Edifier has been making top-notch audio hardware since 1996, but they've only recently started marketing their products towards gamers. Frankly, I’ve always considered their speakers and headsets some of the finest tech for both gaming and music. While most of their products sit somewhere between mid to high-end, their newly released gaming headsets are priced aggressively low without much sacrifice in performance. I recently reviewed their forty dollar G2 model, and I praised it for its exceptional audio quality typically seen in much pricier gear. Edifier has now kicked things up a notch with their new G3 upgrade, an improved version of the G2 with added surround sound capabilities and more powerful specs. The headset also costs nearly twice as much, which means it’s now competing with similarly priced models from SteelSeries, Turtle Beach and Gamdias.
One of Edifier’s biggest strengths is their background in music-oriented hardware. Game-centric headphones typically over-emphasize bass in order to keep action-heavy games sounding explosive and deep. Unfortunately, this approach usually diminishes the finesse of mid-range frequencies in titles that have varying tonal shifts. That’s precisely why Edifier has the potential to dominate the gaming market, especially if they decide to expand to more high-end models. Their G series is unique in that it works well for both gaming and music, giving users far more flexibility than dedicated gaming headphones.
On the surface, the G3 is aesthetically similar to its predecessor. They share the same design, but it’s the hardware where the two differ drastically. The G3 supports surround sound, and its mini-remote lets users toggle bass boost, and switch between music and game modes. Spec-wise, the G3’s tech is relatively standard. The headset comes with a 40mm driver unit, a 40Ohm impedance, 94dB SPL and a frequency response of 20Hz~20KHz. It’s not setting new standards by any means, but it’s the actual performance that counts here, and when it comes to simulated surround sound, the G3 packs a real punch.
"Connectivity limitations aside, Edifier’s G3 is yet another great offering from a manufacturer who never fails to impress when it comes to audio hardware."
Depth perception works wonderfully with the G3. Playing competitive multiplayer titles is significantly easier due to the ability to gauge precise distance and positioning of enemy footsteps and gunfire. Luckily, the channels are well balanced so there are no sudden volumetric shifts when loud sounds suddenly transition from side to side. This is a common issue with low-end surround sound models, and can cause disorientation during matches, but the G3 handles all frequencies exceptionally well.
While the G3 doesn’t provide any EQ tweaking options via software, the included bass boost and music/game modes are nifty alternatives that let players make small adjustments on the fly. Bass boost is precisely what it sounds like, an option that gives action-packed moments the extra punch, and fortunately, doesn’t sacrifice the fidelity of minute details. The music and game mode are more of a personal preference setting. Game mode makes subtle sounds more distinguishable, but as a result, gives spoken dialogue a light metallic overtone. Personally, I use the music setting for all media as it provides the most balanced listening experience.
The included mic is pretty standard fare, delivering crisp audio without any distortions and without picking up any background noise. The mic can also be muted via the portable dongle. My biggest gripe with the G3 is the lack of platform compatibility. For an $80 headset, I’m expecting at least all standard connectivity, but unfortunately, the G3 is only PC compatible via its USB cable. This also means you can’t use the G3 with a DAC as it doesn’t come with the usual 3mm jack.
Connectivity limitations aside, Edifier’s G3 is yet another great offering from a manufacturer who never fails to impress when it comes to audio hardware. The G3 may not offer as many features as some of the competing models in a similar price range, but if you’re looking for solid sound performance for all of your media, and don’t care about additional tweaking settings and enhancements, the G3 doesn’t disappoint.
Review by: Tin Salamunic