G.Skill SV710 Headset Review
   
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G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 Headset Review

November 24th, 2015 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Well we’ve already seen the impressive G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 Keyboard and the G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 Mouse, but now it’s time for the last piece in the PC Gaming peripheral lineup; this time it’s the turn of the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset. If there’s one thing that James loves above all else (other than Orange!) it’s audio. Therefore I always enjoy taking a look (or is that listen) to a new headset, especially when we’ve not seen a headset from that manufacturer before…

So what is the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710, well most important is the fact that it is a circumaural (over the ear) stereo headset (one speaker per er-cup) with 7.1 virtual surround sound support. Each Driver is 50mm in diameter and features a neodymium magnet with an Impedance of 32Ω and a Frequency Response of 20-20,000Hz. The headset is equipped with a noise cancelling condenser based microphone that retracts into the left ear-cup. The SV710 also features an in-line control box as well as illuminated ear-cups, although there’s no RGB support.

 

GSkill-logo ‘Virtual 7.1 surround sound through certified Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology, dual 50mm neodymium audio drivers, dual-mic noise cancellation ENC microphone, padded suspension headband, circumaural ear cup design, and in-line volume control. Listen to your games come alive on the RIPJAWS SV710 virtual 7.1 surround sound gaming headset.’

 

G.Skill SV710 - box front G.Skill SV710 - box back

 

The G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset arrived at pcG in a smart grey-scale box with a corner window allowing you to clearly see the headset within. We can clearly see from the front of the box that this is a Virtual 7.1 headset and G.Skill promotes its ‘FIND YOUR INNER GAMER’ logo also. In the centre there’s a large image of the left ear-cup showing of the illuminating G.Skill logo. In addition to this, at the bottom G.Skill highlights the following features:

  • Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Powerful Gaming Audio Experience
  • Instant-Access Audio Control
  • Ultra Comfortable Ear Pads
  • Environmental Noise Cancelling Mic
  • Looking at the back of the box we see a nice large image of the SV710 headset alongside its associated in-line control box. G.Skill goes on to highlight the following eight features:

  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx
  • Dual 50mm Drivers
  • Environmental Noise Cancelling (ENC) Mic
  • Breathable Leatherette Lined Ear pads
  • Xear 3D Technology
  • In-Line Desktop Remote
  • Full Audio Control Software Suite
  • Circumaural Earcup Design
  •  

    G.Skill SV710 - box left G.Skill SV710 - box bottom G.Skill SV710 - box right

     

    As you can see the box really is quite smart allowing you to see various sides of the headset itself. Even the bottom of the box offers further detail on the Ripjaws SV710 headset, detailing its specifications and features (see Specifications/Features below) and also the package contents.

     

    G.Skill SV710 - box open G.Skill SV710 - packaging

     

    On opening the top of the box we see that the contents within are well enough packaged, although it’s not quite up to the standard of the exterior. The whole assembly (including in-line control box) is simply housed in a somewhat cheap looking/feeling plastic frame, although to be fair it does its job well enough.

     

    G.Skill SV710 - paperwork

     

    Within the box other than the headset itself we find very little, well nothing really of than some paperwork. This consists of a Ripjaws SV710 Digital Gaming Headset Quick Start Guide (not sure how the headset is Digital!?) and a Warranty Guide.

    At the time of writing the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset retail price here in the UK is somewhat unknown, unfortunately. But the headset is already on sale in the US (here) and is retailing for approximately $70, this suggests a retail price here in the UK of around £50. The headset also comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

     

    Specifications/Features

    courtesy of G.Skill

    Series Gaming Headsets
    Headphone Driver Material Neodymium Magnet
    Headphone Driver Diameter 50mm
    Headphone Impedance 32Ω @ 1kHz
    Headphone Frequency Response 20-20,000 Hz
    Microphone Type Unidirectional Noise Cancelling Condenser
    Microphone Impedance 2.2k Ω
    Microphone Frequency Response 50-10,000 Hz
    Microphone Sensitivity 36±3 dB
    Connector USB 2.0 Type A
    Cable Length 3m
    Weight 380g
    Weight (incl. cable+remote) 460g (incl. cable+remote)
    Warranty 2-Year Limited Warranty

    * Additional details available here

     

    First Impressions

     

    G.Skill SV710

     

