the rest of our CES 2020 coverage.