JBL surprised me earlier this year with their new range of gaming headsets. The Quantum 800 headset is the highest point of their mid-range peripherals. Does it hold up? Yes. Are there caveats? Also yes.
Starting off, the JBL Quantum 800s are functionally great. You get some solid sound, with background music and effects especially coming through crystal clear. I thought a couple of times that external music was bleeding through into my gaming time, when it was actually notes in ambient music I hadn’t noticed before.
The mic is also good, with a nice loud click letting you know when it’s live or not, even if the first time you hear it you think you may have snapped something. As someone who sometimes has loud conversations with his cats mid-game, being assured that I’m muted is a godsend.
Because no, GamerBro66, I’m not telling you you’re a very good boy. Stay on the damn payload.
… Boom boom
The build quality of the JBL Quantum 800s is… well, it’s decent. Certainly better than the Quantum 200s, as I’d hoped, but still a full plastic build. This makes the headset pretty light, but also means there can be a bit of creaking from the earcups and headband. While in no way bad, I had maybe expected a little more from the 800 model than this.
Design-wise, the Quantum 800s aren’t flashy gimmicks. In fact, they’re pretty understated, which I really appreciate. The angle of the 2mm jack still gives me goosebumps, but the woven cable is very nice as long as the cats don’t get to it.
Get your head in the game
The USB adapter for use with consoles or PC for wireless fun time is ludicrously large. Like, it’s an entire USB drive. This bodes well if you’re liable to lose the thing, but aside from that it’s not really throwing out any advantages.
But hey, that’s what 2mm jacks were made for, amirite? And that’s still easy as audible pie to use, meaning that even if you’re port-poor, you can still enjoy some killer audio.
Over the long term sessions, the JBL Quantum 800 maintain their comfort, with the leatherette padding being pleasantly soft and non-abrasive. Your ears may get a little sweaty, true, but that’s par for the course with noise-cancelling headphones, and fixing that is the Philosopher’s Stone of audio engineering.
‘Ear that, guvvnor?
Speaking of noise-cancelling, The Quantum 800 headset is rocking two kinds of tech to make this happen; passive and active. The passive is, as mentioned, the almost impervious earcups, while active is some very fancy shenanigans inside the headset that, while I don’t understand it, I can respect. It works, and it works well. What else is there to say?
Sounds like something alright
Overall, the JBL Quantum 800 headset is perfectly passable. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but you certainly wouldn’t regret picking it up as your everyday comms link. I just expected, ya know, a bit of a wow factor that didn’t really materialise.