The GMR-54X-ISO is primarily made from plastic but does include padding where you'd expect it, on the sling headband and the ear pads. Continued with their ultra lightweight design similar to their 545-AIR model, Koss has instead opted for a closed back design with the 54X. While open back is generally preferred these days, a closed back design still has its place for those that like the isolation it provides. The ear cups feature the same "D-Profile" ear cups as the aforementioned 545-AIR models, which is welcome. I found this shape helps limit the headphones from sliding around and makes them feel a bit more "snug" on my head, without having them need to be tight. Some may see this simple construction as a bit rudimentary, but it really keeps these headphones light weight, and definitely limited the fatigue I've found with wearing a headset for long sessions. Overall I would say that these headphones are very comfortable, with my only gripe being that the ear pads are not as breathable as I'd like.
Packaged with the headphones are two microphone options, a detachable boom mic as well as an in-line mic. The detachable boom mic has a healthy 8' cord that allowed me to plug it into my PC at the far end of my desk, while the in-line mic is a more appropriate 4' for using with a controller or a phone. Also included is a cord splitter should you wish to use the boom mic in place of the in-line. While the boom mic is adjustable I wish that it had a bit more support than relying solely on the 3.5mm jack... Attaching in this way tends to loosen over time, and in turn makes the boom have trouble holding its position--Even just a small recession into port would prevent this. Ultimately not a deal-breaker, but it can be nuisance for those that like to keep their mics in a singular position. Attached to the boom cord is the inline mute and volume control--This is almost a necessity for gaming, and while this one feels a little cheap, ultimately it does its job well and doesn't get in the way.
After spending some time using this headset accross gaming, music, and chat I can say that I'm impressed. The audio through the GMR-54X-ISO is excellent out of the box, and in my opinion punches well above their price point. It feels very well balanced, with the bass sounding appropriate and not overly loud like I've experienced in other headsets at this range.
The mic is where I've hit my first major issue. With the audio in the drivers being such a surprise, I was hoping to get a similar surprise with the microphone. The capture audio is good, and comes through loud and clear, but sadly the microphone produced a small amount of background static when used. While talking this wasn't a huge deal, but due to background noise pickup it caused an intermittent hiss for those on the other side. The in line microphone had a tinny sound quality but the background static was much less pronounced.
Overall I think the GMR-54X-ISO are an excellent choice in a gaming headset, and offers a lot of bang for your buck in terms of quality and comfort. The microphone quality falls a bit short, but will still get the job done.
+ Audio quality
- Mic quality