Whether it’s your graphics card, monitors, or keyboard, gamers are always looking for the next way to make their gaming experience more immersive. While most users focus falls on graphics, getting a good audio experience is just as important. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to drop several hundred dollars on a set of speakers.
Headphones are one of the easiest ways to get top notch sound for a low price. The drivers are smaller, enabling them to be more precise and controlled then a set of speaker cones. But what isn’t so easy is finding an affordable gaming headset that offers quality audio, a decent microphone, and a high level of comfort.
We’ve tested several of Gamdias’ peripherials before, including the Hermes P1 Keyboard and the Zeus P1 Optical Gaming Mouse. In both scenarios, we found that Gamdias offered above average quality and performance for the price range. So when we found out that they were releasing a gaming headset of their own, we had to try it out for ourselves.
The Gamdias Hebe E1 Gaming Headset came in a stylish box. The primary features are highlighted on the sides, and there is a small plastic window cut out so you can see the headphones inside. Because counterfeiting is such a problem in the headphone industry, there is a hologram affixed to the front of the box so that you know you’ve got a genuine pair.
Once we pulled the Hebe E1 out of the box, we were surprised at how large these were. The earcups are designed to fit completely over the ear, something that we often look for if we’re going to be wearing them for an extended period of time.
They are decorated with stylish LED light strips that highlight the structural elements. Combined with the soft materials they’re made from and the large, spacious headband, we were looking forward to seeing what this headset could do.
The Hebe E1 headset have a very aggressive design to them. The huge over-the-ear earcups are accented with sharp lines, dividing up the illuminated and matte portions. When enabled, the LEDs are what really bring them to life. They change color in a breathing effect, with colors slowly moving from one to the next. These are RGB LEDs that are able to combine the primary colors into thousands of different colors, making the transitions smooth.
On the right earcup, you’ll notice a small little nub sticking out. This is actually the microphone. You can pull this out from the earcup when in use, or push it back in for storage. The large rod that holds the microphone is made from a flexible material, allowing you to bend it to get the exact placement you’re looking for.
The headband itself is a dual-band model. This relies on a large metal band that gives the headset it’s structure. The support comes from the long flexible fabric pad that attaches to these tracks. This can be adjusted, allowing them to fit everyone from children to adults.
Although this isn’t the flashiest headset on the market, we found that the design was very appealing. If you’re looking for something that will help you stand out from the crowd, this would definitely be a great choice.
When selecting a gaming headset, it’s important to find something that is comfortable enough to wear for an extended period of time. In situations where you’re using the microphone, your gaming headset is the lifeline between you and your teammates, so removing it often isn’t an option.
We found that comfort is one of the areas where the Hebe E1 really stand out. The earcups are lined with a plush faux-leather material that is incredibly soft. There is a large surface area making contact with your head, so you feel very little pressure. At the same time, it helps to isolate you from outside noise, enabling you to really get into the game.
The adjustable headband is another design element that adds to the comfort provided. It’s easily adjusted by sliding the two plastic shims up and down the metal part of the headband, so you can get them exactly where you want them. This two-band system is quite a bit bulkier than a single band option, but the level of adaptability it provides is unparalleled.
The headband is extremely wide, so it spreads the pressure out over a large distance. This evenly distributes the weight of them over your head, making for a very comfortable experience.
Considering the low price, we were pretty impressed with how good they sounded. They are very bass heavy, adding a lot of impact to sound such as explosions or music with a tight bassline. At the same time, the highs remained clear and well defined. This is most noticeable during speech, and the audio comes across as very clear and easy to hear.
The 40mm drivers are the primary reason they perform so well. A headset’s accuracy is determined by its ability to move air, so when you’ve got a large surface area like you do here moving large volumes of air is effortless. This extends the bass beyond what is possible with a standard headset, without causing distortion.
There are two types of microphones on the market – directional and omnidirectional. Omnidirectional microphones aren’t quite as accurate, but can record sound coming from any direction. Directional microphones only hear the sound from a specific direction, but provide better accuracy and clarity.
The microphone used here is a directional model. This is important in a gaming headset. You want your teammates to hear your voice, but not the sound of the dishwasher running in the background. The only disadvantage to a directional microphone is that it needs to be properly placed hear your mouth. This might be a big deal with fixed microphones that cannot be moved, but on the Hebe E1 it’s easy to adjust it to get the sound just right.
Controls & Connectivity
To get this headset working, you’ll need to plug three things into your computer. The microphone and headphones each have their own 3.5mm connector, which is compatible with every computer on the market. The lights are powered by a USB port, and you can plug it into any standard USB port on your computer. The headset will still work without this connected, you just won’t be able to enjoy the lights.
All of the controls are located on the inline remote, located on the main cable. This remote is easy to operate with one hand, so you can quickly adjust settings as needed. We found that its location was ideal, as we could just leave it on our desk next to our PC, giving us quick access to controls when we needed them.
There are two toggle switches on the face of the controls. One of them controls the lights, turning them on or off. The other controls the microphone. This switch is extremely important. If you want to disable the mic to have a private conversation with somebody in the room, it’s just one quick motion to do so.
There is also a dial control located on the side that controls the volume. This control is very precise and easy to operate, allowing for quick and easy adjustments of the volume.
Headsets are a lot like instruments. They need to be carefully tuned to suit a specific purpose. You wouldn’t pick up a guitar used for classic rock, and try to play metal. This headset is tuned for gaming. It’s designed so that you can hear the speech and sound effects from a game, and communicate with your team mates. This isn’t something we’d use for critical music listening. They might be good for movies or television, but music fans might want to look elsewhere.
We were extremely impressed with the value that Gamdias offers consumers with their Hebe E1 headset. We’ve never come across one in this price bracket that offers what we’d consider a good audio experience. They’re very comfortable to wear, look decent, and every feature works as expected.
That being said, this headset isn’t going to be for everyone. The E1’s are a great deal, but if you’ve got the cash you might want to consider a more premium headset. We found that the Steelseries Arctis 7 offered solid performance in a reasonably priced package, so we might recommend those to consumers who are looking for a step-up from entry level headsets.