Gaming headsets can be an intimidating shopping experience for buyers, with offerings that are purely wireless, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm connections and a range of other features, each with their pros and cons. The JBL Quantum 910 Wireless comes in at the top end of that tree in both specs, and price.
Unboxing, Setup and First Impressions
With the RRP coming in just under AU$500.00, my expectations were pretty high when the package arrived. Thankfully I had the NUC Extreme Raptor Lake on review at the same time, giving me the opportunity to play some games in the name of “testing”.
As part of the unboxing process, I took a little bit of time to appreciate the packaging, all of which is recyclable. Then came the headset itself, in a really nice little carry bag. I’m a little bit torn here, the bag is nice, but if you’re transporting a headset like this, a hard case will protect your investment far better.
Regardless of my feelings about the carrying option, the headset itself immediately felt solid, to the point of being heavy; so I had a bit of concern there for longer gaming sessions. Spoiler alert, there really wasn’t anything major to worry about…
There are several cables in the box, too, including a USB-A to USB-C cable, a 3.5mm cable with in-line controls, a balancing microphone for setup and the wireless USB (USB-C with a USB-A adaptor) dongle. All of those connectivity options give you a lot of flexibility with connecting to a PC, laptop, or gaming console (handheld or otherwise); so the addition of Bluetooth is a really nice touch for gamers who still need to take calls.
There’s a lot of setup you can do to get the Quantum 910 Wireless going, or you can just let the headset “be”. In the name of thorough “testing” I installed the Quantum software and delved into that for a while. Being at that top end of the range, there’s a lot of settings to play with such as EQ, the lighting, balancing game chat and audio, your mic level, volumes and even the head tracking software.
Comfort and Audio
My concerns about comfort due to the weight were somewhat short-lived because the balance of the headset and the full range of adjustment available meant I could get the fit just right.
It’s not just the balance of the headset that made it so comfortable for me; there’s a lot of padding in all the right places. The earcups are really well, perhaps over-padded and I’d be a little worried about comfort in hot weather. That aside, the headband itself is also well padded and one point that surprised me a lot is just how good the microphone positioning is; it’s in a position where you’re not going to get that distinct distortion of being too close to the mouth, and yet close enough for very clear voice clarity.
Adding to this and particularly useful if you work from home, is the flip to mute on the microphone boom arm. Simply flip the arm up to mute the mice and back down to re-open the voice channel. I had a few comments from people that I sounded different to usual, I suspect that’s the noise suppression compared to the HyperX Mic I usually run on my desktop machine.
I mentioned the “testing” I did on the Quantum 910 and it’s been a genuine delight from the get go. The software made setup easy, even adjusting the audio balance is as simple as jumping into the software to either utilise the pre-set options or tweak the sound to your preference. I didn’t find much need to play with the sound balance as it was pretty right for my listening preference straight out of the box.
Playing a lot of Diablo IV (it’s a new release and, well, I want to…) the sound quality was crisp and clear, the noise cancelling meant I couldn’t hear the kids, and there was enough volume for me not to be able to have the headset up at full volume. When it came to the balance of the audio in-game, the mids are a particularly strong point and build a lot of atmosphere into a game like this.
There’s enough power in the sound reproduction too, that there’s bass and clean highs. Short of spending a lot more money than this on a headset, I just can’t really find anything to complain about in terms of sound reproduction.
Adding to the capability to tweak the sound balance as you wish is the one-touch option to turn on, or off the noise cancelling or turn-on talk-through, so you don’t need to take your headphones off to talk to someone.
What could be improved?
There are a few things I’d like to be a bit better for the dollars you’ll have to pay for the Quantum 910 headset. The primary one being the wireless dongle range wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be, perhaps there’s some interference in my house I’m not aware of. The result of me moving away from my desk is that by the time I get to the end of the hallway and into the dining room, it’s quickly losing audio quality. Once I’m in the dining area, the audio increasingly breaks up and at my coffee machine; voices are unintelligible.
The battery is generally very good and certainly outlasted me on any single gaming session, but I found it to be a bit hit-and-miss. Most of the time, the battery delivered around the expected (and promised) 39 hours of gaming. However, if the volume was up, noise cancelling on and the stream was constant, that dropped to around 30 hours. It’s not even close to being a deal breaker, but I was surprised, given the propensity of manufacturers to underpromise and overdeliver but if you are caught short, the USB-C cable is plenty long enough to keep gaming while charging.
I did mention earlier that the weight didn’t leave anything major to worry about. While I’m pretty comfortable with the weight, I know that there are people who would struggle with the weight of this. It’s a bit of a fine line to walk, at 420 grams it is quite heavy; this makes it feel pretty sturdy too so I’m not worried about the headset wearing badly over time.
Should you buy one?
If you need a headset for your home use, then heck yeah!
This is a great option, with a heap of features that make it very attractive for a range of reasons, but the budget means not everyone is going to go for it. At full retail, the Quantum 910 Wireless will set you back $499.00, so it’s not something you should buy on a whim…
If you do purchase, though, it’s a great investment with plenty of:
- Comfort for long gaming sessions
- Sound quality, including ANC for users looking for a great listening experience
- Battery life that will outlast your gaming stamina
- Control over the features of the headset through the JBL QuantumENGINE software
- A durable feel and materials to match ensure the longevity of your investment
The Quantum 910 Wireless is clearly at the far opposite end of the price scale to the Quantum 100 we reviewed previously, but it shows how broad the range is and how JBL is continuing to cater to users on all budget ranges with a variety of audio needs.
I’m really happy with pretty much everything about this headset and if you’re a gamer, I’m pretty confident you will be too. You can pick one up from JBL online or the usual retail channels.
Due to hygiene, the headset has remained with Ausdroid following review.