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JBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning

JBL's latest streaming gadget is a handy little microphone for those who don't want to settle with the sound from their iPhone.

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When JBL asked if we were using the iPhone 13, 14 or 15 for reviews of new Apple Arcade games, I was a bit confused. I answered iPhone 14 Pro Max and then asked a follow-up question about what that information would be used for. "For the receiver" was their answer. Two days later the newly released JBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning arrived with a Lightning-compatible dongle (duh!).

JBL Quantum Stream Wireless LightningJBL Quantum Stream Wireless LightningJBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning
Super easy and simple for those who want to improve the sound of their selfie videos.

So, what is this? A wireless iPhone microphone for recording mobile phone videos, quite simply. We already have both a Røde Wireless Go here at the editorial office and an Ulanzi UW that does exactly the same thing. You insert the receiver into your phone, which then connects to the microphone the second it receives power via the mobile phone, and then records what you say when you start recording on iOS. It can't get any smoother, it can't get any simpler, and while JBL is certainly not re-inventing the wheel here, they do offer a very attractive bundle here that oozes quality. The box includes the microphone itself (which weighs just over 11 grams), the charging case (which is about the same size, or smaller, than the one that comes with JBL's Bluetooth headphones), and the dongle itself which weighs 6.6 grams. There's also a magnetic windscreen here that looks like a tiny little grey wig, and overall JBL offers a super-capable alternative to Røde, Lippa, Ulanzi and Saramonic.

When it comes to sound quality, I've pitted the JBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning first against the built-in microphone in my iPhone 14 Pro Max and then primarily against the Røde Go, and JBL's small microphone offers better sound quality than both of those options even though it's pretty evenly matched against Røde's alternative. JBL's microphone is omnidirectional, meaning it picks up plenty of sound from your voice without picking up too much environmental noise or surrounding chatter (if you're talking in an environment with any background noise). With the windscreen attached, it is also amazingly capable of shutting out wind and bad weather. My voice sounds clear and natural with the JBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning without losing timbre or bass. Sure, it can't be compared to, for example, the Sennheiser USB Profile that I use during all my video meetings, but that's not the idea here either as the JBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning is tiny in comparison.

JBL Quantum Stream Wireless LightningJBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning
The charging case looks almost exactly like the one that comes with JBL's in-ear headphones.
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£120 is certainly not very much money for those who want a smooth, well-built microphone for their iPhone and their mobile film recordings. It is, however, a relatively large amount of money compared to competing models from other manufacturers that have decent alternatives for around half that price. In the end though, it's hard not to like the JBL Quantum Stream Wireless Lightning, which is a great overall package, but the price should perhaps have been less than £100, or even below that.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
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