Not long ago we reviewed the Edifier G2ii headset, a surprisingly fetching low-budget pink headset with attachable cat ears. It was decent but clearly put together for a low-end market, so with the opportunity in front of us to review a more premium Edifier headset – this one coming in at around £90 – we grabbed it with both hands. Boy, am I glad we did.
The GX is a chunky headset, with futuristic angles, RGB logos on the side and a metallic look across many places. But despite its chunkiness it’s a very comfortable bit of kit to wear; it’s not overly heavy, has some lovely soft materials and even manages to avoid the dreaded sweaty ears that often plague these full over-ear headsets. The cups themselves are covered in a soft leather type of material, complete with a memory foam interior that’ll let you find a comfortable way to wear them each time you play. What’s also handy is that despite being snugly fitted, they didn’t interfere with the arms of my glasses, which is a bit of a problem found far more frequently than you might imagine. The headband itself has a similar soft material as well, so there’s no risk of feeling it digging into your head. It’s still not quite as nice as the stretchy fabric style banding found on some more expensive headsets, but don’t get the wrong idea here – this is a comfortable headset for sure.
So it’s on your head, and it feels nice, but how does it sound? Well your best bet is to hook it up via USB to make the most of things. Yup, you get an option – three of them in fact. The GX lets you connect via 3.5mm cable, USB-C or a more “normal” USB connection, meaning that you’ll struggle to find a gaming device that won’t let you plug these in and get started straight away. The 3.5mm cable has a 90 degree bend at one end which goes into the device itself, which is quite a nice touch and means if you’re the kind who likes to cuddle their Switch or controller a bit while playing you won’t have the plug digging into you while you’re engrossed. Hook up the USB though and the lights wake up, and you get a few more options as a result (presumably) of more power flooding into the headset. The sound wakes up a bit, or at least I felt it did, and the gaming button on the headset itself gives you a wider feel to the sound, making everything sound a little less boxed in and more spacious. It might not suit every game, and has a habit of occasionally making the music a little spongy at certain points, but much of the time it works really nicely. Either way, you’ll find that one of the two modes will fit every game you can think of, so it’s really nice to have that variety.
Clarity is great too; voices come through clearly and action in the game stands out well, whether that’s the roar of an Assetto Corsa engine or the cracking of a distant sniper rifle on Battlefield, there’s a really good feel to the sound that’ll make you wonder why people would pay out for a more expensive headset. The sound is really good, something I’m sure we can agree is pretty vital when using headphones.
So why would anyone buy something more expensive? Well, there’s one main reason and that’s the microphone, which does some quite nice things, isn’t the greatest. It’s something I feel like I type in every sub-£100 headset review I write, but it really does seem to be where corners get cut. It’s got some really nice features, like retracting in and out of the headset and having some very effective noise cancelling tech on board to cut out the music from nearby and the vacuum cleaner in the next room, but the audio quality from it isn’t amazing. When I use my PC I still fall back on my HyperX standalone microphone so it’s not the end of the world if you’ve got a similar setup, but don’t expect to be getting any voiceover jobs on the back of using this mic. Is that enough to warrant looking elsewhere? That depends on what you’re after. It’s absolutely fine for online games and the occasional short online meeting that we’re getting to love so much, but if you’re after something to make you sound like the real version of you, this isn’t that.
But let’s face it, I don’t think I’ve ever found a headset at this price that has a decent microphone. But what’s more telling is how hard it is to find a headset at this price that sounds as good as the GX. They’ve squished a lot of really good quality tech in here to give us a very nice looking and high quality set of headphones, and in doing so Edifier are really becoming a brand you can’t afford to dismiss without serious consideration. The GX then comes highly recommended for it’s sound quality, connectivity and great looks – give it consideration when you’re looking for a new bit of kit!