Another day, another stand out audio product from JBL. We are all well aware that JBL knows what they are doing when it comes to providing quality audio time and time again. Their reputation is built on constantly delivering. So it will come as no surprise to hear that The JBL Quantum Duo absolutely hits the nail on the head when it comes to providing incredible quality PC/ gaming audio.
If you asked me a month ago for a “gaming speaker” recommendation, I'd have looked at you with a blank stare. I simply didn't even know that it was even a thing. Nor did I realise just how big a difference it would make. Now, after using the JBL Quantum Duo for a little over 4 weeks, I can honestly say I'll never go back. They are simply a product I can no longer live without. Here's why…
Ok, so out of the box I know aesthetically they are going to look great in my set up because they themselves look great. They look classy, they are compact and they still manage to have that level of “gamer” about them. By that I mean that they still have a few jagged lines, and rather than hiding behind a layer of mesh, the Quantum Duo’s opt for a more exposed design, they have an abundance of RGB and they have a lot of texture. However, if you prefer, you can turn off the RGB lighting and the whole thing appears a lot more sophisticated and it does all of this with very minimal cords. A quick Google search to research the product will give you these expectations. However, once you get these bad boys you will find your expectations will be well and truly exceeded. The first feature that exceeded my expectation was in fact a specific mode of the RGB - Pulse mode, while this isn't exactly a big deal, pulse mode enabled the RGB lighting to, you guessed it, pulse in time with whatever you're playing. That means if you're listening to music for example, the speakers turn up the mood to a 10 and act as your very own disco lights. When gaming however this is just as effective. Playing games like Ghost of Tsushima, I was very impressed by the extra level of immersion created by seeing and feeling the gleam of light with every sword clatter etc. a small feature, but a very cool one nonetheless.
Sound wise, the Quantum Duo blew me away. For such a compact speaker, they sure pack some depth to them. While they don't go super loud, probably due to their size, what they do bring to the table is an extremely rich, deep sounding audio. Don't get me wrong though, these speakers go loud enough. I personally used them at around 40% most of the time and that was plenty loud enough. Just don't expect them to blow the roof off your house because that's not what they are about. They are about delivering a super punchy, bassy, clean and just exceptional sound quality. Going from my in-built laptop speaker to these is literally chalk and cheese. It's like going from watching a movie on your phone speaker to watching it in a cinema. What they do really, really well is they simulate positioning. What I mean by that is that even though I have one speaker positioned to my left and another to my right, they somehow manage to make it sound as though the audio is coming from my laptop. In fact, the first time I tried these I had to actually put my ear to the laptop speaker just to make sure.
In terms of gaming audio specifically, compared to your laptop or TV/monitor speaker, having these plugged in seemingly adds a whole new dimension of audio. I mean, playing Subnautica Below Zero, I could hear marine life all around me. Honestly, being just 2 speakers I was blown away by this. I'm not technical by any means, but I have no idea how 2 speakers (both of which are in front of you), especially speakers this small, can reproduce this effect. But they do!
Now, I want to talk to you about connectivity. This is possibly the area in which I was most surprised. See I expected the speakers to sound great, I mean they are JBL of course they sound great, but little did I know that the Quantum Duo is not only a desktop/laptop audio setup but they also double and even triple as both a bluetooth speaker and a console speaker system. That's right, the JBL Quantum Duo can connect to both your mobile phone or your Playstation 4 and Playstation 5, upgrading the standard, flat sounding audio from your TV and turning it into an extremely rich deep sounding experience. The boost to bass really helps in simulating headphone quality audio without the need for headphones. Don't get me wrong, these things aren't going to replace the need for a good headset, but they are definitely a very capable middle ground and they really help bridge that gap going from your amazing sounding headset to your bang average TV speakers.
Eye catching design
Excellent Sound quality
great virtual surround performance
Don't take up much space
Customisable RGB lighting
Lack of software support
As mentioned above, my only real con with the Quantum Duo is its lack of JBL Quantum Studio software support to adjust RGB and things like EQ settings. I dont feel that this is deal breaking and certainly doesn't out way the pros but its just something to note and could have made an already phenomenal product just about perfect.
The JBL Quantum Duo speakers are hands down my favourite thing that I have reviewed this year, or at least the biggest improvement to my setup compared to what I already had. They are far better sounding than I ever expected and are way more versatile than I realised. I'd recommend this product to anyone looking to upgrade their standard Laptop, PC or console audio. They look great, sound even better and can connect to just about anything you own.