A good headset can really make a difference to some games on the market. I could pick out several reviews we’ve published over the past couple of years that have eluded to such a fact, and yet it’s only when you hook up a really good headset that you start to realise what you’ve been missing out on. The EX-06 is part of Gioteck’s new lineup of headsets and is compatible with the PS3, 360, PS4 and PC – not too shabby. And until they release their surround sound gear next year this sits at the top of their tree – very much their premium product. Roughly 8 seconds after you get your hands on the box, all that starts to become quite evident.
In case you’ve missed our unboxing video, it’s just below. It shows you exactly what you get in the box and gives a decent idea of what the kit looks like. If you haven’t seen it or need a quick recap, take a look and keep reading when you’re done.
The EX-06 oozes quality. It’s weighty without feeling like you’ve got a brick on each side of your head, it’s well padded round the ears and doesn’t even make it feel like both sides of your head are on fire after an hour of use, something that most other headsets can’t really boast. But even the most comfortable headsets in the world are no good if the sound comes through sounding like a teenager on the bus playing some chart garbage through their phone’s tiny speaker; the good news here though is that there’s no such concern. These things pack quite a punch.
I took my time with this review, playing through as many different types of game as I could manage in a sensible amount of time. The results across the board were stunning – while the faux surround sound setting just made things feel a bit more spaced out as opposed to true surround sound (something you can’t really expect from a 2-speaker setup anyway) the quality of the headphones is undeniable. With this being my first set of wireless headphones it took me a little while to get over the wizardry behind that alone, but once set up (which took about 2 minutes) and charged (which took a bit longer) everything was ready to rock.
Given that some of you might be more interested in some games than others, let’s take a look at some specific titles and the impact that the EX-06 had on them – you’ll figure out pretty soon we were running them on a PS3. If you’re also wondering about the quality of the microphone, I’ll discuss that near the end too.
Gran Turismo 6
A common complaint of GT6 is the sound, with tinny engines and collisions that sound like someone has tripped over and bumped against your car door. If there was ever a challenge, this was going to be it. It’s a slightly unfair first test really – if the sound was that bad, then no amount of headset cleverness will fix it, and such was the case with the bumps and tyre screeching. But the engine noises and other small touches? Wow.
You’d be amazed at how much you miss when playing this with the sound coming through a normal TV. The most obvious improvement was the engine sounds which rumbled, spat and growled in a way far more fitting to the related cars than the odd vacuum noises that tend to come from your TV during a race. It was almost a different game. What impressed me even more though was the little extras that weren’t apparent – wind noises when you hit higher speeds, bits of gravel and dirt kicking up into the wheel arches as you cut a corner, you just don’t hear this day to day. The EX-06 though picks up every tiny detail and delivers it in crisp, clear detail. And impressive first test. Now we just need Polyphony Digital to sort out the crashes and tyre sounds and we’re sorted.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Unless you have a decent TV setup, you’re unlikely to get much warning when someone’s about to stab you from behind. Not only did the EX-06s pick up every footstep within reasonable distance, but also gave an unnerving idea of when a bullet had whistled past your ear, thumped into the wall behind you or caught you in the side of the face. Again it’s the lower volume sounds that impressed – distant gunfire, dogs charging at you from further away, grenades bouncing worryingly close to your feet… it didn’t help my kill count go up sadly, but it genuinely helped my deaths drop as well, which is always nice.
Over on the single player mode (yup, it has a campaign too) the bass capabilities come into play, with explosions booming into your ears and the gruff voices of your fellow fighters maintaining the Hollywood feel that the game seems to enjoy aiming for. It’s extremely engrossing, dragging you into the action far more than other similar headsets of its ilk, and the impressive range of sounds that come through the headphones only go to enhance the feeling of quality.
Next up – more games, comms and the conclusion…