Like to Game? I know we do, and there is nothing better than being able to game with the right headphones. Today we are taking a look at a 7.1 channel (virtual) solution by 1byone. A gaming headset that features a lot of sound, a lot of comfort, a great design and a low price.
So where do we begin? How about form? 1byone’s headphones strike a great pose in their design, offering good ol’ geeky fashion mixed with LED lights and a retractable microphone (you know, in case for some reason you don’t want it hanging in front of your mouth at any point).
They demand attention since they are a little large and in charge. The benefit? More coverage of the ears than some options out there on the market that don’t quite give you that full seal. Extended comfort is a big one and more cool effects such as a deviant looking red glow.
The inside band features a soft cushioned strip that forms well to your head and feels great. It is loose and flexible to really add to the experience and expands upwards from the muffs revealing small steel cables inside that are quite obviously loaded on springs. The top layer features two plastic tubes that feel as though there is an inner metal band running through each. This is what gives the headphones durability and keeps the headphones to form and not flopping around due to the inner band not being firm. This way, the inner band is what makes contact with your head giving you nothing but a great mold.
The padding for your ears are absolutely fantastic. The cross between these pads and the inner band going around the top of your head (and the smoothly retracting steel cables inside), results in the perfect user experience when it comes to comfort. I mean, these things REALLY feel good on your noggin! One of the best feeling headphones I’ve placed on my head–and trust me when I say that we test out a lot of great headphones (and not so great).
As mentioned, the microphone retracts into the left ear muff in case you don’t want it sticking out. It pulls in and out with ease and bends to your will (so it can best catch your speech of course). When plugged in, the tip of the microphone lights up red and this can be controlled via the inline remote (in case the red light is a little too intimidating to your opponents if you stream live on Twitch).
It doesn’t stop there though. The muffs themselves glow from the sides, through their grills. This tops it all off adding that extra layer of intimidation (or I guess you can simply refer to it as visual customization). This can also be controlled via the in-line remote.
The in-line remote is located around 2ft away along the cable and features a pretty big volume wheel. There is no way you are going to spend any time fondling around for the volume, that’s for sure. Along the side you find two buttons. This is where you have control over turning the LED’s on and off or mute the mic. The button represented by a light bulb icon controls whether or not the muffs are glowing. This does *not* control the mic’s LEDs. The “MIC” button turns the mic itself on and off, in case you don’t want anyone hearing you. Now this is where the mic’s LED turns on and off with the mic, so there is no separate control for that.
Since the cable is braided, it helps reduce the chance of it snagging on your clothes as you move around, as well as offers reduced noise from it dragging around on things that can sometimes be transferred to your ears when wearing headphones. It features a nice red/black design like the headphones when the LEDs are glowing. The total length of the cable is 2.2 meters (just over 7 feet).
Initial plug-n-play experience is recognized by Windows as a stereo headset as well as after you install the driver. This is because it is a virtual 7.1 offered to you by the headphones and software. They come with a disc that allows you to install 1byone’s applications that allows you to configure your virtual environment, including the perceived distance of the “virtual speakers”. The software allows you to adjust all sorts of options such as sample rate, EQ, effects and more.
Frequency range is actually pretty decent. They feature a good amount of bass and highs. Your mid range is average but still there, which is important. Over-all, I have to admit I was going into this with slightly lower expectations. 1byone proved these expectations wrong and delivered a range that was much better than I originally expected.
Paired with DTS Headphone:X content, they perform even better. The surround is highly noticeable in each ear. Given, DTS really knows how to turn any pair of headphones into something special. Now if only all games will begin to support DTS Headphone:X from this point forward.
Did I mention these headphones were comfortable? Even with long-term usage, these feel great on your hand and lead to no fatigue at all. Simply amazing here as I can’t stand fatigue when it comes to gaming (or movies),.
Mic quality is average. Nothing to be excited about but doesn’t sound horrible at all. There didn’t seem to be any bleed from the headphones in the microphone that could be heard by other players causing any echo or noise. Some headphones seem to have an issue with this, including V-Moda (which are amazing headphones in general, but we did notice that some players said they could hear the sound from our end during later tests).
Inside the box, there is a thick instruction booklet that walks you through some things. Nothing to be intimidated by since it’s only thick because it repeats the content in so many languages. Beyond that, you get the headphones and the installation disc.
So do we like them? Yes! The comfort value alone is awesome. In-game sound didn’t seem to offer breathtaking channel separation, but still offered enough to enjoy the game your playing at an added level of awesomeness compared to a stereo headset. Especially when playing first-person shooter (FPS). The cable is long enough so it won’t pull on your 3.5mm input as you move around or struggle as you do the controller waltz during your high-action gaming. Range is enough to impress since you can hear some mids in the mix with a good balance of lows and highs. The LED lights are a bonus and look pretty cool (especially if you game in the dark). Controls are simple and easy to get to. Finally, the price isn’t bad at all at under $50. I think comfort though is one of the biggest selling points of you find yourself gaming for many hours at a time. Hopefully, you will take a breather here and there, but at least it will feel great on your head either way.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Product size: 230*205*100mm
Product weight: 0.368kg/0.811lb
Driver Diameter: ?50mm
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
Sensitivity (S.P.L): 105±3dB(at 1 KHz)
Cord Length: 2.2m
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