Gamdias may be an industry newcomer, but their product lineup already rivals, and in many cases outclasses, veteran gaming peripheral manufacturers. Carving a niche in such a competitive and saturated market isn’t easy, but Gamdias’ innovative approach to design and performance makes them a standout brand. Innovation is the key word here, as Gamdias’ products always introduce unexpected and exciting features. Their latest surround sound gaming headset, the Hephaestus, is a perfect example of a company going the extra mile to bring gamers something special. Boasting a built-in aluminum heat sink that regulates temperatures, an advanced rumble feature that accentuates deep sounds and remarkable simulated surround sound, the Hephaestus is Gamdias’ most advanced headset yet.
Pictures don’t do the Hephaestus justice. What may appear like a set of mechanical Optimus Prime earmuffs, is actually an elegantly designed piece of tech that doesn't shy away from playfulness. The exaggerated and futuristic design is Gamdias’ trademark, and the Hephaestus’ style beautifully compliments the manufacturer’s jazzy peripherals lineup. The headset may look bulky and its tank-like construction is undeniably sturdy, but the Hephaestus is remarkably light and comfortable.
"Pictures don’t do the Hephaestus justice. What may appear like a set of mechanical Optimus Prime earmuffs, is actually an elegantly designed piece of tech that doesn't shy away from playfulness."
The Hephaestus ear cups are large for a reason. The built-in heat sink and powerful sound drivers mean business. After an entire week of thorough testing, I’m still amazed at all the tech that’s been crammed into such a small space. The cooling feature isn’t just a gimmick either. The Hephaestus stays cool after hours of prolonged gaming, and it never impedes with the audio performance. It doesn’t even generate any sound when in use.
The Hephaestus, named after the god of blacksmiths, fire and volcanoes, proudly lives up to its title by delivering explosive audio and fantastic surround sound accuracy. The advanced rumble feature identifies bass intensity and carefully distributes vibrations across each earcup. This allows gamers to not only feel explosions, but pinpoint their distance and location. The rumble feature has two power settings, each providing varying degrees of thunder. I say thunder, because hearing a building collapse in Battlefield 4 (with rumble set to max) for the first time feels like standing in the middle of a warzone.
"The Hephaestus, named after the god of blacksmiths, fire and volcanoes, proudly lives up to its title by delivering explosive audio and fantastic surround sound accuracy."
While headphone surround sound is emulated and can never precisely replicate an actual speaker setup, the way each manufacturer handles the tech varies drastically from headset to headset. Turtle Beach, for example, uses a Superhuman Hearing Mode in their latest XO Seven Pro model that highlights environmental details during extreme high to low frequency shifts. In a way, it serves as a supercharged center speaker. SteelSeries, on the other hand, offers robust equalizer presets with their high-end models, each geared towards different media types.
The Hephaestus offers the best of both worlds. While it lacks automatic presets via an external dongle, its EOS Software allows for precise, and extremely thorough, manual tweaking for different listening conditions. From individual frequency settings to extensive environment-type modes, the EOS is an audiophile haven. And for those who don’t like adjusting every minor detail, the default settings are perfectly balanced whether you’re gaming, listening to music or watching movies.
"In conclusion, Gamdias’ Hephaestus is an exceptional headset. From its stylish design, unprecedented comfort and impressive audio performance, the headset is an unbeatable all-in-one package."
A fancy gaming headset wouldn’t be complete without a proper mic, and Hephaestus’ noise-cancelling mic doesn’t disappoint. The mic completely shuts out external noise, and does a fine job of delivering crisp sound when talking to friends during multiplayer matches. It may not be as great for recording podcasts or YouTube videos, but to be fair, that’s not what it was designer for.
Hephaestus’ only downside is its lack of compatibility. This is a PC headset, period, and doesn’t work on any other devices. It’s a shame really, especially since Gamdias’ cheaper alternative, the Eros V2, works on nearly every platform and costs less. Then again, the extra features and powerful drivers are PC specific, so it makes sense.
In conclusion, Gamdias’ Hephaestus is an exceptional headset. From its stylish design, unprecedented comfort and impressive audio performance, the headset is an unbeatable all-in-one package. Its cooling vents are a surprisingly useful feature, and the added rumble makes action games more immersive and enjoyable. The Hephaestus retails for only $97.94 on Amazon at the time of this review, which is an incredible deal for such a high-end piece of tech.
Review by: Tin Salamunic