The JBL Quantum 400 offers 7.1 surround sound simulation and on-ear control over the audio mix.
Booming explosions are nice and all, but serious PC and console gamers need more nuanced sound and better control over their audio. The JBL Quantum 400 headset includes all the features and connections found in the JBL Quantum 300 — including JBL's QuantumSURROUND sound — and adds a little more. You get a balance dial for calibrating game/chat audio, a multi-colored LED light-up logo, and second surround sound option, DTS Headphones:X version 2.0.
That means you can better hear distinct sounds and directional cues — plus you have quick and easy control over the audio mix for multi-player games. Dial up the volume on crucial communication with teammates or tune out trash talk from annoying opponents online. The dial is found on the left earcup and it is certified for use with DISCORD, and compatible with other chat software including TeamSpeak.
These headphones feature the same large 50mm drivers found in all of the other Quantum headsets. JBL's special headphone sound signature has been honed by years and years of research and exhaustive user testing. It's helped them develop a sound profile that's been proven to satisfy most listeners.
The Windows PC app gave me control of everything from the surround sound to the pattern of the headset's multi-color LED lights.
These JBLs offers clear, powerful sound out of the box. But for an extra level of immersion into your games and videos — and a suite full of cool customization features — you'll want to download the QuantumENGINE software to your Windows PC.
The surround processing was pretty effective with the right material.
The new season of the Netflix docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive was a good fit for these headphones. All of the visceral racing action and tire changes came through with punch-to-the-gut impact. But then in lower-key moments, like an office meeting between a driver and race sponsor.
In order take advantage of the QuantumENGINE software — including the surround sound processing — you'll need to connect to your PC via the provided USB-A adapter cable. This cable is over four feet long, so it gives you some extra slack. And it feels nice and durable thanks to the woven-fabric covering.
Snug, secure fit with thick memory-foam padding.
The Quantum 400 headset also comes with a durable cable terminated by a 3.5mm miniplug for two-channel audio. So it will connect to the headphone jack at the bottom of your Xbox One or PS4 controller (and some third-party Nintendo Switch controllers). You should be able to make the same type of connection on the forthcoming Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 controllers, based on the specs released by those companies.
Gamers often end up wearing headphones even longer than us serious music listeners. So JBL added a thick layer of soft memory-foam padding to the Quantum 400's earcups and headband. These headphones do fit snug, but that helps ensure that they stay properly in place while you move around.
One tip for all-day PC gamers: in the QuantumENGINE software suite, choose the EQ setting called "long session." It will smooth out some of the higher frequencies, so you don't get those harsh sounds that can grate on you over time.
Obviously, in the middle of an instense game you don't want stop and fiddle with your headset. To that point, there's a raised volume dial right below the game/chat balance dial that's easy to find with your finger. Plus the attached directional microphone is tuned to pick up voices for clear-sounding chat. You can flip the boom arm up to quickly mute the mic.