Gaming Headset Final Thoughts
I am very satisfied with the Genius Zabius HS-G850 Gaming Headset. Although it may not be the best, it is certainly not the worst. The top headband cushion along with the ear cup cushions are comfortable but can be a bit small for some people. The red and black theme looks awesome and the build and sound quality is great for this price category. Better sound quality can be achieved through adjusting sound settings within the sound drivers. Even though it is made of plastic, there seems to be no noticeable loose parts that can cause any sort of vibration when playing loud audio. The red LED strips are the main attraction to the HS-G850 and look aesthetically appealing to the eyes. This headset will satisfy the needs for a casual gamer or just someone who wants pulsing LED’s on their headsets.
Genius Zabius Conclusion
The sound quality is great for a gaming headset in this price category. Even though I compared the HS-G850 to the Astro A40, which is a much more expensive headset, it was still able to deliver good sound quality but at a much more affordable price. This headset has only 2.0 stereo surround sound but it does very well even during intense gaming sessions. It would be nice to see virtual 7.1 surround sound implemented into the HS-G850, but doing so would increase the price of the headset. The microphone also sounds clear enough for the receiving end to understand, but it can produce a static and “popping” sound if the microphone is too close to the source of audio. To prevent this from happening, you can adjust the microphone by flexing it. It can also be removed since it uses a 2.5mm jack that plugs into the left driver.
The main attraction is the red LED strips that will pulse to the bass of the audio. Finishing it off with a glossy black exterior with red cushions, the HS-G850 looks great all around. The silver metal finish on the drivers looks great to complement the black and red looks. In each of the large 40mm neodymium driver units is the scorpion logo. Once the headset is in use, the red LED’s will make it more interesting as they pulse to the bass of the audio.
Construction is not too bad at all. Flexing the headset can be done, but the plastic is durable enough to withstand the bending. The two driver units feel very well built and can be flipped out 90 degrees. When the driver units are flipped out, the entire headset still feels mostly durable and solid throughout. There are also no noticeable loose parts that can cause rattling and affecting sound quality. The cushions are also soft enough, but it is not the best material for long-term comfort. It would have been nice to see these cushions made out of leather since leather is easier to clean and sits more firmly on the ears. 50mm drivers instead of 40mm can also be more comfortable for bigger people. When wearing the headset, the control box can sometimes get in the way. I would have liked to see these controls implemented into the driver units themselves as they would still be accessible.
The HS-G850 functions exactly like how it should. Plug the USB power cord into a USB port and plug the 3.5mm headphone jack into the supporting device. For the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, attach the 3.5mm jack to the provided RCA cable then attach the RCA cable to the video cable on either the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. For Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, the two consoles only use HDMI. This means that the RCA cable cannot be used. If you plan to use the HS-G850 with the Playstation 4 or Xbox One gaming consoles, plugging the HS-G850 straight into your HDTV can be one alternative but in my assumption, the microphone may not work. On a Windows PC, the headset would play audio through the USB port or the 3.5mm headphone jack depending on which audio device is set to default. It can function independently with just the USB plugged in, but it cannot function with only the 3.5mm headphone jack plugged in. Also note that if you are playing audio via USB, the audio settings from the sound card will not apply to what is going through the USB.
As of June 2014, the Genius Zabius HS-G850 sells for $79.99 (Amazon) At this price point, it is great to see a gaming headset with good build and great sound quality while maintaining an attracting look and style.
This is an excellent product for that it is. I will highly recommend the Genius Zabius HS-G850 Gaming Headset for gamers who seek an affordable gaming headset with great build and sound quality.
+ Looks aesthetically great
+ Red LED strips that light up with bass
+ Detachable microphone
+ Heavy in weight
+ Good build and sound quality
+ Glossy and elegant finish
+ Durable enough to withstand small flexes
+ Compatible with PC, Mac, PS3, and Xbox 360
– Ear cup padding could be larger
– Ear cups swivel but covers red LED’s
– Cushions and padding are not leather
– Headband padding is small
– Inline control box
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: What do you like/dislike about the Genius Zabius HS-G850 Gaming Headset?