The EasySMX VIP002S RGB gaming headset’s performance and audio quality were thoroughly evaluated in our in-depth review. Here is a complete analysis of our findings.
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Like other gaming peripherals, gaming headsets are plagued by a plethora of low-quality options at the lowest price points. While there are a plethora of low-cost choices, a budget headset that prioritizes performance without sacrificing the former is relatively rare. This is something that EasySMX hopes to alter.
EasySMX, founded in 2008 by esports veteran and Shenzhen, China resident Stephen Liu, isn’t a newcomer to the industry, but it is to the Western Hemisphere. Known for their reasonably priced hardware, including gaming chairs and peripherals like keyboards and mice, EasySMX is making a name for themselves in the industry. I was contacted by the company and offered the VIP002S RGB headset, the most expensive headset EasySMX sells at $35. We’ll compare and contrast various aspects, including performance, cost, and functionality.
- Wire-Connected Headsets
- 40 mm Drivers for Headphones
- Between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz
- Current Draw While Running: 70mA
- DC 5V 5% is the operating voltage.
- Sensitivity of Speakers: 92dB 3dB
- 32 ohms 15% for speaker impedance
- The Omnidirectional Microphone
- The impedance of a microphone is 2.2K.
- Sensitivity of Microphone: -38 3dB
EASY SMX VIP002S HEADSET
HOW GOOD CAN A $35 GAMING HEADSET BE?
The headphone industry is booming. As it turns out, virtually anyone can market a high-quality pair of headphones with a plethora of options. It used to be home to companies like Koss, Sony, Sennheiser, and Grado, but in the last few years, it has rapidly expanded to include virtually every PC accessory company. There must be a huge demand for PC audio for companies like Corsair and Kingston HyperX to enter the market alongside audio veterans like Logitech.
To my knowledge, EasySMX has only been around since January. They sell a wide selection of affordable headphones and gaming accessories like mice, controllers, and even chairs specifically designed for video game use. Since the company was still relatively unknown, its prices were dirt cheap, and its products were infused with RGB, I didn’t have high hopes for it.
My anticipations were incorrect.
THE VIP002S HEADPHONES
The VIP002S, EasySMX’s premium wired headphones, was generously offered to me. These components are currently listed at $35 USD (list price) at the organization’s online shop, but on the internet I can usually find it for less. Since they include a few extras that are usually missing from headphones in this price range, they are immediately interesting.
The measured impedance of the 40mm drivers is around 37 ohms, which is higher than the rated impedance of 32 ohms (plus or minus 15%). That definition seemed vague at first, but it makes sense once we consider the building’s structure and its features. The sensitivity of the speakers is only 92 dB /- 3 dB, which is not very high. While not up to the standards of “audiophile” headphones, this is an acceptable number for their intended purpose.
The microphone is usable, but not up to the standards of a professional studio. Neither of the headphones’ two main features bode well for their overall quality. Fortunately for buyers, the whole is superior to the parts.
The headphones have a very standard set of connections. The USB port controls the RGB lighting and the microphone’s on/off functionality. It also works with headphones. The mic mute button (and the mic activity light) won’t do anything unless the USB cable is plugged in. The microphone and audio input jacks are isolated from one another thanks to the splitter that comes with EasySMX. When combined with personal computers, mobile phones, and game controllers that support audio out and in, this becomes an extremely useful accessory.
All of the wires required for the headset to function are contained within the thin, braided cable. Because of this, the headphones have a higher impedance (and greater variation between the typical and the measured). Because the cable is over six feet long, it should have no trouble reaching the user’s computer or gaming console. Outside of video games and computer audio, its length makes it impractical for most personal uses.
The quality of the headphones’ construction is outstanding. These items are sturdy and won’t break no matter how much use they get. To a surprising extent, you can twist these without breaking the whole set.
The headband is adequately cushioned, and the mechanism for extending it is tight and secure. The metal band is thick and securely fastened by four screws and a bracket on each side, inside the plastic and padded section. Another sturdy component that remains attached even after months of rough use is the cans’ ability to rotate.
The adjustable headband and ear muffs should make it comfortable for almost anyone, regardless of their head shape or size. The unit’s light weight belies its solid construction.
The “pleather” on the cups is fairly thick, and their width makes them comfortable to wear. Since pleather does not allow air to circulate very well, sweat becomes trapped after prolonged use. The headphones’ load is evenly distributed between the cups and headband, so the cups don’t act as pressure points.
The microphone boom only allows for vertical movement. Due to differences in head and face sizes, some people may find that the microphone is too close to their ears. It would be great if there were some wiggle room there, but I suspect that was sacrificed so that the headphones could be sold at such a low price. A microphone’s on/off LED light can be found at the very tip of the boom.
The headphones’ RGB function is adjusted via a dial on the right ear cup. A ring of RGB lights surrounds each cup, and their color can be adjusted or turned off with a simple turn of a dial. When compared to other options on the market, the RGB effects are surprisingly understated. It’s a nice touch that likely didn’t cost too much extra but will make it more appealing to a subset of the target audience.
The volume knob is located in the left earcup. If the computer’s port can automatically detect and boost the headphones’ volume, users should do so at full volume the first time they plug in the headphones. When things get too intense or uncomfortable, the viewer can quickly and easily lower the volume by reaching up to the top of the screen. Both knobs and dials have a satisfying physical texture, making precise adjustments a breeze. The microphone mute button is conveniently located right next to the volume knob. The mute/unmute button is conveniently located and provides a satisfying tactile response, so users always know when the feature has been activated.
The pack in box is the bare minimum of packaging. The audio/microphone splitter cable, an instruction manual, and a warranty card. Again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the low price of the headphones. What really matters is how well these headphones perform.
