Element Gaming is something of a newcomer to the component market, but having taken a look at a range of Element Gaming products over the last few months, I’m certain they’re off to a great start. Their Hyperion and Atomic chassis’, as well as their Berrilyum mechanical keyboard, all won awards from us here at eTeknix and seem to have been well received by the PC community in general. Today, we kick things off with a look at one of the latest Element Gaming headsets, the Neon 300, but can it meet the same standards as the previous products we’ve tested?
Now, I’m not expecting world conquering performance today, as this is a very affordable headset, so it’s not out to compete with the big players in this sector, but there’s still a huge market for those on a tighter budget and I’m eager to see how competitive Element Gaming can be while maintaining a budget-friendly price tag.
“Many of us will be no strangers to marathon gaming sessions so we need comfortable headphones. And the Neon 300 fits the bill with its padded headband and leather cushioned earpieces.” – Element Gaming
At just £24.99 this headset is certainly kind to the wallet, but it doesn’t skimp on features one bit. There’s an in-line controller, 50mm drivers, virtual 7.1 surround sound and LED lighting; not bad at all!
- Amazing high-quality sound
- Comfy fit
- Highly sensitive microphone
- USB connection
- Inline controls
- Wired USB connection
- 7:1 simulated sound channels
- 50mm driver diameter
- 111db_+3db headset sensitivity
- -40db+-3db microphone sensitivity
The packaging is simple enough, with a quick rundown of the main features and specifications, as well as a large viewing window to show off the actual design of the headset; it all looks good, so let’s get it out of the box!
A Closer Look
The headset comes hard-wired with a funky blue and a black braided USB cable. The headset is fairly lightweight and does feature some cheaper glossy plastics, but at this price I think that is to be expected.
The in-line controller is huge, but also lightweight, so it doesn’t cause any strain on the cables when you’re wearing the headset. The controls are well laid out and easy to find, with master volume, mute and lighting controls all within easy reach.
The braided cable is really nice, it’s colourful and adds to the aesthetic, especially since it matches the blue padding on the headset, but also because it improves the durability of the cable.
The headset looks stunning, you can tell it’s a more affordable model, but it’s got a nice mixture of bright blue and glossy blacks that makes it stand out without being garish, but of course style is a very subjective matter. There’s a built-in microphone on a rigid boom, which can be folded up out of the way when no in use, handy for those single player gaming sessions.
The headband is robust and has a sturdy metal slider on the interior to allow for size adjustments. There’s enough range to it to fit younger gamers as well as adults too, which is always nice. The fold down microphone sits just out of your eyesight, so it’s not bothersome when gaming, the mic is quite sensitive and it’s easy to communicate without having to shout, while chat audio comes through quite clear, if a little bass heavy, it’s still a great sounding headset for team speak.
The top of the headband is finished in matte black, giving a nice contrast to the glossy finish on the ear cups.
Those looking to block out external noise while gaming will be happy to see the Neon 300 features leather cushion earpieces and I must admit I love that electric blue colouring. The ear cup padding is comfortable too, meaning those 50mm drivers don’t feel overbearing on your ears, even after long gaming sessions. The only downside, as is most often the case with leather padding, they can be a little uncomfortable in a warm room. The 50mm drivers pack one hell of a punch, so much so that I’m inclined to say this headset is too damn loud! At 40% you’re going to be happy, 50% is pushing it, 100% and you’re going to get tinnitus. That being said, the drivers sound punchy, lots of bass, and a good amount of clarity; they’re nothing breathtaking, but they’re better sounding that virtually anything else in this price range.
The ear cups are backed with a mesh pattern, which has a white backing that looks fairly standard, but as you’ll see shortly, there’s colourful LED lighting here and it’ll really make the headset stand out; don’t worry, you can turn the lighting off via the in-line controller. Listening to music sounds good enough on this headset, obviously they’re no Sennheiser, but they put up a punchy sound that’ll satisfy many. When gaming, the bass and treble mix is just right, giving you a lot of detail from the game and still leaving enough range for chat audio to mix through comfortably.
The padding on the headband also features that same electric blue.
The interior padding is soft memory foam, meaning it holds firmly and provides a comfortable fit.
Connect the USB cable and you’ll find this headset is plug and play ready, so no need to fuss about extra software installations. The in-line controller lights up with a soft blue light, making it super easy to find all the major controls, even when gaming in a darkened room.
When you connect the USB cable, the rear lighting really adds some colourful additions to the setup. It simply cycles through the colours though, but it’s still a nice addition and as I said before, you can turn the lighting off with the in-line controller if you don’t need or want it on.
The Element Gaming Neon 300 USB Gaming Headset is available exclusively from eBuyer for a very affordable £22.98 inc VAT. This is an absolute bargain for a headset of this specification, as you get a good range of features, LED lighting, braided cables and powerful sound.
This headset isn’t perfect, but at this price I was never holding up my expectation for it to be perfect anyway. There are only a couple of very minor things I can moan about here, such as the rigid boom microphone, if you were to snag it on something, it’s more likely to break than one with a flexible mid-section, but this is hardly a deal breaker. The other problem is that the headset is too powerful, at maximum volume you could easily do yourself some damage, but when it comes to giving you the thumping sound you desire, at least you have plenty of range in the volume to get the volume you desire the most.
Build quality is pretty good overall, some glossy plastics here and there don’t excite much, but the leather finished blue padding looks stunning and is surprisingly comfortable. The headset fits fairly snug to your head too, helping block out of a lot of external noise, and it keeps a lot of the noise from the drivers from leaking. The LED lighting is a nice touch too, especially at this price range. Then we’ve got the braided cable and in-line controller, when you add it all up, it’s surprising that we’ve got a headset of this quality for under £30.
Performance is above average for this price range, which is no bad thing. The bass is powerful, the trebles are clear and while the sound is a little boosted, giving a bit of mid-range cut to the EQ, it does sound great for gaming, which is what this headset was designed for anyway. The microphone is bright and clear and voice chat levels are easy to hear over game audio.
- Great aesthetics
- Funky LED lighting
- Braided cable
- Clear microphone
- Extremely affordable
- In-line controller
- Virtual 7.1
- Drivers are very powerful and would have been more than enough capped at 50% max volume (for safety reasons)
- Rigid microphone boom
“The Element Gaming Neon 300 is easily one of the best headsets for those on a tight budget, offering a cool design and a great range of features for a price tag that is very kind to your wallet.”
Thank you Element Gaming for providing us with this sample.