Gioteck EX-05s Headset Review
   
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Gioteck EX-05s Headset Review

July 28th, 2014 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

The Gioteck EX-05s is the second headset that we have seen from British company Gioteck, the first being the EX-06 Wireless. The EX-05s is a wired headset and is compatible with PC, Mac, XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3/4 and is powered by USB. What’s probably more interesting though is that it retails for close to £20! That makes it the cheapest headset yet tested here at pcGameware. Hmmm…

 

Gioteck EX-05s - box front Gioteck EX-05s - box back

 

The Gioteck EX-05s came in a yellow and black box, with a large image of the headset on the front. As you can see from the image, the EX-05s has quite an unusual design…

The back of the box goes on to highlight some the the EX-05s main features, also providing some basic headset dimensions.

  • Stainless Steel Detailing
  • Advanced Noise Reduction
  • Powered by USB
  • Noise Isolating Microphone
  • Multi-system Compatible
  • Rich Detailed HD Audio (not sure about this one!?)
  • Instinctive inline Audio Controls
  • Flexible Microphone Arm
  •  

    Gioteck EX-05s - box side Gioteck EX-05s - box open

     

    The side of the box details some of the many connection options that the EX-05s supports. The Gioteck EX-05s came well packaged (well enough for £20!).

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - box contents

     

    In the box we find the headset itself, a small user guide and a host of cables and connections, none of which we will be using as they are for consoles (soz no console stuff here!)… ;)

    At the time of review the Gioteck EX-05s is retailing for approximately £22 on Amazon and comes with a 90 day warranty! (Really just 90 days!?).

     

    Specifications/Features

    courtesy of Gioteck

    HEADSET SPECIFICATIONS
    AUDIO VOICE CONTROL
    Stereo x Mic Mute x
    Dynamic Chat Boost x Independent Game & Chat Volume Controls x
    Amplified x Condenser Microphone Frequency Response 50Hz-15KHz
    Speaker Size 40mm
    Speaker Frequency 20Hz – 20KHz
    POWER
    Power Input USB Cable Length 4.6M

    * Additional details available here

     

    First Impressions

     

    First impressions are not good, but that may be me being a little unfair, this is a £20 headset after all, and I’m not sure what to expect to be honest. The headset looks pretty weird for sure with its strange headband, although I think it’s likely to be comfortable due to its lightweight. The ear-cup cushions also seem pretty poor as the material looks very cheap and is poorly attached to the ear-cup. It kind of looks ok otherwise, I guess we shall see…

     

    Gioteck EX-05s

     

    The left ear-cup is the same as the right but features an attached microphone boom. Both ear-cups feature 40mm Drivers, a EX-05s logo and swivel both vertically and horizontally. As I said this headset is destined to be quite comfortable I think…

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - left Gioteck EX-05s - right

     

    One of the major talking points is of course the Gioteck EX-05s’ headband, made from what is effectively two strips of sprung steel and a mesh in between. It’s a design I’ve never seen before, but I actually quite like the design as it gives the headset plenty of support. Not that it actually needs it because at 315g it’s actually quite light.

    There’s adjustment too, with the headset catering for very large heads, with a total of 40mm of adjustment per side.

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - headband Gioteck EX-05s - extended

     

    Each ear-cup features plastic covered cushions with around 8mm of foam padding, not much but due to the low clamping force of the EX-05s it seems surprisingly adequate.

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - ear cushion

     

    The microphone boom can be swiveled into position when needed and stowed vertically when not in use. The swivel has a ratchet built-in and in operation feels a little cheap (but it is cheap James!). The boom also has some flex, although it doesn’t necessarily stay where you put it. It’s certainly good enough to enable you to position it close to your mouth, though!

