FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Review
Reviewed by: Wesstron
Reviewed on: January 27, 2014
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Introduction:
Gaming peripherals became all the rage a few years back, and to this day more manufacturers are joining the fray. Any computer retail or online store carries a legion of "Gaming" branded products that can be overwhelming for some buyers. Some would argue that the whole "Gaming" movement is just a marketing scheme, while some swear only by their preferred gaming peripherals line. I took a neutral stand since the debate started and my only policy is if the product performs as intended, call it whatever you want! For example, I wouldn't replace my CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for anything else, not even for a FILCO Ninja!
Today I will present you the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset. The HS-260 is part of FUNC's new product lineup that consists of a complete gaming peripherals package including the FUNC MS-3 mouse, the F-Series 10 and Surface 1030² mouse pads, and the FUNC KB-460 keyboard. The California-based company promises comfort, great sound, and optimal functionality with the HS-260, which is its first entry in the audio products.
Seeing that so far FUNC only produced mouse pads, I am quite skeptical. Let's take a closer look and see how the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset fares.
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Closer Look:
The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset comes in a stylish box with a hang tag and a magnetic tab. The box is very simplistic and I am starting to become a fan of such clean design. The front has the name of the manufacturer with the "Functionality. Perfected" value proposition. Towards the bottom right corner is located a close-up picture of the headset's ear cups. The back of the box has a picture of the headset surrounded by seven icons that represent the main features of the FUNC HS-260.
Opening the tab reveals a cut-out where the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset can be seen in all its glory. The back of the tab contains a long speech from the FUNC team. It basically depicts their history, vision, previous achievements, and future goals. Looking through the cut-out, a potential buyer can already see that the mic is detachable, and that the product at hand is on the beefy side of the size scale. Tucked in behind the headset is the accessories bundle, including a product manual, registration card, cable, and a set of leather earpad cushions.
The cable that comes with the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is braided, not overly stiff, and feels of great quality overall. On one side of this three meter (10 feet roughly) long cable is located the headphone/mic combo plug, and on the opposite side are located a headphone plug and a mic plug. The extra earpad cushions, supposedly leather, that come with the FUNC HS-260 are nice to the touch and feel quite soft. Both the velour and leather earpads are circular in shape and thick enough to provide comfort during extended gaming sessions.
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Closer Look:
For a gaming peripheral manufacturer, FUNC seems to be playing it safe when it comes to the looks of the HS-260, hence no color accents or aggressive branding here. The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is black and grey with some chrome accents. The final product looks good enough, but I personally don't like chromed plastic, especially when it ages and the chrome starts to flake away.
The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is built entirely of plastic: rubber-coated plastic, textured plastic, polished plastic, and chromed plastic. Coming from a CYBORG F.R.E.Q. 5 and its full metal frame, I was quite disappointed during my first few minutes with the HS-260. The first realisation that put me back in "reviewer" mode was the light weight of the unit, which is only 370g (0.77 lbs). The unit is nicely built and has a good amount of flexibility without any alarming creaking. When I put them on for a fit test, they felt really comfortable for their size while also being snug enough without feeling that my head is in a vise. The padding on the top of the headset contributes greatly to the overall comfort and there is more than enough of it, even for a close-shaved head.
The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset comes with a very clever adjustability mechanism design. The extensions attached to the earcups are of a similar width than the top section and they slide out to expose a flat and seamless surface. The HS-260 keeps a clean and sharp look even when stretched to its maximum adjustability level.
The mic bundled with the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is detachable and very flexible. It can be twisted, bent, contorted, or just straightened – in which case you are really boring! The mic flexibility provides extreme control over its position vis-à-vis your mouth. The tip of the mic has three small notches for sound reception and also a mounting screw. On the opposite side there is a tiny hole that I suppose to be a noise canceling mic.
Like most gamers, I was in a situation where I needed to mute my mic or adjust the volume quickly and without taking my eyes off the screen. One hand off the keyboard for just a few seconds can cause a wipe and up to nineteen angry raiders will probably put a contract on your head; imagine what doom having to fiddle around and look for the ever-elusive inline controls might bring upon you! The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset follows in the steps of high end headsets and adopts easily accessible earcup-integrated controls, with a twist that makes this product quite unique. While the volume dial is permanently located on the left side, the mic and cable can be plugged in either side, which adds extra modularity to an already flexible unit.
The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset adopts a closed-ear construction, which, in my personal experience, provides better immersion while gaming. In each earcup is nested a 50mm driver that is factory tuned for optimal sound quality. Removing the earpads is an easy task and putting them back is pure pleasure! The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset takes home the Smart Award as far as making the earpad swap endeavour as painless as it can be. The secret is in the little notch in the plastic casing that serves as a guide for sliding the earpad back in place.
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Specifications:
50mm, tuned and paired
20-20 000 Hz
2 x 3.5mm
180x105x194 mm / 7.08x4.13x7.64 in
0.37 kg / 0.77 lbs
3.5mm Audio/Microphone jack
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Features:
- Intuitive control interface integration: The HS-260 has been designed with the sound and volume controls directly integrated onto the headset itself. When these controls are found on an in-line control piece on the headphone cord, it tends to get stuck on your table, chair or wrapped up in your clothes. With the controls being directly integrated onto the headset, it helps to eliminate distractions such as looking for the volume/mute control while you are in situations of life and death; taking your eyes off the screen can be detrimental at this point.