    First impressions of the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset are along the lines of, it’s pretty big and that headband looks a little weird! But overall it looks like, and feels like a well made headset. I like the retractable microphone and the in-line control box (ILCB) is quite good too, although it looks a little basic. On putting the headset on, I’m immediately not too happy with the headband though, yes it fits but the band is not quite strong enough and the ear-cups seem to want to rest on the tops of my ears, this is likely to affect overall comfort I feel, I guess we shall see…

     

    G.Skill SV710 - left G.Skill SV710 - right

     

    The design of both of the ear-cups aboard the Ripjaws SV710 is effectively the same, the only difference is that the left ear-cup features the retractable microphone. Each ear-cup features a single 50mm neodymium Driver with a frequency Response of 20 – 20,000Hz. The clear perspex panel on each ear cup is (when the headset is off) very simple and subtle, but when on there’s a very smart illuminated (red) G.Skill logo hiding beneath. All of the materials (predominately plastic) have a very nice soft touch feel to them also. The ear-cups themselves also swivel around the joint above allowing each ear-cup to be swiveled 90 degrees allowing the headset to be placed flat on the surface. The ear-cup also has as a far smaller degree of vertical movement allowing the ear-cup to seal against the side of the head.

     

    G.Skill SV710 - headband G.Skill SV710 - headband (inner)

     

    The headband of the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset is made from a single outer plastic band, that rather cleverly houses the wiring on the inside! The band itself connects to the ear-cups by way of a single swiveling joint, allowing the cups to move freely. Atop the band we find a large G.Skill logo printed in white.

    The inner part of the headband features one of those elasticated sections that moves up towards the outer headband when worn. The band itself features a couple of sections of leatherette with some basic padding, that’s nicely stitched together. Now while I have no issue with the concept, for me I found that the headset seemed to rely more on its clamping force that the headband itself. As the headset would easily slip down and allow the era-cups to rest on the top of my ears. Simply put that inner band’s elasticity needs to be tighter I think! There’s plenty of room though even for people with larger than average head sizes, in fact the headset will probably fit better the larger the head size is…

     

    G.Skill SV710 - headband connection

     

    The headband connection itself deserves a particular mention as not only does it look good with its G Sliver Rivet at the top, but it also allows the ear-cup below to rotate freely, even through 90 degrees allowing the headset to be laid flat. Note how the cable works its way around the headset and through the middle of the outer headband, very clever and it all looks like it’s by design too! 😉 Just up from the inner band connection we also find another simple (white) G.Skill logo.

     

    G.Skill SV710 - ear-cup G.Skill SV710 - microphone (retracted)

     

    Each ear-cup features a nice large aperture for your ear, thanks in part to the 50mm Drivers hiding within. Protecting your ear from the Driver itself is thin section of black material, while the outer cushions are made from a breathable leatherette (fake leather) material.

    The microphone simply retracts into the left ear-cup and can be pulled out when needed. I like this approach as the microphone is always there, yet not flapping around in front of your face! The microphone is not muted when retracted, but there’s a dedicated button on the ILCB for that very purpose. Also note that as the microphone features Environmental Noise Cancellation, the small hole in the mic needs to be pointing towards your mouth for the cancellation to do its thing!

     

    G.Skill SV710 - microphone
     

    As you an see from the image above, the microphone not only extends from the left ear-cup but it’s also flexible too (of the pipe cleaner variety). This is useful as it will allow that all important microphone pickup point to be closer to your mouth.

    Overall I must admit to rather liking the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset, it looks good (if you like black!), it’s undeniably well made, features nice soft touch plastics and has large 50mm Drivers. The only issue at this point, that I can see (feel!), is I’m still not a lover of that headband, as for my average-large size head, the headset seems to want to slip down as the headband is simply not tight enough, or maybe that inner band is just set too high! Now let’s get to the important part; what does this stereo headset sound like, and is that 7.1 virtual surround sound any good!?

     

    Hardware Installation

     

    G.Skill SV710 - in-line control box The G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset connects by way of a single USB plug found at the end of a 3m long cable. Approximately 1.2m from the headset we find the In-Line Control Box (ILCB) that’s seems a little oversize of its own good (as do the buttons) but at least it’s easy to find on your desk, especially as it illuminates (red) when powered up. There’s also a small microphone mute button on the side that’s (oddly!) rather difficult to find! The cable itself is rubberized and somewhat prone to snagging unfortunately.

