Gamdias Hephaestus II Stereo Lighting Headset
Picking out a gaming headset can be a bit tricky. Prices and styles range drastically in price leaving the shopper often wondering how much is too much or how little is too little. Enter the Hephaestus II Stereo Lighting Gaming Headset from Gamdias. This is the least expensive in the lineup of the trio of Hephaestus headsets. Coming in at $60 the Rumble and Surround carry things most gamers probably aren’t looking for, but the $30 Stereo models hits a very value oriented market where options are slim…and fragile. But, even at $30, how good is the Hephaestus II Stereo?
Plug typeUSB & 3pin 3.5mm mic/ audio plug
Build Quality, Connectivity, and Comfort
The build of the Hephaestus II’s structure is entirely plastic, but manages to keep a good solid feel. A sturdy construction allows for the headset to be adjusted fitting most people with little concern over breaking from repeatedly being put on and taken off. The folding nature of the headset allows for it to be shrunken down to a manageable size for portability when travelling or storing.
Connectivity is handled by the use of 3.5mm Mic and Headphone jacks, but there is an additional USB cable included. No, this cable doesn’t add a more powerful sound stage but instead powers the red LED lighting on the headset itself. So, if you decide you don’t want the LED lighting then leaving it unplugged doesn’t have any bearing on the sound quality. The sound levels as well as microphone mute toggle are on a dongle close to the headset itself.
Comfort of the headset it aided by a large padded headband that rest comfortably on top of your head. Long term wear is aided by the top band being fabric lined since the top branded portion is wrapped in synthetic leather. The ear cups are a bit of a different story. They aren’t fully enclosed, so results in a semi-closed back style where there are vents to aid in cooling, and they’re needed. Unlike the top headband they entirety of the ear cup is surrounded by synthetic leather. While this does aid in room noise reduction it adds heat to the ears. After a couple hours I found myself needing to remove the headset to let my head cool down.
Sound Quality and Mic
The sound quality from the 40mm stereo drivers is neither terrible nor exceptional. They do a good job getting voice across clearly, but the reduced lows and flattened highs leave the sound somewhat flat across the sound stage. This can be helped through the use of a graphic equalizer, which I highly recommend using if you use this headset. The microphone is a totally different subject. I know, you’re thinking a $30 headset is going to have a garbage mic. You’d be wrong in that expectation. The microphone on this headset is among the best I’ve used. The microphone on the Hephaestus II easily sounds better than the Roccat Kave Stereo and destroying the terrible Corsair Void Surround when it comes to being heard clearly in game. According to people I game regularly with it’s the closest to my Audio Technica ATR 2500 microphone they’ve heard my use.
Conclusion and Full Video Review
At the end of the day, the Hephaestus II Stereo is very good value for money. No, it’s not producing studio level sound quality but as a gaming headset the microphone more than makes up for that. The sound is a bit flat, but it works to the gamer’s advantage when in a firefight since the game sounds typically don’t drown out conversation, keeping you focused on your team. For more on my thoughts as well as a microphone test, see our full review video below.
Good headset for short gaming sessions. Great mic muddled by mediocre drivers.
- Solid headset for a very low price. Unexpectedly good microphone quality. Light weight and comfortable, for a time.
- Fabric on ear cups gets very warm quickly. Sound from drivers are relatively flat.