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JBL Quantum 610 Wireless

Harman positions its mid-range wireless headset with value for money in mind.

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We have often talked at Gamereactor about how hard it is to find decent quality headsets below 80 euros, or perhaps about how easy it is to find some above 100 just for the gaming branding and not because of its actual features. It is always interesting to see how JBL by Harman (a manufacturer that we know quite well) places their products in their corresponding range. Because, except for slips such as the Quantum Duo speakers, and even though they might be perceived as a more-than-average premium brand, they tend to nail a very honest price-to-quality ratio, which helps both buyers and when it comes to recommendations. So, coming from the JBL Quantum 350 as an OK entry wireless gaming headset option, we now move on to the JBL Quantum 610, a mid-range model that wants to become your main choice.

And honestly, in my case it did. You can buy the JBL Quantum 610 for a retail price of 150 euros. And what the headphones offer, considering other options in the 100-150 range, is some of the best bang for your buck. I wrote this after testing the unit for more than a month, and it even replaced the one I used at work, although it was cooler (thermally-speaking) and lighter.

This last statement is expected, because today we're looking at a wireless model for those who want it that way. They are connected by 2.4GHz radio signal to minimise latency, something we demand in wireless gaming headsets, but that at the same time depends on a USB dongle to function. These headphones don't support Bluetooth, something that probably would have increased the price of a product, which was mostly conceived to play within the same room and on PC, but that would've meant the icing on the cake for those who, for example, want to listen to music from their smartphone.

JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
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It is true that they also have an alternative type of connection via a nice-looking cable with mini jack (keep in mind that Quantum 350 doesn't even offer a 3.5 mm connection), and this is the one you must use to play on Xbox or Nintendo Switch (apparently, they only managed to support wireless USB on PS4 and PS5). That being said, JBL is already offering the dual-option in earbuds such as the JBL Quantum TWS.

The leap in the Quantum 350 is quite remarkable, in both sound, materials and build quality. In terms of the former, voices don't sound like a tin can anymore, treble is more present, and bass is still great thanks to the 50mm driver. Overall, the sound is much cleaner, allowing you to appreciate the SFX with superior sharpness and even enjoy more than acceptable music sessions.

As far as building goes, you can tell the difference right away: less plastic feeling and more sturdiness, while the materials are much more pleasing to the touch. The wires, the earpads, the satin headband... It's not high range, neither it is an audiophile product, but it is broadly speaking a finer device, and it also rests quite comfortably on the head thanks to its improved ergonomics. Of course, there is the issue of added weight (357g compared to the 252g of the Quantum 350) and the heat it traps as they're both wireless and come with added padding. But as the results are quite convincing, they feel comfortable, and they are fairly pretty headphones (one has to look good doing online interviews and livestreams), that's where they won for me. It is also practical that the headphones can be folded down to rest on your shoulders and chest. I liked the progressive volume effect as well, although it takes some time to get used to it. I am not that fond of the significant sound leak (basically, people can tell what you are listening to) or that the microphone cannot be unplugged, although it is durable, and it mutes when you flip it up.

The Quantum 610 supports DTS Headphone X and JBL Quantum Surround to simulate up to 7.1 sound channels. The "positional" sound is interesting but not incredible, as expected in mid-range, but it still does not manage to achieve the sound space that you can build with a good speaker-based surround sound system. Concerning the LED RGB lights, they are as customisable as you imagined (just like everything else, with the PC-only JBL QuantumEngine software). But there is one hitch: they'll drain your battery faster, so you should only turn them on if you really want to look like a neon-laden streamer on camera.

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All in all, the JBL Quantum 610 headset offers really good value for money, it has a great battery life (40 hours of use and three for charging), sound in line with their range, and a convincing finish. We are not asking this model to reach the frequency response, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Hi-Res Audio, ventilated headband, or viscoelastic pads of the higher-ranked JBL Quantum One. For now, though, it has become one of the best mid-range wireless options to play with, especially on PC and PlayStation.

JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
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