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    G.Skill Software - Info The G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset was tested on our new Test Rig, a fresh installation of Windows 10 64Bit with all associated drivers was also installed. As no software is provided with the Ripjaws SV710 the latest Driver/Software for this headset was sourced from the G.Skill website (here). As you can see from the image left, version 8.1.1.7 was installed and used throughout testing.

     

    The following games were also used during testing:

    • Metro Last Light (benchmark)
    • Unigine Heaven (benchmark)

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    • Headset

     

    G.Skill SV710 - illumination

     

    The performance of a headset is predominately based upon what it sounds like, therefore what we have here is my opinion on what I think about the audio performance of the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset; of course this is somewhat subjective. I tested mainly with the 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound off, as it simply sounds better IMHO! As many of you may know I’m not a fan of VSS and this headset does nothing to persuade me otherwise, it really is that simple…

    Luckily with the Ripjaws SV710 in stereo mode the sound reproduced by its twin 50mm Drivers is really rather good, if not outstanding in any way. This sound signature is actually very honest and a little neutral at the same time. In one way there’s very little to complain about, yet there’s also no real stand out feature either (no bad thing for some). There’s not much bass that’s for sure and I would say it is a little lacking, especially considering its large 50mm Drivers. The mid range is very good as is the high range, although it is lacking a little sparkle. What was apparent though other than a good sound signature, is that the SV710 has great stereo separation (with VSS off) and an uncanny ability to make sounds appear like they were layered on top of one another. This came through in numerous tests, and in Gaming and was quite unusual to hear. Although it was a feature that was very much welcomed as the sound took on a kind of layered effect!

    Now I did test the sound signature with the 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound On and (as is normal for me), i wasn’t a fan! What we have hear (haha) is another piece of software that (IMHO) doesn’t really give you Surround Sound, what it does is provide more volume, more bass and more reverb to the sound. The net result is that you hear a difference and assume (mainly down to the reverb) that you’re now listening to surround sound. You don’t need Virtual Sound Sound, or five speakers in each ear cup to get surround sound, after all (as a good friend once said), we’ve only got two ears! Also the sound tends to get muddled with surround sound On, that layered effect is almost lost and when the gunfire in the Metro: Last Light test gets going the headset and/or the associated software just seems to lose control.

    Having said all of that, the G.Skill Rapjaws SV710 headset is more than capable of producing a good sound signature, best to leave that VSS alone though and maybe just tweak some of those sliders in the Equalizer section of the software to get the sound you’re looking for.

     

    • Comfort

     

    The only real issue with the SV710 headset is the comfort and even then it’s not because the headset is that uncomfortable. It’s simply that the design of the headband (for my average/large head) just doesn’t seem right! The reason for this is the fact the inner headband is simply not up to the task of supporting the headset and or it is simply to high in the headband itself. The end result is that the headset is not really supported by the inner headband and by the top of my head, but the clamping force of the headband instead. The end result is (as I said) not discomfort per se, but just the annoyance that the ear-cups now seem to be resting on the tops of my ears. Even over time this didn’t become that uncomfortable, which is actually quite surprising. But G.Skill need to look at this in my opinion, and either tighten that inner band or lower it, better still maybe do both! 😉

     

    • Microphone

     

    In testing with our VOIP of choice (Razer Comms) and with the Environmental Noise Cancellation off, the microphone worked well, and I had no complaints (other than the usual) from my online buddies. I did notice though regardless of software that I needed to set the Microphone Boost in Windows to 100%. And I needed to ensure that Razer Comms didn’t try to automatically adjust this value (Auto adjust microphone settings) as this meant that my voice faded in and out at times.

    Another thing that’s important, is that due to the ENC the microphone pickup (small hole in end of mic) needs to face your mouth and not away from you. Otherwise it thinks that your voice is background noise, and I bet you can guess that doesn’t work very well! 😉 But with that done I had no issues with either the microphone itself or its associated microphone mute aboard the ILCB. When switched On the illumination of the plus and minus buttons flash (red/blue) to let you know that mute is activated.

