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SL75
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Apr 13, 2019
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Wall of text incoming to balance out the snarkery: I own the VRX version of the Spearhead. I believe the only difference is the headtracking feature*. I chose it mostly for fooling around on the PC (non competitive gaming, I have other cans for other uses) based on reviews from Zeos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REdUcs9J37E) and BadSeed Tech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc_0Zr_hLVs&t=642) Pros: I like the sound a lot for 'fun listening'. Out of the box, definitely not neutral or flat, but I'm not using it for accurate reproduction of acoustic recordings. The software driver can EQ them closer to neutral (presets or manual configs), but I went the other way to jack up the bass even more. The lowest bass band of the EQ can also be adjusted by a dual mode volume/bass dial on left cup. The Spearhead wasn't as bassy as I expected (based on the reviews, and also the way the driver units are suspended in the cup, I was wondering if they could magically move a ton of air, but wasn't the case). They do go deep, so they're good at retrieving low notes, but they're not headcrackers. Generally fast and clean, less midrange darkness than I usually feel in most closedbacks. Not flabby at the bottom, but if you get too heavy handed on the EQ, they will still blat out and clip like a Miami car gathering. I personally like their looks. I'd never wear them out of the house, but anybody that catches me in the house already knows I'm a dork anyway. Physical volume dial and mic toggle. Comfortable. Caveats: The USB cable is required for the software features (RGB, EQ and bass mode, volume dial to control PC, etc). A 3.5mm audio cable is also included, but losing all the features is not optimal. I don't think they sound excessively bright or shrill without the software, but clearly the neutered product isn't offering its best. The software ought to autorun as Windows reboots, but it throws up an annoying UAC prompt. Volume dial controls computer volume directly. Maybe some consider this a plus (digital attenuation better at the OS level?), but I don't want source levels to change if I also have them split to mixer/speakers. Because of the way the drivers are suspended, a lot of vibration noise is conducted if anything is rubbing, like the cable against shirt button or cups against collar The RGB is not very customizable, just a few colors and modes. But the reactive RGB wand is a good party trick. The mic is a pinhole on the right cup, not the extending RGB wand on the left. They claim it's all you need, but it is only passable, not sound great. The active noise cancellation is pretty legit since it uses multiple mics, but doesn't make up for the voice comms quality overall. *About the VRX model in case it becomes an option: I don't know if it's my brain or ears, but binaural recordings and HRTF multichannel never really clicked for me in the past. However, the VRX's headtracking positional audio blew me away. It must be a trick of the mind, because the constant shifting of head orientation means constant repositioning everything relative to what was 'front', and is always reinforcing soundstage imaging for me. I was shocked how far away (meaing position, not volume) some sounds seemed, in a way I've never experienced in a closed headset before. Even when I've used software and hardware crossfeed in the past, that only gave me a somewhat wider stage, but still mostly 'blob centered in head', not airy positional imaging like the VRX. But there's one giant flaw in implementation: calibration drifts over time (not unexpected since it's an internal relative sensor and not an absolute reference like an external detector) and the only way to reestablish 'front' is via the software. It's totally immersion breaking to need to do that, instead of having a hardware button on the unit to do it more conveniently at will. Z Review goes into detail about the joys of headtracking and how the Audeze Mobius solves it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6h5eoY-0bM) Not sure the headtracking is worth the premium over the VR in this implementation, but I can't deny it was englightening. I like the Spearhead a lot overall. They sound like 'good headphones' not like 'a gamer headset' . Disregarding the mic, the Spearhead sounds better than headsets in the $100 range, but below headphones in the $200 range. If its limitations are acceptable, I think the VR is a great value at the $80 drop price, and the VRX soundwise (disregarding the tracking) is not great at its MSRP, because my Meze 99 MD edition just came in, and wow those are something special.
Apr 13, 2019
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