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Roccat Elo 7.1 Air Review 2.4Ghz Wireless Gaming Headset With Supension Headband

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

 

Sharing the same name as the creator of the Elo chess rating system, Roccat's latest gaming headset - Elo 7.1 Air - features a comfy suspension headband, solid build and superb sounding audio/microphone! The earpads are also comfy made of firm memory foam cushions covered with soft PU leather. 



The Elo 7.1 Air earpad design is rather unique. Most headphones earpads are flat; whereas the earpads on the 7.1 Air headset have a raised bottom lip protrusion that helps create a better snug seal over the ears. The inner hole is large with an oval-shaped design, measuring 6cm high and 4.5cm wide with 1.5cm depth to the driver. The 50mm dynamic drivers are covered with thin fabric, which helps the acoustics, although it also means the earcups are less breathable. Being PU leather also, you can expect some hea/sweat after long use.


The Elo 7.1 Air suspension headband consists of a large padded fabric cushion attached to a self adjusting spring loaded plastic inner band that automatically extends and retracts the cushion pad according to the height of the head. The self adjusting headband can extend up to 2 inches to provide a comfortable snug fit on the head. The padded cushion headband has a prominent Roccat etching on top of it. More Roccat branding can be found on the sides of the headband yoke and front sides of the earcups with Roccat RGB lettering and logo.


There are also two steel metal bands running overhead the suspension headband designed to support the headband and provide some clamping force, which is medium/high and may feel slightly tight depending on the size of your head. Compared to normal headbands, self adjusting headbands are more comfortable and better suited if you wear glasses and/or are prone to hot spot on top of the head. The Elo 7.1 Air headset weighs 340 grams so, a bit heavy and about 30 grams heavier than the Syn Pro Air headset. 


For gaming marathons, the Elo 7.1 Air headset is definitely the most comfortable of the two, thanks to the suspension headband, although the Syn Pro Air has fabric earpads, which offer better ventilation. The Elo 7.1 Air ear pads can be detached but there is no instructions on how to do it so first time users who aren't familiar with removing earpads may find this task a bit daunting.


The Elo 7.1 Air headset is a wireless-only headset that uses a 2.4Ghz USB dongle transmitter to connect to USB-A devices (e.g. PC, PS4). When plugged into device, the USB dongle transmitter will pair automatically with the headset. The dongle also has a reset pinhole that you can use to manually re-pair the dongle to the headset. The Elo 7.1 Air headset is detected by a computer as "speakers" (rather than headphones), which is odd although it doesn't affect the functionality. From the computer, you can access volume and sidetone/mic monitoring without having to download the Roccat software. With sidetone (mic monitoring), you can monitor the volume level of your voice when talking to someone.


Below the left earcup, there are two physical plastic buttons (power and mute) and two rubber scroll wheel encoders that work similar to the scroll wheel of a computer mouse. The volume wheels spin continuously in either direction and are supposed to have a longer lifespan than standard volume potentiometers but, they aren't precise. With standard volume potentiometers, you can gradually adjust volume in small increments, whereas with the Elo 7.1 Air, the volume wheels jump in large increments so, you don't have the same control. 


One of those volume wheels is a master volume that controls the earcups volume from the source (e.g. computer). The volume wheel does not have master functionality when connected to a PS4/PS5 console. The second volume wheel is for adjusting the sidetone level. The Elo 7.1 Air headset is supported by Roccat's Swarm software, which is worth downloading to take advantage of all the features, including 7.1 surround sound. It would have been neat and very convenient if the Elo 7.1 Air headset had a dedicated on-earcup button for toggling between 7.1 sound and stereo.


Via Roccat's Swarm software, you get lots of audio/microphone settings and a customizable 10-band EQ for tweaking the audio sound. There is a sample rate option too for audio and microphone so, you can get better detailed higher quality sound. The software is very comprehensive and also includes preset sounds and RGB light settings. While the Elo 7.1 Air headset is works with Mac computers, Roccat's Swarm software is only compatible with Windows operating systems (Win 7, Win 8 and Win 10).


The Elo 7.1 Air headset uses a standard rotating yoke mechanism that allows the earcups to tilt up/down, as well as rotate sideways so, you can lay the earcups flat on a desk. There is exposed fabric cord cabling protruding out of the top of the earcups for styling. The 50mm dynamic drivers deliver big bass sound to immerse you when playing games or watching videos. The boom arm microphone is detachable and connects to the headset via a 2.5mm audio jack, which is built-into an odd-shaped triangular plug that slots snugly into the recessed cutout.


The Elo 7.1 Air boom arm mic weighs 11 grams, measures 12cm long and has bendy memory wire that allows the boom arm to be bent at different angles. Aside from comfort and build quality, the microphone quality is the third key feature you get with the Elo 7.1 Air headset. While most gaming headsets typically use an omni-directional mic, the Elo 7.1 Air uses a unidirectional microphone (like call centre headsets), which is natural sounding and naturally noise cancelling picking sound only from your side.


The Elo 7.1 Air is a solid headset, although the limited cross-platform compatibility holds back the Elo 7.1 Air headset against the competition. You can only use the Elo 7.1 Air headset with PC and Playstation consoles (PS4/PS5). 

 

There is no auxiliary port or audio passthrough via the USB-C charging port so, you cannot plug the Elo 7.1 Air headset into a computer or phone to listen to audio or play games. Speaking of mobile, the Elo 7.1 Air does not support standard bluetooth (only 2.4Ghz wireless), which means you won't be able to connect the headset wirelessly to a phone either. You can use the headset while charging.


The battery life is long lasting and the Elo 7.1 Air headset only takes 1 hour to charge. There is quick charge support too, which provides 2 hours from a 10 minute quick charge. Runtime is around 5 days when using the headset 5 hours per day. The headset will also power off automatically too (after 10 minutes of  inactivity to preserve battery life. A nice quality Roccat branded rubber cable with USB-A to USB-C connectors is included. The cable weighs 47 grams and measures 2 meters long. You can buy the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air headset from amazon.


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