Headset Review: Roccat Elo Air 7.1 Wireless (PC)
The Roccat Elo Air 7.1 Wireless headset was released on October 4, 2020 with an MSRP of $99.99 and a ton of features. I do not say this lightly as I was able to spend a lot of time reviewing this product due to the number of features, they tout with this headset. I used the headset on my Windows computer and had great results. Turtle Beach acquired Roccat in June 2019 and has kept the Roccat brand alive and well for PC gamers while their Turtle Beach names thrives on console platforms.
Roccat’s easily adjustable microphone and volume level controls
Let’s discuss the headset’s features they boast about. For the price range, the headset offers many features that would make most people do a double take. Roccat boasts about their 24-hour battery life (I found that it lasted roughly 16 hours according to the Roccat Swarm app), exceptional 7.1 surround sound and superhuman hearing sound technology on the Elo Air 7.1. On top of that they also mention crystal clear communication utilizing their TruSpeak microphone technology, and AIMO lightning technology to synchronize headset LED coloring with Roccat’s mice and keyboard line. This headset was a treat to test. Now onto the review and scoring!
Let’s start with the design of this headset. When I first picked up this headset and put it on, I quickly noticed it is stylish, comfortable, and easily adjustable. Roccat built a strong steel frame that is lightweight and durable yet with the rounded earcups and memory foam on those ear cups, they don’t feel heavy at all and fit nicely on top of my head. With the round earcups and easily adjustable headband, I wore these for roughly three to four hours in a single day without noticing them and quickly noticed Roccat was not lying about this being a comfortable pair of headphones. I can see myself using these headphones in the future to relax and jam out to some music. There is not much else to be said about the comfort and style of this headset, it looks cool, feels great, and fits, or exceeds all ergonomic standards I expected.
In the past we have, for the most part, loved any voice and sound options that Turtle Beach and Roccat have put out. With that being said, we will move into reviewing the microphone and sound of the headset. Starting with the pros of the microphone: it is removable. This may seem like it’s not important; however, I have had gaming headsets with non-removable microphones, and it is a luxury to have after going without that option previously. If I want to chow down on some food while gaming, I can easily remove the microphone and put it on later. The microphone is easily adjustable and looks sleek with the black design to match the earcups of the headset. The microphone has very crisp, clean audio and I didn’t encounter any issues unless I obnoxiously screamed into it like many people do in multiplayer battles.
What can be both an advantage and area of opportunity of the microphone is that it picks up any noises within roughly 2 feet of it. However, that brings me to my next points, the microphone is not without its flaws. The noises it picks up can be obnoxious. When I typed on my mechanical keyboard, that is all I could hear, and it does not come with a cloth or foam piece to insert over the microphone’s end to halt outside noises from entering the headset. The other thing I noticed is that there is no way to turn off the microphone if you are not actually communicating with someone, it is always on. I later found that that is because Roccat created the headset with Microphone Monitoring Technology so you can hear what you are saying at any moment. Luckily, I later found that you can turn this feature off in the Roccat Swarm software that is downloadable for PC and quickly turned it off so I could hear my thoughts rather than my voice (and keyboard). This is something to consider when looking into purchasing this headset. Luckily, there is an easily accessible mute button behind the left ear cup to mute the microphone also. Another area of opportunity is that the microphone itself could be a bit longer so that it could reach closer to the mouth. It felt far away, and I could see it in my peripheral vision, I like to limit distractions when trying to game and that does the opposite. Lastly, as mentioned previously the headset comes without a cloth or foam end piece to cover the microphone which could limit background noises from seeping into the microphone, such as the mechanical keyboard noises.
Roccat Elo Air has Crystal-clear communication utilizing TruSpeak microphone technology.
Now, onto the sound of the headset itself. Roccat boasts about their 7.1 virtual surround sound and Roccat about the headset having a Superhuman Hearing option. I had no issues whatsoever with the sound quality of the headset, it felt like any other headset I’ve used in the $100 or less price range when I listened to music and played video games with it on, it pushed out some good high and mid-range frequency sounds, but could improve upon the lower, bass end. I played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with the headset and the Superhuman Hearing option did provide me with a minor advantage to my opponents, however. I could hear footsteps more clearly than normal. The sound was like any other headset I have used in this price range, and a little bit quieter at times to be honest. Overall, I found myself noticing the microphone and sound of the headset is in the “above average” range, but not in the “exceptional or excellent” range.
Overall, the Roccat Elo Air 7.1 is a solid headset that I am ecstatic I had the opportunity to test. The number of features they offer is outstanding. The not-so outstanding element is the price tag you pay for those features. This was my first time using a wireless headset in a long time and I had a lot of fun with it, I am typically a “wired headset” person, I like to feel connected to the device I’m using at all times while I’m playing, but this headset might have swayed my opinion on that. If you decide to pick up the Roccat Elo Air 7.1, which I would highly recommend if you are a PC gamer, please do yourself a favor and download the Roccat Swarm app; seriously, there is a lot of fun to be had with the application and it is not mentioned by Roccat. This headset is worth the price tag if you are looking for a wireless headset with a multitude of features.