JBL Quantum 100 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jul 30, 2020 at 07:50 am
JBL Quantum 100 Picture
5.1
Mixed Usage
6.1
Neutral Sound
4.4
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
4.9
Office
4.7
Wireless Gaming
6.7
Wired Gaming
7.0
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL Quantum 100 are okay budget wired gaming headphones. They're the entry-level model in JBL's lineup of Quantum-branded gaming headset lineup, and lack many of the features found on the more expensive JBL Quantum 400, JBL Quantum 800 Wireless, and JBL Quantum ONE, including RGB lighting and a dedicated companion app. Aside from their high-quality boom microphone, they deliver fairly unremarkable performance across the board, but they're a solid choice if you're looking for a pair of no-frills gaming headphones that won't break the bank.

Our Verdict

5.1 Mixed Usage

The JBL Quantum 100 are a poor option for mixed usage. While they have a pretty conservative design with a detachable boom microphone, they're still not very portable. They also aren't especially comfortable and feel quite flimsy. Meanwhile, their unbalanced sound profile won't suit most musical genres, while their wired-only connection also limits their versatility.

Pros
  • Excellent boom microphone.
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Flimsy build quality.
  • Rudimentary control scheme.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Wired only-connection.
6.1 Neutral Sound

The JBL Quantum 100 are mediocre when it comes to neutral sound. They have a boomy, bass-heavy sound profile that muddies and clutters a lot of tracks. They also don't provide an especially consistent fit, so your listening experience may vary significantly on different occasions.

Pros
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Boomy, dark sound profile.
  • Inconsistent listening experience.
4.4 Commute/Travel

The JBL Quantum 100 are a bad match for commuting and traveling. They block out very little background noise, especially in the bass range, so you'll hear quite a bit of rumbling from bus engines. They're also not very portable and start to pinch your ears during moderately-long listening sessions. Finally, they lack most essential onboard call and music controls, which makes it a hassle to switch tracks or answer calls when you're on the go.

Pros
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Flimsy build quality.
  • Rudimentary control scheme.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Wired only-connection.
5.2 Sports/Fitness

The JBL Quantum 100 are inadequate for sports and fitness. They clamp the head fairly tightly, especially for gaming headphones, but will probably fall off at anything more intense than a light jog. They also lack basic call management and music controls, making it easy to disrupt your flow if you're out on a run. Their non-detachable wired connection also represents a snagging hazard.

Pros
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Flimsy build quality.
  • Rudimentary control scheme.
  • Wired only-connection.
4.9 Office

The JBL Quantum 100 are bad for dedicated office use. They do a very poor job of blocking out background speech, which isn't ideal in a crowded office. They also aren't especially comfortable to wear for extended periods, while their wired-only connection limits their versatility.

Pros
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Wired only-connection.
4.7 Wireless Gaming

These headphones are wired-only and don't support wireless connections.

6.7 Wired Gaming

The JBL Quantum 100 are an okay choice for wired gaming. Their wired connection allows for lag-free audio while their high-quality boom microphone means that teammates will be able to understand you. Unfortunately, their fit is a little on the tight side and might begin to pinch your ears during longer gaming sessions.

Pros
  • Excellent boom microphone.
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Flimsy build quality.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
7.0 Phone Calls

The JBL Quantum 100 are a decent choice for making phone calls. While they lack even basic call management controls, their excellent boom microphone makes your voice sound full-bodied, distortion-free, and mostly clear of background noise.

Pros
  • Excellent boom microphone.
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Wired only-connection.
  • 5.1 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.4 Commute/Travel
  • 5.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.9 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.7 Wired Gaming
  • 7.0 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL Quantum 100 are pretty conservative-looking gaming headphones. Unlike the more expensive models in JBL’s Quantum lineup, such as the JBL Quantum 400 and JBL Quantum ONE, they don't have RGB lighting. With their boom microphone detached, they look like normal, somewhat cheap, over-ear headphones.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.45 lbs
Clamping Force
0.8 lbs

These headphones are passably comfortable. While their overall clamping force was measured as being quite low, they feel quite tight on the head and start pinching your ears during longer listening sessions. However, the padding used on their headband and ear cups is quite plush.

