It wasn’t too long ago that wiring was essential for those seeking high-end headphone performance. The mere thought of high-quality wireless sound seemed absurd. However, wireless technology has advanced exponentially over the last decade, and while premium audiophile headphones still require direct connectivity for best results, gaming peripheral manufacturers have done a remarkable job of blurring the line between wired and wireless sound delivery. I’ve reviewed at least half a dozen wireless headsets over the last few years, and each new model has exhibited staggering improvements.
Sound Blaster is a household name amongst audiophiles. These guys have been around nearly thirty years, so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about making gaming headphones. Their impressive product lineup is nothing short of amazing. The selection is particularly exciting as it provides exceptional products across various price ranges. The Sound Blaster Recon 3D Omega Wireless sits somewhere in the higher-end pricing spectrum, although $200 for high-quality headphones isn’t particularly expensive by today’s standards.
The Omega Wireless delivers mind-boggling audio quality. They are some of the finest headphones I’ve had the pleasure of testing. Windows 10 issues made the initial setup somewhat confusing, but once everything fell into place, the sound quality amazes, leaving its competition in the dust. The Omega Wireless comes packaged with the Sound Blaster Recon toggle, a Tactic Link wireless card, an installation CD, an inline volume control for Xbox 360, two micro USB-to-USB cables, an optical cable, and of course the headset itself. As far as flexibility goes, Sound Blaster has gone out of their way to ensure the headset can be connected to almost anything imaginable.
"The Omega Wireless delivers mind-boggling audio quality. They are some of the finest headphones I’ve had the pleasure of testing."
My personal experience setting up the headphones was unexpectedly complicated. As it turns out, the headphones were not to blame, rather connectivity issues with the new Windows 10 operating system. Install the drivers directly from the Sound Blaster website and avoid using the disc. Pairing the headset with the Control Panel can also be a little finicky. While the headphones are paired out of the box, they disconnect periodically, and holding down the pair/power button doesn't always work.
The Sound Blaster Recon Control Panel is surprisingly practical. Here, you can switch between SBX Pro Studio and Scout Mode settings, adjust microphone grain, switch between headphone and speaker modes, fine-tune crystal voice settings, and adjust desired equalizer settings, which can all be saved to individual profiles for quick access.
SBX Pro Studio is designed to provide a full cinematic experience, and it delivers on that promise. Movies and games sound spectacular in surround sound. What's even more surprising, the surround setting works wonders for music. Typically, gaming headsets with surround settings don’t translate well when listening to music. It’s common to leave the stereo mode when switching away from playing video games. Here, the SBX mode works across all media. Enabling the Dialog Plus option further enhances voices in both movies and music, without compromising the quality of other sound frequencies.
"The Omega Wireless has impressive battery life and signal reception. It’s possible to listen to music and play games for eight hours nonstop without charging."
The Control Panel also has a Scout Mode that functions similarly to Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing Mode. This option enhances low sound frequencies to provide better directional perception when playing multiplayer games. It’s not as extreme as Turtle Beach’s technology, but I personally prefer Sound Blaster’s subtler use of emphasizing low sounds as it doesn’t distort the rest of the audio as much. The Omega Wireless has impressive battery life and signal reception. It’s possible to listen to music and play games for eight hours nonstop without charging. You can step away more than twenty feet before sound crackling occurs. Charging works via the included USB cable, and it can take up to four hours for a full charge.
The headset is designed to work on nearly every platform. The PC offers the most flexibility through exclusive access to the superb Control Panel. But, that’s just a universal issue with all headsets. The Omega works wonderfully on the Playstation 4. The detachable mic is another nifty feature. Talking to friends while playing multiplayer games delivers clear audio without any distortion. The ability to disconnect the entire piece when not in use is a welcome addition.
"I’ve been testing the Sound Blaster Recon 3D Omega Wireless for a full week now, and I can’t imagine going back to any other headset."
The Omega's build quality is adequate but feels inexpensive. The ear cushions are comfortable, and I’ve had no issues with heat after extended usage. Yet, the connectivity between the ear cups and the headrest is flimsy. If you’re heavy handed, there’s a good chance that the ear cups can break off with improper use. Still, being careful is a small price to pay for such exceptional audio.
I’ve been testing the Sound Blaster Recon 3D Omega Wireless for a full week now, and I can’t imagine going back to any other headset. They've seized the title of holy grail from the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism. I haven't encountered a single problem since the installation hiccups. Many headset manufacturers throw around fancy jargon in their marketing, but Sound Blaster’s unique features are, in fact, remarkable. When it comes to audio quality, the Omega Wireless are nearly flawless, whether you’re seeking a headset for music, movies or gaming.
Review by: Tin Salamunic