These headset are quite similar in terms of specification and overall design, there are a few minor tweaks to the overall style, but they both feature very similar driver designs. First up I figured I would test the gaming headset, the Captain. Having booted up a few games of Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV and Shift 2 to put it through its paces I must say I’m very impressed with the results.
Battlefield is great for pushing a heavy mixture of thick bass and screaming high notes, the Captain headset really brings out a lot of detail in the soundscape that makes it easier to pinpoint what is going on around you, especially when compared to stereo desktop speakers. The overall sound is huge, and while the drivers aren’t overly loud, they’re still capable of driving some thundering bass between mid and max volume settings.
Shift 2 is a great test for the mid ranges, pushing through the rev range and hearing cars roaring up behind you sounds fantastic and there is again a lot of detail and dynamics to the sound. Assassin’s Creed IV showed similarly impressive results, hearing the conversations and lives of the towns people around you suddenly seems second nature, making you feel a lot more involved in what is going on around you. Sound is for the most part distortion free, but at max volume there is an ever so slight drop in quality, although this is hardly uncommon when maxing out volume on most audio components.
The microphone isn’t anything spectacular, but does deliver clean and clear performance while gaming and in applications such as Skype and Google Hangout. It would be nice to be able to adjust chat and game volume separately from the in-line controller, but that’s hardly a deal breaker.
Music and movie performance fared well also, my usual mixture of roaring death metal and the warm tones of prog rock sounded great, with only the slight falter in quality at max volume I found in my gaming tests.
Next up we have the headphones and for all my tests, bar the microphone test since this doesn’t have one, the results were pretty much the same with only a couple of minor differences. The headphones are noticeably louder overall, giving enough thump at max volume to really rock out to some great tunes when connected to my smart phone. Plus the soft inner headband meant that they didn’t slip from my ears while out and about, and the close fit of the ear cups worked wonders at blocking outside noise.
Both pairs of Chao were a little uncomfortable on my ears, but this is due to the heavy-duty padding on the ear cups, it takes a little while to break in and adjust to your head shape, but it does ease up after an hour or so and will continue to improve with repeat use as you.