Testing & Results
Headset Testing Methodology
The GAMDIAS Hephaestus was tested with a variety of games, and music. Since sound perception is very subjective, for my testing I decided to focus mainly on perceived sound quality as well as the functionality of the features listed on GAMDIAS’s website for this headset. The headset was tested with Battlefield 4, World of Tanks, Titanfall, Borderlands 2, and Payday 2 for 40+ hours respectively.
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z87
System Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB x 4
Processor: Intel i7-4770K Haswell @ 3.5 Ghz
Audio: N/A (As this is a USB Headset)
Video: XFX Double Dissipation R9-290X (4GB)
PSU: Corsair HX Series 1000HX
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2412M IPS 24? x 3 @ 5760×1200
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
Headset Test Results
Virtual 7.1ch Effect: While this effect of course cannot rival that of a true 7.1 surround system with individual speakers, it should have more depth than a stereo headset. Unfortunately, the depth of this headset was virtually non-existent. I was not able to accurately identify where a sound came from with this effect, so maybe we’ll refer to it as “enhanced stereo”.
Microphone Sound Change: This feature will allow you to change the sound of your voice, but it only has 5 presets. This is purely for fun as it serves no purpose to enhance your gaming experience, unless you like saying “follow the yellow brick road” to your teammates in a munchkin voice while fragging an enemy combatant.
Ergonomic Comfort: This feature, I’m happy to say, is absolutely 100% accurate! The leather headband and ear pads are very soft, plush and durable. I used this headset on 5 separate 8+ hour gaming sessions and noticed no discomfort whatsoever.
Noise Cancelling Mic: This feature is highlighted as filtering out unwanted noise through “active noise cancellation”. But after extensive testing and multiple attempts to fine tune the quality, the mic turned out to be just a little too sensitive to ambient noise. Some of my teammates reported that I sounded like I was far away, or in a tunnel. I found that having the mic closer to your mouth helped eliminate the tunneling effect, but also made it easy for the mic to pick up on your breathing.
Environment Sound Effect Simulation: Advertised as a “carefully tuned professional gaming acoustic simulator, letting the user choose their favorite acoustic environment”. While the feature does work, as is fun to play with in between sessions, it serves no real purpose to help with gaming whatsoever. With environments such as bathroom, concert hall, under water, music pub, and a whole bundle of other options, this feature is basically an equalizer with a large assortment of presets. Being able to fine tune your listening experience with the equalizer is very convenient and definitely a feature, but the odd, aforementioned presets are a little peculiar to say the least.
Blast Source Identifier: This feature was, for me, the most anticipated effect that I wanted to try out. But, to my dismay, there are ZERO settings for this via the EOS software suite. At first attempt to feel the shock waves, I felt none, only to discover later that the sound has to be turned up all the way on the headset (the PC itself) in order to feel the “shock waves”. The “effect” has proven to be, essentially, just bass. Your game would need to support multi-channel audio output for you to take full benefit from this feature. This was interesting to feel a tank exploding next to you in battlefield 4, helping getting you really engrossed in the game you’re playing. I found this feature, overall, to be quite enjoyable. It is worthy to note that when this “bass” is enabled via the in-line remote switch (see Detailed Features), it does not distort the sound quality.
Cooler System: Another interesting innovation by GAMDIAS, put an aluminum heat sink right on the ear cups. I do have to say it works well, I noticed no discernible heat on my ears or the surrounding area while gaming. The aluminum keeps the unit very light on your head and doesn’t add too much bulk to the appearance of the Hephaestus.
Flexible Mic Arm: It works, and it does so very well. Simple as that.
Sound quality, as mentioned before, is very subjective. My perceived impression of the Hephaestus was that it did well with the Lows, barely noticeable Highs, and a somewhat muddy mid-range. The vocals did come over very well, as did the instruments. Clarity was better than some, but not as good as others. For the price and considering that it is a headset and not headphones, it did well. See Final Thoughts for more of my opinion on headsets.