Once again, it is review time. Can this reviewer be amazed by claims of 5.1 surround on a headset? Does the addition of vibration-feedback improve the experience? Is it possible Newegg is the best packager in the business despite how much Fed-Ex abuses the packages? Will I still be able to ask questions by the end of this review? Come inside and read to find out!
My choice of college football team aside, this is where I have the only issue with this whole process. My local Fed-Ex isn’t very gentle. Boxes often come this bent up or worse. Anyway, back to the review. I was asked by OCF if I minded do another headphone review and I told them “Sure!” Within 3 days of saying yes, this was at my door. The box did happen to foretell the future. It did contain awesome.
After opening the shipping box, I pulled this little beauty out. I was very happy as this looked to be super easy to open, and the presentation itself is pretty snazzy. First looks were not deceiving and the package opened super easily. No tape holding it together. Just basic slip-tabs.
Headset Box Contents
What you see is what you get. The headset is very well padded and extremely, extremely comfortable. The USB cable is very long. I didn’t even have to undo the twist-tie keeping them folded up. The instruction booklet itself is a step up from what I am used to. Instead of a single sheet of paper, it is about 8 or so pages of information about the headset, detailed installation instructions, and basic troubleshooting guides. The driver mini-CD that came with it improved upon the last one in one vital, but tiny area. It auto-ran on every version of Windows from XP to 7 – the last one did not.
The specs are located on the back of the box in multiple languages. Though I am not sure how they stuffed so many speakers into each can on the headset, they apparently have. It does sound good, though!
The headset itself is hefty as far as comparisons to other headsets, but it does not feel it when put on. The USB cord itself was a pleasant surprise. You have a lot of length to play with so you don’t have to feel bound to a certain position at your computer.
Inline Control Module with Vibration Setting
First thing is: Vibration is really really weird! It has three settings of 0, 1, 2. On 0, it is normal. On 1, the bass kicks up a notch and your ears get this weird ‘bzzzzt’ feeling around them. On 2, the bass kicks up another notch and it feels like a ‘back massager’ against your ears. I will get further into the dynamics of this later in the review.
The inline control module is fairly straightforward and super easy to use. The basic Volume Up, Volume Down, Headset Mute, and Microphone Mute are all large and clearly labeled. The three LED’s from left to right are Microphone Mute Indicator, Vibration On Indicator, and Power/Connection Indicator. They are not overly bright and can be seen clearly.
Fit and Adjustability
As noted in my prior review, I am pretty finicky when it comes to what I put on my head as things are often too small to fit. However, my fears about this headset were laid to rest the instant I put them on my head. Not only do they fit comfortably, the weight disappears the instant they clamp onto your head. The cups over the ears are very soft and put zero pressure on the ears. The headset itself is extremely adjustable. The microphone is almost infinitely position-able as well.
Software and Settings
This is the first screen you see when you open up the software for the headset. Here you can choose your speaker setup from Stereo to 7.1.
Here is where you set basic mixer settings for the headset.
In the effects tab, you can choose environmental settings, equalizer settings, and environment size. The environment size has probably the largest impact on the surround sound and each person will find their own preference that sounds best.
This is a setting I don’t mess with as I don’t do Karaoke and I do all my voice-chat settings in game for games. However, this was part of the settings for those of you who may want to consider this headset for this capability.
General information about the software for the headset.
Testing of the Headset
Music and Vibration
Here I find myself trying to measure this headset on its own merits without comparing it to the headset I reviewed previously. However, some comparisons are necessary. Like before, the default sound volume is way too loud. Cutting it down to about 20-25 out of 100 makes it sound just about right. The sound itself is crystal clear, and very full. I started the tests with the Vibration setting at 0 so I could get a baseline. The music sounds great, though the mids are a bit muffled. When the Vibration setting is put to 1, the mids become clear and the bass gets slightly punchier. The neat thing is it feels like your cheeks/ears are vibrating slightly. It is a weird feeling that I cannot adequately describe. When putting Vibration on its maximum setting of 2 the bass gets even more punchy and the rest of the music stays perfect. However, at this point, you feel the whole headset vibrate. While it is not the whole body vibration of a good home sound system or home theater, it is very distinct feedback that helps you feel the music along with hearing it.
Quadraphonic and surround tracks sound almost spot on. Music tracks around the head like it is supposed to, and you can tell the direction of individual band members, which is great when listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd as you can tell where everyone is onstage just by the direction of the sound.
At this point, I do have to point out a discovery I made regarding the Vibration setting. While it is great at first, after about 10-15 minutes of listening, I became numb to the feeling except with extreme bass and the vibration setting ended up just being a way to enhance bass of most musical tracks.
Movies and Vibration
Movies are what often make or break headphones for me. While I do have music I enjoy and there are games I enjoy, I really enjoy my movies. This headset faithfully reproduces practically the entire theater experience. I found it to be very good at reproducing surround sound and hearing things in the proper direction. The Vibration function of the headset does come into its own during movies. While the general vibration feel sort of numbs out after a few minutes, as I mentioned above when reviewing it’s musical capability, the giant explosions or booms in movies still elicit great vibration response to help suck you into the movie. While it isn’t the full body vibration you get from a proper subwoofer in a home theater setup, for those in areas where loud noise isn’t allowed or where noise levels need to be kept low, it is a great option.
Gaming and Vibration
Gaming is a large part of why people want headsets. Many people want to hear their game and be able to talk with clan/squadmates without disturbing others. This headset fully delivers on this. I recently picked up playing World of Tanks and this headset is perfect for this game. The microphone works very well and picks up my voice, even when I forget to lower the microphone boom from the top of my head to my mouth. The Vibration setting really gets the explosions feeling like they are happening around me.
Aside from the microphone improvement, this headset also improved one game for me. Dragon Age: Origins works perfectly in surround with this headset. The game sounds like it is happening all around me without the deaf-spots I had to deal with till I turned it to stereo last time. Team Fortress 2 also was great. My teammates could hear every word I said without having to ask me to adjust the mic, and I could hear audio clues I could not before. This headset really has clued me in to what I was missing in Team Fortress 2.
- Comfort – Very comfortable. While close to 1 lb in weight, the weight is distributed so well that it disappears the instant you put them on. I am able to wear them for hours at a time with zero strain on my ears and no neck strain from the weight.
- Volume – Loud and proud. While the default is way too loud, these are very adjustable to your preferences. The bass is great at default, and with the Vibration switch turned on, gets even punchier. The equalizer on this set works very well and you can really get strange muddy sounds out of it. However, I am enjoying it at default equalizer settings with the Vibration function on 2, which gives me enough bass to be happy.
- Input – Good. I have had issues in the past with many microphones not wanting to pick up my voice. I am unsure if it is the tone of my voice or how loud/quiet I am speaking. This microphone picks me up no matter what, is very clear, and filters out background noise mercilessly.
- Sound Quality – Excellent. Highs are great, mids are initially muffled but easily fixed, and the bass can be anywhere from discrete to thundering. This headset, for the price range it is in, sounds great!
- Construction – These are very well constructed. They are hefty compared to most headsets, but they are extremely comfortable, and so well designed the weight disappears when you put them on. Whoever Rosewill has in their engineering department – Kudos to you!
This headset is Overclockers Approved. It’s far and away worth every penny for its price range. While it is no replacement for home theater, it is very capable of simulating it and the vibration function which at first looked like a gimmick, turns out to be something that adds that little bit to make what you are listening to just that little bit better.
Newegg was right. The box did contain Awesome.