AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset ReviewWaco -
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AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset Testing:
To be honest I have no idea what to expect coming into this review of the AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset. In the past I have come to realize that most USB-driven headsets offer exceptionally noise-free audio reproduction even if the headsets themselves may exhibit a few less desirable qualities. With its large stereo drivers and tactile feedback drivers I expect the GH808 to be a high-impact headset even if the sound quality may suffer due to the reliance on vibration for deep bass response instead of actual audio reproduction. AZiO has positioned the GH808 as a high-end gaming headset – keep reading to see if this gorgeous headset lives up to its marketing prowess! Testing will involve serious music listening sessions, a few movies, and of course, serious gaming to determine whether or not this attractive headset deserves to grace your noggin.
- Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 991996 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 16 GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: OCZ Agility 3 120 GB, 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
Wow. Impact is something seriously lacking in most "gaming" headsets these days. I can honestly say that with the vibration drivers enabled not even the most ambitious bass-head will be left wanting in any game with a good soundtrack. Bass makes itself known with actual impact through the headset and gunshots will certainly keep you alert. The vibration drivers make themselves known quite readily at any volume setting. Clarity in gaming in also quite reasonable and directional awareness won't be hampered by any fake surround processing. One noticeable fault is that when the headset volume control is set at a low level (I would estimate 20% and below) there is an extremely obvious amount of distortion and channel crosstalk. This is a bit odd coming from a USB headset but the weakness is quite easily avoided by using software volume control for low-level output. Overall the GH808 performed quite well in games and had no obvious drawbacks (other than the low-volume issue).
With built-in tactile transducers for impact I expected a lot when firing up a few of my favorite movies. Sadly, I have to report that while AZiO claims the vibration drivers can play down to 10 Hz, they clearly drop off drastically below approximately 45 Hz. That may sound deep enough but in movies where audio information is quite often represented in 30 Hz and below bursts of sound, the lack of low-end impact is quite disappointing. For example, the popular Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has an extremely loud inverse bass drop in the opening scene; unfortunately the AZiO GH808 completely misses reproducing most of the impact that is normally felt since it lacks low-end response. If your primary concern is accuracy and impact for movies (especially modern movies with extremely deep bass tracks) you might want to look elsewhere. Clarity and separation doesn't seem to be an issue for non-bass frequencies though, so while the bass is lacking the rest of the spectrum is not.
If the AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset has a serious weakness music is it. While I do admit that I am overly critical of many so-called "gaming" headsets when it comes to musical reproduction, the GH808 is more of an offender than most. The GH808 is not lacking in volume nor impact in the midbass and up regions, but the reliance on the vibration drivers to handle the bass region leaves the whole headset sounding pretty flat with any serious listening. Additionally, when cranking the volume up with the headset turned up, the digital volume level cannot be pushed much over around 70% on clean source material without running into fairly obvious distortion. The headroom is nice for more quiet sources but combined with the lack of any real bass response the GH808 is fairly disappointing overall for critical listening. If you're searching for a loud headset with great impact you will probably be happy, but if you do like to listen to music and feel the music at the same time you will likely want to look elsewhere.