The first thing that was apparent about the Vulcan was how comfortable this set is to wear, the soft padding on the headband, ear cups and the choice of fabrics strikes a nice balance between support and comfort. The swivel mounts on the ear cups ensure a solid fit without the need of too much pressure from the headband which is great as I often find some headsets feel like you’ve put your head in a vice after more than 20mins use. This really isn’t the case here, and the Vulcan ANC’s are undoubtedly designed for use over long periods, perfect for spending the entire evening getting lost in Skyrim or losing in Battlefield 3.
While this is gaming headset I can’t help my self but to test it with a few select pieces of music, given I can’t get through the day without listing to at least half a dozen albums anyway. I figured I would jump in right at the deep end and push the headset through some extremely demanding metal. The “Fleshgod Apocalypse – Agony” album really did strain the headset and when some of the bass tones sounded a little murky at times, fortunately all the mid and high tones were perfectly preserved and I’m not going to mark the headset down for this muddy bass as there are very few speakers or headsets I know of and have tried that can reproduce this album properly. I picked a few more bass heavy albums and found that the headset can handle really nice bass tones, but there is definitely a focus on the more subtle bass frequencies rather than just making an ear bursting thump, you’re going to appreciate this after a few hours of Battlefield 3 I assure you that much.
Moving on with the music tests I found that the headset is finely tuned to progressive rock, acoustic guitars, strong vocals and generally anything that is rich in mid tones and demanding highs, which suits me perfectly as while some people love a headset that blows your head off with thick sound, the Vulcan is more like silk to your ears and generally makes for a relaxed listening experience, again this is a big benefit for long gaming sessions and so far that’s the Vulcan’s strong point.
Gaming was a solid experience too, the balance and not too overpowering sound reproduction, combined with the soft ear padding means that after the first 30mins of a 4 hour gaming session I had all but forgotten they were on my head, extremely comfortable just about covers it. Battlefield 3 was my first game of choice and the first thing I noticed was just how close the sound felt, it’s a hard feeling to explain but I feel it has something to do with the angle of the drivers in the Vulcan. While some headphones make it feel like something is shouting in your ear, the sound feels more direct and akin to natural hearing and in a game of BF3, this is a very good thing as you can really pick out the details of the sounds around you. The same can be said for the other games I tried, Skyrim, DarkSiders, Saints Row III and more all come through nice and clear throughout.
So what about the ANC? Well I have mixed feelings on this one as I personally haven’t ever been a fan of ANC headphones as they tend to muddy the sound, the same is true of the Vulcan but the system is not without its merits. When your at home gaming on your own, playing some single player or just enjoying some deathmatch Battlefield 3, you likely won’t need ANC unless your playing on your laptop while sitting on a building site. I find that all it does is scoop out the sound, leaving your audio sounding hollow and lacking in bass. However, if you are going to be sitting in a hall of hundreds of people at a LAN gaming event, with music blaring in the background, people shouting and everything else you can think of going on around you, then you’re going to want this features most of all as while your own audio might sound a little shallow, so too will the rabble that surrounds you, letting you focus on your game play, not the crowd.