Sound Off On Audio Quality
To properly test the audio, a trip through YouTube’s suggestions offers a mix of content to test out, with these four songs and a game review differing enough to offer a good idea how the headset sounds.
Zero Punctuation – Tunic review
John Zorn’s New Electric Masada: 3/27/22 Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre
Lindemann – Ach so gern
Sabaton – Christmas Truce
Nekrogoblikon – No One Survives
Lou Reed – Solsbury Hill (And I’ll Scratch Yours by Tasseomancy)
The Bluetooth quality is exactly the same as it would be on any other headset, simply due to the nature of the connection. It is fairly hollow and even Dirac Virtuo Spatial can’t really help much, though it does make the sound somewhat less flat. Plug in the 3.5mm and things change, and definitely for the better. To offer a comparison the Corsair HS80 and it’s USB dongle offer audio quality right in between the Bluetooth and wired performance of the Monoprice M1000ANC.
The wired connection fills in the spaces missing in the Bluetooth audio and greatly increases the amount of volume the headset can produce. Clicking on the Dirac Virtuo Spatial button brings a lot more to the headset, to the point it is questionable why you would not keep it enabled short of having an almost dead battery.
Gaming tests were also successful, when wired in as this PC lacks Bluetooth. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Metro Exodus seemed appropriate and both offered a great audio experience. There was certainly evidence of positional audio, though not up to the level of a 5.1 audio device, virtual or physical. The accuracy was on par with what Dolby Atmos brings to a game, so certainly more interesting than a basic stereo headset.
The active noise cancellation is also very effective at blocking higher frequency signals, though some lower frequency and louder environmental noises do. This is not a bad thing; you might not want to hear the cars but you do want to hear the horn! As with the spacial feature, activating ANC will cut the battery life by a third.