Gaming headsets are pricey and features are slim until you get into the big bucks. As a pseudo-audiophile, I often find myself being very picky and anything sub-$300 isn’t worth my time looking at it usually (there are many exceptions, mind you). So when Gamdias reached out to me to ask about checking out their headset, I agreed with some severe reservations.
First, the headset is only current $44 on Newegg, putting it in the range of the Razer Kraken, which recertified sales for $39.99 or retail at $59.99. I owned a Razer Kraken, so I’ll be using it as sort of a baseline comparison.
Let’s get the disclosures out of the way first - I received the headset for free directly from the manufactor, but beyond that I have received no additional compensation. I’ve used the headset on both the PS4 and, in addition, the computer for the span of I want to say about a week, maybe a little bit less, but a considerably long time considering I’m planted at my computer all day. Total usage time of about 40 to 60 hours.
As this is a hardware review, I’m not going to use our standard MMO review model for it, and instead will write my thoughts in an organized manner and give a simple “how I feel on this headset” versus some archaic rating system, which I will also include as a non-serious companion to this article. In addition, please note that I heavily weigh my opinion of this headset by the price, because at its price level even working correctly can be considered a top star feature for a full fledge full size headset with a mic and a USB controller.
The headset overall looks very nice, it’s got a lot of interesting design choices in it. It’s big, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s more of a preference. I prefer slimmer headphones, but size does make for more comfort because there is more padding and more equal weight distribution of the internal parts.
I would say that I find the headset to be somewhat attractive looking. Compared to say the Kraken, it’s a lot more conservative, while still being “hi tech” and “futuristic.”
The materials used in construction didn’t seem cheap to me. It isn’t saffiano leather, but at the same time it’s got a lot going for it at such a low price.
In the package you get a controller attachment that’s USB and is compatible with other headphones, which is actually really impressive. A lot of headphones in this price range don’t include an in-line removable controller and they usually don’t make it optional.
As I mentioned earlier, the durability of the headset seems to be rather sturdy. I haven’t broken it yet and it all seems to be working, even if it’s been thrown around my sofa and in my bed and around my computer as I move it from console to computer and back again.
The microphone is also rather solid, moving around easily and comes with a noise filter.
First it’s important to note this has a 50mm driver in it, which is insane, compared to 40mm standard. Now, bigger is not better, but when it comes to music and gaming, it sometimes is. Bigger means you get more bass, which this thing can definitely put out, and a much clearer surround. You rarely see 50mm at this price range, just because most headsets aren’t big enough to house it or just don’t want to bother.
As for all the claims, after some testing, the frequencies checked out and everything seemed to be clear. So the internal hardware was in great working order. All that was left was to test the sound.
Well, I used it during the beta weekend for ArcheAge and turned all of the sounds on. It was actually really enjoyable. The headset is comfy and the sounds were clear and the stereo came in perfectly. While not the best game to try it with, it was sufficient.
It did the game justice, the surround sound was perfect for understanding the location of the bad guys and the comfort was fine enough for laying in bed or sitting on the sofa for an extended period of time. I was rather satisfied with the performance.
World of Warcraft
It sounded like WoW. There isn’t any mysterious depth to go here. No static, surround worked great, was rather enjoyable.
USB vs. 3.5mm Jack
Using the USB connector provided a bit better sound quality, but using just the 3.5mm jack was sufficent enough for most tasks and it worked out of the box with the microphone.
I have a strong bias for sound quality when it comes to music, including being one of those people whose music library is entirely FLAC. The bass was good on bass heavy songs, but it didn't have the finesse of a higher end set. Again, I will just echo the sentiment, compared to my Krakens the sound was wonderful, but compared to my Sennheisers it's not that great. So you're getting around $100 to $150 in expectations here with the headset. Like all gaming headsets, the focus is on making sure surround sound works and that you can hear game audio the best, not so much for audiophile listening pleasure. So I give it a big eh, good enough for music.
The sound is good. I say good because that’s the biggest compliment you can give a low-end budget headset. Compared to my high-end headphones, they’re rather eh, but compared to my pair of Krakens, they are far superior at least in my opinion, so a big thumbs up.
Bass was strong, sound was clear, and the surround worked great. It really knocked my Krakens out of the water and for the money is a much superior buy, at least for sound quality.
I used the microphone in a local party on the PS4 and over Ventrilo on the PC. A big issue with my Kraken is the microphone was HORRIBLE, but this sounded great. A bit muddy, but I could hear my roommate loud and clear over it on the PS4 and everyone said it sounded alright on Ventrilo, not as great as my USB mic, but more than sufficient for talking since while a bit muddy, it didn’t have static, wasn’t quiet, and was really just alright to listen to.
For the price tag, if you’re looking for a $40 gaming headset with all the bells and whistles and with the quality of a headset I’d price out at around $150, then this is for sure the headset for you. I don’t think you’d regret buying it, outside of some lack of features on the USB controller that honestly doesn’t matter since most headsets in this range don’t even have an in-line control system.
On the merit of price alone and compared to other headsets in its price range, it’d for sure get a 5/5, but compared to other headsets on the market, including high end models, it’d pull a 3/5 or a 3.5/5 simply because it’s not some high end luxury quality piece, but it’s still not going to disappoint.
The sound is clean and clear, the microphone works, and the surround works. At this price range, even just working is impressive, but to also come out ahead of other products in that price range is even more so. If you’re in the sub $50 market, this is for sure the headset I’d grab for gaming. If you have a bigger budget, I might even just save the money and go for it, unless you need something audiophile grade, since I don’t realistically think you’ll get better until mid-range Sennheisers.