I ran the acoustic test twice, first on the PC mode, using the USB connection and again using the 3.5mm jack and the USB powered internal sound card that is built into the headsets in-line controller. The results were wildly different, first on the PC mode you’ll see that volume peaked at 93 dBa with a reading directly from the driver, this is pretty loud and more than enough for anyone who isn’t already half deaf. Sound leak was pretty minimal with volume at 100% and again at 50%, but those sitting near you will still be able to hear a little of what you’re listening to.
Console mode uses the internal sound card on the headset, which is pretty powerful, pushing the drivers up to an ear bursting 108 dBa, this is beyond what your ears can handle and I’ll summarise it as “recklessly loud” at maximum volume. This is no bad thing through, as you don’t need to max out the headset to enjoy it, but should you be watching something where the source is too quiet, you can certainly give it a mighty boost to bring it to a level you are happy with. Obviously audio leak was increased, but so was the volume, that’s just stating the obvious.
Gaming performance is great on this headset, even at high volume the headset remained distortion free and provided some really clear treble and bass frequencies. There is certainly a mid range scoop to the sound, so you do lose a little of the warmth to the sound that the mid ranges provide, but in a gaming environment this just means that bass sounds thicker and that there is loads of clarity to things like footsteps, gun sound effects and team voice chat.
Music performance was pretty decent, but failed to provide accurate reproductions due to the way the drivers are configured, there is definitely a push more towards a “wow” effect, which sounds great on bass heavy music, but saps some of the finer details out of more melodic music. It’s perfectly good for those who just want to listen to a few albums now and then, but those only wanting a headset for music would do better to get a dedicated set of headphone for around the same price.
Movies sounded great on this headset, mostly benefiting from the 2.2 drivers, in action packed scenes you do get a good cinematic quality and the clarity really shines through on vocal tracks.
One of the strongest features for this headset is the microphone, its bright and clear without being overly sensitive, perfect for team chat, but also just as nimble when used on Skype. I would have liked it to be detachable, but the fold-up design is good enough for the times you just want to play solo.