|AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Audio|
|Written by Akim Green|
|Tuesday, 05 March 2013|
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Testing & Results
I used the GH808 for many hours playing games, listening to music, watching movies, and chatting with friends via skype. While I am by no means an audiophile, I have used many top-notch headsets such as the Corsair Vengeance 2000, Studio Beats by Dre, the Logitech G930, etc. I am therefore confident that I am able to accurately evaluate the GH808, at least from a gamer's perspective.
The GH808 does fit well, but a few things prevent it from being as comfortable as the Vengeance 2000 and other top-tier gaming headsets. First of all, the ear cups don't swivel left or right to provide a close fit to your ears. This is an important feature especially if you wear prescription glasses like I do. As a result, there will be some space between your head and the ear pads and hence some sound will leak out. Secondly, the ear cups aren't very deep. If you have ears that stick out a little, you may find this headset somewhat uncomfortable. On the other hand, the headset is not too heavy; on multiple occasions, I found myself getting up from my desk forgetting that I had them on.
I first tested the GH808 with some music from my Zune account. With its default setting, most of my music sounded muddled and unclear. This became worse when I enabled the super bass; even treble-rich songs had a constant hum in the background. Messing around with the software a little bit made a world of difference. After experimenting for a while, I found that the jazz preset along with the room or carpeted hallway most suitable for any type of music: the sound is more clear and not overpowered by the bass. Enabling virtual 7.1 doesn't make a big difference to music and this is expected, as most music isn't made for playback on 7.1 sound systems. It doesn't make it sound any worse but not noticeably better.
The GH808 performs exceptionally well in gaming situations. I found Battlefield 3 most enjoyable with the super bass on, 7.1 surround enabled, and the 8CH option selected. I also used the Hi-Fi setting in the BF3 audio menu. The sound produced by the headphones was truly amazing; in my opinion, it gave a more realistic feel to the game than any graphic solution could possibly deliver. The guns sounds in particular were very good: each round fired produced a loud thunderous bang with louder echos in closed/underground areas. I actually found myself being very cautious in an attempt to avoid getting shot point-blank. The headset creates the illusion that you are on the battlefield and bullets flying by really do instill fear in the player. I used the same settings in Skyrim except for the super bass; as opposed to BF3 the vibration is constant and gets more intense in action packed situations. Turn it off though and the result is wonderful: character voices sound clear and the nature sounds are more crisp.
Performance in movies and videos is also good. I watched a few episodes of 24 on Netflix as well as Skyline on Blu-ray. Watching 24 with the super-bass on was very entertaining: the explosions and gunfire sounded realistic and it gave the show a more intense atmosphere. While watching Skyline, I enabled the virtual 7.1 surround, and the headset produced a better audio experience than it did with default settings, but nothing too impressive. Overall, I found that the Vengeance 2000 gave a similar experience to the GH808 in streaming Netflix videos, but performed better in Blu-ray movies.
I made a couple of calls with Skype and my contacts found the microphone to be exceptionally good with the clarity of the audio. There didn't seem to be any breaking and missed words that you would usually hear when making phone calls. Rogers One Number is an application offered by my phone service provider that allows one to make calls from a computer with their cell phone number. I tried calling 10 people and to my surprise, 30% of the people I called were able to notice an improvement over my phone's mic without me mentioning anything. The other 70 admitted it was better after I asked them. The GH808 was very good for voice calls and the voice manipulation tool was amusing to play around with.