The headset feels substantial without being cumbersome. The sturdy adjustability of the design makes it suitable for use with a wide range of head circumferences. Although the pleather cups provide initial comfort, prolonged use will result in moisture accumulation beneath them. The moisture can evaporate if you take the headphones off for a few minutes, and after that they won’t be damp or uncomfortable to wear.
High impedance is probably due to the thin cable and the volume knob. The cable splitter is another potential source of high resistance. The optimal setup for these headphones is a computer with a built-in amplifier in the motherboard. Because of their ability to combat impedance, integrated amplifiers contribute to an enhanced listening experience. The audio does not have the same “kick” or “come alive” on PCs without this functionality (or a console) as when used with a dedicated amp. Cable can be easily extended to most locations. The amount of cable seems excessive if this is meant to be a more mobile option. Personally, I wouldn’t take these anywhere besides the computer because they’re too cumbersome to use when regular earbuds will do.
The volume and RGB controls are conveniently placed and simple to use. Since the user will likely settle on a single color and never change it, the RGB is largely irrelevant. If your significant other is yelling at you, you might accidentally adjust the color palette instead of the volume. With more experience, you should make fewer mistakes in the future.
The mic does an acceptable job of picking up and reproducing voice tones. There is noticeably more hiss and background noise than in more polished options. Both the EasySMX and the Monoprice condenser microphones that I use for the podcast are represented in these samples.
When I first put these headphones on, I wasn’t expecting much. The cleanliness of these headphones in that setting pleasantly surprised me. The low end was solid, the midrange was adequately covered, and the highs were still there to help set the mood. The concept of “transparency” is very real if a user has ever done A/B testing with low-quality headphones before upgrading to better ones. It’s easier to create the impression that “nothing between the artist and me” when working solutions are as clear as possible. While there may be headphones out there that do a better job, I’d put these up there with the best of them.
This is not to say, however, that they are faultless. The worst possible use for these headphones would be listening to music. Their lack of presence and soundstage is especially noticeable when compared to higher-end models and audiophile solutions. These don’t have 7.1 speaker support built in, so the PC has to do some magic to make it sound like you have 7.1 speakers.
These headphones have an incredibly narrow soundstage when used in stereo mode. If the soundstage is large enough, a listener can close their eyes and point in the direction from which they hear an instrument when using high-quality headphones to listen to a recording. These headphones are capable of producing a stereo effect, but the soundstage is so narrow that it is essentially nonexistent. The sound quality of these headphones is excellent, so I don’t understand why they are so poorly received.
The experience of listening to music is enjoyable, but it can’t compare to that of more expensive devices. I was blown away by the high quality of sound reproduction provided by these low-cost headphones, which were free of any distracting artifacts or limitations. All of the frequencies were present and accurate without being overbearingly bassy or hissy. The midrange was inviting and realistic. Nothing fake, but the overall music experience was diminished by the lack of a soundstage or a lighter, more airy quality.
MOVIES AND VIDEO
The acoustics in this room are excellent. The midrange and bass are particularly impressive, and they work well with a wide range of TV shows and films. The experience of watching a film that uses audio cues that hint at location can be diminished without a proper soundstage. The intelligibility of the spoken word is not compromised. Even when the bass is cranked to eleven, the action sequences don’t blur or get muddy. Well-recorded audio tracks have music and dialogue that mesh naturally with one another. The headphones do an admirable job of evening out the sound, even in less than professionally mixed features. The experience can be ruined by artifacts in recordings, which are not as noticeable with lower-quality headphones, but are accentuated by higher-quality ones.
The sound quality of these seated meetings was never an issue, but the wet pleather quickly became uncomfortable after an hour or so. Users in more humid and hot climates may find this more of a problem, though most people will get used to it.
The VIP002S headphones excel in this environment. In a variety of gaming contexts, they deliver high-quality sound. In many fast-paced or even atmospheric games, the lack of a wide soundfield is less noticeable. As long as the app has decent HRTF cues in the engine (and many do), users can still pinpoint the source of an audio event with relative ease. Again, the bass is tight without being boomy, the midrange is well-represented and sounds warm, and the highs are present without being shrill or intrusive.
Everything comes together to form a satisfying auditory experience. Once a player is immersed in a game, the headphones seem to fade into the background and aren’t a hindrance to the experience. The only problem I encountered was the same discomfort I had previously experienced during longer gaming sessions. I had to take them off because of the condensation, and that would take a few minutes. When it came to the sound quality, I had zero issues with these headphones.
Where EasySMX came from, I will never know, but they certainly have a winner on their hands. It’s well made, it has some neat features, and the audio quality and experience are on par with those of headphones costing twice as much. These headphones are currently listed for around $35 USD, but EasySMX advertises them for $35 USD. Get it on Amazon for $43 (with a 10% off coupon) and various other stores. I bought one earlier this year for about $25. I have no idea if they will go that low again, but for what a user receives, I believe $43 is more than fair.
These items are durable, long-lasting, and have a high level of comfort. My 16-year-old son put these through their paces for several months straight, and they still look brand new. He does not have a reputation for being gentle or polite. They have been kicked, stomped on, and otherwise mistreated. Instead of being cared for by him over the course of several months, they appear to be brand new. The headphones’ cable appears to be securely attached, as we experience no audio disruptions when suspending and hanging the headphones from the wire.
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that won’t break the bank, look no further than the VIP002S. I think they are a fantastic option for anyone looking for a low-cost, high-quality product. Even under extreme conditions, I have no doubt that these would last for a very long time. I doubt I could find anything better and more adaptable than the EasySMX VIP002s headphones if I were shopping for myself, my kids, or anyone else who doesn’t need audiophile-grade gear but still wants something with a solid build and decent longevity.