In my spare time, I love nothing more to pick up my Xbox 360 joypad, load up Steam and finally play one of they many videogames I’ve purchased during those seasonal Steam sales. Writing for HorrorCultFilms, myself and videogames editor Juan find ourselves reviewing the latest games too. Though originally that has been through written articles, we’ve slowly been getting into the whole gameplay videos and if you have a gander on YouTube, you may find some of my videos where I dabble in the art of gaming commentary. Granted, I’m no Pewdiepie but it’s a section we intend to grow.
Playing videogames and commenting on the gameplay simultaneously requires equipment fit for the task. Fortunately, the same equipment can be used to chat with others during online multiplayer games. Yes, I’m talking about gaming headsets and in this review, I’ll be taking a look at the EasySMX S3 Stereo Gaming Headset for the PS4 and PC.
EasySMX S3 Stereo Gaming Headset
This time last year, you may recall me reviewing another EasySMX’s gaming headset. This time I’m back to review one their latest models; an upgrade that will no doubt catch the eye of gamer’s everywhere.
Sleek in design with its black and chrome colour, the EasySMX S3 Stereo Gaming Headset looks every bit the modern gaming headset. In a day and age where gamers are playing for hours at a time, particularly if playing online or competing in esports, having a comfortable pair of earphones can make or break a gaming headset. Fortunately for this particular headset, the design seems to have been focused on providing premium comfort.
When looking at the headset, what immediately stands out for me is its chunky earcups. A far departure from the previous model, the earcups on the S3 are thicker with 0.5 inch of padding covered with faux leather to protect and cushion the gamer’s ears during gameplay with the soft faux leather adding an extra dimension of comfort. Having a better concealed cup around the ears also seems to help cancel out exterior noise better with exterior sounds appearng subdued when wearing the headphones. Wearing the headset for long periods of time, these cushioned earcups are a Godsend and feel comfortable throughout the entire playing time, whether it’s 30 mins or an hour plus.
Unlike other gaming headsets and its predecessor, the EasySMX S3 Gaming Headset doesn’t rely on the ridged notches on the headband to slide down to expand the headset for larger head sizes. Instead, the headband auto-adjusts for larger headsizes with its suspension headband system. The flexible headband can adapt to different head sizes and shapes whilst its double metal beams providing the overall structure which enforces the shape of the headset when being worn. This is the first time I’ve seen a system like this used for headphones and I must admit it works rather well. There’s no accidental adjustment of the headphones which can happen with the traditional notch method. This adjustment system works on the fly and I didn’t even realise it worked as it did as I fitted the headset snuggly onto my larger-than-average head. It’s only afterwards when inspecting the headset did I notice how this clever headset works.
No good gaming headset could be without a microphone and the S3 headset comes with an omni-directional microphone that can be adjusted by moving the wheel base at the left ear cup. This allows you to select a good position for the mic to suit your facial length and mouth position and happily stays in place unless you physical move it up or down a notch. This seems a great idea, again another feature that I’ve not encountered before in gaming headsets but a welcome one all the same. The mic stalk has a slight bit of bend so as to follow the contour of the face but nothing like the original EasySMX headset I reviewed which had a fully flexible and posable mic stalk. Thanks to the omni-directional mic in this S3 headset, the mic doesn’t have to be quite as near your mouth to pick up the sound so the position its in using the ear cup wheel is perfect! The mic itself requires some adjustments of the settings to find the right sound. Playing around with the settings in OBS by adding 15 in Mic Aux Boost (multiple), the headset works adequately for talking with other players online and when recording my gameplay videos as you can see below. It may not match the clarity or crisp sound of a separate Snowball Ice mic, but as budget headsets go, the mic does the job.
Two great features adorning the left ear cup, besides the mic of course, are the volume wheel and vibration button. The volume wheel allows you to adjust the volume of the audio received by the headphones. The vibration button allows you to enable bass vibration mode which, similar to vibration in the joypad controller, allows you to feel more involved with the game with its rumble technology. I’ve never come across anything like this before in a gaming headset. Though I’ve been trying to find a PC game I own that activates the headset’s vibration technology, the nearest thing I got was a bit of a rumble during the opening titles of X3: Reunion. If it works exactly I expect it to in full vibration mode during a compatible game, I’ll make sure to update this review with my findings.
Last but not least, and possibly the pièce de résistance for some gamers obsessed with effects, the headset lights up! Using the USB connection, the earcups light up with red detail as does the end of the mic stalk. Whilst this looks rather flashy, it doesn’t affect the use of the headphones one bit so unless I want to use the vibration mode, which also requires the USB to be connected, I don’t tend to bother plugging in for the lights.
As headsets go, this feels luke a premium effort from EasySMX and without the price tag you would expect from something as comfortable and luxurious as this. The braided cable prevents any wire splitting from wear and stops the cable from tangling which is a blessing when you want to quickly connect the headset up. The headset also works with both PS4 and PC with an adapter included in the box to combine the split audio and mic for PC into one 3.5mm connector for PS4. Sound-wise, the audio is incredible and really immerses you in the gameplay, managing to minimise any exterior noise thanks to its chunky earcup technology. With modern games ramping up their audio to a point of movie perfection, a headset like this brings players closer to the game and thankfully EasySMX S3 is up to the task.
Some gaming headsets command prices of £50+, sometimes even £100+ but the EasySMX S3 Gaming Headset gives you plenty for just over £20. With a quality headset like this for a fraction of the price, you really can’t argue! Comfortable, practical and utilising the latest technology, the S3 has quickly become my gaming headset of choice.