With Christmas creeping upon us, we’re all clamouring around for technology to buy for our family and friends. One usual item on lists is that of headsets for gaming as more and more people gravitate the gaming as either a hobby or career. Going along with my Genesis Radium 600 microphone review, I am also reviewing JBL Quantum 800 wireless headset with active noise-cancelling. I was in the market for a new headset, a wireless one was a no-brainer as I have been moving into a hidden-wires setup and my previous headset was getting in the way a bit with its cable.
Coming with the headset, charging cable, audio connectors, and Bluetooth dongle, the box gives you all you’ll need. The charging cable is a bit short if you have a desk that hides cables, having to sit near the case for charging needs. A nice addition to the box is the Bluetooth dongle that not all wireless devices package with their main device, a nice change of pace and ease of use part to the whole.
The JBL 800 headset functions as a somewhat heavy-handed noise cancellation headset, with tight headphones that cut out both noise and air from your ears. While creating a tight seal, it can be off-putting to new users as it causes a bit of pressure in your ear, as well as sounding like it has a weird wind-tunnel effect. Turning on the Active noise cancellation (ANC) helps remove the wind-tunnel effect, alongside a few days of use removing most of the uncomfortable feelings like the pressure of first-time use.
Aside from first-time use, the headset is quite comfortable and accommodating to larger head sizes, though the headphone portions are on a swivel and can be quite cumbersome when taking off. It lacks any extending features though it is made of a flexible and slightly stretchy material, sizing to your needs. The microphone can be rotated up and down, but sadly no closer to further from your mouth, shutting off when completely rotated up.
For the quality of sound, the headset is top-notch, even better when ANC has been activated. It enhances a lot of the base and high-pitch frequencies, though the boost to high-pitch sounds is a bit overtuned. The headset suffers a lot from Sibilance, where words ending in “s” or high-pitches peak the sound and cause irritation. This can be offset by turning down the boost of 2Khz-8Khz in the attached software, however.
Moving onto the included software, the Quantum 800 offers a nice range of control over the boost to its entire range of sound via the equalizer. You can also adjust the colour of the lights on the headphones and buttons, or turn them off for a longer battery duration. Similar options are available for the microphone, changing the levels, volume and side tones. There isn’t much tutorial for the software or what each portion means though, so common use of the internet may be required to go through it all.
For microphone quality, the Quantum 800 isn’t exactly top of the line, though it isn’t a standalone microphone so not much is to be expected from it. Even at 100% volume, the mic is quite quiet when compared to a standalone microphone and with the added issue of not being able to move it closer to your mouth that can’t be mitigated.
This is what the microphone sounds like, how you hear it back will be based on your headset or speaker setup.
The battery life of the headset lives up to its estimated 14 hours, though only if the lights are all turned off. With the lights off I got a good 12-13 hours constantly out of the headset with near-constant music or sound. With the lights on, I was lucky to receive more than 8 hours of life from the headset. Plugging the headset in whenever I went to sleep meant I would wake up to a fully charged headset for the whole day, so there are no complaints on the battery side of things.
Overall, the JBL Quantum 800 is a solid wireless headset, with a good range of sound if a bit overpowered in the high-pitch area, creating some issues with sibilance. The low quality and volume microphone is a bit off-putting, though is an alright quality for normal game chatter or voice calls, just not for any high-end streaming setup. Advertising a range of console compatibility, it doesn’t really seem geared at being a streaming headset, so it fits the bill nicely as something for use in-game.
The JBL Quantum 800 gets an 8/10. At around £180 it is a bit expensive as if you’re wanting a high-quality microphone you’re going to be putting out another good £50.
JBL Quantum 800 Headset can be used on Console and PC, However, the software in exclusive to PC.
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