2014 was a fantastic year for gaming headphones. Headset manufacturers have outdone themselves once again, giving gamers more audio choices than ever before. While high-end models truly excelled in advancing wireless and surround sound technology, as well as fancy equalizer features, gamers on a budget were offered an excellent lineup as well. Even though SteelSeries and Turtle Beach dominated with more than a handful of new products, gaming peripheral newcomer Gamdias made an equally notable impact with their newly released Eros V2 Surround Sound Headset. At only $73, the Eros V2 is a fantastic piece of hardware that delivers remarkable audio performance and a surprising amount of customization.
The Eros V2 are compatible with both PC and Playstation 4 platforms, although connecting to the console only works via the audio jack. When it comes to design, Gamdias’ death metal aesthetic has no equal. The Eros V2 looks like a movie prop from Mad Max, and I mean this in the most flattering way possible. While SteelSeries and Turtle Beach aim for modern simplicity, Gamdias takes a more playful approach. Shaped like a spear fork that wraps around the user’s head, the Eros isn’t subtle in its appearance. But much like the Zeus and Hermes, the style strikes a fine balance between elegance and kitsch.
"At only $73, the Eros V2 is a fantastic piece of hardware that delivers remarkable audio performance and a surprising amount of customization."
More importantly, Eros V2 is comfortably light. Even after long gaming sessions, the ear cups barely generate any heat. The elastic headband ensures a perfect fit. However, the lightness comes at a price. The cheap plastic ear cups are flimsily attached to the frame, which could be a problem for heavy-handed users. The slick surface is also a fingerprint and dust nightmare. Manufacturers really need to stop making shiny electronics.
Mediocre build quality aside, it’s the audio drivers and overall sound performance that ultimately matter, and that’s where the Eros V2 excels. The simulated 7.1 surround sound delivers remarkable spatial awareness and well-balanced sound across all frequencies. The drivers pack a real punch, balancing deep bass and high tones flawlessly. Competitive gamers will appreciate accurate sound localization; being able to hear where the danger is coming from while running through a bullet storm is unquestionably advantageous.
"Competitive gamers will appreciate accurate sound localization; being able to hear where the danger is coming from while running through a bullet storm is unquestionably advantageous."
The Eros V2 isn’t just great for loud explosions and gunfire. Atmospheric titles like Alien: Isolation and Amnesia become significantly more immersive and terrifying. The Eros V2 revels in minute details, like the crunchy noise of a player’s boots stepping over glass or the sharp wind gust echoing through a tunnel. Hiding in a closet in Alien: Isolation and holding your breath perfectly demonstrates Eros’ ability to guide sound through the environment. Eros’ excellent audio quality extends further to music and movies. As with most mid-range sets, users may detect a metallic echoing when listening to certain music genres, but it’s not as noticeable as with Turtle Beach's Ear Force Z60. Voices in most films sound clear with few instances of distinct echoing.
I rarely use a mic when gaming, but when I do, I try avoiding mics that pick up background noise. While Eros’ twistable mic won’t impress anyone in terms of quality, it does a solid job of isolating excess noise. The voice clarity is clean and crisp, even if it lacks some depth. The Eros V2 may not be great for recording podcasts or Youtube videos, but it does its job when chatting with friends during multiplayer matches or Skype.
"Surround sound technology in headphones has come a long way in recent years, and the Eros V2 deserves a spot amongst the finer mid-range headsets on the market."
The GAMDIAS-EOS software allows vast customization. Here, users can manually tweak several audio settings, like the highly adjustable frequency equalizer, dozens of environmental modes (like concert hall, under water, etc.), environmental size settings that mimic small vs large room sizes, as well as DSP effects (Xear Surround Max and 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter) that provide key surround sound simulation effects. Audiophiles can spend hours perfecting frequency settings. For those who don’t like fiddling around too much, the default presets are superbly tuned across all media.
On the Playstation 4, the Eros V2 doesn’t perform quite as well. Abrupt tonal shifts produce notable crackling, which is a nuisance in the midst of a game. Because the console compatibility only works via the audio jack, the volume can’t be adjusted with the included Smart in-line Remote, and the overall volume levels are rather low. The sound still impresses, but lacks the PC’s depth and surround clarity.
The Eros V2 is a great headset that boasts impressive surround sound and is incredibly comfortable to wear. Despite its lackluster build quality and console performance, it truly shines when gaming on the PC. The Eros V2 is also an easy recommendation for gamers on a budget. Surround sound technology in headphones has come a long way in recent years, and the Eros V2 deserves a spot amongst the finer mid-range headsets on the market.
Review by: Tin Salamunic