Any good gamer knows that they're nothing without a decent pair of headphones. Many games, particularly first person shooters, use positional audio to convey exactly what is going on. The better your sound setup, the more capable you are of taking advantage of your surroundings, thus a great pair of headphones is a necessity. Philips are marketing their HG100 headphones as a gaming model, and they certainly have several features that help out in this category, but for the price they ultimately wound up leaving us unsatisfied.
- Pretty good positional audio
- Poor music performance, Expensive, Uncomfortable
Not our top recommendation for gaming headphones. They are uncomfortable, cost quite a bit and are merely adequate for music listening.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The biggest problem with this model is the design; we found it incredibly uncomfortable to wear over long periods of time. Philips has placed two speaker units that sit at the base of your head, presumably to help increase the surround field. After ten minutes of play however we felt these digging into the back of our skulls and even after moving them around we couldn't rectify the problem. We wound up finishing our session of Quake 4 battered and bruised...with our heads also hurting.
It is a shame we couldn't wear them for too long because the sound is of a reasonably good quality. In terms of gaming, everything was well placed with a deep, three dimensional feel. We could pinpoint individual noises through walls and across maps. It wasn't the best positional audio we've ever heard, but it was more than suitable for most games.
We did find the sound lacked a little punch when it came to the crunch however. Generally gun shots and explosions didn't quite have the power we've come to expect from a good quality pair of headphones. This slightly less robust sound also translated into music listening. Whilst the HG100s are gaming headphones design primarily for gaming there aren't many gamers out there who don't take their headphones for a spin through their CD collection every so often. All the ranges sounded quite reasonable, with a slightly recessed mid section being the only major flaw. As a whole however, we found the sound to be a little veiled (like listening through a thick piece of cloth) and ultimately boring. We just didn't get into our music with these headphones the same way we have with others.
As expected, the soundstage on this model was excellent (it goes hand in hand with great positional audio) with lovely separation and clear placement of instruments; we could easily distinguish between different types of string instruments in our classical pieces for example. Overall we wouldn't go out of our way to listen to music on these headphones, but as a gaming model they are quite satisfactory.
Most games these days take advantage of voice communication technology, and the HG100 is fully equipped to deal with this, with a built in microphone. The quality of the recording was fairly good, with clear, distinguishable voice recording. Also note the HG100s come with a volume control, which seems to take up an unnecessarily large space on the cord.
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