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Audio = Ground Zero: JBL Quantum Series

In a world of audio gadget offerings crowding the market, JBL has established itself as a brand catering to a wide array of price brackets with premium products. While my focus is usually firmly set on traditional headphones and speakers, I was recently in the market for a solid, quality gaming headset with the objective to find something that would delivery in the realms of both noise cancellation and sound quality.

Enter JBL’s Quantum ONE, for which claiming that it comes equipped with a myriad of unique features would be an understatement par excellence.

Sturdy in appearance, wired in nature and designed with the PC as its foremost platform in mind, audio spatialization and head tracking prove to be characteristics that lend themselves specifically well for gaming and the fact that it excels in terms of active noise cancelling (ANC), is a feat that is seldomly achieved by competitors.

There are few things that will ruin your listening experience like an uncomfortable pair of headphones. Quantum One’s extensive padding on the easy-to-adjust headband and ear cups, the rotating nature of which allows for the headset to lie flat on a surface, demonstrate evidently that not only bit of time and effort has gone into the design process but that emphasis was put on the usage of quality materials.

In term of connectivity options and control features, offerings border on the excessive: Be it volume, a detachable microphone, muting, the ability to toggle between active noise cancelling or the possibility to centre the headset while using the JBL’s trademarked Quantum SPHERE 360 7.1 surround head tracking, which greatly adds to feeling fully immersed in your respective gaming context, this little number has got you covered:

The Quantum ONE is centred around intuitively customising your own preferences with the touch of a button. For advanced streamers, the option to calibrate and balance the volume of the game they are playing versus other audio input will come in especially handy.

Accompanying the hardware is the Windows-based JBL Quantum Engine software package, geared at audio spatialization and further enhancing the audio features, including but not limited to EQ levels, the intensity of the RGB lighting and, as we have still not peaked yet in the realm of taking customisation to the next level, an in-ear microphone aimed at assisting the software to further calibrate the headset to your ear shape for optimized surround sound.

Summa summarum, JBL Quantum ONE with all its impressive features and sound performance is a clever choice that despite being PC focussed, is still compatible with a large number of gaming consoles and handheld devices. A high-end gaming headset that not only lends itself very well for a wide range of games but one that excels with its active noise cancelling performance in a realm where most gaming headsets lack severely. Talking of streaming: To complement the offering of the Quantum series, JBL offers its first standalone USB microphone catering to gamers, streamers and podcasters: Solid in nature and equipped with a removable desk stand, it offers the possibility to be either mounted to other stands or booms.

Not dissimilar to the aforementioned Quantum One headset, the microphone is geared towards gaming and comes also equipped with the Quantum Engine software to install the driver that grants access to menus allowing the customization of various settings.

I found the Quantum microphone to be performing particularly well when attached to a boom stand when recording myself directly but it works equally well omnidirectional, i.e. when placed in the middle of a conversation held by different protagonists. The fact that it allows to easily switch between those options is another welcome feature.

Given Quantum Stream’s affordability and USB accessibility, it offers an easy-to-use and reliable light weight entry-level means to both capture and broadcast your emissions and thereby adds another accessible jewel in the crown of JBL’s Quantum range.

Call me old-fashioned, but I do appreciate a traditional alarm clock with FM radio capabilities on my bedside table – all the better if it comes equipped with a Bluetooth speaker, USB charging abilities and with an LED screen, all of which comes together in terms of function and form with JBL’s Horizon 2.

Small, compact and easy to set up, controls – including a tactile volume control dial, snooze button and an auto-dimming ambient light emitting a warm glow at the back of the speaker - could not be more intuitive and it terms of audio experience, you would find yourself hard-pressed to find a similarly sized speaker with a more powerful and on-point performance.

With the emergence of the multi-functional Horizons 2 I bid adieu to the days where I was looking to retrieve my mobile phone in the dark to turn off the myriad alarms and instead rely on an elegant digital clock that is not only easy on the eye but subtly blends in with about any room décor.


image from company website

T • October 25, 2022


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