JBL Quantum One Gaming Headset (Review)

JBL has been in the audio industry for some time now, but it hadn’t quite yet cracked the gaming market. However, it is breaking waves with its new Quantum gaming headsets. Let’s take a closer look at the JBL Quantum One headset to see why these are making so much noise.

Audio Quality

Let’s get right into the thick of it before I go into features and specs. The audio quality on the Quantum One headsets is bar none one of the best. Highs, mids, and lows are so perfectly paired, I would venture to say that this is THE best audio in a gaming headset. Lows come through with a gravely richness that will make deep engine noises feel like they are rumbling in your chest.

The mids are pronounced and not muffled by the highs or lows. The dialog is very much audible and does not deafen any in-game audio. For games where highs are important, like footsteps, it will exceed expectations. Many headsets provide the audio well, but Quantum One will provide footstep audio clearly and accurately.

I say accurately because I was able to tell the exact location of the footsteps. Whether they were above or below me, or any other direction, it gave a distinct advantage. This was especially the case in games like Call of Duty and Rainbow Six: Siege. This effect is active for all audio ranges, and I am super impressed with the effect it provides. It honestly feels like an 8 channel speaker setup.

Connection Types

The JBL Quantum One has two connection types. One is via USB Type-A, and the other is via 3.5mm jack. As with any headset connection, the USB connection will provide the best audio. However, even with the 3.5mm jack, the Quantum One will still impress. There are other advantages to using the USB connection as well.

While you will still have access to volume control with the 3.5mm jack, the USB has an in-line audio DAC. This DAC provides the ability to prioritize volume based on in-game or chat. It also provides an even louder volume than what the headset provides, when you focus audio to in-game.

As with any gaming headset, RGB lighting is of the utmost importance. The lighting control is incredibly customizable. Without diving incredibly deep into lighting, the Quantum One will provide literally any kind of lighting desired. With 3 LED zones, many LED effects, and nearly infinite colors, the options are near limitless.

More USB features

USB connection additionally provides a relatively new feature of Quantumsphere 360. What in tarnation is Quantumshpere 360 you ask? Well, it is similar to what HyperX did with the Cloud Orbit headset. The headset will track your head position and provide 360 audio based on the head position. For example, if someone is shooting to your right, and you turn your head to the left, the sound will then be behind you. This works in all directions.

Seems like a gimmick at first, since you won’t be looking away from screen almost ever, but it can definitely be an advantage. Let’s say you hear footsteps from your left, but aren’t sure if they are to your left, above you to your left, or below you to your left. In this case, you can tilt your head and use those additional audio queues to pinpoint their location. This will still require some skill, however.

If for any reason the audio queues seem off or misplaced, there is a button on the headset to re-center. This will eliminate the confusion and adjust based on the head position. It is very easy to use and works well with games that rely on location.

ANC

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is another feature packed into the Quantum One. While you will feel the slightly unpleasant feeling of the ANC tone used to deafen outside noise, it is far more tolerable than the majority of ANC headsets. It works well for sounds like PS4 fans and other ambient noises. It doesn’t quite deafen the noise of a loud family or kids, unfortunately.

It can be enabled and disabled directly from the headset. A long press of the ANC button will toggle it. A short press of the button will enable mic monitoring but will deflate the in-game audio quality. In fact, all buttons and controls that are on the Quantum One left earcup are only usable when connected via USB.

All features are lost when using 3.5mm jack connections. The only features available will be on the in-line controls that are built-in. Namely a mute toggle and volume control. No ANC, RGB lighting, Quantumsphere 360, mic monitoring, or use of equalizer presets. 3.5mm jacks can do very little, so if at all possible, use USB connections if these features are desired.

PS4, Switch, and Xbox One usage

The JBL Quantum One is compatible will all major current-gen consoles. However, the PS4 and the Switch (only when docked) will work via USB connections. Xbox One unfortunately does not support USB headsets. There is another downside to using the Quantum One on consoles. Since the Quantumsphere 360, equalizer presets, and other software-controlled features require the JBL software, they are not accessible on the console. There is also a way to save the settings to the headset itself.

This isn’t the end of the world, though, unless you’re on Xbox One (stuck using 3.5mm jack). On PS4 and Switch, when using USB connections, you still have access to ANC, mic monitoring, mute toggling, and volume control. The in-line DAC will not control the in-game vs chat audio but will act as another volume control. This means you can turn it up to 11 if needed, but you may need to see a doctor though.

The volume will not affect the quality of audio either. Even when turned to 11, these 50mm dynamic drivers have 0 distortions. Just be ready for your ears to bleed, however, because the Quantum One can get incredibly loud. I have 0 complaints about audio on the Quantum One. Even if you are stuck to 3.5mm jack on Xbox One, this is still a phenomenal experience.

Comfort and Build

The JBL Quantum One is not a slender build. It is large, but the size allows for more driver motion space. This is likely why the audio quality is so well balanced. The headband provides a snug fit, without feeling like someone is trying to crush your skull. I have played for 6 hours straight and never felt the need to adjust it, and I wear glasses. That says a lot.

Given the size of the Quantum One, they are still small enough that I will wear them when gaming, but I would wear them to listen to music from my phone. The detachable mic comes with a windscreen, and honestly, this should be a standard with all gaming headsets. Its a shame it isn’t. It is made with a high-density plastic, but the headband is reinforced with metal.

The earcups rotate to easily rest on the neck. The earcups are also fitted with soft leather and a super comfy cushion. Even the headband has additional cushioning to prevent unneeded pressure to the head. I never felt the pain of wearing a headset anytime that I used the Quantum One.

Final Reaction

JBL absolutely knocked it out of the park with the Quantum One. The only limitations are the ones based on the device you are using with the headset. The unmatched audio quality and custom features make the Quantum One a no brainer, but that is also why it is priced at $299.95 USD.

If you are on console, especially Xbox One, and only care for the audio quality and mic, JBL has other Quantum headset options at a lower price with the same audio profile as the Quantum One. I was not paid to say any of this. I genuinely believe these are some of the best gaming headsets on the market right now.

Rating: 5/5 Atoms

A sample was provided for review purposes.

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About author

Nick Keogan
Nick Keogan 54 posts

I've reviewed gaming and tech for over 10 years now. I'm a family man based out of Utah. Grew up in the Greater Washington DC Area.