Budget is that there are just too many areas that need to be good while also keeping the costs low, and that’s why most of the budget gaming headsets aren’t great, because there’s always a compromise in either comfort, sound, or something else. But the JBL Quantum 100 from JBL defies all of this, and while people generally have high expectations from a brand like JBL, I am almost shocked by how good of a headset, and a headphone this is at this entry level price point. Best headphone under 3000.
In the box:
We have a very attractive box here, and they have also printed their sound signature here which is a good indicator of a company being serious about audio, even though I don’t think this is what the sound signature is actually like. Then inside you get the manual, warranty card, and something in Chinese, then you get a detachable microphone with a foam windscreen, and when you finally get to the headphone itself.
The design of JBL Quantum 100 is pretty good, and while it looks somewhat cheap in images online, it actually looks and feels much better in hands.
The braided cable has just the right thickness, it looks great, it’s manageable, and doesn’t get tangled, and it terminates in this 45-degree jack which looks funny if you plug it like this in my headphones. Since this has a combined headphone and microphone jack, you can directly plug it in to your phones and tablets, but to use it with a PC, you may need an adapter that splits it into separate headphone and microphone jacks, and I don’t know why they didn’t supply it with the headphone.
It is made of very ordinary plastics, but it is done very well, the ear cup hinges feel strong enough, and the earcups even swivel to 90 degrees so you can rest them comfortably on your chest, which is a really nice feature to have on the entry level.
The headband adjustment feels kind of loose if you’re not wearing them, but on your head it’s not going to get loose as it becomes resistant when pressure is applied. There’s a very nice volume wheel at back of the left earcup which allows you to precisely adjust volume, and below that there is a toggle button which will allow you to mute or unmute the mic.
The mic is attached with a 2.5mm jack and can be removed, it can be easily adjusted, and it also comes with a foam windshield. The headband cushion on top is soft and functions well, the earcups are quite large, the clamping force is just right out of the box, and they truly are an over the ear headphones as they even cover my large ears with glasses very well, and on top of that, the earpads are also quite soft, so all that combined with their light weight really makes them very comfortable to wear for long periods.
This is how the microphone sounds like, I have plugged it into my phone and I have an air conditioner running, and I think that it sounds really good. When you are playing a game or using it with Discord, you may have some noise-canceling algorithm working which could make it sound different.
I was expecting a muffled sounding headphone with boomy and muddy bass, but these are quite the opposite of that which is a very good thing. The mid and high frequency range on these headphones is just so good and well extended, and I haven’t seen something that has mids and highs that are as good as this in this price range.
They don’t lack it, but if you’re a bass head, then you’re not going to enjoy these, and you should look at the more expensive model that costs 1500 Rs. more. I’d say the bass is slightly below neutral, but I don’t mind that because the amount of bass you have is very tight, which is really what you don’t see in this price range.
You can still hear the bass guitars clearly in music, which is such an amazing quality to have at this price point, and I do like that a lot, but it’s not going to rock your ears with bass if you’re looking for that experience.
From an audiophile perspective I think these have a really great sound signature, and I really like these for music, but I think some people will find the bass to be lacking, even though it is a very refined and mature representation of sound.
But since these are gaming headphones, the sound signature is a little accentuated when you go from mids to high frequencies, meaning that you will easily be able to notice footsteps while you’re playing games, and the soundstage on these is also really good, so for music, movies, and for gaming, these are really great, and they will allow you to estimate the direction of action when you’re playing games.
Now for general listening, you can also try my equalizer settings which will make these sound a little more balanced and better for music, but even without the equalizer, they sound really great.
For a quick comparison with JBL Quantum 100 and 300, these have a more neutral sound signature, and are a little bright sounding, while the 200 and 300 have a more V shaped sound signature like a typical gaming headset, and have more bass.
They aren’t just great for gaming, but even for general music listening they are really good, especially because you can also detach the mic, and then you have a regular headphone that also has an analog volume wheel.
Overall design and quality of these JBL Quantum 100 are really great, and my biggest concern was that earpads would suck on these, but they are also really good and comfortable and I was not expecting this level of quality and comfort from these at all. I really haven’t seen a headphone that can offer this level of comfort, build, features, and sound at this price point.