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - microphone

     

    There’s an inline control box too approximately 70cm from the headset’s 4.6m (yes that’s right 4.6 Meters!) flat cable. The control box supports both Game and Chat volume (only one works on PC, and that’s the wrong one!) in an addition to a microphone mute switch, that’s so stiff in operation (you have to slide it), it renders it useless if that impending sneeze is coming. Best you plan your microphone muting about a minute in advance. LOL

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - in-line control box

     

    Overall at this point I’m not too impressed with the Gioteck EX-05s and at around £20 I’m also unsure who this headset is actually for…

    Hardware Installation

     

    As the Gioteck EX-05s is USB it’s simply connected to a spare USB port, it’s therfore a shame that there’s another wire off of the main 4.6m cable that’s for consoles. To be honest there’s just too much wire here, but again given the headset’s multi-platform support and price, it’s hard to really complain.

     

    Gioteck EX-05s - connections (PC)

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    The Gioteck EX-05s does not require any Drivers or Software for complete operation therefore no new install of Windows was performed. The headset was tested with the following games using Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium.

    GAMES/BENCHMARKS USED IN TESTING:

    • BattleField 4
    • Survarium (BETA)
    • Metro Last Light (benchmark)
    • Unigine Heaven (benchmark)
    • Unigine Valley (benchmark)

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    • Headset

     

    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 Gioteck EX-06 Wireless Headset; of course this is somewhat subjective…

    Here I find myself about to describe the sound reproduced by the cheapest headset that I have ever tested. I have tested headsets from around £35 to £250+ but never one at £20! I (maybe wrongly) would assume that it would sound rubbish; luckily it doesn’t! And if you consider its price, it actually sounds OK. It’s got too much treble, not enough bass and it all gets a like muddled, but to be fair it sounds OK. I’m sure I could give the headset to some, and they would be more than happy, after all it doesn’t crackle, fizz, hum or distort (under normal listening conditions). Turn the volume up (and this headset goes way up!) and it will begin to distort, but there’s plenty of usable volume on offer from the EX-05s, that’s for sure. For me I think it sounds as good at it’s price, and to be fair, I think that’s ok…

    What is disappointing though is that annoyingly long 4.6m cable with phono plugs dangling off the end, caused by the Gioteck EX-05s’ multi-platform credentials. The build quality is also a little poor, especially the ear-cushions (same issue on the EX-06 Wireless), that look like they may detach from the ear-cups rather easily…

     

    • Comfort

     

    Comfort levels are actually really good, helped by that unusual headband design an the relative low weight of approximately 315 grams. Even after 4+ hours of Gaming, the Gioteck EX-05s remained comfortable; top marks here; or is that hear! ;)

     

    • Microphone

     

    The microphone also worked well, with no issues with pick-up or background noise when using our VOIP program of choice (Razer Comms). My voice was even complimented (and that doesn’t happen very often!), saying that the voice sounded more like me,

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    The cheapest headset ever tested then, the Gioteck EX-05s, must be rubbish right? Well no; but that no comes with an advisory, you must remember the price. What do you expect to get for £20, that may be the better question…

    Well you get a well packaged headset that not only supports PC but Mac, XBOX 360, PS3 and PS4. You get a comfortable headset that can be worn for long periods (4+ hours at least) of Gaming. And you get a really good microphone, one that seems better than other headsets costing three times as much. So far so good…

    You get OK sound; but what does that even mean? Well it sound’s a little lifeless, the treble is very prominent and the bass is lacking. But is does have volume by the bucket load, for those who want it. But then the Gioteck EX-05s isn’t about the sound quality, it’s about the value for money.

    The question for me remains, who is this headset for, who could I happily recommend this headset to, anyone? Well yes – If you need a headset, that is multi-platform and you cannot muster much more than £20, then the Gioteck EX-05s is for you. If you have more than £20 and you’re looking for a new headset, and thought that this might be the Gaming bargain of the year, then you need to look elsewhere

     

    Verdict

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    Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
      Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Gioteck EX-05s a Bronze
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to Gioteck for providing this sample for review

     



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