With their aggressive price point, powerful performance, active noise canceling, and good design, the JBL Quantum TWS gaming earbuds are some of the best on the market.
Solid active noise canceling
Stellar sound quality
Not compatible with Xbox
Battery life isn’t leading
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When it comes to quality gaming earbuds, JBL Quantum TWS fits the bill. The sound quality here is stellar, with solid construction and decent active noise canceling and ambient awareness modes. While there’s nothing that will necessarily wow you, this pair does enough to be considered some of the best gaming earbuds available.
Whether you’re gaming on PC, Nintendo Switch, or the PS5, or using the JBL Quantum TWS for music on the go, you’ll find these gaming earbuds to be an all-around strong performer - just keep in mind that they are not compatible with the Xbox Series X. For those with compatible platforms though, you could certainly do worse given the price-to-performance here.
Price and availability
The JBL Quantum TWS gaming earbuds are available in the US, the UK, and Australia for $149.99 / £129.99 / AU$229, which puts them firmly in the mid-range of market availability. It is worth noting that these gaming earbuds are regularly discounted in the US, often directly from the manufacturer itself, so you may be able to pick them up cheaper.
Design and features
The design of the JBL Quantum TWS gaming earbuds is similar to what you would expect to find from many of the best earbuds. That means a set of molded buds that use a charging case that’s purposely designed to fit in your pocket when not in use. The manufacturer promises up to eight hours of playback, but you have a total of 16 hours of use when factoring in the case's battery life. That’s comparable to what you get from the Apple AirPods 3 and the Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed for PS5.
The earbuds have three sizes of rubber fittings to fit into different ear shapes and also feature active noise canceling and dual connectivity with both Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz wireless, which works via a USB-C dongle. For gaming, the latter is definitely preferable due to lower latency.
On the technical front, you’ve got 10mm audio drivers packed into each bud, which is punchy for their form factor but means you won’t get the same level of sound quality from the likes of the best PS5 headsets or the best Nintendo Switch headsets, of course. More exciting, however, are the beamforming microphones, which use a total of six mics to create an encompassing profile that boosts voice clarity when gaming or making calls. The mic solution also has an active frequency of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, giving them great sensitivity and range to pick up subtle and louder noise.
In my testing, the JBL Quantum TWS gaming earbuds proved some of the most consistent I’ve used. The bulk of my testing while gaming was conducted on both PS5 and PC through the USB-C dongle and Bluetooth. What immediately stood out was the bass presence, with a real weightiness at the low end coming through when playing some of the best PS5 games. A key example of this is the gunfire in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart standing out from the background chaos, and Mortal Kombat 11’s bone-crunching violence had the right amount of heft. Teaming the buds with the PS5’s 3D audio (for supported titles) was a joy as it gave me a sense of spatial audio despite using such tiny audio-givers.
The dual connectivity was particularly impressive as I noticed no major degradation in sound quality, going from being at my desk working and gaming to taking phone calls or listening to music. On the latter, while these earbuds are no real rival to the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, these JBL buds do perform well with many different genres of music, from metal tracks to calmer genres. In particular, the likes of Ghost Bath’s The Golden Number shone especially brightly with its delicate guitar work and high vocals, and the drum work on Father John Misty’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings had a satisfying punch.
This extends to the actual active noise canceling itself, which is easy to use and swap between the true adaptive noise canceling and the ambient mode between the straightforward tap controls. Also, considering the size of the drivers, when playing games indoors, they did an especially good job of removing unwanted background noise - however, when out on the move, it was a little more hit-and-miss. While in transit between my home and the office, I noticed the active noise canceling didn’t always filter out traffic from passing cars. Still, I did a good job of filtering out other lower-level noise, such as background conversations.
The claimed eight hours of playback from JBL was right on the money in my testing. I was pleasantly surprised to go through three multi-hour play sessions before having to charge the buds up. I also found that the best longevity was had when connected via a 2.4 GHz dongle - connecting via Bluetooth clocked in at around six hours. When fully charged, the case holds a further 16, so there are two later rounds to juice up without keeping the cable nearby.
Overall, the user experience is solid, but there’s nothing that necessarily wows. The JBL Quantum TWS buds look good, feel robust, and sound great and, therefore, are a top option for gaming and music. All told, they are excellent value for money.
Buy it if…
You want good quality audio for a competitive price
The JBL Quantum TWS gaming earbuds look and sound great for the price tag - especially if you can score them on sale.
You game on a wide variety of systems
Thanks to the JBL Quantum TWS’s dual-connectivity of 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth, you’re able to easily pair to the PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC, and your smartphone with two devices active at once.
Don’t buy if…
You’re looking for Xbox Series-compatible buds
You’re on a tight budget
While the JBL Quantum TWS earbuds are competitively priced wireless options, they still retail above $100 / £100 / AU$200, so we recommend something more wallet-friendly like the Turtle Beach Battle Buds if money is tight.
How we tested
I used the JBL Quantum TWS over a few weeks as my main gaming earbuds for listening to music when working from house and playing games on my PS5 and PC. I also used them as my main pair of earbuds when going shopping, in transit to the office, and during journeys around the city.
Aleksha McLoughlin is the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming and oversees all hardware coverage for the site. She looks after buying guides, writes hardware reviews, news, and features as well as manages the hardware team. Before joining TRG she was the Hardware Editor for sister publication GamesRadar+ and she has also been PC Guide's Hardware Specialist. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of Trusted Reviews, The Metro, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.