Headsets and headphones are the bane of my gaming and music listening existence. Headsets are normally too heavy and big for my head and wind up slipping down or causing neck aches. Earbuds tend to simply fall out of my ears. SteelSeries’ Guild Wars 2 headset (and by extension the FLUX) has presented me with the first portable headset that has fit my small head needs and given me the exceptional sound quality needed to truly enjoy a game.
The design of the headphones is right in step with most SteelSeries products — sleek and stylish. For Guild Wars 2 fans, the white headset with the iconic dragon on the side will resonate. Not a fan of the series or white headphones? Try the FLUX headset: same design, lots of colors! The headphones fold up on themselves and the cups can fold flat, allowing them to take up very little space and rest comfortably below your neck. If you’re one of those people who walks around with headsets around your neck, there is no more ear cups in your way.
The audio quality of these headphones is superb for an on ear set. My audio-snob of a husband was amazed by the amount of bass coming out of them when playing Battlefield 3. Playing Mass Effect 3 I heard tonal changes that are missed when playing with sub-par headphones or over a speaker system. The decibel level pushed out by these headphones is extraordinary. When replacing them with a set of studio headphones, I had to almost double to volume to hear.
The 40mm drivers are in the headset itself, meaning you’ll have a good audio experience whether you’re plugged into a fancy audio card or your phone. You won’t be disappointed with the mic either. While we found that you had to speak a bit louder to get an ideal vocal level , the quality was great for an inline mic. [Editor's Note: I'd even consider hosting VGW's Unlimited Ammo podcast with this headset -- the quality is that good.]
For you audiophiles here are the technical numbers:
- Frequency response: 18 – 28000 Hz
- Impedance: 29 Ohm
- SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 118 dB
- Cable length: 2m
- Jacks: 3.5 mm
- Frequency response: 50 – 16000 Hz
- Pick up pattern: Omni-directional
- Sensitivity: -38 dB
I found these to be a great travel companion something you can’t say about full gaming headsets. They folded up nicely, fitting into the top little pocket of the Astro back pack. They stayed on despite my falling asleep. The noise reduction brought to you by the SNDBlock ear cushions was enough that I didn’t hear the conversations going on around me and the plane’s engine was a dull roar when listening to audio. If someone is listening to loud music in the same area you’re in, you will hear it, but it isn’t too distracting. We even got to try the sharable audio feature in a real world setting. You’d figure there would be a bit of audio degradation when sharing with another headset, but that’s not the case. Provided you have some decent earbuds or headphones, the audio will be crystal clear.
When leaving these on for extend periods of time, you may find your ears aching after removing them. The padding does offer some cushioning, but it would take a looser fit and a lot more padding to negate the amount of pressure the headset had to exert to stay on your head.
These are headphones I’d highly recommend to someone who wants great audio quality and portable design at a good price. If you know a GW2 fan, these will be a great gift for the upcoming holiday. Have a gamer that has been searching for a good on ear headset? Try the FLUX. Both the Guild Wars 2 branded headset and the SteelSeries Flux sell for about $99.99.