Star Wars: The Old Republic Gaming Headset Review
It is strong with this one, the Force.
The headset uses Razer’s new Synapse-based software as well, and is nicely integrated into a single software if you have the gaming mouse, too. The software is entirely essential for getting the best out of the headset, which is cumbersome because it would require you to install Synapse on every machine you would want to use the headset with.
The software presents you with three tabs full of customization possibilities. The first is ‘Volume’ which, indeed, allows you to adjust the volume. It also has a few options such as Automatic Gain Control (AGC), Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), and Mic boost to choose from. I would recommend turning AEC off – it reduces the overall volume for some apparent reason while doing absolutely nothing to the sound quality.
There is also the Dolby Pro Logic IIx/ Dolby Headphone option to tick. This will be described in the next section, but it is recommended to uncheck it to make the correct use of the headset.
The second tab is ‘Equalizer’, which allows you to choose from a range of presets (rock, country, blue, classic, etc – wait, no “living room” or “noisy environment”? Damnit.) Of course, you can manually tune it as well. The third and the final tab is ‘Lighting’ which presents brightness settings for all the LEDs. The setting don’t seem to always work, though. If I chose ‘Dim’, it would revert to ‘Bright’ on the next restart. ‘Off’ seems to do the trick, though. So be it.
Ideally, the geek partition of our mind would want the ‘Dolby Pro Logic IIx/ Dolby Headphone’ option to be turned on, because, after all, it has cool words like ‘Dolby’ and ‘Pro Logic’ in it. However, the sound quality with the option enabled is absolutely rubbish. Everything sounded far distanced, mainly from the top of my head, with no bass or clarity to it.
Tick it off, we recommend. And that’s when the headset comes to life. And boy does it impress.
The very first exercise I chose to put the headset through is the famous virtual barber shop audio file. Those who don’t know what this is should immediately Google and download it. It’s an audio file that re-creates the experience of going to a barber shop with directional ques and funny Italian accent (?). The Star Wars headset performed impeccably. It always makes me smile when at the very beginning the barber puts a plastic sheet around your head because other cool barbers do it as well. A good headset will actually make you feel that you have that sheet of plastic around you, and this headset does so remarkably well.
Needless to say, directional sound positioning is one off its strengths. A session of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 solidified the opinion as I was plunged into a mess of explosions, gun fire, and crumbling walls as it magnificently placed itself around me. I also tried a hand at Skyrim…okay, fine – multiple, long, stretched, trials (because one doesn’t simply ‘try’ Skyrim), and was absorbed into the world of Dragon shouts and soldiers with knee problems. Ambiance was what I was looking for, and it was brought to life with incisive precision.
Generally, headsets that are so fantastic with gaming aren’t usually that great with music but these ones are. I threw a slew of Hindi songs at it, and it rendered every piece of note with passion. Be it the energetic guitar of ‘Sada Haq’, or the pop-tastic tune of ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’, or the soulful sufi of ‘Khawaja mere khawaja’, the Star Wars headset transformed as and when required.
I hate to say this, but the Star Wars: The Old Republic Gaming Headset is damn near perfect. The array of energy-consuming LEDs is stupid, and the need for Synapse is indeed restrictive, but past that, the headset is a wonderful piece of equipment. This is the best sound quality I have experienced from a gaming headset ever. There are no real faults. It has become our new standard to match. If you can look past the few niggles, these Star Wars headset are a must buy – even if you are not a Star Wars fan.
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