With my increased use of over the ear gaming headphones to speakers I only now started thinking how important it is to have good quality gaming headphones, not the most expensive, but good build and sound quality. To think I now wear a headset almost 24/7 to have my own little world full of emotion and mood setting, whether I am listening to an audio book or just streaming or playing from Google Play music.
My quality factors for headphones are:
But should one just think you have to get the most expensive one to get the best for you experience? No, I am now sure that spending less than R1000 on a headsets can still get you the same experience than a R4k headset.
My previous headphones, Plantronics Audio 655 DSP, costed about R350 which finally broke (plastic extension bracket just bent) and has OK sound and comfort had some problems with quality and mic. So with me shopping for a new set I looked for gaming headsets since I am not fussy with built in microphone that is OK.
Using Takealot I ordered a budget gaming headset (Astrum Stereo Headset Black & Red – HS230) for around R150 and then found, OMG for that cost you get crap. Even R50 cheapo PnP headsets has better sound; I know since my work headphones is cheap plastic cup set that is margins better than the Astrum Stereo Headset headphones I got from Takealot.
What bugged me mostly is that Takealot does not publish negative comments at all, as is their prerogative, but one does not know how bad it is until you get it. I even asked them on Twitter ‘why don’t they publish negative comments’ and they just kept avoiding the question and skirted around answering by asking about other things. Getting back to the headphones, it sits loosely on your head but the over ear design cups are small and squishes your ears. Then the sound hits you so flat even the Microsoft Receptionist headphones had better speakers.
Microsoft Receptionist headphones
Then I found that left and right channel didn’t come through correctly since the audio jack didn’t fit well making the connection unstable. Shaking the headset a little you hear the parts jiggle as nothing fits well.
It is a budget gaming headset but this headphone hit the all the marks of what can be wrong with headphones. Sure there will be some people OK if they cannot afford better but I now can recommend what price rage to save for to still get good quality and sound for still a budget. Since Takealot luckily is taking it back I started looking at the better gaming headsets in their catalog and found that the only good ones are R2k+. Their list of under R1K is just 2 options. Sennheiser HD 202 (R500) & Logitech G230 (R750). From past experience Sennheiser does have good sound but the HD 202 looks so boring and the microphone so short it automatically is off the list. The Logitech G230 (not the Logitech USB Headset H540 which is over ears and will hurt after 3 hours of use [R599]), is better but it folds in half. If your ‘in that moment’ in a game and you just quickly take them off to take a call and try and put back on fast the headset is flopping all over the place you almost die by not paying attention fiddling with the headphones, you would also agree; folding headphones are bull-dung. Also if I had to wait for Takealot to pick it up and credit me I would have to wait 2 weeks. Yes, that is how long my previous return took (mostly just the stupid courier).
So I looked else where for headsets and found Deon and several other stores only have OK headphones for listening but not for gaming with built in microphone. So I stumbled into Matrix Werehouse and saw they had this unknown brand called SOMic. Since it is a new brand your paying for the device and not the name so I was surprised to see DOTA preferred headphones for less than R1K. I got the SOMic G909 (costed R690) and I went from OK I probably know what headphones should be like to WOW this is how it should be without having to get the R500K Sennheiser Orpheus HE90.
The SOMic G909 sound is crisp and deep with a bass boost and a quality feel. Even the volume knob when turning gives you this analog feel to it when you increased the volume on those analogue TV sound systems. I have been wearing it now while at home working for many hours and it still sits without discomfort and the microphone is good considering how stumpy it is and how far from my mouth it is. The virtual 7.1 surround is a great addition and puts that little touch on your gaming experience which one can only have with a loud sound system or R2K plus headset. While using them in bed if you turn your head you can accidentally change the volume but the placement is ok when sitting at a desk. The metal extension bars and padded design makes up for the sound bleeding the headset has.
Now after all my ranting I am glad I got it off my chest of how good these headphones are and other headphones from SOMic that is cost effective and just amazing in use. Originally I thought for gaming the known brands are the only choices, glad I was wrong.
ps: Happy Gaming 🙂