The XPG headset (XPG EMIX H30 SE) enters the market to fight directly with headphones like the Logitech G Pro and HyperX Cloud Alpha. Does it do well against its competitors?
The XPG Emix H30 SE entered the Brazilian market at the end of its life cycle to compete in the category of gamers headphones that occupy the intermediate-premium space, with an integrated sound interface, improved quality microphones, and drivers and other extras that we find in headphones around this category.
Some of its direct competitors are Logitech G Pro X and HyperX Cloud Alpha, we will now see if the XPG offering can compete or even surpass its rivals, so here we begin the review of the XPG Emix H30 SE.
External Construction and Design
Undoubtedly the H30 SE has a very aggressive design, very classic of current gamers headphones, the Headset draws a lot of attention due to its shape and size, being quite large compared to other models.
There are a lot of metal and plastic parts in this earphone, the upper bow is made of a very thin and light metal material, and this material extends to the central part of the earcups. When we leave the central black circle in the earcup, we go to the plastic, which goes to the earpads. Another piece that is also made of plastic are the fittings that keep the headband lining in place.
I confess that one thing I did not like was the fact that the cable is not removable, something that is becoming more and more common to see in headphones and headsets and that should already be an industry-standard in 2020, even more for a headset exceeds the $100, but at least the microphone is removable, so we’re halfway there.
Speaking of cables, what comes out of the headset has 3 inputs: 2x P2 (mic and headphone in) and a USB input , and none of them are removable, which means that you will always have the three outputs on your phone, which I think it’s a good design decision.
The phone has illumination on both the earcups and the tip of the microphone, to be able to activate the illumination it is necessary to plug in the USB cable, and that is only why the USB tip is there, the phone rings only through the P2 cables, and this is valid both in the interface that is included in the box and if plugged directly into the computer.
I don’t know why XPG used this design, but the fact that you have to use 3 ports to rotate a headset is not very intuitive, except that the USB tip is not removable, you will always have it “hanging” next to the P2.
Comfort is one of the aspects that many people forget to check when evaluating a headset, I have been using the H30 SE for about 2 hours now and I am beginning to feel a slight discomfort coming from the headband, this is because there is a ” internal “plate on the cushions, and because the foam is very thin, you end up feeling this” plate “.
Another point that ends up decreasing the comfort of the headset is the fact that its earcups do not have any type of rotation on the axis, not being able to adapt to the shape of the user’s head and thus either causing discomfort or reducing the acoustic seal of it, in mine case was the second option.
The good news is that your earpads are very soft and generous, so if the phone fits well on your head you will not have discomfort because of them, the bad news is that to remove you will almost certainly tear them.
Unfortunately this is a weak point of the phone, a design review paying attention to the aspects I commented on above can make all the difference, and remember that the experience varies from user to user, a few will find comfort good while others – like me – will have discomfort when using the phone.
So now let’s talk about the most important aspect of a headset: its sound. To sum up I can say that the sound is good and it shouldn’t bother you to listen to your video on YouTube or anything like that, but I’ll go into more detail below.
To play the phone leaves nothing to be desired, I tested it in matches of CS: GO, Battlefield 4 and also in Forza Horizon 4 and it did not disappoint me at any time. It was possible to define where enemies or shots came and went, without any problem.
The sound didn’t distort either, not that I expected it to happen, but I think it’s important to emphasize here. You know those boring high-pitched noises that poor quality headphones make? So, the H30 SE did not present any of these noises, always with good audio positioning (imaging) and good sound stage, even better than my HD650 from Sennheiser, even though it is not a reference in that.
So if you intend to use the phone to play, you should not worry or be ill-served by your sound, you will hear your opponents without difficulty, just as the sound must please you during your game.
In general use I had a good surprise, I confess I didn’t expect much of it, because the seal between the pads and my cheek didn’t look good – read the comfort part to understand what I mean – but still the sound of the phone it was not shaken and it still did very well.
