Written by Cheryl Tan
Most people tend to use headsets when gaming, since there’s a built-in mic for convenience and such. But for people who prefer single-player games or just don’t really require a mic for communication, speakers are the optimal choice.
A lot of desktop speakers just don’t make the cut when used for gaming. JBL’s new Quantum DUO speakers are the first gaming speakers from the brand and they’ve set the bar pretty high.
Let’s look at the design first. These speakers definitely stand out, with RGB lighting on the sides and front. It doesn’t look tacky though, JBL has done a pretty good job of making the speakers look cool, while not going overboard. The left speaker holds all the controls, including a volume knob, surround sound toggle and light brightness toggle on the front.
On the back, there’s the power port, a USB-C port for connecting the right speaker to the left, a Micro-USB port for connecting to a computer and another 3.5mm audio port.
There are also buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, LED colour selection and lighting effects on the top.
If you want to connect a pair of headphones, there’s also a 3.5mm audio port on the front just below the volume knob. Each individual speaker weighs around 1.4kg, which is pretty heavy, so you shouldn’t plan on moving them around constantly.
I recommend turning on the surround sound feature (the button will turn white) and leaving it on for both music listening and gaming. In games, you pick up footsteps and gunshots much easier with these than normal desktop speakers.
Music playback on these is pretty good. With surround sound turned off, you’ll notice that the bass is a bit more subdued, but the mids and highs are still clear. Instrument placement is accurate and the general soundstage is decent, although I do feel vocals got a little compressed.
With surround sound turned on however, I find it a much better listening experience. The bass gets more rumble introduced and really packs a punch while retaining the clarity of the mids and highs. As with most gaming audio products, the treble here is definitely more emphasised in order to get clearer directional audio cues. Vocals get more air injected in, resulting in the soundstage feeling even wider than it already is. It’s quite a surprise because sound quality typically doesn’t get better with surround sound processing turned on.
If you’re looking for good speakers that work great with both games and music, I think the JBL Quantum DUO is the top contender. At its price of S$269, it is expensive, but the quality definitely justifies the cost.
More information and purchase options for the JBL Quantum DUO speakers (S$269) are available on the JBL website.