Room for Improvement
As a gamer there are always three things I look for in a gaming headset; comfort, connectivity and caliber. These three standards have become my compass for navigating the ever expanding hardware accessory that is headphones. The VO7W Gaming Headset, from EasySMX, works hard to bring all three of these into focus. So after a couple weeks of listening, how did the V07W measure up? Grab that coffee, kick back and check out our review.
Connection Wireless (2.4Ghz)(PS4, PC, Mac)
3.5mm Cable(PC, PS4, XBOX One, Mobile)
Audio 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound
Charging Time 2.5h
Accept Range 15m (50ft)
Play Time 8h
Batteries 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
Battery Capacity 800mAh
Sensitivity -38 dB +/- 3 dB
Design Is A Delicate Balance
The V07W takes a bit of a different approach with design. Aesthetically, I loved the design. It’s unique, clean and stands out against a backdrop of other wireless headphones. The matte black finish is accented by a gloss texture on each earpiece. In contrast, the headband features a simple white stitching that pulls the thing together. Each earpiece has an additional hard plastic cover that houses the headsets controls, connections and headband mounts.
It looks sharp, especially with the LED ring lighting encompassing the EasySMX logo stamped in grey at the very center. A detachable 360° condenser mic can be plugged into the left earpiece and fits in nicely with the rest of the aesthetic.
The overall build feels well put together mostly; more on that in a moment. The headband features a fabric covered cushion that rests well on top of my head. Even over several hours of gaming I never felt a lot of pressure or discomfort due to the headband.
Each earpiece is wrapped in the same fabric that covers a 1/2inch thick soft foam pad. My ears fit comfortably and were completely enclosed in the earpiece. As with the headband I never felt discomfort or too much pressure from the headphones. A metal bracket connects the ear pieces to the headband and helps make the headband itself feel sturdy.
That being said I did note two minor issues. The first actually has to do with the way the headband is attached to the earpiece; via the exterior plastic casing. These casings allow for the earpiece to move a bit, presumably so it can adjust to the shape of your head. However, I found them to be a bit looser than I would have liked, resulting in them pushing out a bit at the bottom. This resulted in a feeling of them not sitting firmly on my head. I never felt at risk of them falling off but quick movements did result in having to readjust the headphones.
As much as I love the look of the V07W, I do worry about the exterior plastic casing. It sits out from the earpiece proper and feels a little looser than I would like. My concern is that if you needed to transport them or even over prolonged use that it wouldn’t take much for those pieces to separate or even detach from one another.
This is the tension when designing an accessory like headphones. On the one hand, designing something that looks unique is the artist’s dream. Unfortunately from an engineering perspective unique isn’t always best for function. In the case of the V07W’s, I do worry that the latter may have been sacrificed for the former.
Packing a Punch
Moving away from aesthetic design, let’s talk about sound. The V07W’s are driven using high-fidelity 40mm drivers. In layman terms, the drivers work to produce a faithful reproduction of a signal. They also offer a wider frequency range than baseline earpiece drivers.
In essence the goal of these drivers is to produce a clean, audio representation of the source sound. In regards to gaming the idea is to give you a more accurate representation of the immersive sound experience. This agenda is further emphasized with the headsets built in 7.1 virtual surround sound system. As a result, you get a better sounding, overall gaming experience.
I ran the V07W’s through a series of frequency response tests to see if I could get the spec sheet frequency responses. Overall the speakers fared well, easily hitting below the advertised 20Hz range but never quite reaching the 20kHz range. My initial tests only got up to the 15kHz range.
Now to be transparent, a good set of drivers take time to burn-in. Burn-in essentially means to stretch and ‘warm-up” the drivers. This can take anywhere from 50 to 100 hours (a conservitive estimation). As a result of only having them for two weeks, and only putting about 20ish hours on the headphones, the drivers are still pretty fresh. I did note a difference in the frequency tests from day 1 to day 10 in that the drivers did reach a higher test number in the kHz range the second time around. I feel confident in saying that with some more time the V07W’s will most likely get much closer to that 20kHz range.
As for the actual sound quality, the highs and mids were clean and crisp. Bass became punchier the more I used them and as of now sounds clean with very little distortion. I was actually surprised at how bright the overall sound was on these headphones. I expected it to be much warmer, as many gaming headsets tend to be in my experience. Instead I was experiencing drivers that sounded great with games and music alike. Even watching movies with these headphones was a pleasant experience.
The V07W headset also includes the aforementioned 7.1 virtual surround system built in. I ran a couple of surround sound tests and was impressed with the results. Audio was clean on all virtual channels, was easy to distinguish and, in gaming situations, did a great job of accurately presenting direction and distance of sound sources. For a gaming headset I was thoroughly impressed with the audio quality packed into EasySMX’s V07Ws.
The included detachable microphone is quite flexible and can be tucked away when not in use. It comes with built in noise reduction and an attachable pop filter to help separate your voice from other noise in the room.
I ran mic tests on both mac and PC over Discord, Roll20.net and through a couple of recording software suites. I found the overall audio clear but the bass to be muffled. As you can hear in the audio sample below, it’s a bit warmer than I would like to hear from a mic. Functionally it works fine and I got no complaints while raiding the Stone Crypt over the past couple weeks.
The headset is connected via the provided USB-A 2.4G Wireless adaptor or via a 3.5mm audio cable. In the case of the wireless adapter, it’s a plug and play experience on PC, Mac and PS4. Once powered on one only needs to point the machine at the sound output and you’re in business. The 3.5mm option works as one would expect.
I did run into a bit of an issue a few times when trying to run more than one application on my PC where the audio from one application would cut out. This happened specifically with Spotify while running any game. Spotify would simply stop broadcasting to the headphones. A quick restart of the application resolved the issue.
Three things to note here; It was not a consistent issue. As of the time of writing I still haven’t determined if it’s an issue with Spotify or the headphones. As spotify was the only application I had the issue (on both PC and Mac) I tend to think it might be a compatibility issue. Finally, I never ran into this issue while gaming or watching a movie.
The V07W’s come with a 800mAh lithium polymer battery that is rechargeable via micro USB. On paper this translates to an 8 hour runtime before a charge is needed. In my tests I did average somewhere between 6.5-7.5 hours which was enough for a late night gaming session. Unfortunately you cannot charge and use them at the same time. This means you’ll find it best to charge between each use. It would have been nice to either have a larger battery or the option to charge and use.
With many gaming headsets, you can expect to find a host of software options to control EQ, LED, etc. In the case of the V07W’s there aren’t any at all. In fact I didn’t even find any drivers to download.
This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can quickly get up and running when you open them up for the first time. No hassle of fuss, just plug them in and get to gaming. In the case of this headset, they sound great without any extra EQ.
However the lack of software means no customization or tweaking. With the audio what you hear is what you get. The mic gain can’t be adjusted. Even the cosmetic LEDs feature on the earpiece are on a preset loop. It’s a bit disappointing as customization is becoming more and more relevant to gaming builds and by extension the accessories we purchase for the build.
EasySMX’s V07W Wireless Gaming Headset does the most important thing right. The audio experience is solid. As an avid gamer and audio producer, I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and bright the drivers were. The onboard virtual surround sound system works exceptionally well and feels great when in game.
However, there is still some room for improvement in other areas. The loose fitting earpieces, odd wifi connection issue, battery life and lack of software support all keep the V07W from being everything it could be. All that being said, if you are looking for some solid plug and play gaming headphones, the V07W Wireless Gaming headset delivers, albeit with a few caveats. You can check out this pair on the official EasySMX website where they are currently discounted form their RRP of 69.99 and feel like a solid audio solution for gamers.