Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

We rated this 10,999 multi-week gaming headphones, play on different titles on different gaming laptops. This is what we think.

JBL is better known for its powerful audio product line that covers just about everything under the sun. From palm-sized Bluetooth speakers to headphones, earphones and more, you name it and it’s here. And with each passing year, its arsenal has grown stronger and remains competitive in the market. But with time, one must also expand the presence. Since JBL has already made a mark in the audio segment, especially for ordinary consumers, making a debut in the gaming arena was a rather brave but balanced move. With a whopping seven gaming headphones, JBL entered the gaming segment and one of them was the Quantum 400. In the lineup, it falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

But the specs and features aren’t everything. It’s price, position in the market, rivals, everything counts. And as one of the first gaming headphones in India, where the gaming accessories market is booming at a fairly rapid pace, JBL has a lot on its shoulders with Quantum 400.

So we reviewed this 10,999 multi-week gaming headphones, play on different titles on different gaming laptops. Here’s the review.


JBL Quantum 400

JBL Quantum 400 (HT Tech)

Design

Rest assured, the JBL Quantum 400 has got it right when it comes to a design with a ‘gamer’ vibe. The over-ear headphones have a comfortable, large memory foam pad and are made of plastic. It has a glossy appearance (ear cups only). But luckily it doesn’t feel undersized and on the contrary it is sturdy. They may look heavy, but are actually still under 300 grams, so that’s acceptable for a gaming headset with large ear cups and an extra mic mount.

On the outside, you’ll also see large JBL brand logos on both earcups, which glow when plugged in and look great in RGB lighting.

The hinge is flexible enough and we found the fit comfortable even after hours of continuous use (thanks to its lightweight construction). Even the headband can bend quite a bit without making squeaking noises or being uncomfortably tight. And as for the microphone stick, it is attached to the left earcup. What we liked was that it has a flip-to-mute mechanism – meaning that when you flip it back up, the microphone is automatically muted.


JBL Quantum 400

JBL Quantum 400 (HT Tech)

While the Quantum 400 mainly excels in design and look, the number of controls on the left earcup isn’t easy to get used to. Yes, the flip-to-mute mic is nice, but on the left earcup you get the connectivity ports next to all the controls, something that makes it a bit crowded and hard to distinguish which button controls which functionality. On the bottom are USB-C and 3.5mm ports, along with a microphone mute button on the back, we don’t understand why it exists if you already have flip-to-mute, in addition to the volume wheel and game chat- rotary knob . And to confuse you even more, both the volume and the game chat button feel the same.

The foam, while comfortable, is large and covers the entire ear, resulting in sweating during long gaming sessions.

Performance

Performance is all it comes down to and the Quantum 400 doesn’t disappoint at all. From gunshots to footsteps, the stereo separation is good enough to clearly indicate the direction, especially in games like PUBG and Assassin’s Creed. And a big credit for this goes to JBL’s Surround Sound mode. It is not just a sharp left or right audio output, but rather a surround audio as the name implies. And adding this with DTS makes the overall experience better. As for in-game scenes and other games in general, the headphones perform well enough. However, we had no complaints about it.


JBL Quantum 400

JBL Quantum 400 (HT Tech)

While the Quantum 400 made gameplay enjoyable, those looking for really good performance with impressive bass and balanced mids may be in for some disappointment. We had the feeling that the bass in particular was a little underwhelming. However, it is in no way a deal breaker.

Volume levels are just about right. There is hardly any distortion when you hear explosions or loud audio at full volume. And to make it better, you can always adjust the EQ available in the software on Windows PC, which we will talk about in a moment.

The game chat button allows you to control the volume based on how loud the game volume is. And the microphone works well, according to feedback from gamers. What’s interesting is that the microphones also support TeamSpeak and Skype and thankfully don’t pick up background noise.

Speaking of software, called QuantumEngine, you can tweak a lot of settings and get the most out of the Quantum 400. What makes the whole software are six tabs: Equalizer, Lighting, Spatial Sound, Microphone, System Software, and Help. You can also save custom profiles. Notably, the equalizer gives you the option to choose from FPS, Bass Boost, Clarity, Bass Cut, Flat, and more, while the Lighting option lets you choose between different patterns like heart rate, breathing, glitch, and more. With Spatial Sound, however, you get the JBL QuantumSurround feature.

The interface is quite easy to understand and while you can experience decent sound quality without using the software, it just unlocks the full potential of the headphones for those willing to use every penny.

verdict

Considering this is JBL’s first step into the gaming headphone industry, one can say that it is quite a safe and carefully taken step rather than a bold and risky one. That’s because, despite entering a new segment, it pretty much stays connected to what it does best, making good audio products. While we’re yet to see JBL become an audio go-to brand when it comes to gaming, the Quantum 400 will certainly add to its charm.

Bee 10,999 you get a really durable and sturdy pair of headphones with balanced audio including QuantumSurround function which is impressive. There are both 3.5mm and Type-C interfaces, a flip-up microphone, large soft foam ear cups for extended use and of course the glowing RGB light to keep that ‘gaming’ feeling intact. Not to mention, the 3.5mm to 3.5mm and Type-A to Type-C cables that come in the box are really top notch with braiding and secure ends, so a little rough handling is acceptable.

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