|Genius GX-Gaming Cavimanus 7.1 Headset|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Audio|
|Written by Mark Pedersen|
|Tuesday, 16 October 2012|
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Testing & Results
For testing of the GX-Gaming Cavimanus Gaming headset Benchmark Reviews looked at three points: quality, performance, and value. Gaming is one aspect that the headset is obviously named after however I put the virtual 7.1 channel Cavimanus headset to the test in other applications such as: watching movies, listening to music, and communication performance via skype.
In a gaming environment, map awareness is often overlooked and not taken into consideration yet can be extremely valuable in any fast paced quick action games The 7.1 virtual surround should provide an edge here as well as the overall quality of the Cavimanus headset. I will determine whether the vibration is actually adds a sufficient value to have toggled on more often than not while gaming, and take not of any advantages or disadvantages i encounter.
There is a growing list of the latest movies remastered in 7.1 digital surround sound. To determine whether Cavimanus virtual 7.1 channel surround sound adds any additional value and quality to a film I will take a clip from the movie and play it back in 7.1, 5.1. and 2.1 using the Cavimanus software documenting the noticable differences.
The audio quality of the microphone will be tested using the microphone echo option located in the Cavimanus software under the karaoke tab to determine how well it picks up vocal audio while canceling out background noises.
Make a comparison while listening to music with the vibration toggle on and off as to how well it amplifies beats and bass in a variety of music types, and see if it picks up the right range of sound only amplifying the beat or just causing unnecessary noises that distort the actual song.
I chose a variety of games to test out from different genres. Starcraft 2 supports 7.1 surround, I found the sound quality was excellent, the perception of distance and the direction of commotion was spot on which enabled me to distinctively identify what is happening in areas off my current view screen without having to actually look. Sounds can be heard in any direction in a 360 degree radius. By circling around a battle I was able to tell where the fight was happening with my eyes closed.
Firefall is an FPS MMORPG although the game itself is still in beta I chose to test some things out. First of all in firefall you are able to fly around on jumpjets for a very short period of time but immediately the jump jets sounded as though they were actually beneath me when I used them, they have just enough bass for the rumble feature to kick in and create a faint vibration and deep bass which added to the realism to the game. The game has swarms of creatures spawning around you constantly the 7.1 channel surround was definately a plus here as pursuing monster spanws sources could be distinctively identified just by sound alone.
League of Legends is a very popular free pc game that is extremely competitive and has a high skill cap, any advantages the Cavimanus could bring here are a plus. During gameplay I identified a few helpful advantages created by the unique features of the Cavimanus. During confrontations there is often so much going on that it becomes difficult to discern what is happening especially since for many people frame rates tend to drop during the most important confrontations. The Cavimanus handles multiple sounds extremely well, for instance without this headset I would hear static and distortion during times of dozens of sound effects are played at once vs with the Cavimanus the detail of each sound is preserved without any static or distortion. Another advantage discovered was that opponents can be heard from the direction they are coming from or running away in providing you with the edge in predicting opponents movements as well as overall map awareness.
Diablo 3 proved to sound more bloodthirsty and violent then it looks on screen, the vibration and sound detail combined with the astounding visual graphics made this game very entertaining. The 7.1 surround enabled me to use ranged attacks on monsters that I could not yet even see with accuracy, which is pretty useful since ranged player characters tend to die in 1 hit during late game so the more distance between you and the enemy the better.
I chose to test out a bluray movie called The Avengers which has been mastered in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround to get the full effect of watching a movie with the Cavimanus. DTS-HD Master Audio is the most common bluray audio format which typically contains 8 sound channels each with audio playback at 192khz per channel, sound at this quality is virtually lossless in playback. If there were ever a movie to test in 7.1 surround this would be the one, from the very start of the film rumbling bass catches your attention and sounds can be heard from several sources. The movie does not over exaggerate the surround sound as I had first anticipated it might, I would have to say the Cavimanus enhanced the quality of the movie.
I tested out the recording quality of the microphone, My voice sounded very clear after turning the mic up about halfway. After I reached a comfortable recording level I decided to add some noises to the background just to see what might be picked up by the microphone while it records my voice at the ideal level. Not too much background noise could be heard, I turned the all the fans (14 fans in total counting cpu, gpu, psu, and case) on my computer up to full power which are abnoxiously noisy to ranging up to 30 dBa by product specification and only necessary in overclocking conditions. I could not detect the computer fans through the microphone, only my own voice still. I also checked to see if I could hear myself typing and clicking the mouse as I have noticed from experience these are also unwanted noises that are often picked up by microphones and again I could not detect any typing noises or mouse clicks, only when the microphone was placed very close to the keyboard and mouse could I start to hear noises. I did find that music played at max volume could be heard through the microphone so if your having a conversation with someone online I would advize to keep the volume of your music to about 50-75 percent to lessen the risk of them hearing what your listening to if you have your mic recording level set to high.
Most music sounds great with the vibration toggle on. without the vibration toggle on the bass sounds a little flat for listening to music even with equalization. As long as the music doesnt have the beat in the background drowned out by other instruments then it sounds perfect as if there were a subwoofer inside producing the bass for the beat. However for music with a weak beat the bass that the vibration function does enhance drowns out the beat even further.