     

    • Software

     

    The software (not supplied, down load here) for the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 is a little basic to say the least and is very similar to other headset software that we have come across in the past. The problem with the software is that all it really tries to do is cram as much (not needed!) functionality into a program, I guess to give the appearance of value. But the bottom line is that it really adds very little value at all! Most of the functionality revolves around modifying the sound that you can hear, but if this is your bag then you will no doubt appreciate the software more than myself and maybe others.

     

    G.Skill Software - Main (Stereo) G.Skill Software - Main (Dolby) G.Skill Software - Main (Virtual 7.1)

     

    By default the software is installed in the best state, that means that by default the headset is in Stereo mode and ENC is off. If you wish you can switch between any of the main modes (Stereo, Dolby & Virtual 7.1) all of which just alter the sound signature to the original sound’s detriment, a shame but very common in today’s audio software. What is of benefit here tough, is that due to the somewhat neutral sound of this headset, you can at least come here and dial in some adjustments courtesy of that ten band Equalizer.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    The G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 needs only a couple more tweaks to make it a real player in the sub £50 headset category. The overall design and quality is good, the audio produced is also pretty good (although a little neutral), but the headset’s headband is a little odd as the headset itself seems to sit more on your ears than on your head!

    The G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset arrived at pcG in a smart predominately grey box, with a corner window allowing you to see the headset (and its control box) within. The plastic interior though was not in keeping with the high value exterior, although it did a good job of keeping the contents secure and protected. Once out of the box it soon was apparent that G.Skill’s first headset was pretty darn nice, with the SV710 appearing to be well made and constructed form nice soft touch plastics. In fact the look of the Ripjaws SV710 I very much like, and it only gets better when you power it up! Overall first impressions of the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset are really rather good! 🙂

    Once powered up we get to see those illuminated ear-cups with their bright red G.Skill logos, and very smart it looks too! Note that these logos are static and also there’s no RGB support or software support. The in-line control box (ILCB) illuminates also with its somewhat oversize buttons illuminating red when on and flashing red/blue when the microphone mute is active. At this point there’s a lot to like about the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 headset, it’s now a better looking headset thanks to that illumination and those 50mm Drivers still promise much!

    As soon as the headset was on my head though I knew there was a problem as the headset immediately felt odd, yet strangely not uncomfortable. After spending over a week with the SV710 I think the problem is down to one of two things, maybe even both. The issue is that the inner headband is simply either not tight enough and/or the inner band is in the wrong place for my average/large head. It’s almost as the band is already at the right size for my head in fact. The end result is that the headset ends up sitting on your ears instead of on your head. Now while this wasn’t as uncomfortable as you may think, it did feel very odd and was a feeling I was constantly reminded of. I’ve also not really come across this problem with any headset I’ve tested in the past.

    From a pure performance point of view the Ripjaws SV710 headset has a good overall sound signature, best descried as somewhat neutral. That’s because there’s no massive base, not prominent mid-range and no spine tingling highs, but that (IMHO) is no bad thing in fact you could accuse the headset of being simply honest! To help this though G.Skill has ensured that the headset has plenty of power and it really does, so if you like it loud (and I do) then this does help to give the headset a bit of extra punch when needed!

    Of course if you’re not happy with the sound you can head to the software and that ten band equalizer to help out! In fact that’s about the best part of the software as the rest of the functionality (even the 7.1 VSS) just makes an already good sound signature different, not better!? The software also looks a little gimicky and could do with being just toned down a little with a sprinkling of that ‘professional’ magic dust.

    As far as the microphone goes I had no issues with the microphone while used with ENC off. Although I did notice that in Windows the Microphone Boost needed to be set at 100% for best results. For best results with ENC on, you also need to make sure that the microphone pickup is actually facing your mouth, otherwise the headset gets confused with what sound is ‘Environmental’.

    The G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 is actually a good Gaming headset especially given its asking price (approx £50), it’s well made and features a nice (somewhat neutral) sound, which in turn can be tweaked via the software. The software itself is a little disappointing though, as it’s just jam packed with options to alter the sound, with no real-world benefit. But for me it’s the headband that lets it down the most, now while (rather oddly) not uncomfortable the fact that the headset itself seems to be supported by the clamping force more than the headband is just odd I feel…

     

    Verdict

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    Newegg




    G.SKILL RIPJAWS SV710

    button_buy_now

     

    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the G.Skill Ripjaws SV710 a Silver
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to G.Skill for providing this sample for review

     


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