The Basics (continued):
While the overall look is rather sophisticated and attractive, an element we saw in the 2005 review of other eDimensional headphones is back, and detracts from the overall appeal. As shown in the promotional image below, there are eight red LEDs on the black plastic portion of each ear cup. These serve as a level meter, and the LEDs react to the sound... the louder it is the more that light up. My main issue is that the pulsing lights may be more refined than the previous version we saw, but they still provide no value to the user. Basically, they serve to distract anyone sitting near you and to let them know "oh yeah, his headset is turned on".
The below left image provides a close up of one ear cup. The padding is soft and quite comfortable, and I found the size to be adequate to completely cover my ears (which I won't deny are not small). The ear cups completely isolate your ears from outside noise, which is great for enjoying games and music, but bad if you're paranoid about people sneaking up on you! The top of the headband features a metallic "AudioFX Pro 5.1" badge that just looks like it will eventually peel off.
The next set of images take a look at the USB cord and the inline controls. There are no audio connections to be made, so you do not have to worry about having a decent sound card, or any sound card at all. The only connection to be made is USB 2.0. The cord is rather long (over seven feet), so you shouldn't have to worry about ripping the connector out of the plug if you have to roll around in your chair a bit, or if your case isn't right next to your monitor.
The controls featured on the inline module include the force feedback level, volume, and mute. The slider on the top edge allows you to select two levels of force feedback, or to turn it off completely. I found the effect to be noticeable, but not overwhelming. I thought that the extra bass would be too intense, and might give me a headache, but it was moderate and definitely a welcome boost on even the high setting.
The volume controls functioned well, and don't just regulate the volume to the headset through resistance, but it actually interfaces with the PC to adjust the volume in Windows, as if you clicked the little speaker in the task bar. Clicking the volume down far enough will turn the sound off, effectively giving you a mute button. And speaking of the mute button, I should have read the manual before using these. I assumed the mute button was for the headset and was disappointed when it didn't seem to work... only to learn later it was for the microphone, and worked just fine.