The JBL Quantum One is a powerful gaming headset optimised for Windows PCs but also (thanks to the 3.5 mm wired headphone cable) compatible with just about every other device out there too – Macs, Xboxes, PlayStations, Switches, phones and VR headsets.
This pair of headphones is very much up at the premium end of the market, with active noise cancelling, high-quality 50 mm drivers, and what JBL is calling QuantumSphere 360: immersive surround sound that aims to put you right in the middle of the gaming action.
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It's the flagship headset in the JBL line (check out some of the other options from the same brand for a cheaper alternative or two), and if you're looking for the best gaming audio experience on Windows at the moment, then it's absolutely worth considering.
In our JBL Quantum One review, we'll outline exactly what you can expect from the headset, covering everything from audio quality and setup, to the design and feel of the headphones. You can then make an informed decision about making a purchase.
JBL Quantum One review: design and setup
The JBL Quantum One gaming headset definitely scores highly as far as its design and its aesthetics are concerned: it feels really well put together, with soft and comfortable ear pads, a cushioned head strap, and robust black plastic connecting everything together. Even down to the fabric-wrapped cabling these are headphones that impress when it comes to how they look.
Volume and mic controls are easily accessible on the side of the cans, and you have the option of USB and 3.5 mm connections to whatever device you're using with the JBL Quantum One. Go for the USB option and there's a mixer dial attached, which again is well designed. The microphone is detachable, so if you don't need to chat with the rest of your gaming squad you can keep it off and out of the way.
We had no complaints at all with the comfort and feel of the JBL Quantum One headphones either. Our ears felt well cushioned and protected, safely ensconced in a pocket of high-quality audio, and we didn't notice any sort of discomfort even after a couple of hours of using the headset. Adjusting the fit of the headphones using the top band is straightforward too.
If you're connecting via USB to Windows, you can also adjust the RGB lighting on the ear cans around the JBL logo – pick from one of the supplied presets or have some fun creating your own. You're not going to notice these effects while you're wearing the headset of course, but they're a nice finishing touch to what is a very strong pair of headphones from a design point of view.
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JBL Quantum One review: features and audio
Every aspect of the sound coming through the JBL Quantum One headphones is impressive: quiet sounds are clear, deep sounds are punchy, and treble sounds are crisp. It's great for movies and music as well as games, and overall it's definitely up there with the best gaming headsets we've had clamped around our ears in terms of audio quality – even as the volume ramps up, the tiniest sonic details are retained. Audio channelled through the mic is crisp and clear too.
As well as the supplied 3.5 mm headphone cable, the JBL Quantum One also comes with a USB mixer accessory. It only works with Windows, but it lets you quickly adjust the balance between voice chat and other audio – it's stylish and solidly constructed, and it's a useful option to have. If you stick with the standard headphone cable, you get in-line volume controls and a mic mute switch instead.
If you are using the headset with Windows, you get a wealth of configuration options to choose from. Via a quick setup process where sample sounds are played to your left and right ear, you can enable the bespoke QuantumSphere 360 feature for immersive 360-degree audio. There's also DTS Headphone:X 2.0 surround sound if you prefer, as well as additional, custom-made head tracking from JBL that tries to work out where your head is pointed and then adjusts the audio signals accordingly.
These features worked well, on the whole, though they're not perfect – think of them as cool extras to have rather than anything that's going to transform your gaming experience. The same could be said of the active noise cancelling, which definitely has an impact but isn't flawless. You need the USB connection for these features, so bear that in mind when you're working out how to use the headset.
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JBL Quantum One review: price and verdict
The JBL Quantum One headset is a pricey bit of gaming equipment but we think the expense is justified: you get a whole host of features to play around with (particularly on Windows), you get two connection types to choose from, and you can use the headphones with just about every device out there, from your Xbox to your smartphone. The headset has a lot going for it, in other words.
The headphones impress as soon as you take them out of the box, with a stylish appearance and a well-built, premium feel. Even the smaller details like the 3.5 mm audio plugs look good. The quality extends to the comfort of the headset too, and we don't think you're going to have any problems using the JBL Quantum One for an extended period of time thanks to the quality of the fit and the materials used.
As for the all-important audio quality, the headset does really well here too. It's fair to say that the extra features like noise cancelling and surround sound aren't best-in-class, but they still make a difference, and in terms of overall audio performance and fidelity the headphones are hard to beat.
Take all that into consideration and the JBL Quantum One is definitely one of the best gaming headsets on the market right now, even if it's not quite perfect (and there is that cost to consider too). Absolutely put this near the top of your list if you're in the market for a new gaming headset, particularly if you're a Windows PC gamer and you want to take advantage of the extra features enabled by the accompanying JBL software.
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