8. EKSA Star Engine E5000 Pro – Virtual 7.1 surround sound on a budget
The EKSA Star Engine E5000 Pro (what a name, by the way!) is a wired gaming headset that looks and feels the part, partly due to the inclusion of bright green RGB lighting beneath the grated exterior of the black ear cups – it’s very hard to miss, trust me.
That black and green theme is present throughout the headset, from green stitching across the headband to green straps that connect the band to the earcups. It’s very Xbox, but due to the inclusion of USB-A, USB-C and 3.5mm cables in the box, it’s actually compatible with just about every PC and console platform out there.
The earcups are a particular favourite, sporting 1in thick memory foam cups and a soft-touch finish that feels comfortable when worn. These are over-ear headphones, with the 1.46in x 2.24in cups large enough to sit around your ears for improved seal and comfort.
The rest of the headset is made from hard-wearing plastic, and although this does mean it’s not quite as premium as it looks at a first glance, it does remain lightweight.
Of course, it’s audio that’s most important, and 50mm drivers don’t disappoint. There’s support for both stereo and virtual 7.1 surround sound, with the ability to switch on-the-fly using on-headset controls.
It’s not quite as bassy and punchy as some would prefer, especially in hectic online shooters, but it’s balanced and allows you to pick up on the finer details that could give you an edge in online gameplay.
There’s also a detachable boom microphone with built-in environmental noise cancellation to help quieten background noise when chatting to your mates. It works with quieter noise, like the click of a keyboard, but there is a downgrade to overall mic quality in return.
Overall though, the E5000 Pro is a solid headset with a signature gamer aesthetic that’s compatible with most consoles and platforms – and that’s not bad for less than £50/$60.