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JBL Quantum 100P
March 13, 2023
41 x 62mm (Inside ear cup)
90x 100mm (outside ear cup)
1.2m (cable length)
It seems a perennial truth that no matter how many gaming headsets we have, a new year always brings new platform-specific renditions of familiar models and form factors. In that light, the JBL Quantum 100P tells you a lot with just its name—it’s a P-for-PlayStation themed model of one the most basic gaming headsets JBL sells in a now crowded Quantum line. Simple isn’t always a bad thing—in fact, it’s often preferable.
Let’s see if the Quantum 100P has what it takes to become a new budget classic.
Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.
The JBL Quantum 100P targets PlayStation gamers, but really it’s an attractive gaming headset for anyone who wants to save some money. The headset works equally well across any device with a headphone jack, whether that’s Sony’s console, Microsoft’s, a smartphone, or a computer.
What’s it like to use the JBL Quantum 100P?
The JBL Quantum 100P is about as basic as it gets. It’s an all-plastic over-ear gaming headset, sporting a PlayStation 5-esque white and blue look. There’s no extra buttons, LED lights, or frills of any kind. It’s just a pair of headphones with a boom mic attached.
While the plastic doesn’t feel terribly durable, the Quantum 100P is very comfortable to wear. It’s lightweight, no doubt owing in part to the lack of internal components, like a battery. The ear cups are wide, and deep enough to allow for big ears, which means getting a seal around your ears is easy. The headset’s hinges have a decent capacity to tilt and can rotate to lay flat, which means you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a comfortable fit, regardless of your head shape.
Actually using this gaming headset is extremely simple. There’s no software or device drivers to install. The Quantum 100P comes with a detachable 3.5mm boom microphone, and features a volume dial and mic mute switch on the bottom edge of the left headphone. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
How do you connect the JBL Quantum 100P?
This is a wired gaming headset, and the only way to connect it is by plugging it into a 3.5mm TRS headphone jack. There’s no USB dongles or Bluetooth functionality to speak of. That means the JBL Quantum 100P works on PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PC, mobile devices, and more. Simple as can be.
No. The JBL Quantum 100P and JBL Quantum 100X are functionally identically headsets. They both connect via 3.5mm jack. The only difference is the color.
How well does the JBL Quantum 100P attenuate noise?
The JBL Quantum 100P features good passive isolation performance, but nothing too remarkable. Attenuation like this will be more than adequate for handling most of the environmental sounds you might hear while gaming at home—roommates talking, someone washing dishes in the kitchen, a car horn out the window—but not much past that. There’s no active noise canceling, so low-end attenuation is pretty much nil.
How does the JBL Quantum 100P sound?
The JBL Quantum 100P has an odd looking frequency response for a headphone, but one that’s typical of many gaming headsets. Particularly odd is the big bump in the 70-400Hz bass range. Sound like this could be pretty disruptive depending on the kind of music that you listen to—anything that relies primarily on the low and mid range sound could come through sounding disproportionately loud. Needless to say, it lands pretty wide of our in-house target curve for headphones.
Listening to a rock song like Dracula’s Daughter by Beach Day, the reverb on the distorted rhythm guitar steamrolls the rest of the track. The bass guitar comes through pretty clearly, but drums and vocals sound notably less present. The guitar is supposed to be very prominent, but on this headset it seems to dominate the rest of the instrumentation in a bad way.
This kind of sound profile works fine for playing most games, though. The over-tuned bass makes the rumbles and big reverberant aspects of environmental sounds feel a little too present in a single player game like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on PlayStation 5, but multiplayer games don’t have the same issues most of time. When there’s no backing track or atmosphere environmental sounds, it’s a lot less distracting, so the silence punctuated by gunfire and explosions in games like Apex Legends and Valorant doesn’t sound terribly out of whack.
How good is the JBL Quantum’s microphone?
The JBL Quantum 100P sounds loud, and it suffers a little from a tendency to blow out the bass in lower voices. You can mitigate this a little by positioning the mic a bit farther from your mouth—it’s on a flexible wire, so finding the right spot is easy. Voice and video calling apps like Google Meet or Discord will also do a lot to pick up the slack, so others may not even notice an issue in the first place.
JBL Quantum 100P microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
JBL Quantum 100P microphone demo (Office conditions):
JBL Quantum 100P microphone demo (Reverberant conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the JBL Quantum 100P?
If you’re on the hunt for a budget gaming headset you don’t have to think too hard about, the JBL Quantum 100P is definitely worth considering. It’s not a spectacular piece of hardware—the sound is pretty wonky, after all—but it’s also under $40 USD. What you get for that money is a lightweight, easy to use, no-nonsense device. The microphone is okay, the design is comfortable, and it works everywhere. That’s a pretty compelling proposition.
We haven’t tested the Quantum 100X, but by every indication it is basically an identical gaming headset to the JBL Quantum 100P. Basically, if you want a gaming headset that’s white with blue accents, get the 100P. If you want something that’s black with green accents, the 100X could be for you.
What should you get instead of the JBL Quantum 100P?
If you’re on the hunt for bargain gaming audio products, there are tons of great options to choose from. JBL’s own Quantum 50 is a common recommendation we often make for anyone open for a pair of earbuds instead of over-ear headphones. It’s doubly worth bringing up here, given how much better it sounds than the Quantum 100P. It’s cheaper too ($34 at Amazon).
However, for more substantial offerings, you may need to spend a little more. For $55 at Amazon, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 brings comfortable suspension style headband, and ear pads covered in soft mesh fabric—perfect for long gaming sessions. The headset also sounds a little more reasonable.
Frequently asked questions about the JBL Quantum 100P
It may be tuned slightly differently, but otherwise there doesn’t seem to be much difference—at least, not apart from the respective products’ ages. You can at least Quantum 100 in other color options.