A little negative about the sound is that it ends up breaking its own immersion due to not rotating on its axis, and thus the seal between the phone and your ears is broken, something that you can feel and see in photos too.
I used it in a normal routine of my day-to-day: I disagree with my friends, music, videos, games and some movie stuff too, and I couldn’t complain about the sound, at least not when used directly on my P2 inputs. motherboard , however as it comes with a USB sound interface, I had to test it too.
Unfortunately, the experience with the interface was worse than with the phone connected directly to the motherboard, it has a built-in EQ and you are obliged to use one of the company’s presets, there is no way to disable it, and that alone makes me not want to use it. The presets are music, voice, movies, and games. The least bad was music, but the voice still came out muffled and ended up leaving the sound quality aside and leaving it muffled.
If you intend to purchase the H30 SE just because of the sound interface, I already tell you that it is not worth it and you will be throwing your money away. The phone without the audio interface has a very elegant sound, clear with good definition, bass present but without disturbing the other frequencies – forget about it with the sound interface, treble that don’t bother but that are present, middle that are warmer due to the more closed nature of the phone but which are also very cool.
Again, the audio interface turns out to be a problem because equalization is mandatory, if there was any way to remove it completely, then I would consider using it actively.
The microphone of the H30 SE is undoubtedly one of its strong points, it has good sound quality and depth, in addition to having a very effective noise suppression, at least that’s what was shown during the tests I did in my daily use and also listening to me. I’ll leave the soundtrack below for you to listen to.
The microphone’s weak point is that the pop filter is not very effective – or non-existent – so depending on the word we speak the microphone pops a little, something that is not very nice even more for a microphone that is as close to the mouth as this headset .
Still, I think the audio from the microphone is above average, the clarity of the sound is very good and it has a lot of depth, while its competitors tend to sound less natural.
The Audio Interface
As mentioned above, it comes with a USB sound interface included in the box, in addition to some other things like a bag to charge your headset (or whatever you want), but let’s talk about the sound interface that is included In the box.
The audio interface offers a nice range of controls, but unfortunately the vast majority of them are poorly implemented and therefore the end-use experience turns out to be not very cool. The first thing I notice is that the volume scroll has a long delay when you lower / increase the volume until the command arrives in Windows, and this is no longer legal for normal use.
Another problem is that the equalization cannot be turned off, you are always obliged to use one of the presets provided by the brand, and honestly none of them are legal, with some or other frequency always getting muffled while others are too far ahead.
Continuing, the virtual surround (7.1) ends up letting a lot of reverberation reach your ears, giving the appearance of being in a cave more than having sound coming from several directions.
A positive point is that it also works as a USB interface, you can connect up to 3 USB devices directly to it, such as your mouse , keyboard and headset. There is also the possibility to connect your speakers to it and simultaneously play the phone and its sound, something that is often overlooked in other products.
Because of these reasons I end up not seeing the reason for using the sound interface, the phone works normally through the P2 – even better because the sound is without EQ and consequently cleaner – and thus rendering a piece useless that ends up only adding unnecessary value to the phone.
A headset that could be one of the highlights of the market ends up being left behind for a few things, luckily XPG has already achieved the most important thing – the sound of the headset and microphone – well implemented, now all that remains to be done is to improve the other aspects.
Its comfort is left behind due to the lack of rotation in the earcups axis, the headband needs a little more padding, does not force users to use an EQ with the audio interface and the non-removable USB cable that only serves for lighting and that many will end up not using it because they need more USB ports.
The initial idea is good, but some improvements and refinements are still lacking, I believe that making the adjustments I mentioned above the phone can be very competitive, but at the moment I recommend that you look for Logitech G PRO / G PRO X or Cloud Alpha, both are in the same price range of $ 100-120 and offer better refinement, second only to the microphone.
- Headphone sound
- Microphone sound
- USB Hub
- Comfort not very good
- Non-removable USB cable and you can’t use the phone with it alone
- Audio interface makes the sound worse and adds unnecessary price for it
- PU earpads
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