|eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset - Page 2 of 2
Impressions and Performance (continued):
Connecting them to your computer is a very simple matter. There is one plug that goes to your speaker / line out jack, one that goes to the microphone jack, and there is the USB connector which powers the LED level lights on both sides of the headset, as well as the force feedback feature.
This eDimensional headset comes with a nine foot cord which gives you plenty of freedom to move around. Mounted in the cord about twelve inches from the head set are the volume and force feedback controls. The control module has one dial to control volume, one dial to control the force feedback level, and a switch to turn the force feedback on or off. The controls are well located, easy to reach, and function just as they should.
Before we get into how well these eDimensional headset performed, a little information about force feedback may be in order. The idea of force feedback has been around for years and has been used extensively in game controllers such as game pads, joysticks, and steering wheels. The idea is to use motors, or in the case of a headset, speakers to generate movement or vibration in the device to simulate how an event would feel in real life. A bass speaker in the headphones is used to vibrate in synchronization with sounds such as bombs going off, gun fire, a car hitting a wall, and most other loud noises you experience in gaming.
Since this headset is billed as a “gaming headset” I chose to first test them in a game of Counter Strike. This game was chosen because it would allow me to test the function of the microphone as well as the force feedback feature. To be honest, going into this I had a feeling that I would not like the force feedback feature and thought it would become annoying really fast, rather than enhancing my gaming experience. When the force feedback level was set to maximum, this turned out to be the case. However, dialing the force feedback level down to the middle of its range worked quite well for me. After several hours of non-stop game play I found the force feedback truly did help immerse me into the environment of the game.
Having the force feedback controls readily accessible on the cord turned out to be a big plus, as well. My kids, who loved the headset, also loved the force feedback set at a much higher level than I did and were able to adjust this to their tastes with ease.
I did experience some distortion with the microphone, but simply lowering the microphone level in the Windows Control Panel took care of that. Once adjusted the microphone produced a very clear sound reproduction.
Another cool feature on this headset is the LED Level indicators on each ear muff. As you can see in the image below, there are three levels of LEDs that light up according to the level of sound being produced by the headset. Although you can’t appreciate this feature while you are wearing them yourself, it is sure to attract attention at a LAN party or catch the eye of your friends in the room. Let’s face it, having LEDs on anything raises the nerd coolness factor several fold!
Having proved itself a very capable gaming headset, the next step was to test the music reproduction abilities. The first thing I learned was that force feedback and music just do not mix! Now I understand why they made turning off the force feedback so convenient. I really don’t consider myself a true audiophile; however I still found the AudioFX lacking when it came to music playback. I like to listen to my music loud and unfortunately the headset started to distort way before I was done cranking up the volume dial. They also seemed to lack a good clear bass punch, although this is not too uncommon in most headsets I have encountered. There are headsets on the market that do offer good bass and just better all around music playback, so if you’re looking more for music playback than gaming you may be happier with something like the Ezonic Esounds 5.1 Surround Sound headphones we reviewed in October 2004.
Xoxide offers the eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset for $49.99 and a quick search of the internet shows that this is definitely a fair price for these.
As mentioned previously, if you are an audiophile looking for high end sound this is probably not the headset for you. However, in all fairness I doubt any true audiophile is going to be happy with any headset in this price range. On the other hand, if you are a hard core gamer looking to enhance your gaming experience any way you can, the eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset might be just the ticket for you. They are extremely comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions and offer some unique features designed with the avid gamer in mind.
Overall I give the AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars... "Recommended".
Final Rating (4 out of 5 stars):
• Well built, very solid feel
• Very comfortable
• Convenient controls
• Unique features (force feedback & LED level indicators)
• Music playback less than optimal
Special thanks to Xoxide for providing the eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset to BigBruin.Com for review!
Please drop by the BigBruin.Com forum and feel free to discuss this review.
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