This new product from manufacturer Honstek/Pincun (China) offers a great entry for a budget gaming headset. While it lacks any higher-end features (3D/surround sound, in-line controls, etc.), it offers a good deal for the price. It’s also amusing to notice they have yet to fix their spelling errors from the translation to English. The box says the product has “Supper Bass”, but don’t try to eat any of it. You won’t enjoy it.DSCN0792
Ok, joking aside, let’s look closer at what we have here:

Materials/Construction: 4.5/5
They haven’t skipped any corners in the construction and engineering of the headset. There are no visible defects, and I can’t foresee anything potentially breaking on the unit. The tension rods that allow you to spread the earcups seem durable and unlikely to break when flexing. The earcups themselves are very comfortable faux leather. The inner speaker is covered in a soft mesh, in case your ears might touch/rub inside. The cups are also sufficient for adults and completely covered my ears.

Speakers/Sound: 4/5
For a budget headset, these speakers do a really good job. They do deliver on more full bass, thanks to the 50mm drivers in the unit. For music this means pop tracks deliver well. I tested the Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow” (my go-to bass test track) and it performed well. The ear cups offer a good amount of pressure relief, though not as much as high-end units. So, I don’t recommend listening to loud bass in these for a long period of time, as your ears could start to hurt from the pressure over time. The highs and mids were good, but not great. There is relative clarity, but the sounds are not as full as you’d get from a higher-end product.

DSCN0794Microphone: 3.5/5
As I performed some audio recording tests, I immediately found that this is one of the areas the unit falls short. The microphone does extend, but not very far. Also, I had to go into the setting for the microphone in Windows 10 to heavily adjust settings in order to make the microphone usable and acceptable quality. At default settings, you’re too quiet to hear and there is notable background hiss/fuzz. However, once I maxed both the output and gain settings, AND enabled the noise reduction in the advanced settings, the microphone worked fine. It wasn’t perfect, but I was able to remove all the hiss and get an audible and clear recording. Were the extendable boom longer and the default usability better, I would rate this higher. But for the average user this could be very inconvenient.

Features: 2/5
This is the lowest point for the unit. You can’t expect much on a budget gaming headset, but I’d expect more than what this delivers. The unit has a USB cable attached, but its sole purpose is to power the LEDs on the ear cups. You cannot get sound or control the unit through the USB protocol. Instead, you must also plug in the headphone and microphone jacks for full functionality. This seems a bit silly, and honestly lazy from a design standpoint. There is also no way to control or turn off the LED lighting, aside from removing the USB cable from the computer.

There are also no in-line controls for the unit. There is a volume slider on the one earcup, but no apparent way to mute the microphone (and of course you can’t control the LEDs). Again, I feel that this is a bad design choice, and they would have been much better of having an in-line control for volume, mic muting, and LED power. From an engineering and cost standpoint, it isn’t much of a difference but makes a large difference for the convenience of the user.

Final Score: 3.75/5

5 Star RatingOverall I could still recommend this as an entry point gaming headset, as it does deliver on sound and with some setup the microphone works quite well. But if you’re looking to upgrade from your existing set, this offers some style in terms of looks but lacks the features and qualities of higher-end products.

Honstek G6 Gaming Headset: $28.99 Amazon.com

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