With Dolby Atmos support making its way to PS5 in an upcoming system software update, it’s never been more important to have a quality pair of headphones. With Sony already offering up its own brilliant set of cans in the form of the Sony INZONE series, it might be a little daunting to move outside the Sony ecosystem to a company like JBL. Well, that’s exactly what we did, as for the last few weeks we’ve been trying out the JBL Quantum 910P headset, a $300 product that's taking aim at the console market.
What Is The JBL Quantum 910P?
The JBL Quantum 910P is a wireless over-ear headset specifically designed for console gaming. It can wirelessly pair up with the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via a dongle, with the latter two also having the option of Bluetooth. Sadly, Xbox consoles can only use the Quantum 910P through a 3.5mm wired connection. Once connected you’ll enjoy features such as active noise cancelling, spatial 360 audio, 2.4GHz low latency wireless, a voice focus flip-up boom mic, and even RGB lighting. Although it has to be noted that only the dongle will net you the spatial audio feature.
All of that will set you back £279.99 here in the UK and $299.95 in the US. This is a pretty steep asking price, however, we’re in the higher echelons of gaming headsets, and it’s a relatively comparable price to something like the Sony INZONE H9 at launch.
What’s In The Box?
The unboxing experience is very simplistic — as is the case with most headphones these days. Removing the sturdy sleeve and opening the internal black cardboard box, you’ll find the Quantum 910P wrapped in a soft branded draw-string bag. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of protection, we’d still be happy to have it if we ever needed to chuck the headset in a backpack for some travelling.
Other than the headset itself, you’ll find the white USB dongle, a braided USB-A to USB-C charging wire, a braided 3.5mm audio jack, a 3.5mm mic calibration earpiece, and finally the instructions.
Build Quality & Hardware Features
When you have the Quantum 910P in your hands, it doesn’t give off the best first impression. We were taken aback by the plastic white design, which in all honesty, both looked and felt cheap. It was quite the contrast from what we expected with a set of headphones at this price range. The RGB lighting didn’t really help things either. Lighting up the sides of the headphones with various lighting patterns, it felt a bit pointless. Not only is it a feature that the user themselves can’t actually see, but it also seemingly reduces the battery life of the headset, which boasts 39 hours of use via the dongle as long as the RGB lighting is off. It was all too GAMER™ for our liking.
Once the plastic design and colour is out of the way, thankfully things start to feel a bit better. This is a comfortable headset, and one that we easily wore for hours on end. It has a heft to it that we really appreciated, and compared to the Sony INZONE H9 it was a lot more secure on our head, especially after messing around with the adjustable and swivelling arms.
Along both ear cups, there are controls for everything from audio modes to mute buttons. Having both the volume and audio balance rollers next to each other does feel like an oversight, as we were constantly muddling up the two, but once you wrap your head around the layout, it’s got everything you could really need.
While the headset does have a mute button, you don’t actually need it, since the Quantum 910P features a swivelling boom mic, which mutes automatically when flipped up. This isn’t the first headset to include this feature but we’re big fans of it, as it makes it very clear when the mic is or isn’t muted. The mic comes with its own wind cover, but in reality this is a cheap sock that looks bad and slipped off very easily. However, it may have been necessary since the mic appeared to be very sensitive to our nearby fan. Either way, the audio quality from the mic wasn’t up to much and didn’t sound much better than the Pulse 3D Headset — which comes in at around £200 cheaper.
Battery however, was very impressive. Across our three or so weeks with the headset we only had to charge it once. This correlates with JBL’s claimed 39 hours of battery life - without the RGB lights — and meant we could enjoy extended gaming sessions without any worry. Just be sure that you keep the included charging wire around, as the plastic mould around the charging port meant that some of our own cables wouldn’t fit.
As mentioned, you can connect this headset to a variety of devices, such as PCs. Adding in a nice layer of versatility, we appreciated being able to multi-purpose the Quantum 910P, especially since it features Bluetooth support. This meant that we could connect it to our PC or even our phone, without having to remove the dongle from our PS5. While on the topic of the dongle, it comes with a USB-A extender with the base product using USB-C, meaning we had more choice over which port the dongle took up on our PS5. However, with the dongle plugged in it would act as the main audio type, muting our TV even when the headset wasn’t turned on. Then frequently when we turned it on, we’d have to remove the dongle and plug it back in for the headset audio to finally kick in. It was all a bit finicky, and lacked the ease of use that a lot of other dongle-based headsets feature.
The Audio Experience
How you feel about the audio quality on the JBL Quantum 910P depends on where you’ve come from. If you’ve been using an entry level pair of headphones, this will be a noticeable upgrade, with a rich bass amping the explosiveness of many games. However, since we’ve been using the Sony INZONE H9s on a daily basis for the best part of a year, we couldn’t help but feel a little let down. While the bass certainly turned our heads, the Quantum 910P is really lacking in those higher frequency sounds, to the point that the bass could be overbearing.
Bass issues only continued as we joined voice chats. We spent far too much time fiddling with the audio sliders to find the right balance between the two, as voices in the chat were often drowned out, and things only really settled down once we jumped into additional audio settings on the PS5 itself. With a lacking focus on those higher frequencies, outside of those deeper sounds, audio could sound quite tinny. While the initial boom of a shot in a game like Remnant II sounded great, the following ringout robbed gunplay of its power. It certainly didn’t evoke near-£300 levels of quality.
Admittedly though, features such as spacial audio, head tracking, and even the noise cancelling were all very good. We’re not quite sure how many will actually use the head tracking, but trying it out and hearing the audio move around precisely with our movements was quite impressive. It certainly has the potential to aid those that regularly play on the PSVR2.
Should You Buy The JBL Quantum 910P?
After a few weeks with the Quantum 910P, it’s tough to wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s by no means a bad headset, and boasts a bunch of really useful and often impressive features. If you are planning to use it beyond your PS4 or PS5, it allows for that versatility, with bluetooth, dongle, and 3.5mm wired options for other platforms and devices. It certainly had the heft and comfort of an expensive headset, and we’d even be willing to write off the plastic RGB-riddled design as not to our taste, rather than outright bad.
However, when it comes to the actual sound of the Quantum 910P, the intense focus on bass-y qualities resulted in an unbalanced audio experience. In isolation, it’s certainly a step up from your entry level headphones like the Pulse 3D Headset, but with other high-end headphones coming in at a very similar price, you’d be better shopping around before settling on this particular product.
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What do you think of the JBL Quantum 910P? Are these high-end headphones of interest to you, or are you happy with the more affordable options? Let us know in the comments.