by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
In the past few years thanks to a number of technological advancements, consumers have become more and more demanding when it comes to their entertainment products. No longer satisfied with standard two speaker sound, advanced high wattage systems now adorn High Definition Televisions and PC desks a like. With something even simple such as headphones, gamers expect to clearly hear the satisfying thump of an M203 Grenade Launcher or a team mate screaming "What did you do?!" on their voice communication client.
The Banshee Gaming Headset
The latest in a long line of gaming products, Ideazon is attempting to raise the bar when it comes to audio with their Baneshee Gaming Headset. As a podcaster, my audio requirements are pretty rigorous so I was more than willing to put the Banshee through my normal routine. In addition to playing Tabula Rasa and chatting, I used the Banshee to record a podcast.
The Banshee comes with the following features:
* 20Hz-20kHz Speaker Response
* 40mm Speaker Diameter
* Impedance - 32 Ohms
* In Line Sound Controls
* Dual Suspension design for comfort during long gaming sessions
* velour Ear Cushions
* 3 Meter Cable
* Detached Stereo Microphone which ensures quality sound
To cut right through the technical jargon, 20Hz-20kHZ speaker response just means the headphones will play any sound within the normal range of human hearing. So is the Banshee's response good? Many less expensive headsets will generally shave a little off the high and low range so Ideazon has built a headset which should play anything you can physically hear. The 40mm speakers are about average size and the 32 ohm Impedance should assure you'll pick up any higher pitched sounds like incoming artillery.
As the features above mentioned, the microphone set up for the Banshee is a little different than what you see with normal headsets. Being detached it did take a little getting used to but I was comfortable with it after just a few minutes. We'll first take a look at the headset component.
Admittedly, as a gamer this is one of the most comfortable pair of headphones I've ever owned. The design very easily fits any size head and requires no adjustment whatsoever. The dual suspension automatically shifts on both sides, so even an oddly shaped noggin or strange method of use will present no challenge for the Banshee. The Velor ear pieces provided a substantial level of comfort even when wearing glasses and fit snuggly enough to drown out a child playing and television blaring American Idol too loudly.
The three meter cord provided a comfortable distance from my machine allowing me to stand up and move around with little difficulty. The volume control on the headset is a dial which can be turned without even looking at it. The only disappointment I found was no clip to secure the cable to your shirt and avoid tangling with your chair, mouse, or pets. Beyond that, the Banshee met every expectation I could ask for in a gaming headset.
The microphone got it's first major test during a podcast recording and managed to meet most of my stringent standards. I was very pleased with the almost non-existent level of feedback on the recording. Clipping the microphone to your shirt however places it in a different location every time you get up, meaning your sound level may have to be raised or lowered on a regular basis. Even with frequent adjustments it was near impossible to avoid the inclusion of various background noises in the room.
In fairness to the Banshee, when used for strictly gaming it performed admirably providing clear audio to anyone who heard me. I was never told anything I said was unintelligible or asked to repeat myself which is extremely unusual. Based on this, it should be capable of meeting the needs of any World of Warcraft raid or Team Fortress 2 marathon.
Overall I've been pleased with the performance and quality of the Banshee and it appears to be a great addition to any gamers arsenal. The superior headphones are well built, responsive, and have the comfort of your favorite armchair. When the microphone does become necessary a few minor adjustments should have you screaming "Frag out!" with clarity and authority before you know it.
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