We previously reviewed Roccat’s Elo 7.1 Air Headset, the most high-end headset in the Elo series costing $99. The Elo X Stereo Gaming Headset is the one of the Elo series’ mid-range headsets. It comes at the economical price of $49. Providing cross-platform compatibility, the Elo X, though far from perfect provides some interesting options for the audiophile on a budget.
Accessories and Design
The Elo X Stereo comes with a splitter cable for headphones and mic port, a detachable mic and an instruction manual. The accessories are not over-the-top such as in Logitech’s Pro X Gaming Headset. For instance, the cable isn’t made out of woven nylon or the package doesn’t include a carrying case. However, they’re not insufficient either. They’re just what’s needed. The quality of the accessories is also sufficiently good. The detachable mic is quite flexible, as opposed to the stiff mic arms EPOS headsets host.
Design-wise, the Elo X Stereo isn’t exactly a flashy headset. In fact, it could even be termed as a bland headset by some, but according to its price point, it’s not exactly a waste of purchase. Priced at just $49, the Elo X offers a durable metal frame that allows the leather and memory foam headband underneath the space to be expanded or contracted. The frame gives the headband space to move when you plant the headset on your noggin. Apart from facilitating adjustability, the frame lends the cans some aesthetic and serves as a nice addition in terms of the diversity of materials used.
The Elo X has huge leatherette rotatable earcups that are connected to the headband with plastic wires that enhance the headset’s adjustability. They’re made of thick plastic and are minimally designed with only the brand name and logo stamped on their exterior.
Ergonomics and Navigation
There was much hype about the Elo X’s ergonomics, and after using them, I learnt that the hype was justified. This headset felt like it wasn’t even there! I could barely feel anything sitting on the top of my head. In addition to being surprisingly light, the cans have superior memory foam generously stuffed in its headband. The foam hugs the sides of your face tightly making sure there are no gaps that would allow ambient sound to go in. The earcups apply just the right amount of pressure and make the Elo X Stereo an ideal headset for extended hours of gameplay.
Since the Elo X Stereo is a wired headset, it doesn’t need as many controls as a wired pair of cans would. Consequently, it already runs comparatively less risk of having complex navigation. But the company still visibly makes an extra effort to make sure that the controls on the Stereo are as intuitive as possible. There are three controls on the right earcup: a volume dial, a mute switch and a headphone port. All three controls are intuitive, simple to use and easy to locate.
While the Elo X succeeded in keeping ambient sound outside, providing a significant degree of passive sound isolation, it has a lot of missed potential in keeping headphone sound inside. There was a considerable amount of sound leakage, even when my volume wasn’t cranked all the way up. I can’t stand the thought of someone knowing exactly what I’m listening to. So, this was a feature I absolutely couldn’t work around.
Considering the Elo X doesn’t come with ANC technology, the passive noise isolation that leatherette earcups facilitated is impressive. The buzz of my kitchen exhaust was substantially muted. But I was only able to enjoy this degree of noise isolation with my volume maxed out, and you already know why I had a problem with that.
The Stereo has the kind of bass you feel in your throat and chest. It is deep, heavy and carries a thump with it. You don’t have to put on bass-heavy music to enjoy it. It comes out at you on its own regardless of what you put on. Though the treble on these cans could have been a lot better. It’s not as if treble is non-existent but you can clearly tell you’re using a device that’s more tuned towards low-end.
The Stereo is a no-frills headset that takes no risks. It has a sober body, a decent aural profile and simple controls. Considering its price point, it is a fair package.
Is It Hardcore?
Yo can say so.
The Roccat Elo X Stereo plays it safe in every way. It has an inoffensive, plain design, controls that are capable of being instantly mastered and a sound profile that is fairly decent. It is exactly what you would expect at the low price of $49; nothing more, nothing less.