- Tuned and paired 50mm drivers sound optimized for gaming: A larger driver tends to deliver a more powerful sound, which in turn delivers a deeper bass. As well, the sound images get a greater resolution in terms of audio which means that you will be able to hear and distinguish a more detailed sound image. The drivers have been carefully tuned to deliver a well balanced sound image. This will allow you to achieve a distinguished speech as well as a full audio experience during gaming sessions. The speakers have been synced to work at the same performance level which will help you to pinpoint the exact position of an enemy in-game.
- Detachable cord & microphone solution: Convert the headset to headphones thanks to the detachable microphone. The microphone and audio cable can be connected on either side of the headphones as they are removable and will work in both positions.
- Velour and leather cushions: Changeable ear cushions, comes with a one set of velour and one set of leather cushions.
All information courtesy of FUNC @ http://www.func.net/en/products/hs-260-gaming-headset/
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Setup & Testing:
I've been using the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset for a couple of weeks for the purpose of this review and it was mostly a pleasant experience. I used the headset for a few gaming sessions, made a few calls on Skype, watched some movies/anime episodes, and some random music while typing. I will translate my opinion the best I can; although from personal experience, the best way to decide which headset to spend your cash on is to give it a try if possible.
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.8 GHz
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula
- Memory: G.Skill RipjawsX 2x4GB 7-8-7-24 1600Mhz
- Video Card: GeForce GTX 770
- PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W
- Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
- Optical Drive: ASUS DVD combo
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
- Koss PRO DJ100 Headphones
- Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Headset
- SONY Wireless Stereo Headset
- Plantronics GAMECOM 367 Headset
The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset, as the name implies, is a gaming peripheral, and as such should perform best in this category. It actually performed very well! First of all, the HS-260 is a plug and play unit and does not require any software install or settings; just plug it into the headphone/mic jacks in the motherboard or sound card and enjoy. In the few games I tried the sound was crisp, clear, and quite immersive. I was really impressed by the details I could pick up in the starting area of Metro 2033 and the richness of the ambient sound in Alice: Madness Returns. My only complaint is that the headset started to sound a bit distorted when I cranked the volume all the way to 100%, and the bass seemed lacking, especially at low volumes. When the volume is kept at reasonable levels, this headset provides great sound, even if it's more in the neutral than the bassy category. The mic worked as intended and I did not fiddle with any of the sound settings either in Windows or Skype.
Watching movies/anime with the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset was a real pleasure. The unit is very comfortable and has just the right fit to stay on your head without giving you a headache after a few minutes. I watched The Lord of the Rings, Pitch Black, and WORLD WAR Z. I also indulged in quite the extensive list of anime episodes. Again, the sound reproduction was excellent, but the bass was still missing; the deep rumble that the F.R.E.Q. 5 can achieve seems to elude the HS-260.
Alright, this is where it gets tricky. I am no audiophile and the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is not a pair of studio monitor headphones. After listening to some Blues, Electro-House, and various ethnic tunes, I noticed that swapping the velour earpads for the leather ones improves the sound quality to a certain degree. The audio clarity was there, but the deep bass was still lacking. The HS-260 is not meant for music exclusively and I found myself going back to the KOSS headphones or the F.R.E.Q. 5 headset often.
FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Conclusion:
When I first pulled the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset out of the box, I had my doubts about how the unit will perform. The plastic build, the sheer size, and the feel of the volume dial gave a "cheap toy" impression. After using the unit for a few weeks, I stand corrected. The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset sounds great without any need for drivers or software install. The sound coming out of these cans is very clear and they handled quite well the subtle noises in game and media files. Bass-heads beware though; the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is not for you. I pushed the volume hoping to get more bass, but ended up with slightly distorted sound and a "fuzzy" experience.
The build quality, although not stellar, can withstand a beating. As long as you don't actively seek to destroy it, the HS-260 should last. I personally had the occasional accidental cable pull; the detachable plug comes in handy in such situations and the headset stayed on my head instead of flying straight to the ground. The unit is also very comfortable; the weight and pressure are spot on, and I really enjoyed the fact that it doesn't "squish your head". The included velour and leather exchangeable earpads add an extra layer of customization; both feel nice to the touch and durable, and neither caused the "sweaty ears" syndrome. I found myself favoring the leather earpads due to the slight sound quality improvement; they complement the closed-ear design of the HS-260.
After a few hours of use, I was able to switch the cable and mic positions on the headset without even looking. Adjusting the position of the very flexible mic was also a breeze; this thing could put a contortionist to shame. On a side note, I miss the mic activity LED that I got used to with the F.R.E.Q. 5 and the SONY wireless headsets.
Overall, the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is a great product for its price range. What this unit lacks in bells and whistles it compensates for with usability and flexibility. Would I recommend having the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset in a list of potential buys? Certainly! However, the $79.95 MSRP puts the FUNC HS-260 in a very competitive price range where players such as Plantronics, Razer, SteelSeries, Skullcandy, Cooler Master, ASUS, and Corsair list their offerings.
- Clear and crisp sound
- Very comfortable
- Detachable cable & mic
- Highly adjustable mic
- Interchangeable cable/mic connectors
- Velour and leather earpad sets included
- High quality braided cable
- Build quality and looks could be of better finish
- Lacks bass
- No dedicated audio-only cable