5.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The JBL Quantum 100’s control scheme is inadequate but intuitive. Like many gaming headphones, it’s limited to a few basic functions, with the only onboard controls being a volume scroll wheel and a mic mute button. Thankfully, both offer plenty of physical feedback, as the volume scroll wheel stops at the minimum and maximum increments while the mic mute button is very clicky, so it’s easy to tell when you’ve made an input.

5.5
Design
Portability
L 6.3 "
W 8.2 "
H 3.4 "
Volume 176 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These headphones aren’t very portable. Their ear cups fold flat and their boom microphone is detachable, but the headphones don’t fold inwards. They also lack any sort of protective carrying case, so you risk having them snag on something if you just toss them into your bag.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don’t have a case.

5.5
Design
Build Quality

The JBL Quantum 100’s build quality is disappointing. They’re made entirely of cheap-feeling plastic that produces some worrying creaking noises when they flex. Their headband feels similarly flimsy. That said, their braided audio cable is a nice, premium-feeling touch.

6.5
Design
Stability

The JBL Quantum 100 do an okay job of staying on. That’s mostly down to their tight fit, which ensures that they shouldn’t slip around unless you start shaking your head violently. Their audio cable isn’t detachable, which means that it could snag on something if you aren't careful.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • JBL Quantum 100 headphones
  • Detachable boom microphone
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.8 db
Treble Amount
-2.44 db

These headphones don’t have a very well-balanced sound profile. A large bump from the mid-bass to low-mid ranges causes a fair amount of boominess while their very uneven treble veils and darkens the finer details on a lot of tracks.

5.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.12 dB

These headphones have sub-par frequency response consistency. Aside from the middle of the mid-range, sounds across the audible spectrum will be heard very differently depending on headphone positioning and fit, particularly in the bass and treble frequencies.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.42 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
1.03 dB
Mid-Bass
3.83 dB
High-Bass
9.04 dB

These headphones have mediocre bass accuracy. It's overemphasized part way through the range, producing some boominess that can muddy and clutter some tracks. Of course, some may prefer that powerful bass since it can add some emphasis to in-game sound effects. That said, due to their poor frequency response consistency, you may hear sounds in the bass range very differently on separate occasions.

7.1
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.93 dB
Low-Mid
5.7 dB
Mid-Mid
1.94 dB
High-Mid
0.1 dB

The mid accuracy of these headphones is alright. The bump from the high-bass range carries over into the low-mids, which makes vocals, dialogue, and lead instrumentals sound cluttered and muddy. That said, the rest of the range is fairly flat and well-balanced.

5.3
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.27 dB
Low-Treble
-2.33 dB
Mid-Treble
6.01 dB
High-Treble
-3.31 dB

The JBL Quantum 100 have poor treble accuracy. A steep dip in the low-treble range darkens and veils finer instruments and vocals while the following peak makes sharp S and T sibilants sound overly bright and piercing. However, treble response is largely dependent on headphone positioning and fit, so your own listening experience may differ significantly.

5.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.75 db
Dips
2.51 db

The peaks and dips performance of these headphones is sub-standard. A large bump throughout most of the bass range carries over into the low mid-range, cluttering some tracks. The following drop in the mid-mids veils some lead instrumentals and vocals, while the steep dip and subsequent peak in the treble range makes higher frequencies sound alternatively dull and piercing.

8.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.36
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.7
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.48
Weighted Phase Mismatch
9.46

The JBL Quantum 100 have great stereo imaging performance. The weighted group delay falls almost entirely below the audibility threshold, which should ensure tight bass and a transparent treble. The L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude and phase response, but a very minor mismatch in frequency response is present. However, that shouldn’t be too noticeable for most listeners, and these headphones ultimately do a very good job in regards to object localization in stereo. It should be said that the results we obtained are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.

5.2
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
5.98 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.92 dB
PRTF Distance
12.83 dB
Openness
5.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.9

Like most closed-back headphones, the JBL Quantum 100’s passive soundstage is disappointing. It's somewhat spacious, considering their design, but ultimately you’ll perceive sound as coming from the inside of your head rather than in front of you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

The JBL Quantum 100 don’t have any virtual soundstage features.

