Last modified: December 8th, 2022 at 12:49 pm
JBL’s Quantum 810 Wireless headset is the company’s most recent entry into its now-long list of gaming headsets.
A successor to the 610, the 810 boasts new features like active noise cancellation (ANC), Hi-Res 50mm audio drivers, a more premium build quality, and for those who want to show-off a little, vibrant RGB lights on the outside of the earcups.
It’s a complete headset that performs well for its mid-range price. But it comes with the same caveat I highlighted when reviewing JBL’s flagship headset, the Quantum ONE. It’s not a great headset for console gamers.
Several features simply don’t work on consoles. Neither the Playstation, Xbox, nor Switch is compatible with the superior 7.1 surround sound audio that the 810s can produce on PC. And it’s worse for Xbox and Switch users as they are forced to plug the headset in to use it. This means neither the ANC nor the chat/game volume wheel work with these consoles, not to mention it can no longer be categorised as a “wireless” headset.
Fortunately, I tested the Quantum 810s with my gaming PC, and it’s here where the 810 is at its best. For PC gamers, JBL has a winner on its hands. For console players, the features are limited, and $400 for a headset that can’t do much is overpriced.
- Good quality audio
- Game-chat mixer wheel
- Long-lasting battery
- A good option for PC users
- Consoles not compatible with premium features
- Clamp force can be a bit much at times
At $400, the 810s are on the pricier side. Comparatively, the Logitech G G733 Lightspeed headset costs $330, and the Razer Blackshark V2 Pro costs $320. However, neither of these boasts noise-cancelling capabilities.
If you’re a PC user, at $400, the Quantum 810 Wireless headset is reasonably priced. However, it isn’t worth it if you’re a console user (more on this below).
The Quantum 810’s have a familiar design. I found it very difficult to tell the difference between the 810 and its predecessor, the JBL 610 Wireless headset. That is until I turned them on, and the RGB lights came alive.
The 810s have the same oval-shaped earcups lined with comfortable, soft cushioning. The headband is identical with its plastic frame and memory foam padding. And the foldable microphone is here as well.
JBL has introduced some changes to the design, but they’re relatively minor. The 810s are slightly heavier than their predecessors due to the thicker, more premium-esque plastic inside the headband, and now the earcups have customisable RGB lighting on the outside.
Overall, it’s a nice design, and it didn’t bother me that JBL didn’t introduce more noticeable design changes. I did have some problems with the clamp force, though. The earcups are easily adjustable via a slider system. However, the new, more robust plastic did make it feel like the headset was squashing my head. This was, at times, uncomfortable after prolonged use.
The earcups house numerous controls. On the left, there’s a volume wheel; an ANC on/off switch, a mute microphone button and a wheel used for balancing in-game and party chat audio. I loved this feature. The 810 has separate sound cards for audio and microphone signals. Compatible with Discord, you’re able to individually adjust the audio coming from games and the audio coming from your party chat so you can easily hear both.
On the right earcup, there’s an on/off switch, a button for Bluetooth connection, a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The microphone is a foldable mic located on the left earcup. It’s not removable but tucks nicely out of the way when folded. Also, when you fold it up, it automatically mutes itself, a feature I think all headsets should have from now on. It works well.
The 810 comes with all the premium features you want in a gaming headset. The most noticeable is the active noise cancellation (ANC) capabilities. While it doesn’t quite reach the quality of the best over-ear wireless headphones, it does a good job of removing outside noise like fans, TVs, air conditioning or background chatter.
The “Talk-thru” feature allows environmental noise to filter through the headphones. It’s not something I used often, but it’s nice that it’s there and works just as well as it should.
The microphone comes with echo-cancelling technology. It allows the mic to pick up louder noises like your voice while avoiding background noise. It does a very good job of removing background noise, but the audio quality wasn’t as good as the Audeze Mobius, or a dedicated streaming microphone. I could easily be heard even when talking quietly, however my voice did come through slightly distorted. It wasn’t a game breaker, I had no issues with teammates hearing me on intense games like Squad or Hell Let Loose, but if you’re looking for a crystal clear mic for making videos, or podcasts, there are better options out there.
The 810 is compatible with three connectivity modes, 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth 5.2, and wired. It’s a nice array of options. Where most headsets are usually only compatible with Bluetooth and wired, the added 2.4GHz option is nice, especially as the PS5 relies on this mode for wireless use.
The 810s are equipped with two Hi-Res 50mm drivers. They produce a great, detailed sound. The bass capabilities are powerful. Gaming explosions create a satisfying boom, and the directional audio is well done.
Using the QuantumENGINE software (only available on PC), you can enable 7.1 surround sound. It doesn’t compare to a set of speakers spread strategically around your living room, but it does a good job mimicking the effects. Playing games like Escape from Tarkov with surround sound felt completely different. Footsteps, gunshots and other audio produce clear directional queues, which enhances the gaming experience.
The 810s achieved 45 hours of battery life with RGB lighting turned off; however with the lights turned on, it dropped down to eight hours. Fortunately, you can use the headphones plugged in via the USB-C port.
The bad news is for console users, you can only monitor the battery level via the QuantumENGINE software, which isn’t available on consoles.
The 810 is at its best when used with a Windows PC. All the features are available, you can use it via any of the connectivity options, and you have access to the JBL’s QuantumENGINE software, where you can customise EQ settings, change RGB lighting and more. The experience isn’t nearly as good with consoles.
Although advertised as compatible with Playstation and Xbox devices, the capabilities are severely limited. Neither of the consoles is compatible with surround sound as QuantumSURROUND is a feature of the JBL QuantumEngine and, therefore, only available on the PC.
If you’re plugging the headset in, ANC won’t work. For Xbox consoles this is a major red flag as you can only connect the 810 to Xbox via a wired connection. This means no surround sound, no ANC, and the chat/game wheel won’t work.
PlayStation devices have it a little better as they can utilise either wired or 2.4GHz connections. This means the game/chat wheel will work, but still no surround sound support.
Also, Apple users can utilise either of the three connectivity modes, but audio can only be received via a stereo audio signal.
It seems that we’re now seeing a similar trend with gaming headsets that we’ve seen with phones and their accompanying earbuds, in that the best gaming headsets for consoles are the ones made by the parent company. Sony’s PS5 Pulse headset is still the best headset I’ve used with the console.
If you’re a PC gamer, JBL’s Quantum 810 Wireless headset is a great option.
The ANC is capable of removing annoying background noise. The 50mm Hi-Res audio drivers deliver powerful audio that will take your games to the next level. It has a long-lasting battery, and it works wirelessly and wired. At $400, they’re worth the price.
It’s a different story for console gamers, though. With most of the major features not available on consoles, $400 for the JBL Quantum 810 headset is a hard sell. Whether you’re playing on Xbox, Playstation or Switch, the 810 headset doesn’t do half of what it says on the tin, and that’s disappointing.