In today’s world it is very difficult to distinguish your product among the many multimedia speakers : to surprise the customer, you need to implement innovative and relevant functionality. How did JBL cope with this task? I will open the cards immediately: quite successfully.
JBL positions its new Quantum DUO speakers as a successful desktop speaker for gamers . And although, most likely, the lion’s share of potential buyers will consider this price tag too high for two small speakers, but this acoustics has a really impressive potential, in particular – the ability to immerse their happy owner in the game.
Non-trivial sound characteristics are not the only trump card of this model. Bright design, high-quality equipment and wide functionality – every detail makes you think seriously about buying these speakers; consider these aspects in more detail.
The complete set of JBL Quantum DUO though is not ideal, but qualitative and honest. All the necessary switching is available in the box; moreover, even all the necessary switching is also available: in addition to the standard power cable, the set includes a power cable for American-style sockets and a mini-jack / mini-jack cable – an unprecedented generosity from the manufacturer!
But what did not satisfy me – so is the length of the power cable: you can not say that it is indecently short – no, most likely, for a typical workplace with a PC, its length will suffice; however, laptop owners will have to look for a carry case or extension cord in some circumstances.
Functional and ergonomics
One of the most significant advantages of JBL Quantum DUO is its modest size and light weight. Acoustics of this size can be easily and organically seated on any table.
The speakers have a standard connection scheme: the right speaker is switched to the left and connected to the socket, after which the system is connected to a computer using a micro-USB cable. The cable connecting the left and right speakers is probably even longer than actually needed, so the user has the freedom to position the system: the main thing is to have a socket nearby.
All control of the speaker system is due to the controls on the right column: the front panel is equipped with a volume knob and touch keys: one changes the brightness of the backlight and the other is responsible for turning on the “surround” mode, which is actually a “wow factor” of this model (but about him a little later). Here we find an output for headphones.
On the top panel you will find the buttons to turn on the speakers, activate Bluetooth, switch the backlight mode and select the backlight color. Yes, the manufacturer has paid considerable attention to the visual effects, and not for nothing – it looks really good 🙂
I want to focus on Bluetooth – it works very well: unlike many wireless systems, the delay is almost not felt; so if you want to connect to speakers from your phone and, for example, watch videos on YouTube, watching will be comfortable.
The sound of JBL Quantum DUO impressed me. This model is a clear example of how the manufacturer keeps its word and gives the customer exactly what he promised – acoustics for gamers. Playing computer games with Quantum DUO is a real pleasure: first of all for the reason that this speaker system broadcasts the stereo field almost as phenomenally as for its size; Of course, the left / right correspondence generally depends on the positioning of the speakers, but if you have the opportunity to position the system so that it forms a conditional equilateral triangle (the third vertex of which will be your head, of course), you will get a good sound panorama.
The next sound characteristic that gamers will definitely like is quite enough bass. Yes, of course, this bass is “artificial”, to be honest, but it is, nevertheless, dense and powerful, especially given the small diameter of the Quantum DUO speakers.
And finally, the trump card of the model – “surround” mode – an effect that will make the average user literally fall in love with JBL Quantum DUO: turning on this mode, you will hear a more voluminous, deep and wide sound. This effect is produced by the system’s built-in digital processor, which, firstly, adds reverberation to the signal, secondly, expands the stereo field thanks to “stereo enhancement” technology, and thirdly, slightly cuts the upper part of the frequency spectrum to mimic the sound on open space – the result is impressive, especially when playing.
What surprised me the most was the fact that even with the surround on, which has a huge impact on the primary signal, the accuracy of the panorama is more preserved! Conventionally speaking, Quantum DUO “transfers” the sound to a completely new space, but, despite this, you will still be able to reliably determine from which side the enemy is approaching you.
Of course, there are also shortcomings in the sound of this model ….
First of all, I didn’t have enough high frequencies: as I mentioned, surround “eats” a certain part of the top of the frequency range, but, in my opinion, with the top surround turned off, it’s still not enough.
Secondly, this speaker system has a fairly flat dynamic response, so when listening to music, especially one that contains a large number of different sound textures, some instruments will be partially mixed; the reason for this problem is quite obvious – high readability is hindered by the small size of the columns. Compactness is one of those characteristics that are very expensive. JBL engineers have given priority to compactness, and although this has not affected the sound in the best way, they are right: after all, the speakers are primarily intended for video games.
The third claim I had about the sound was the same “artificial” bass I praised a little higher; no, my position on him has not changed: it is good that he is. However, when listening to some phonograms, the speakers “drum” too much; This feature is unlikely to interfere with the game, but if you like to listen to music in between games that does not meet the interests of the lion’s share of modern youth – listen to Quantum DUO more carefully before buying.