7.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.401
WHD @ 100
0.136

The weighted harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is good. Most listeners probably won’t notice the spikes in the low-bass and low-treble ranges, which could make some tracks sound a little harsh and piercing. That said, the rest of its frequencies fall within acceptable limits, so most audio should sound relatively clean and pure.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

The results we obtained with these headphones are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
4.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.77 dB
Bass
-0.41 dB
Mid
-6.95 dB
Treble
-28.35 dB

These headphones do a bad job of isolating you from ambient noise. Sounds in the bass range aren’t blocked at all, hear quite a bit of rumble if you’re on a bus or in a plane. The volume of background speech is also barely reduced, so these headphones aren’t a good choice for listening in a crowded environment.

6.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
41.91 dB

The JBL Quantum 100 perform adequately in regards to audio leakage. Most of it occurs in the mid and low-treble range, so escaping sound is somewhat full-bodied. That said, most leakage should be lost beneath the background noise of an average office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes

The JBL Quantum 100 have a detachable boom microphone.

8.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.18 dB
HFE
8245.71 Hz
Weighted THD
0.061
Gain
26.75 dB

The recording quality of the JBL Quantum 100’s boom microphone is remarkable, especially considering their budget price. Your voice should sound deep, full-bodied, natural, and almost completely free of distortion.

7.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
24.29 dB

The boom microphone on these headphones does a good job of isolating speech from ambient noise. Your voice should be easily understood by those on the other end of line, even if you’re in a fairly loud and crowded environment.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

The JBL Quantum 100 don’t have a battery.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones aren’t compatible with JBL’s Quantum Engine app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

These headphones are wired-only and don’t support Bluetooth connections. If you’re looking for wireless gaming headphones that are Bluetooth-compatible, check out the Steelseries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The JBL Quantum 100 are wired-only.

9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 4.1 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The JBL Quantum 100 come with a braided 1/8” TRRS cable which should provide full audio and microphone compatibility with most gaming setups, so you should have no trouble hearing in-game sound effects and communicating with teammates.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones offer full audio and microphone compatibility with PC as well as PS4 consoles when you plug the 1/8" TRRS cable into the controller.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

The JBL Quantum 100 offer full audio and microphone compatibility with Xbox One consoles when you plug their 1/8” TRRS cable into the controller.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don’t have a dock.

Compared to other headphones

The JBL Quantum 100 are simple, no-frills wired gaming headphones. Aside from a very high-quality detachable boom microphone, they do little to stand out in the realm of budget-priced gaming headphones. They feel very cheap and provide a muddy, cluttered, and frustratingly inconsistent listening experience that can’t be customized or adjusted. If you're looking for gaming headphones, check out our list of recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $100, the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 gaming headsets, and the best Xbox One headsets.

HyperX Cloud Stinger
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud Stinger are better wired gaming headphones than the JBL Quantum 100. The HyperX are more comfortable to wear during long gaming sessions, feel far more well-built, and provide a better-balanced listening experience, not to mention vastly superior noise isolation performance. On the other hand, the JBL have an easier-to-use control scheme that provides a little more feedback as well as a detachable boom microphone that makes them a little less bulky.

Razer Kraken X
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer Kraken X are better wired gaming headphones than the JBL Quantum 100. The Razer are less fatiguing to wear, feel sturdier, and have a boom microphone that does a better job of isolating speech from background noise. Conversely, the JBL are a little easier to carry around and look a little more casual thanks to their detachable boom microphone.

JBL Quantum 400
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL Quantum 400 are better wired gaming headphones than the JBL Quantum 100. The Quantum 400 offer a much sturdier build-quality as well as a broad array of configuration options in their companion JBL Quantum Engine software, not to mention USB audio compatibility. However, the Quantum 100 are much cheaper, have a boom microphone that makes your voice sound fuller, and deliver a broadly similar, only slightly less neutral listening experience.

Astro A10
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A10 are better wired gaming headphones than the JBL Quantum 100. The Astro are much more premium feeling, have a better-balanced sound profile, and provide a more consistent, comfortable fit. However, the JBL are a little more portable thanks to their detachable microphone, while their simple onboard control scheme provides more feedback than the Astro’s in-line remote.

Logitech Zone Wired
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech Zone Wired are better office headphones than the JBL Quantum 100. The Logitech are more comfortable, much sturdier-feeling, and offer a better-balanced listening experience as well as a decently comprehensive companion app. Conversely, the over-ear JBL have an even better detachable boom microphone that makes your voice sound fuller-bodied. The JBL also have a 1/8” TRRS audio cable connection that’s compatible with a wider range of devices.

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JBL Quantum 100 Price

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