Review: JBL Quantum Stream Microphone

Enhance Your Online Presence with the JBL Quantum Stream Microphone

The JBL Quantum Stream is one of the newest additions to the Quantum range of products. It is a microphone designed particularly with streamers and gamers in mind.

For those who are already established in the world of gaming, podcasting or streaming, or if you’re one of the legions of audio-visual content creators we often hear about, JBL needs no introduction. Here’s a short blurb for the rest of you! Since the company’s formation in California, USA in the early half of the 20th century, the company has a rich heritage of design and technical experience to draw inspiration from. 

First Impression’s Last

Upon first inspection, the microphone looks diminutive in size and light in the hand but don’t let that fool you into believing that this mic isn’t up to the job! It has a sleek, black finish with an RGB LED ring around the base. The top of the unit is a neat capacitive touch sensor but more about that later.

The microphone comes with a weighty aluminium base attachment which it screws onto. It can then pivot around the fulcrum so it can be directed towards the subject if desired. The volume control knob allows you to… well… control the volume (of your PC)! This and other settings can also be configured with the Quantum software (more about that later too!) The base of the unit has a USB-C port which supplies the power via the USB-A to USB-C cable which is also provided. There is also a 3.5mm headphone port so you can keep on top of the sound levels while recording.

Features

The microphone is equipped with two voice pick-up patterns.

  1. The Cardioid setting will pick up sound that is directly in front of it. This is ideal for when you have a single sound source and don’t want any ambient room sounds to affect the recording.
  2. Omnidirectional setting collects sound from around the device which will naturally appeal to podcasters and singers who may have sound/ voices emanating from different directions.

In any case, I would suggest that the microphone be raised to an acceptable height with a Boom Arm (if you have one) or a stack of books (if you don’t) so it’s in line with your mouth to capture the optimum noise level. When recording, the microphone has a sampling rate of 96kHz to ensure perfect clarity and distortion-free sound and smoother streaming.

The aluminium base is made up of detachable components to facilitate the attachment of the microphone to different Boom Arms. I cannot verify the accuracy of this as it seems to work for me while others have reported issues with restricted access to the USB port when connected to some other types of Boom Arms. A possible design oversight perhaps?

The Quantum Stream’s clever design utilises a capacitive touch sensor at the top of the mic which allows the user to un/mute the mic while in use. The fact that it is a touch sensor ensures that the recording isn’t peppered with harsh clicking noises of switches being de/pressed. Thankfully, the LED light ring also provides a visual indication to let you know if you’re on mute or not.

The software

The chances are that if you already own other JBL Quantum products, you will have been prompted to download and install the JBL Quantum Engine software. If not, then you will be directed to do so when you connect this microphone to your computer. The software is a no-nonsense app with which you can create presets to customise and comprehensively configure your device(s) to your own requirements. However, it should be noted that while the microphone will work with PCs and Macs equipped with USB-A or USB-C ports, at present there is no update to allow Mac users to configure the Quantum Stream microphone. Further information is available on the JBL website.

The microphone is compatible with other devices including;

  • mobile devices with USB-C ports
  • PlayStation™: PS4/PS5 console with USB-A port
  • Nintendo Switch™ with USB-C port and
  • Nintendo Switch™ console with USB-A port

What it’ll cost ya

Direct from JBL, The Quantum Stream microphone will currently set you back

£99.99 GBP – JBL UK website.

or $149.95 – JBL AU website.

Should you buy it?

If you’re a dedicated podcaster/gamer/streamer/content producer and you truly care about the sound quality of your content, this microphone will meet practically all of your requirements. If you’re a singer or musician (which I’m not!) I think you will be hard-pressed to fault this device.

When you consider the plethora of features that are on offer along with the attractive price point of this microphone, you’ll find it very difficult to find another microphone that will surpass the JBL Quantum Stream.

About Author
Chetan is a London-based designer by profession. He is passionate about the role design plays in everyday life whether it's graphic, digital, fashion, product or environmental design. Motivated by aesthetic design, function and the User Experience of emerging and new technologies, products and platforms, he is ever keen to learn, discover and innovate. Although he doesn't consider himself a nerd or a geek, he is a big movie fan and lists Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Shawshank Redemption and… Brewsters Millions among his favourites! Chetan is also an aspiring author and is currently working on his first novel.
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