Review: JBL Quantum 100X Console Headset – Brilliance on a Budget

Founded 77 years ago in 1946, JBL is a company synonymous with quality sound products. They’ve only been manufacturing gaming headsets for a few years, but in that time, they’ve already carved out a space for themselves in a highly competitive scene. I’ve reviewed multiple JBL products, and have found all of them to be worth a purchase, depending on your gaming audio needs.

Most recently, JBL attended PAX Australia 2023, giving away over $45,000 worth JBL gear in claw machines (yes, claw machines) as well as shares of $10,000 in the JBL Quantum Grand Slam. They also went on a mission to make PAX 2023 as orange as possible by giving away bucket hats. Lots of bucket hats.

I didn’t attend PAX, but like many a PAX attendee, I managed to get my hands on the new JBL Quantum 100X (I even recorded an Unboxing video)- their latest entry-level headset designed specifically to complement Xbox consoles. Is it another banger? Read on…

The JBL Quantum 100X is a brilliant entry-level headset. It works with multiple consoles and is the perfect black and green beast to accompany that Xbox Series X you got for Christmas.

Features

JBL QuantumSOUND Signature: “Be at the center of the game with JBL QuantumSOUND Signature.” JBL has crafted a unique sound profile that promises to deliver on not only Xbox but also PlayStation and Nintendo Switch consoles as well.

Memory Foam Ear Cups and Headband: Having memory foam cups and an identical headband allows the JBL Quantum 100X to remain lightweight while offering a custom fit – memory foam molds itself to the contours of your head.

Detachable, Voice Focus Directional Boom Microphone: The Quantum 100X’s microphone has been designed to avoid unnecessary noise while picking up your voice. Don’t feel like chatting? You can detach the mic and stash it somewhere handy.

Compatible with Windows Sonic Surround Sound: The Quantum 100X is fully compatible with the Xbox Series S and X’s native surround sound.

Compatible with a Broad Range of Products: Thanks to its 3.5mm jack, the 100X is able to be used with the Xbox Series S and X, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, as well as mobile and VR devices with a 3.5mm headphone port.

Specs

Driver Size: 40mm

Driver Sensitivity at 1kHz/1mW (dB): 96

Dynamic Frequency Response Range (Hz): 20 Hz – 20kHz

Impedance (ohms): 32

Box Contents

1 x JBL Quantum 100X Console Headset

1 x Removable Mic

1 x Windshield foam for the microphone

1 x Quick Start Guide/Warranty Card/Safety Sheet

The Design

The JBL Quantum 100X arrived in a similar box to the other headsets in the JBL Quantum range of headsets. Instead of the usual orange to deep blue color gradient background, however, the Quantum 100X boldly flaunts its Xbox-specific design, with a green gradient background. The headset is presented in a large bold product shot front and center.

The box also lists the devices the 100X is compatible with, as well as a small badge of Discord Certification. What this means is that the headset has been designed partly in collaboration with Discord (the world’s most popular gaming voice chat software) and it meets their standards.

The side of the box has a decibel Sound Pressure Level graph, which indicates how the JBL Quantum 100X has been tuned for various sound frequencies. To break it down very simply, the headset has substantial low-end bass, healthy upper midrange, and an emphasis on lower treble frequencies. There’s a dip in the midrange and a gradual decline in the higher treble frequencies. Ultimately, this tuning prioritizes impactful bass, some clarity in the upper midrange and lower treble, but potentially a less prominent midrange.

Looking into the tuning further, the 100X is going to be most effective for:

  • Action/Adventure Games: Titles with immersive soundscapes, like action-adventure games or RPGs, often benefit from pronounced bass for impactful environmental effects, such as thunderstorms, explosions, or dramatic music cues.
  • Open-World Games: Games with expansive worlds often feature ambient sounds and atmospheric music. The emphasized lower frequencies can enhance the sense of immersion in these richly detailed environments.
  • Horror Games: Horror games heavily rely on sound to create tension and suspense. The emphasized bass can intensify jump scares and eerie atmospheric sounds, heightening the overall creepy ambiance.
  • Music-Based Games: Rhythm or music-based games could benefit from the headset’s ability to emphasize certain frequencies, potentially making beats or musical elements stand out more vividly.
  • Sports Games: For sports simulations, the emphasized bass can add weight to crowd roars or impact sounds like tackles and hits, contributing to the overall realism of the gaming experience.