JBL Quantum DUO and games
It is worth noting: Quantum DUO is able to decorate any video game; however, with some game genres, this system works a little better, with some – a little worse. In this section, I will briefly describe my experience and impressions of using this model in the “game environment” on visual examples.
It has already been said that the most fascinating feature of this model is the “surround” mode; The “wow effect” of using this mode with different types of sound will not be the same. To understand how well surround complements our experience of the game, I suggest you remember a small rule: the less sound plans in the game – the more organically the effect adorns the screen action. What do I mean? For example, you play a first-person shooter: the sound of footsteps and the rustle of equipment is one sound plan; the sound of military equipment passing a conditional 15 meters from you – the background; the sound of a propeller over you – the third; the sound of shots 40 meters away from you is the fourth. In order for the surround to sound most realistic, these sound plans don’t have to be 100 pieces! Now that we’ve figured out how to get the most out of the effect,
If you enjoy playing Tekken or Mortal Kombat, JBL Quantum DUO will perfectly complement your gaming experience. Since in games of this genre, as a rule, the number of sounds is not so great, the surround works properly: the beats seem to echo in the head!
And even if the game is full of very sharp and dynamic music – such as Tekken 7 – the volume and depth of the scene does not interfere with the organic perception of events.
First person shooters and action
Since the variety of scenes and plans in shooters and action movies is much wider than in the case of fighting games, the situation here is not so clear. Depending on the saturation and tempo of the sound, the level of satisfaction with the “surround” mode may vary slightly.
Turning on the JBL Quantum DUO for the first time, I decided to immediately “throw them under the tanks” and test with “Overwatch”. Almost every gamer knows what kind of game it is, and those who do not know probably have a pretty clear idea of what it is; One way or another, surround games of this type, in my opinion, are not appropriate.
The fact is that “Overwatch” is generally noticeably oversaturated with sounds, and when the surround is on, the head begins to “swell” a bit. It is worth noting that in the standard mode of reproduction perception does not interfere. Again, it’s all a matter of taste.
If you like to play less dynamic first-person games, such as my favorite “Dishonored” for example, then surround will definitely appeal to you.
So it has historically happened that very often the most interesting and, I’m not afraid of this word, artistic decisions about directing video games are made by third-party action developers. You don’t have to go into your pocket for examples: “The Witcher”, “Dark Souls”, “Prince of Persia”, “Assassin’s Creed” – the list goes on and on. If you, like me, love games that inspire you to just “walk” the locations and watch the triumph of the artistic genius of the digital age, believe me: Quantum DUO is exactly what you need.
When I turned on “Dark Souls” with this system, I caught a real euphoria: the speakers seemed to be specially designed to play just such sounds. It is worth noting that the production of the series “Dark Souls” is at an extremely high level, but Quantum DUO helps to complement the already ingenious soundtracks and sound design, to perceive them in a new way.
In case the sound environment of the game does not try to distract you from the actual gameplay, JBL Quantum DUO really spreads its wings. Each recorded atmosphere, effect or musical episode will be revealed through the speakers of this system, if the game finds a “common language” with them. And third-person action movies, especially the ones I mentioned separately, fit well with the description.
The eternal question of compatibility: nothing to fear!
It would be a pity if such a successful speaker system for gamers had “curve” compatibility with Windows, but, fortunately, everything works without any critical problems. There are a couple of nuances, and now I’ll talk about them, but in general Quantum DUO work stably.
The first thing that can scare the happy owner of this speaker system – Windows can be a little slow to “pick up” the driver on the first / second connection. There may be a situation where the speakers will first play the sound properly and then “shut up”. This behavior is quite natural for technology, which provides for the automatic installation of drivers. After restarting the computer and reconnecting the speakers, the operating system will get used to the driver and everything will work as it should.
The second aspect is a kind of “perfectionist’s nightmare”: when you turn the volume knob, the operating system automatically triggers the signal adjustment by the internal mixer. It looks luxurious: as if you turn the knob on the speaker, and the volume scale on the connected device also changes the value of the level. But, unfortunately, this feature works, to put it mildly, not perfectly: sometimes the “response” of the operating system is delayed, sometimes – just freezes. The volume itself is properly regulated, but visual monitoring “falls off”.
In fairness, I emphasize: these features are even difficult to call problems! Since real problems with drivers are commonplace for Windows, such small nuances should not spoil the idea of good technology at all. I had to use a lot of audio equipment, which was literally impossible to use with Windows.
JBL Quantum DUO made a very positive impression on me. In fact, this system seems to me the best choice for gamers, and in general, the best option for desktop speakers in this price segment.
JBL Quantum DUO have all the necessary connection options, have quality sound and, most importantly, the ability to impress its owner. I definitely recommend you to pay attention to this model, especially if you want to feel the already familiar sound textures.