Hephaestus v2 Headset Testing & Results
To clarify, I don’t use a sound card or any software to boost my audio. This headset is plugged into a GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard USB port without any other additions or modifications. For best effect, GAMDIAS recommended playing shooting games or listening to rock music. For gaming I used Battlefield 4 and Star Citizen, and a number of music tracks (listed later.)
Playing Battlefield 4 with the the Hephaestus v2 was an entirely new experience. Using the basic headphones preset from in-game, this headset picked up everything – from my opponents light footstep and distant weapons fire to the solid schunck side of a knife kill or a nearby explosion. In addition, it also demonstrated some sense of direction as well! Not bad for a $59.99 headset (Amazon) from a relatively new company.
In the beginning, testing the vibration feature was difficult as I could perceive little difference between the effect being enabled and disabled. Over time, I discovered a few tendencies – 1) The vibration effect kicks in at very specific range of bass frequencies, so in some ranges you may not notice anything at all. While playing Star Citizen, the effect was most noticeable when using a ballistic weapon, or when flying close to a recent explosion. In Battlefield 4, grenades and levolution barely registered, but getting buzzed by a jet or creating a sufficiently large explosion absolutely brought the vibration out. For additional testing, I compared “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry, “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Johnny Cash, “Flashing Lights” by Kanye West and “Jack of Diamonds” by Sonic Syndicate. The vibration effect was most noticeable during “Dark Horse” and “Flashing Lights” but almost completely absent in the others. 2) Distance and duration also seemed to play a factor – more distant explosions didn’t register. and short bass beats in music were less likely to produce a noticeable change than a more drawn-out bass line.
These results are intended to illustrate some base examples where the effect worked best and let you compare to your own games and music. It’s honestly difficult to predict where the vibration will kick in and where it won’t without thoroughly testing what you have.
Finally, the microphone. From GAMDIAS – “The directional microphone with noise-cancelling function can be adjusted to your preference.” The first test was basic microphone quality. Audio quality was adequate, obviously not professional quality but still more than sufficient for online gaming. The noise-canceling feature was functional, but overall not very strong. You’d be better off playing in a quieter environment to eliminate background noise. You can listen to sample audio below – first the solo microphone then the background noise canceling test.
The Hephaestus v2 is compatible with the HERA software from GAMDIAS. The software’s main function is to adjust the sound, you can play with the equalizer or use preset effects, and as noted previously adjust the LED effect.