JBL QUANTUM ONE Review Head Tracking Gaming Headset ANC Soundproof

A wired gaming headset with a wow factor, JBL's QUANTUM ONE propels gaming headphones by a quantum leap forward, offering a host of features including soundproofing, head tracking spatial audio, multiplatform compatibility and many more! JBL's QUANTUM ONE headset can be connected via USB connection (USB-A and USB-C) and 3.5mm aux connection to a computer, mobile phone or games console. 

The QUANTUM ONE headset has two types of spatial surround sound - DTS Headphone X v2. 0 and QuantumSPHERE 360 (head tracking), which is emulated 3D positional/ directional audio, using head tracking software to simulate the surround coming from all around you. QUANTUM ONE's head tracking works a bit like the dynamic head tracking feature in AirPods Pro/AirPods Max. As you move your head around, the sound playback changes based on the location of your head.

QuantumSPHERE 360 hightens the upper mid/treble range, which is great for hearing positional audio cues but doesn't provide the most immersive experience. For that, DTS does a much better job enhancing the bass and midrange so, you can still hear details and speech without compromising the audio game engine. When it comes to music listening though, the QUANTUM ONE headset delivers the best audio experience via standard stereo sound.

Before using the QuantumSPHERE 360 head tracking feature, you have to download the JBL QuantumEngine software and use the include calibration microphone to set it up. This is easily done via the software, which guides you through the entire setup process. During calibration, you will need to wear the headphones over the calibration microphone, which has soft orange efoam tip that inserts into the ear canal just like an earplug.

Speaking of microphones, the QUANTUM ONE headset features a deatachable boom arm microphone that plugs in snugly into the earcup via 3.5mm jack connection. The boom arm has a flexible memory wire rubber arm that you can bend at different angles. A mic foam cover is included to protect the unidirectional microphone.

Being unidirectional, it naturally supresses background noise and sounds more natural than a noise cancelling omnidirectional mic, although the amplification isn't as loud. You can adjust the mic level, mic gain and mic sidetone via the JBL software. The boom arrm mic weighs 10 grams and measures 11cm long. There is microphone audio passthrough for Xbox and Playstation (PS4 and PS5) consoles but not via the Nintendo Switch, which only works via the USB-C port.

There are two other cables included with the QUANTUM ONE headset - one with an inline mic mute/volume control and the other cable with an inline USB volume controller for adjusting game and chat audio. The USB controller is made of plastic and has a grippy rubber ring on the bottom of it that grips nicely against the desk. The volume controller wheel has a nice resistance to it and a short travel clockwise and counter-clockwise.

The cables are premium JBL branded and have a stiff braid with ergonomic rubber plugs. The USB volume controller weighs 120 grams and measures 3 meters long. The inline mic mute/volume control cable weighs 16 grams and measures 1.2 meters long. The mic mute/voluem control is located approx imately 16cm down the cable.

Everything about the QUANTUM ONE headset beefy and robust. The headband and earcups look and feel reassuringly well put together, giving you confidence the headset can take a beating. The headband has a standard yoke with tilt and swivel to allow up and down adjustment as well as rotation so, you can rotate the earcups flat against a desk. Passive noise issolation is superb with this headset and really helps the active noise cancellation. The QUANTUM ONE earcups integrate memory foam padding covered with soft real leather, which is a bit more breathable than PU (fake) leather and should not wear out as quickly either.

The QUANTUM ONE headset is not the heaviest gaming headset but at 380 grams, it has a decent weight to it, which is noticeable after a couple of hours of use. For non-stop gaming marathons, it's best going for a lower weight headset. The QUANTUM ONE headband measures 4.5cm wide, while the outer ring of the earpad measures 8.5cm wide and 10cm wide. The inner hole measures 6cm high and 4.5cm wide. The earcup depth to the driver is 2cm. The 50mm dynamic drivers are covered with a see-through close-knit mesh with bold R/L letters printed on. It would have been neat if the QUANTUM ONE earpads were user-replaceable.

The QUANTUM ONE headset has a great headband design with very comfy split memory foam padding underneath it to prevent hot spot on top of the head. The QUANTUM ONE has a medium high clamping force with a ratchet style plastic inner band for height adjustment. The QUANTUM ONE earcups have JBL chrome lettering, as well as a cool RGB light illumination that looks like a thunder lightning bolt.

The RGB lights only work when connected via the USB-C port. The RGB lighting does not turn on when using the 3.5mm aux port. The earcups have three independent RGB zones that you can tweak via the JBL software, including the timing between the RGB zones and speed effect. You cannot change the color of the RGB lighting but you can turn it off from the earcup by long pressing the mute button.

The QUANTUM ONE anc feature works similar to anc headphones, meaning it uses external microphones to subdue external sounds that are in the low to medium frequency range (e.g. bass music, fan, people chatter). The anc feature does not work via the 3.5mm audio jack connection. Only works via USB connection.

Thanks to anc and spatial sound, the QUANTUM ONE gaming headset are also great for watching movies and for video chat conferencing via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. You can tweak the audio to your liking via the 10-band equalizer inside the JBL QuantumEngine software. There is no option in the software to disable the voice prompts when toggling anc and TalkThru. This last feature (TalkThru), it's the same feature you get in the JBL LIVE PRO+ earbuds. TalkThru works jut like ambient/transparency mode, letting external sounds into the earcups, which is useful when talking to people.

The scrolling volume wheel on the left earcup uses an encoder with infinite spin and master volume functionality so, it also controls the volume output of the connected device (including the volume of a phone when connected via the USB-C port). The game/ USB voluem controller does not have master volume functionality. The volume wheel on on-earcup buttons are made of plastic. There is no on-earcup button for toggling between stereo sound, DTS sound and head tracking, which would have been very convenient.

While the QUANTUM ONE headset works with consoles, the DTS and head tracking spatial sound features only wok via PC. If you play mostly on console and don't have a computer, the QUANTUM ONE headsets won't be really suited because in order to access most featurtes it requires a computer. On the plus side, when making changes in the audio equalizer and RGB settings they do get saved into the headset, which is useful when console gaming and gaming at a friend's house. Both stereo and spatial surround sound offer good clairty for hearing footsteps and knowing where the enemies are approaching from.

The JBL QUANTUM ONE headset can also be connected directly to a phone (or Xbox controller) using 3.5mm audio connection but the volume is very quiet, which is strange because the QUANTUM ONE 50mm dynamic drivers are low impedance (32 ohms). For wired connection to a phone, it's best using the USB-C port which delivers a bit more amplification, although nowhere as loud as when connected to a computer using the JBL USB controller. The overall sensitivity of the QUANTUM ONE drivers isn't the highest (only 95dB) but the high passive isolation and anc feature make up for it, maximizing the sound inside the earcup.

The head tracking feature works great, although you have to be tilting your head for it to work. Unless you're a highly "animated" first person shooter gamer, you won't benefit much from head tracking unless, perhaps, with Sim racing simulation games.

The JBL QUANTUM ONE headphones ship inside a hard cardboard box with a plastic insert. There is no hardshell zip case for transportation, which have beeen nice given the price point of the QUANTUM ONE headset. You can buy the JBL QUANTUM ONE headset from amazon.Check out the review of the JBL Wave 300TWS

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