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AudioFX Pro 5+1 PC Gaming Headset by Ben Heck
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: eDimensional
Source: Crazy PC
Purchase: Crazy PC
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 4 of 5 [ 1 2 3 4 5 ]
AudioFX Pro 5+1 PC Gaming Headset by Ben Heck
November 05, 2007

Software:

The installation of the drivers and utility software is a quick process. With the headset connected to a USB port, you can launch the installation application from the miniature CD. After a reboot, the software can be explored and the screenshots below were captured to show off the basics of the interface.

In general, the "USB 3D 108 Sound Configuration" utility looks much like what you might see with a traditional sound card. To me it seems that this software must have been developed with other audio devices in mind, as there are settings for things that just don't seem to apply to a headset. For example, in the below left image we see a tab that allows for the adjustment of speakers in up to a 7.1 channel configuration. The below right image shows a fancier version of the basic speaker and microphone volume controls.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

Next we see a tab that allows for the customization of the environmental, as well as ten band graphic equalizer with several presets. The final tab shown simply provides details on some of the system, CODECs, and drivers.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

After a good deal of tinkering with the software, I found that many of the settings didn't seem to make much of an impact on the sound... at least to my ears. You really can't mess anything up though; even if you set things to modes that don't make sense for a headset, they will still sound good.

In addition to the drivers and utility software, there are two demo applications intended to show case the surround sound effect. To be honest, they don't do the headset justice, and you need to fire up the game of your choice to really see them shine.

In Use:

While bits of information on my experience with the AudioFX Pro 5+1 PC Gaming Headset by Ben Heck can be found throughout the review, there are a few more things worth noting. The main thing to emphasize is that they are very comfortable. The soft ear cups and headband fit well, and they didn't feel heavy at all. They may look bulky, but they really are rather light and well balanced, making them easy to enjoy. The only issue I had with comfort was that my ears got really warm due to being so well insulated in there. It didn't really detract from my enjoyment, because it wasn't until I took the headset off and the cooler room air hit them that I realized what had happened.

The controls on the inline module work very well, but there happens to be another superfluous LED here that pulses and changes colors. I mentioned not caring for the eight level indicator LEDs on each ear cup, and I don't really care for the one on the inline control module, either. The styling is refined and sophisticated... until all the lights start flashing.

Playing a variety of MP3 files convinced me that audio over USB could sound much better than I had anticipated. I won't claim to be an audiophile, but the sound was very impressive. The highs were crisp, the lows were strong and tight, and the overall sound was well balanced and rich. They really came in handy when I wanted to escape from all outside noise and enjoy any type of music; from rock to rap and any other much softer variety.

Game play is definitely where Ben Heck's headphones shine. I loaded up a few different games, and they all sounded excellent. While some games don't quite take advantage of everything offered in a setup like this, a good first person shooter is an excellent test of the capabilities. F.E.A.R. wound up providing an excellent demonstration of how a game should sound. The gun fire and explosions were intense and very realistic. Distant sounds, such as voices and doors opening, were easy to identify and I could quickly turn in the proper direction to address them. Perhaps the most startling audio effect was from sounds at my feet. Not only could I clearly hear each step on the different surfaces, but on occasion I would kick something I hadn't seen, like a small jug, and it roll away making noise as it did. The first few times I was actually startled and quickly looked down to see what I was hearing, and eventually I found myself kicking things just to hear the cool effect as they would roll away.

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