Venom Marauder 7.1 Headset Review
Most gamers like to feel immersed in the games that they play. So they have a couple of options to choose from: Get a sound system installed, whether it be a soundbar or surround sound speakers. Or the other alternative is to whack on some headphones, eliminating the need to fiddle with troublesome speakers. The problem gamers have, is deciding which headsets to go for, considering there’s a wide range of them, and for different budgets. Especially with the gradual increase in technology, upgrading your headset is essential if you want the best experience. Today we’re reviewing the Venom Marauder 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Headset, which falls under the low budget of headsets, but how well does it do its job?
Appearance and Comfort
The Venom Marauder wired headset is quite bulky but don’t let this put you off as once it’s on your head, the cups fit nicely over your ears and doesn’t seem to weight you down. They are red and black in design and almost look retro-like. The downside to it’s appearance is that of the microphone. The microphone flips open from inside one of the ear pieces, which is a nice little feature for times when you’re flying solo, but the downside to this is that the microphone is short on length, which we will discuss in further detail later.
If you’re looking for a simple ‘plug and play’ headset, you may as well stop reading here. This headset took a good half hour for us to connect all the wires. And there’s a few of them, to say the least. Another thing to note is that it doesn’t come with any form of instruction manual. Instead, there’s a card provided with details of Venom’s website, directing you to the PDF document with the instructions for you to download. Not a major issue, but it adds a few extra minutes onto the setup time.
The headset connects to a little box that in turn connects to the Xbox via an optical cable. A spare USB slot is required on the Xbox for you to power up the headset. If you wish to chat using the headset, you’ll need to plug in another cable to your Xbox controller. If you own one of the older controllers, you’ll also need to purchase a separate stereo adapter (if you don’t already have one), as the headset does not include one.
This is a 7.1 virtual surround sound headset, which means you’re getting the ‘appearance’ of seven speakers plus a subwoofer. For what it’s trying to replicate, it does quite well. We tested the headset on two different types of games just to get a feel of how well the sound replicates this in certain scenarios. Our first game that we tested was Titanfall 2. We found that when playing, you’re able to pinpoint exactly where enemies are behind you, especially if they’re sneaking up on you. This allowed us some advantage under certain situations. We tested a Titan falling with our character facing away from the Titan drop. With this, the ‘whoosh’ sound of the Titan dropping from the sky gradually got louder with amplified bass once the Titan had landed. This was down to one of the cool features this headset boasts: Vibration technology. This technology provides a rich bass sound in order to immerse you in your surroundings in game. It actually did feel like some sort of warzone.
The main box where all the cables are connected into, there is a button which gives the headset a ‘3D Boost’. We fiddled about with this setting a few times under different environments and all this seemed to do was make the bass sound worse, so in the end we left this option off. The headset does come with a volume control unit which not only lets you adjust sound and chat levels, but also the vibration levels of the technology.
Whilst the headset provided excellent sound for the low budget, we was extremely disappointed with the microphone itself. It’s supposed to be a unidirectional microphone, but the problem here lies within the fact that the microphone is too short. In order for other players to hear us, we practically had to shout down the mic. This doesn’t bode well considering the mic monitoring options on the Xbox didn’t quite work with this headset, so we couldn’t tell exactly how loud we were talking or rather, shouting. We took into account that this is in fact a headset that works across many platforms, so we tested the microphone on the PC but the results were exactly the same.
- Featuring vibration technology
- 40mm Neodymium drivers deliver high-quality immersive sound with powerful bass and a refined high-end
- Foldaway noise cancelling microphone for live in-game chat
- Cushioned headband & ear cups for maximum comfort – even during long gaming sessions
- In-line Volume Control Unit allows quick and accurate adjustments to all in-game sound & chat
All in all, for the low price of this headset, the sound is impeccable and provides you with a real immersive situation. However, if you’re looking to experience this whilst chatting to your friends online, you’re going to be disappointed. We ended up putting the headset away, whacking on the standard Xbox One headset and made use of our real surround sound system whenever we went online to play with our fellow buddies. For solo titles such as Mass Effect or Prey, you’ll really feel the benefit of the atmosphere in these titles when using the headset, which sometimes provided better sound than our actual surround sound system, but for the most part, the vibration technology ‘cheats’ the sound – but it works.
The Venom Marauder 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound headset was released 18th July 2017, and is available to purchase online or from some retailers, RRP £49.99.