JBL Quantum 200 Wired Headset
Gaming Headset (Wired)
Earlier this year we took a look at JBL
’s foray into wireless headset gaming with the Quantum 800 -- an entry product that definitely made rival gaming mainstays stand up and pay attention to this gaming industry newcomer. Obviously JBL is no stranger to audioscape technology though, and so it should never have come at a surprise the established ‘old-school’ outfit would waltz on into gaming and immediately make its mark. As we discussed in our in-depth review
"It was with open arms we said yes to taking on board review duties for the JBL Quantum 200 wired gaming headset -- a much more affordable option that offers decent clarity in audio...”
I’m still using the 800 series. The design and comfort, along with its portability and sheer audio quality just make the headset stand out. But they also come at a price point that isn’t for everyone. And so it was with open arms we said yes to taking on board review duties for the JBL Quantum 200
wired gaming headset -- a much more affordable option that offers decent clarity in audio, while forgoing many of the essential bells and whistles of its more dominant 800 older sibling.
Plug and play is the statement of the day here. The Quantum 200 is a wired headset, which means no battery to charge, which obviously means they’re light and less precious than the 800s (though the 800s are seriously robust and sturdy when it comes to wear and tear). There’s a flip-up directional mic that does the job nicely, though in this day and age we’re getting more and more clarity where the comms side of these rigs is concerned, but again for the price point here, you’re going to be chatting clearly across everything from Discord
to Microsoft Teams
, in-game chat and more. And if you’re still using a phone that’ll take a 3.5mm jack, you can use them this way too, just to present as a bit old-school yourself.
Here’s the official hardware rundown from JBL:
- Driver sensitivity at 1kHz/1mW (dB) - 100
- Dynamic frequency response range (Hz) 20 Hz - 20 kHz
- Impedance (ohms) - 32
- Headphone cable length - 1.2m
- Maximum input power (mW) - 30
Where the actual audio is concerned, the headset is compatible with native surround sound from the Windows and Xbox platforms, which is an easy way of saying that system parses through these loud and clear, but there’s no real option for tweaking or personalising beyond the platform settings you’re plugging into. Rather, the Quantum 200s are utilitarian and can work with all current gaming platforms. But the bonus you get here is in comfort and very clear sound. It’s not rocket science -- 90 dollarydoos gets you a comfy headset that works on everything from your Switch
right through to your PS5
, and everything in between.
Design and Comfort
It’s a song being sung across the landscape at the moment, but in a family or sharehouse working from home environment, robust and durable items that exchange many hands are at a premium. And it’s in this sense I discovered the 200s to be pretty damn good for what you pay. In the Quantum 800 review I suggested that their sturdiness “[worked] for me with both a nine-year-old who thinks he’s the next big esports thing and so wants to use them all the time, or with a naughty pug (Hulk the Pug™) who sees them only as a toy when no one is looking”. In the case of the 200s, my pug has left them alone, but my son has run them through the ringer and back. He also jumps between more gaming platforms than the rest of us at home, and so in this instance is a great QA tester for what you get.
Oh, and make no mistake, he’s not an ignorant snot-nosed little pre-teen, I mean, he’s exposed to top quality gear all the time, and actually has brand choices on offer. Time and again though, he asks for the 200s by name.
"... to listen to music or podcasts, or just converse with fellow lockdownees over Discord. And they’re honestly a beauty...”
On a personal note, I’ve been using them as an outside writing tool for more than just gaming; plugging them into my work laptop while escaping the (oft) lockdown prison that is inside my home (doubling as a place of work) to listen to music or podcasts, or just converse with fellow lockdownees over Discord. And they’re honestly a beauty. And more recently for games testing I had them plugged into the PS5 controller to couch with Where the Heart Lies -- a game I had high hopes for that fell short everywhere, except in its audio, which is where these babies really did shine.
As an added bonus, the lightweight design that still features a super-comfy foam over ear cup just means even over the 800s the Quantum 200 headset is basically one of the best options for marathon gaming. In putting together this review I gave them a solid last run with Death’s Door -- a lengthy game in its own right -- for roughly five hours and kind of forgot I was wearing them after a while. And with the mic, maybe for the kids playing games during lockdown these are a good option to keep them distracted so you can actually get some work done.
A decent option at the price of entry that does what’s advertised. Their strengths lie in being sturdy and comfortable, while offering up a clear mic option for modern communication. You’re not getting anything with Atmos or the like here, but if that’s what you’re aiming for you’d have a bit more than $90 to spend, in which case the Quantum 800 is for you.