American company JBL has been manufacturing quality audio equipment for almost 75 years now, so it makes sense they would eventually bring this expertise to the gaming headset market. While you might think that the market is already heavily saturated, JBL does bring a few things to the table that make us optimistic their headset range could be a huge success.
The sound quality has always been very good from JBL headsets, but even more attractive is the affordability of their premium range. Indeed, having already revealed the pricing for these headsets (listed further in this article), in a market dominated by manufacturers asking upwards of £300 for their flagship headsets, if JBL can match or even surpass the quality of their competitors, they could be real contenders.
Another factor that could play into the hands of JBL, is the excellent battery life achieved by their current wireless headset ranges. Some examples have a lifespan of up to 30 hours on a single charge, which surpasses almost everything on sale to date.
The JBL Quantum line – as they are to be named – is comprised of seven new headsets, the Quantum 100 – 200 – 300 – 400 – 600 – 800 – and Quantum ONE. Between them, these headsets cover everything from wired to wireless, and affordable to professional level headsets, with options available for all levels of gamer from casual to professional. These new headsets will also be utilising JBL’s QuantumSOUND Signature™.
The Quantum 300 to 800 headsets will be touting JBL’s QuantumSURROUND™ PC software, which adds verticality to surround-sound processing, in comparison to the typical 7.1ch surround-sound, which generally operates on a horizontal plane. This technology has the potential to offer a vastly improved, much wider soundstage, that can significantly enhance immersion. Whether an equivalent to the software will be available for consoles has yet to be announced, although all of the range will be compatible with PC, Mac, and all the major consoles, as well as with mobile and VR.
JBL’s flagship gaming headset, the Quantum ONE, employs JBL QuantumSPHERE360™ technology, which sounds similar to the head-tracking technology found in the Audeze Mobius. It was used to stunning effect in that headset, and if JBL have managed to equal or improve on that performance, it is sure to be a remarkable experience.
“Our world-class team of acoustic engineers worked tirelessly to define the most accurate soundscape in gaming,” said Pascal Van Laer, Vice President and General Manager, Headphones and Wearables at HARMAN. “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.”
Microphones will have echo-cancellation, and depending on the model will offer best-in-class flip-to-mute or detachable boom mics, which JBL claim offer crystal-clear clarity.
Check out this handy infographic, courtesy of JBL, detailing their full range, features and pricing:
The JBL Quantum Range will roll out from April 2020 and will be available from major retailers, as well as at JBL.com