Out of the box, the headset is undeniably sleek. While some headsets go HAM with needless details and bulk, the 100X is a light and slim headset, making it comfortable on longer gaming sessions. It’s primarily black, but features bright green headset padding (with slight texturing for a better grip on your dome) as well as bright green ear cup interiors (with idiot-proof L and R letters in their respective ear cups, as well as green detailing in the braided cable.

The headband itself is adjustable, with etched numbers and lines indicating what length it’s set at. As someone with a larger cranium, I’m happy to say that even I can get a comfortable fit with the Quantum 100X. The underside of the headband is padded with memory foam, ensuring both comfort and a custom fit. It’s also more resistant to wearing down over time than standard foam. The ear cups are also padded with the same stuff, so you can expect the same benefits.

The headset mic is flexible, able to be bent to where you need it to be, as well as detached entirely if you’re not feeling particularly chatty. I myself quite often detach it when I record Let’s Plays and other gameplay videos as I use a broadcast mic. If you detach it, just be sure to put it back in the box so you don’t lose it!

Last but not least there are the volume knob and microphone mute switch on the underside of the left ear cup. These are in a fairly convenient spot, though I do prefer the flip-up mute features of other mics. I imagine that to keep costs down (and the JBL Quantum 100X is certainly one of the more affordable starter headsets) this is where a balance had to be found.

Overall the JBL Quantum 100X is a stylish headset, without the unnecessary bells and whistles other manufacturers opt for. The green highlights make for a nice change compared to the usual orange and are sure to be a hit with Xbox gamers (you know that die-hard loyalty console gamers have). It also has a number of clever design features that make for ease of use, durability, and comfort on long gaming sessions.

The Performance

At first, I wasn’t sure what games I would test the JBL Quantum 100X with, but it hit me in a flash when I glanced over at the decibel sound pressure graph on the side of the box. I needed a game with bass, midrange, and treble. Something with booming explosions, stellar music, rumbling driving, and everything in between. With that in mind, I reinstalled Fortnite.

I know what you’re thinking, and as someone who bought the Deluxe Founder’s Edition of a game destined to become nothing like its original reveal I once felt burned by Epic and Fortnite, but the game has reinvented itself. Having recently launched the new season of its battle royale mode, as well as Rocket Racing, LEGO Fortnite, and Fortnite Festival, there really was no better game for me to check out the JBL Q100X with. Here’s how it went.

First up, I fired up Rocket Racing, Fortnite’s new racing mode from the team behind Rocket League. Everything here sounded perfect. From the thunderous roar of the car engines to the pumping soundtrack that amped up the already intense atmosphere, I couldn’t fault the sound design or the performance of the JBL Quantum 100X.

Next, I attempted to survive the harsh Lego wilderness in Lego Fortnite, which is quite possibly one of the most underrated gaming experiences available at the moment. There is some truly excellent sound design in this mode, and with the Quantum 100X, I repeatedly think there’s thunder and lightning outside my office window as I game – it’s a match made in heaven.

Being a rhythm gaming veteran, I’ve been playing my fair share of Fortnite Festival, the Rock Band-esque mode from Harmonix, the legends behind the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, as well as Fuser. The Quantum 100X truly shined here, with thumping basslines, excellent midtone melodies, and impressive trebles. The only thing that disappoints is the lack of variety in songs from the game mode itself.

Lastly, I played the latest season of Fortnite itself. When it comes to using the headset for shooters, it truly is an impressive piece of kit – especially given its price. Explosions boom with undeniable bass, the atmosphere envelops you with its wind, storms, and more, and all the informative UI sound effects are easily heard without being lost in the mix. While I’m normally an okay player, I managed to bag a few wins with the Quantum 100X.

It would be a disservice of me not to mention the headset’s microphone, which works perfectly as intended. My teammates and friends have had zero dramas hearing me speak clearly and coherently. Another point for the Q100X.

Ultimately, from a performance perspective, the JBL Quantum 100X sounded flawless across multiple games and on consoles. It nails music, driving, shooters, and more, and it has to be heard to be believed.

Conclusion

The JBL Quantum 100X is a brilliant entry-level headset. It works with multiple consoles and is the perfect black and green beast to accompany that Xbox Series X you got for Christmas. Whether you’re listening to music, racing toward the finish line, or blasting your way to that victory royale, this latest entry from JBL has your back. If you’re chasing a headset under $100, the JBL Quantum 100X is a no-brainer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top