When you hear the name JBL, the first thing that comes to mind for most people will be speakers. With JBL branching out into gaming headsets, I was quite stunned to see a streaming microphone during a recent press event in London.
JBL Quantum Stream – What is This Witchcraft?
Sitting tidily next to a gaming pc, showing off the perfect JBL setup, was a JBL Quantum Stream mic. While chatting with one of the amazing hosts from the PR firm as well as the JBL technical guru, I was puzzled as to how we seemingly did not know much about this foray into the streaming world!
Entering a packed mid-market with some serious hitters such as the likes of Blue, Hyper X and Razer, how would the JBL Quantum Stream fair?
Standing at just 25cm tall, the black shroud and base of the Quantum Stream look fairly inconspicuous when surrounded by the rest of my desktop setup. It certainly does not stand out like the Blue Yeti, however not everybody wants a large mic, especially those with limited gaming space. With a small build, there is also a reduction in weight with the Quantum Stream weighing just shy of 250g.
At the heart of the Quantum Stream there are 2 x 14mm Electret condenser microphones that sample up to 24bit 96kHz in order to hear your voice loudly and clearly, hopefully with zero background noise.
The design is fairly simplistic with a multi-functional dial to control the volume of your headset on the front of the mic as well as select from the 2 available polar voice patterns; Cardioid and Omnidirectional. This allows the Quantum Stream to be flexible as either a mic for purely 1 person to sit in front of when streaming or for a group to sit around a table such as when recording a podcast. The either white or green led below the dial subtly indicates the polar pattern chosen.
The mic has a nifty touch-sensitive mute button on the top should you need to go for a break or chat to somebody in the same room as you. The mute/unmute feature is instantaneous and changes the ring led on the underside of the mic to either green or red. This causes a nice and discreet glow of light that cascades onto the base.
On the underside of the Quantum Stream there is a USB-C port to connect the included cable to your PC while there is also a 3.5mm headphone port for output and sidetone. When adjusting the volume dial the led ring changes colour to reflect when maximum output to your headphones has been achieved. Similarly, with a short press of the volume dial you can then control the mic gain on the fly with the brightness of the led ring once again denoting the setting.
The mic stand itself has a rotary ball joint that allows the mic to be moved in all manner of directions. If you prefer a different style of stand or even a boom arm, the Quantum Stream mic can be unscrewed and remounted onto any compatible 5/8″ (15.88mm) and 1/4″ (6.35mm) male screw device or slid into a 2.2″ (55mm) diameter shock mount.
JBL has always been good when it comes to inclusivity on most of their headsets and headphones therefore it is not a surprise to find that the Quantum Stream is compatible with not only PC, but Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Mac.
Plug and play is as you expect without any dramas. My voice sounded very clear, even with my dog joining in at times in the background. To my delight, there was very little background noise picked up. Using the Quantum Engine PC software opens the mic up to some further customisation that is not available to invoke from the mic itself. With firmware updates, 5 pre-made equalizers as well as the ability to make your own, you have full control of how you sound. I will say that the pre-set eqs on the app did not all sound marvelous for me and are completely dependent on your tone of voice as well as your setting. For those of you who like your RGB you can alter the colour of the mute and unmute led ring to suit your style.
From the time that I have been using the Quantum Stream, it is essential that you will need to do some playing around to find the equalizer that suits your voice the most. It is quite amazing how a tweak of bass or treble changes how you sound and ultimately how you are heard during your game.
I must say I have been very impressed by JBL’s Quantum Stream. For their first standalone microphone, they have really pulled off a product that is stylish, user-friendly, and of course, sounds great. With an RRP of £94.99, if you are looking for a non-imposing but fantastic-looking condenser microphone, JBL has you covered.
I award the JBL Quantum Stream the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.