- Review Price: £10.00
These days it seems like a headset is becoming an important part of any computer setup, whether you play games or not. Although the web camera era is over at least for now, Skype and other VoIP (Voice over IP) services are creating a new demand for headsets. It’s not easy to pick a good headset and if you’re a gamer you want something that is good enough both for VoIP services and playing games.
Then there is the matter of cost, you can get a headset for a couple of pounds or you can pay a small fortune for one. The price tends to reflect the quality but some of the more expensive ones tend to be specialist gaming models, come with USB sound cards or feature surround sound.
The Genius HS-04SU headset is not what you’d call a fancy headset, although it is targeting the gamer that uses other applications as well. The design is quite retro with fairly large closed cup headphones complete with imitation leather ear cushions and headband. The headphones are connected to the leather headband by a metal Y shaped bar – this is then attached to a metal ribbon that is held in place by a plastic joint on each side. The Y shaped metal bar slides up and down inside the plastic joint for size adjustment.
The microphone is attached to the left headphone and it rotates almost 180 degrees, although it stops short of being angled straight downwards. Genius has fitted a flexible metal arm between the microphone and the headphone attachment. This allows you to place the microphone in a suitable location close to your mouth for improved recording sensitivity.
As an added bonus the microphone is noise cancelling so it shouldn’t pick up a lot of surrounding background noise. It also has a foam cover to remove unwanted breathing and spittle noises that you can sometimes get when a microphone is very close to your mouth.
One feature I particularly like with the Genius HS-04SU is the cord. This might sound strange, but rather than using a normal rubber coated cable Genius seems to have taken some inspiration from the Logitech G5 mouse and gone for a braided nylon cord. This looks really cool and it gives the cable a much nicer feel, but I doubt it has any other functional advantage. It’s attached to the left hand side ear cup and this means that it is pretty much out of the way. Personally I hate having cables dangling under my chin from headphones.
About 45cm down on the cable – which measures 2m 7cm, although 21cm of this is split between separate headphone and microphone connectors – is a small control unit. This allows you to control the headphone volume and a small switch – which can be fiddly to use at times – allows you to mute and un-mute the microphone. The headphone and microphone connectors are colour coded to make it easy for even a novice to connect it to their PC.
In use the Genius HS-04SU sounded quite good both in games and using TeamSpeak and Skype. The audio quality on the receiving end was also perceived as no better or worse than my normal headset from Platonics, which is generally regarded as quite good quality headsets. The Genius HS-04SU might not be the best option for listening to music, but there’s definitely more bass on offer than what my Platonics can muster.
The only slight complaint I have as someone that wears glasses is that the design of the headphones pushes your glasses towards your head behind your ears. This can become quite uncomfortable after extended periods of use, but this is a reoccurring problem with many closed cup headphones for glasses wearers.
Overall the Genius HS-04SU is a pretty good headset, especially considering that it will only set you back £10.43. It’s a versatile headset that can be used for a verity of applications and you could do far worse considering the low price.
The Genius HS-04SU headset is suitable for a wide verity of applications, from playing games to using it for VoIP services. It represents an affordable option and offers good sound quality both in terms of the headphones and the microphone.