When stepping into the competitive gaming field, one of the first things you need is a decent headset – it’s essential to have listening queues indicate where your opponents are located. Roccat aims to give you that precision with the Elo 7.1 Air and X Stereo gaming headset, and my time with it has proven that even if the build quality isn’t as premium as I would like, the comfort and audio drivers packaged in is one to look out for.

Roccat Elo 7.1 Air

The biggest difference between the two is 7.1 Air are wireless and X Stereo has a 3.5mm jack. But rest assured, the 7.1 Air wireless does not hold back the impressive sound quality these headphones possess and this model supports 7.1 surround sound giving that crispy detection factor needed for competitive players. The latency between the dongles location and the headset is nonexistent, I was able to tell who is around me at all time with accurate deduction. The treble and bass levels are right enough to give you that dense feel, with almost no distraction of physical vibrations on the head.

The build of both headphones are identical minus the RGB lighting missing from X Stereo; self-adjusting metal headband for maximum fit alongside rotating earcup hinges. The ear cushions are memory foam, making use of that cloud-like feel around your ears. Initially though, the foam is hard so you’d have to break them in to get that comfort going. I was a bit underwhelmed with the build however, given that the headphones started to fatigue my ears at around the 5hr gaming mark, but ultimately grew to forget them given the nature of immersion.

The Elo 7.1 Air headphones comes with a 2.4GHz plug, stereo/mic volume control, mute and power button inputs. The microphone can also detach for those who desire to just listen. In order to charge your headset, you’re provided with a USB-Type C cable for that fast charging – something I am greatly appreciative of.

Included with the headset is the Roccat Swarm, a software where you can adjust the intricacies of the Elo 7.1 Air; RGB lighting effects, microphone and audio sample rates, noise cancelation, profile slots and a lot more. It’s robust enough for the user to adjust their headset as they see fit, and as an audiophile, I do especially appreciate the equalizer. Overall, the UI is decent and straight to the point.

Roccat Elo X Stereo

The aforementioned physical attributes applies to Elo X Stereo – adjustable headband for comfort, rotating earcups with memory foam and the detachable microphone. Same as the Air 7.1, after long gaming sessions I started to feel the fatigue in my ears. Hopefully with newer iterations they will have deeper cups. However, people with smaller ears shouldn’t have an issue.

The X Stereo is strictly designed for console players. It lacks the wireless option and 7.1 surround sound, but the speakers are built with decent stereo sound. Fine tune some audio settings in a game and you’re good to go. Games with built-in surround sound emulation would really benefits from this headset. X Stereo sports a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect to your controller, one volume wheel and detachable microphones – no RGB here, people. The microphone quality, even connecting the back attachment on my DualShock 4, I was able to be heard clearly and the audio did not change the overall quality. I spent a good week with these while playing Death Stranding and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and I definitely immersed myself while using them.

Roccat Elo 7.1 Air goes for $99.99 while Elo X Stereo markets for $49.99both gives similar experience in terms of comfort and overall audio quality. If you are looking to upgrade or just need a new headphone, these are great options that won’t annihilate your bank in the process.

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