Don’t let the price fool you, these gaming headphones exceed expectations

Let’s get right to the details:

When looking at a few of the other features of these gaming headphones, it appears that the manufacturer has built this headset to hold true to design points that are common in many other headsets.

First, the ear cups are attached to a pretty standard padded headband. When it comes to form-factor, I prefer over-the-ear cups as they typically form a seal that helps to muffle external sound. These ear cups forego any type of shaped or molded elliptical design. Instead, they are large and round which should come as a bit of relief to anyone with an ear size or shape that never quite manages to fit comfortably into the molded type models. The ear cups can be independently adjusted with a few clicks to expand or contract in order to meet the ears of users of almost any shape or size. During testing, the padding on the ear cups was comfortable enough to allow me to nearly forget about having the headset in place.

Etekcity Scroll H5GX Gaming Headphones REVIEW

Second, the headset sports a built in microphone that is mounted on a single vertical axis.  The microphone clicks up and down in order to reach a comfortable speaking position, but this is another headset that does not allow the microphone to adjust toward or away from the face. The recording quality of the microphone is about the same has each of the other wired headphones that I have tried so far. A user should not expect the highest fidelity audio capture from this mic, but it does great with everyday online gaming communication and web conferencing.

Third, for better or worse, the headset is rocking a pair of red LEDs that help a user show off a little bit of “elite gamer” flair. Personally, I’m still a fan of most lighted gadget accents, but the lighting is perfectly optional. The LEDs are powered by a separate USB lead that is connected to the primary headphone/mic cables.  As long as the lighting is included, however, it would have been nice for the manufacturer to use a set of multi-color LEDs to allow for more customization than a plain red color. Some control over brightness and flash pattern would be nice to see, too, instead of LEDs that remain lit at a fixed setting.

Etekcity Scroll H5GX Gaming Headphones REVIEW

Lastly, there is a small in-line control module on the thread-sleeved headphone cable. Unfortunately, despite an included Y-cable that allows this headset to function with mobile devices, this control module is only a plastic housing for a simple (and loosely connected) volume dial. Users looking for media playback or digital assistant controls will not find any comfort with this headset.

Okay, that covers the physical characteristics, but another pair of headphones means another chance to refine my audio tests. My combination of music and gaming tests were performed on my PC and iPhone and this headset performed wonderfully. Some notable points during my testing:

Music – Tron: Legacy Original Soundtrack – “Derezzed”: Wow! These headphones have more of a bass punch than I expected.  The audio was clear enough to pick up a higher pitched trill that I have never picked up on before.  Other sections of the track sounded so different that I almost believed I  was listening to a new version of the song. Most headsets that I have used seem to trade clarity for bass response or vice-versa, but this headset produces clear audio in many ranges directly out-of-box. Very impressive.

Etekcity Scroll H5GX Gaming Headphones REVIEW

Music – Skrillex – “Bangarang“: Eventually, wild wubs and dubs will appear to test every headset in an unwelcome audio apocalypse. Until then, I appease the synthesizer demons by listening to tracks that use controlled chaos to great effect. While the headset was just as clear as during the earlier Derezzed test, a lot of the ranges and responses sounded too similar for a realistic test. I decided to move to a different style of music for the next trial.

Music – Jennifer Thomas – “Requiem for a Dream”: This track makes for a fun little bit of audio hide-and-seek.  The headset again allowed me to pick out the small runs of high strings during the heavy piano, and the choir echo was some of the clearest response I’ve heard during my reviews.

Gaming – Overwatch: As an online multiplayer game, Overwatch makes for a decent test of max playback and recording performance. During any given match, so many huge, active sound effects can play at one time. This is on top of the in-game music as well as a team voice chat full of curses or cheers. The headset got the job done here, but after such dramatic music testing, the game audio test seemed almost dull.

Etekcity Scroll H5GX Gaming Headphones REVIEW

During my time with MacSources, I have been able to test several different headphone setups with mostly positive results. The Scroll H5GX Gaming Headphones are a top contender for my favorite wired headset. Wireless headsets (such as my earlier-reviewed Turtle Beach model) have their place as a convenient option, but if you can stand another cable dangling from the back of your PC (or can stand a y-cable adapter connected to your mobile device), the H5GX will deliver an excellent listening experience.

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