Kotion Each have kindly supplied us with our first peripheral to review, the GS2000 headset, so before we begin I’d like to introduce how peripheral reviews will work on Full Sync as they will be scored on a different system.
Peripheral reviews will combine an aggregate score across four important factors. Functionality, Comfort, Build Quality, and, most importantly for some of us, Value for Money. Each of these individual headers will have their own score – giving you a balanced view of how the gear performs. This gives us the freedom to rate everything fairly based on its own merits.
Entry level headsets are a tough market. Spend £20 on one online and you could either open up a creaky plastic shambles or a diamond in the rough. On first glance of the box, the GS2000 definitely swings more towards the former, proclaiming itself as a ‘PRO GAMING HEADSET’ straight off the bat. There’s some broken English scattered around but all the important information is clear and easy to understand. What comes out of the box is a pleasant surprise – a solid, well-padded build and a quality braided cable only let down by the glossy, cheap-feeling plastic. But it promises some cool-looking LEDs and doesn’t break the bank currently at a modest £16.99 on Amazon UK so without further rambling let’s get down to business.
Packing standard 50mm drivers, the sound quality on offer here is decent. There’s certainly a lot of volume but not an awful lot of weight behind the sound. Bass response feels more simulated than actually present and when there’s a hefty amount coming through – explosions, earthquakes, Feed Me drops – the drivers make the cups vibrate on your head like they’re afraid of it (and who wouldn’t be?). It feels like they’re struggling to respond properly and as a result the lower end gets muddied up in the mid. Strangely enough the bass has significantly more impact when there’s not much else going on. Letting off a grenade in an enclosed space rumbles satisfactorily but get out into a wide open space with lots of directional audio and everything just pools together.
It’s solid for casual movie and music listening, though. At this price point it really can’t be faulted. Voice chat is clear, only muffling and crackling very occasionally. One thing that annoyed me in my time with it is the rigid mic boom, which has absolutely no flexibility in it, and always seems to be just that little bit too far away. It still records audio clearly but I found myself shouting a little bit (more than usual) when things got hectic.
Another surprise here with the GS2000. The sharp plastic lines and edges of the headset are rounded out by an impressive amount of padding – I have a freakishly huge head and this actually worked against me, causing the bottom end to stick out in an ungainly fashion, but on a normal person’s cranium I can imagine it’d be a fairly snug fit. Even on my titanic noggin there was none of that horrible skull-crushing, pinching sensation so synonymous with cheap headsets and it definitely sits comfortably. The pads are generously sized and do a great job of keeping the headphones securely in place. Even over long sessions they remain comfy, not necessarily luxurious in their approach but functional. What else do you need from a budget headset?
Air flow is an issue. They can get a tad warm with all that plastic and pleather, and I suspect the energy required to power the considerable amount of LEDs plays a small part in that. It’s nothing unbearable but worth noting. Overall this is far from the worse thing you could have clamped over your head for several hours while ten year olds call you names.
BUILD QUALITY: 4/5
Kotion Each have built this headset to a very high standard. There’s no creaking, everything feels secure, the cable is braided and feels well anchored. The only thing betraying its budget nature is the shiny plastic and an awkwardly large inline volume control. It doesn’t strain under normal use, the mic boom has a super-satisfying clicking motion when you move it, and it even has a decent weight to it. The LEDs (a cool blue in the models we were sent) are a neat little addition but perhaps a little over the top, subscribing to the popular notion that the more LED lights something has, the greater the quality. Personally I feel like I’m regressing back into the days of loving shoes that lit up when you walked with LED headsets but some people dig them and the G2000 has them in spades.
The band could probably do with a little bit more extension to sit comfortably on larger heads but the trade-off is a beautifully made, low-budget headset that won’t fall apart after heavy use. It’s ideal.
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5
For £16.99 this does-the-job headset is well worth the money. Reliability and high build quality win out over-functioning but unimpressive audio and a few design quirks. The GS2000 will do exactly what you need it to with little compromise, delivering adequate technical performance with comfort and blazing blue light. Some people might find its appearance a little ostentatious for what it is, but the solidity of the hardware itself can’t be questioned.
Taking a chance on cheap peripherals can be an exercise in buyer beware, but next time you’re looking for some new headgear that won’t empty your bank account, you should definitely consider one of Kotion’s products.
Kotion Each GS2000 Overall Score: 4/5
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