JBL Quantum TWS Review Gaming Earbuds With 2.4Ghz Dongle

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Get that extra edge over the competition with JBL's new gaming headset alternative - the Quantum TWS in-ear gaming earbuds. More convenient to use when wearing glasses and easier to pack for transportation than an over ear gaming headset!

One of the unique features you get with the JBL Quantum TWS earbuds is dual connectivity - bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless - which is similar functionality you get with most bluetooth headphones, including the Quantum One headphones. A 2.4Ghz wireless dongle is included neatly tucked away inside the charging case. The JBL Quantum TWS  is one of the few handful gaming earbuds with 2.4Ghz dongle.

When connecting via Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless, you can connect to a bluetooth source (e.g. phone) and 2.4 GHz connection and switch between them but, you cannot play both sources at the same time. When connected to a phone you won't miss a call either because when you do get a call, you will hear a notification alert via the earbuds. The JBL Quantum TWS bluetooth chipset does not support bluetooth multipoint; hence you cannot connect the earbuds (via bluetooth) to multiple devices at the same time. If multipoint is a requirement, check out the new JBL Tour PRO 2 TWS.
The JBL Quantum TWS earbuds are supported by the JBL Headphones mobile app and JBL QuantumEngine PC software, which gives you access to equalizer and surround settings.The JBL Headphones app doesn't require an account registration, other than granting the usual permissions (e.g. location). The app has a sleak user interface, easy to navigate.

From the JBL Headphones app, you can check battery level for each earbud and case, setup voice assistant, perform ear canal test, power off/on earbuds, track your earbuds, remap gestures, adjust sidetone, adjust sensitivity of mics for situational awareness, enable "TalkThru" (when talking to someone) and access a 10-band EQ with 6 preset modes and custom mode for creating your own sound signature. There is no adjustment slider for ANC but you get 3 preset modes to customize the performance of the ANC. 

The charging time of the JBL Quantum TWS earbuds and charging case is 2 hours respectively with quick charge support, which charges really fast. From a 15 minute quick charge, you get around 3 hours of playtime. Battery performance is slightly below average. At 50% volume via bluetooth, you get around 8 hours with ANC OFF and 5 hours with ANC ON. Via 2.4Ghz wireless battery life is a lot shorter - 4 hours with ANC OFF and 3 hours with ANC ON. The JBL Quantum TWS charging case can hold up to 16 hours, depending on ANC use.

The JBL Quantum TWS earbuds and case are made mostly of plastic with metal chrome plating accents on the earbuds faceplate and microphone grille at the bottom of the stem. The earbuds stem is thick and 2cm long, while the body shell is moderately bulky so, the earbuds stick out a little bit out of the ears. The bulky earbuds does have a positive trade off though, and that is deeper bass response. The earbuds have clear R/L markings printed in white, which is helpful and touch sensitive panels built-in to the faceplate. 
Because of the 2.4Ghz wireless dongle addition, the JBL Quantum TWS charging case is a bigger and a bit heavier than other ones such as the JBL Wave 300TWS. The extra bulk could be a drawback but compared to an over ear gaming headset, the Quantum TWS are way more lightweight and compact. Dimensions of the Quantum TWS case are 7.5cm long x 4cm wide x 2.5cm high. Total weight is 55 grams with earbuds, case and dongle. Each earbud weighs 5.5 grams. The 2.4Ghz dongle weighs 3 grams. The case weighs 42 grams.

Removing the JBL Quantum TWS earbuds from the case is easy and, you can pair/connect the earbuds whilst inside the case. Controls include calls, play/pause, skip tracks (next/previous), voice assistant, ANC, ambient sound and Talkthru, which are controlled via a series of gestures: single tap, double tap, triple tap and long tap. 

Control functions cannot be remapped to any gesture of your liking. Instead, you get a choice of 3 gesture control options to choose from. Each gesture option comes with preset gesture controls that cannot be remapped (changed). You get a total of 4 gesture controls per earbud plus call handling (answer/end/reject/mute). The gestures can be disabled entirely, which is useful if you like sleeping with earbuds. 
As far as call quality, the multiple mic setup works well delivering your voice loud and clear . However, there isn't noise cancellation so, the mic's don't remove background noise in a busy environment. When it comes to ANC performance when listening to audio, the  JBL Quantum TWS earbuds really shine, cutting a lot of external noise.

Potential deal breakers
  • No bluetooth multipoint
  • IPX4 sweat resistance (below the standard IPX5)
  • No wireless charging case like Live Pro 2 and Live Pro Plus
  • Modest battery life
  • ANC does not work with one earbud (mono mode).
  • PC software only compatible with Windows 10 (64 bit only) and Windows 11
  • Bulky charging case
  • Bluetooth audio not compatible with PS4/PS5 & Switch
  • Sidetone not supported in ANC 
  • Limited button remapping
  • 2.4Ghz wireless dongle not compatible with Android/iOS phones & tablets
  • Non-noise cancelling mics
  • No head-tracking support
  •  Not capable of dual source playback
  • Does not support 3D audio

Selling points for Quantum TWS
  • Superb ANC performance

  • Mobile app support (JBL Headphones)
  • Dual connectivity Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless
  • Customizable ANC
  • Adjustable Ambient sound  
  • On earbud detection - Auto play/pause (can be disabled via the app)
  • Bluetooth 5.2 chipset
  • Mute function during calls
  • Ambient (transparency) mode 
  • Strong hinge lid
  • Supports Quantum Surround and DTS surround (PC only)
  • Responsive touch controls
  • Built-in Equalizer (10-band EQ)
  • Solid build with chrome metal backplate 
  • Voice prompts (can be disabled via the app)
  • Low latency 2.4Ghz wireless
  • In-ear alternative to over-ear headphones 
  • No blinking bluetooth status led
  • Auto sleep mode & auto power off
  • Alexa built-in
  • Adjustable sidetone
  • Discord certified - compatible with Discord platform
  • Supports Google Assistant (for Android only)
  • AAC and SBC codec support
  • Fast quick charge (15 min = 3hr playtime)
  • Seamless switching between bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless
  • Incoming call notification alert 
  • Auto switch from 2.4Ghz to bluetooth when receiving calls
  • PC software support (JBL QuantumEngine)
  • Google Fast Pair
  • Compatible with PS4, PS5 & Nintendo Switch
Accessories included are oval silicone ear tips and JBL branded orange flat charging cable. A USB-A adapter is not included so, if you want to connect the 2.4Ghz dongle to a USB-A source you will need to buy one - luckily USB-A adapters are cheap to buy. You can buy the JBL Quantum TWS from amazon.

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