The EKSA E900 Pro 7.1 Gaming Headset claims to be the world’s first “hybrid” gaming headset. Well, what even does that mean? And most importantly, does it live up to those self made claims? Find out in the review of the EKSA E900 Pro 7.1 Gaming Headset Review below.
A review unit was provided to Culture of Gaming for the purpose of review.
Entering A Stale Market
“Gaming” peripherals have started growing stale these last couple of years. And much like the smartphone market, a lot of the new “gimmicks” to come to devices happen in the budget to mid-range space. Gaming peripherals seem to be shaping up no different, and this $50 headset is evidence to that point. Which speaking of the price point, is the first thing I really noticed and kept in the back of my mind while reviewing.
I previously praised the Tritton Kunai Pro headset for offering exceptional value and quality for its price point $50 as well. But, the compromises were certainly there, namely in the construction quality of the headset. However I’m pleased to report that the E900 Pro does not have this compromise of construction.
The E900 Pro seems to be made primarily of an aluminium headband, and plastic framed ear cups with aluminium grills as well. This is all wrapped in a very healthy amount of faux synthetic leather. Which speaking of, the generous amount of material makes for a very comfortable experience actually wearing the headset. As EKSA’s website puts it: “No Burden. Just Joy.” I kind of see what they mean. The headset its self is very lightweight, and sits very comfortably (although a bit loose for my tastes) over my ears. I experienced no fatigue or soreness on my scalp or ears wearing the headset for extended periods of time. Yet, thanks to more premium materials used in the headset, the headset feels a lot more durable and sturdy.
What Actually Matters
Comfort of the device would all be for naught if the headset didn’t actually sound good. And in all honesty, it just sounds OK. When EKSA claims it’s the world’s first “hybrid” gaming headset, it’s in reference to how the E900 Pro functions as both a “7.1” headset and stereo headset. Leaving it on the default stereo mode, the sound quality was just “OK”. Definitely not the worst I’ve heard, but definitely not the best I’ve heard even at the overtly aggressive $50 price point. Among other connectors (more on those later), the EKSA E900 Pro features a normal, standard 3.5mm jack connector. This allows it to work with pretty much any gaming device out there. You can connect the headset and get normal, stereo sound pretty painlessly out of your PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and even your phone. But as previously mentioned, the E900 Pro is a “7.1” headset.
The “7.1” mode/feature is only available on PC, and for the extra data required, requires a USB connection to your PC. This is done via the included USB-A to USB-C cable, the USB-C end connecting to the headset its self. To see this implementation was kind of surprising to say the least. Usually I would praise a device for using USB-C, but considering it is a budget headset, and the connection is more expensive to implment than say Mini USB-B or even Micro USB, while the addition is welcome, I would have rather them spent the extra money on improving their 7.1 sound.
The 7.1 mode, which also requires a driver download from EKSA’s website to enable, doesn’t sound good. At all. The audio emulation resulted in significant audio artifacting issues. But, I suppose that’s par for the course of “gaming” headsets. Emulating 5 other speakers and a subwoofer (the “.1” in “7.1”) via audio driver quite frankly never sounds good, no matter who is doing it, and EKSA is no different. Their implementation is no more or less egregious than any other brand’s attempt, but if they’re going to market it as a key feature, I’m going to criticize it as a key feature.
But, it’s not all bad for the E900 Pro. The device is packed with a multitude of features that I thought were very convenient and useful, and was actually surprised to see on such a budget device.
For starters, the detachable microphone. Seriously, it has no right sounding as good as it does. It was incredibly clear, and did a fantastic job isolating my voice from background noise. It sounds better than mic options on much more premium devices. The microphone might actually be my favorite aspect of the headset, all things considered. As previously mentioned, the microphone is detachable which makes the headset easier to transport (in its included carrying pouch) if you’re on the go and using it as a headphone for your Switch or phone. Finally, the microphone is totally flexible/opposable, so you can position it however you wish.
Moving on from the microphone, the E900 Pro contains convenint audio controls on the left earcup, which allow you to mute the microphone at the press of a button, as well as adjust volume. This feature usually isn’t present on budget headsets, so it’s nice to have here on the E900 Pro.
Finally, as previously mentioned, the multitude of connection options. There’s USB for PC, and 3.5mm for PC also and literally every other device that accepts 3.5mm connection. All of the cables you need for whatever you want to connect it to are included in the box, as well as a 3.5mm cable splitter.
Overall, the EKSA E900 Pro is actually quite easy to recommend. While the bass heavy soundstage and profile of the device is just passable only if you keep it in stereo mode, the E900 Pro has other redeeming aspects to it. A fantastic sounding microphone, a multitiude of connection and device options, as well as comfortable fit and sturdy construction, all coalesce to make the E900 Pro definitely not the worst headset you can buy for $50.
- THE GOOD
- Good Construction Quality
- Fantastic Mic
- Ease of Connection
- On Ear Cup Controls
- THE BAD
- Audio Leaves Something To Be Desired
The EKSA E900 Pro makes up for it’s relatively decent sound quality by packing other quality features like a fantastic sounding detachable mic, solid construction, and a multitude of connection methods for use on virtually any device.