Introduction and Initial Thoughts
Over the past two years, companies have offered headsets that are packed with technology that was either unavailable before or needed additional hardware to decode advanced options like Surround Sound.
I have previously discussed these, and most notably the HyperX Cloud Flight S, which has become my go-to headset.
The features that made the Cloud Flight soar about other headsets were:
- Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless availability (2.4GHz through a dongle)
- Ease of use between PC and consoles
- 2.5mm jack capability
- Long battery life
Considering all of that, the JBL Quantum 800 has some amazing possibilities. When you look at this list of features there is a lot to get excited about.
- Frequency response (Passive)20 Hz – 40 kHz
- Frequency response (Active)20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Microphone frequency response100 Hz – 10 kHz
- Max input power30 mW
- Sensitivity95 dB SPL @1 kHz / 1mW
- Maximum SPL93 dB
- Microphone sensitivity-40 dBV @1 kHz / Pa
- Impedency32 ohm
- Microphone pickup patternUnidirectional
- 2.4G Wireless transmitter power<0 dBm
- 2.4G Wireless modulationπ/4-DQPSK
- 2.4G Wireless carrier frequency2403.35 MHz – 2479.35 MHz
- Bluetooth transmitter power<9 dBm
- Bluetooth transmitted modulation FSK, /4π DQPSK, 8DPSK
- Bluetooth frequency2.402 GHz – 2.480 GHz
- Bluetooth profile versionA2DP 1.3, HFP 1.6
- Bluetooth versionV5.0
Along with these awesome specs comes a great look.
The flat black matte rubber coating covers most of the pieces, but the earcups have a great chrome look with the JBL logo and designs lit up by programmable LEDs.
Here is where the problems arose for me and the JBL Quantum 800. I want to say up front that this headset is trying to do a lot all at once, so there may be a steep learning curve to getting the most out of it. I did not find this to be a plug-and-play experience.
I initially tried to get it to work with my Oculus Quest. I was able to sync the Bluetooth, but no sound. I tried going in through just the analog, still no sound.
I tried moving to my writing computer. Sound, fantastic! Then I loaded the Quantum software and rebooted my computer. Not only did I not have sound to anything on my computer that used sound (like Youtube or the Amazon music app, which would crash), I had to completely uninstall the Quantum software to get my PC back up to snuff.
Once everything was cleaned out, I tried just the first step by plugging in the 2.4GHz transmitter and letting Windows control the headset, and that worked great. To be honest, this configuration made it sound better than any other headset that I own.
The highs were crisp and rang like twinkling bells and the lows had a great boom and rumble.
What was also effective was the 2.4GHz bandwidth wireless, as I was able to walk around my house without any drops or determinable sound quality loss. Trips to the kitchen, bathroom, and package pickups at the front door were unimpeded. That made for a good experience.
Since I was able to stay connected, the next big issue was comfort. The good news is that this was no issue at all, as the JBL Quantum 800’s 410g weight stood on my head comfortably and the earcups were soft and enjoyable.
Much to my son’s chagrin, the feature that also worked flawlessly was the noise canceling. Expect your family members to tap you on the shoulder or wave their hands violently in front of you to get your attention.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
The JBL Quantum 800 headset offers the user everything they could possibly want in a high-performance headset and probably a lot of things they did not know that they wanted (and perhaps some things they will never get around to using). But as the saying goes, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. The technology inside the Quantum 800 may make it future-proof for a few years to come, and I look forward to tweaking the software issues to get more out of it.
If you are looking for an amazing piece of technology that has the kitchen sink in terms of features, you can’t go wrong with the JBL Quantum 800. Yes, you may have to spend some time learning the ins and outs, but I have to say once I was past that point it became a joy to listen too.
The $200 price tag may seem steep to some, but hey, this is a premium piece of gaming gear. I have reviewed more expensive headsets that offered much less and under-performed next to the Quantum 800.
So if you are a serious gamer who wants a headset that you can wear all day around the house and bounce around your sources of media, the JBL Quantum 800 may be the best choice.
A sample of the JBL Quantum 800 headset was made available for this review by the manufacturer. The views expressed in this article are the writers and not the manufacturer or editorial board.