The JBL Quantum series is one of the most diverse ranges of gaming headsets on the market with a range of products to suit everyone – no matter your budget or setup. At the top of the range is the Quantum One that features JBL’s head-tracking technology, QuantumSPHERE 360. In the middle of the product range is the wireless Quantum 600, where Chris praised its “wireless freedom, excellent sound, construction, and value”. Then at the other end of the scale is the Quantum 200; an entry-level headset that focuses on premium sound and value for money, but just how much value does the JBL Quantum 200 provide at $89.95 AUD? Let’s find out!
JBL is out to prove that budget gaming isn’t what it used to be with the Quantum 200. The overall design of the 200s shares a lot of characteristics with the rest of the Quantum range with a simple black-on-black design and large over-ear earcups that are soft and comfortable. It is extremely light, 245 grams to be precise, which complements the ear cups for those all-night gaming sessions. This design won’t win any beauty pageants but it’s a nice and simple design that bucks the current trend of including RGB illumination into every aspect of a headset.
I actually quite like minimalistic design – The age of forcing RGB into every component is overused and gimmicky. JBL has done a great job in regards to their Quantum range as products that feature RGB illumination is isolated to only the JBL logo (and the ring around it on the 800s and One). This provides a more premium and elegant look that doesn’t over saturate the product.
The padded memory foam headband is soft and sturdy enough so it comfortably rests on your head. The construction of the headband is decent with some flex, which is expected for this price point. The padded ear cups are finished in a leatherette material that looks nice, but ultimately I am not a fan of it. Sure, this material provides a premium look but at the cost of your own sweat, literary. After a few hours of gaming, they begin to become slightly uncomfortable due to the build-up of heat and sweat. The ear cups do, however, provide excellent noise isolation that is usually associated with much more expensive headsets.
As for the onboard controls of the 200s, there isn’t much to discuss. JBL has stuck to their ‘simple yet effective’ concept by including only a volume switch on the headset. It would have been nice to feature a game/chat wheel as well but hey, for well under 100 bucks I’m not complaining.
The 3.5mm cable is about as fancy as the 200s get! It is finished in a braided black and orange that is both flexible and durable enough to withstand the stress of wired gaming. JBL also included a splitter with separate audio and microphone 3.5mm connections to get the most out of your PC hardware. The overall length of the cable comes in at just over a meter, 1.2m to be exact, which can be extended to nearly 3m thanks to the spitter (1.5m in length). This adds versatility and cross-platform functionality as there is nothing better than sitting on the couch playing your favourite consoles such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
If I’m being honest, I find the flip-up boom-arm microphone is a bit on the ugly side. Its bulky design instantly draws your attention rather than letting the headset showcase its appeal as a whole. This could have been improved upon with a more appealing boom arm design or by incorporating a detachable boom arm, but unfortunately, both options would increase the price point. From a functionality aspect, it is actually quite clever — Its flip-up design acts as a muting feature for the microphone, meaning that when it’s retracted it will automatically mute the input. You can even hear the muting switch ‘click’ when you raise and lower the boom arm, which is a nice little quality of life addition.
Having a quick muting option was great when I was gaming with the kids around as I no longer had to rely on push-to-talk to mute my microphone input. Instead, I could simply flip the microphone down when I wanted to blame my teammates for my death and up when the kids were in the room.
The Quantum 200s feature JBL’s QuantumSOUND signature 50mm drivers. These drivers have been customed tuned by JBL and are the same drivers you will find across the entire Quantum range. This means that for under 100 bucks, the sound output of these cans is great! There isn’t the level of customisation or software support that you will find on more premium products, but the 200s do provide an excellent sound stage, clarity, and an overall natural sound.
From a technical point of view, the 50mm drivers provide a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response with 32 ohms impedance. I was impressed with the level of immersion this headset could provide – Revisiting Ghost of Turaishma and Outlast 2 really allowed the 200s the shine. The high range on this headset is great and kept me drawn into the gaming universe. The same cannot be said for the low range and I did find it sub-par. The explosions in Call of Duty and other games where the bass is prevalent felt underwhelming, but as far as bang-for-buck goes, you simply cannot go wrong with the price.
The microphone may be the ugly duckling of the headset, but JBL has ensured looks can be deceiving. JBL has included Echo-cancelling technology that ensures that your voice is prioritised over any ambient noise and when combined with a frequency response of 100Hz-10kHz, provides a great all-round microphone. The microphone is decent for gaming with friends but is I would be looking at standalone microphones for streaming or competitive gaming.
The JBL Quantum 200 may be an entry-level headset, but JBL has done an amazing job providing exceptional value for money. It is clear that JBL has prioritised what matters in an entry-level headset with great performance and comfort rather than inflating the cost with luxury features such as RGB illumination or noise-cancelling properties. Its lightweight black-on-black design is a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately, the underwhelming design of the microphone does take some of the attention away from this. Despite this, if you’re in the market for a gaming headset that does the basics exceptionally well, then look no further than the JBL Quantum 200.
JBL Quantum 200 Review
- DESIGN - 82%82%
- PERFORMANCE - 88%88%
- COMFORT - 83%83%
- VALUE - 95%95%
If you’re in the market for a gaming headset that does the basics exceptionally well, then look no further than the JBL Quantum 200.
For more on JBL, check out our previous coverage.