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Roccat Syn Buds Core review – big bass on a budget
8:01 pm | November 10, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Gaming Gaming Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

The Roccat Syn Buds Core are powerful wired earbuds with plenty to offer regarding sound quality, especially on a budget. Advertised with Nintendo Switch and mobile gaming in mind, they’re able to enhance your immersion with deep, all-encompassing directional audio that can block out external distractions and make in-game music and sound effects much more lively than if they were just playing out of your device’s speakers.

Complete with a clear, high-quality built-in microphone, these earbuds are also perfect if you want to game on a mobile device while chatting with friends. They also come with inline controls to adjust volume, but bafflingly, these don’t work on Nintendo Switch or iOS devices, limiting their utility. This - combined with the declining compatibility of wired earphones and headphones with modern devices - make it hard to recommend the Roccat Syn Buds Core for anyone looking for earbuds that will last them for years to come.

However, given that you can pick them up for $24.99 / £19.99, the Roccat Syn Buds Core earbuds are of incredible value if you’re looking for something simple but effective, and you really can’t go too far wrong for the price.

Price and availability

At full price, you can buy the Roccat Syn Buds Core for $24.99 / £19.99. These make them cheaper than every single one of our picks for the best gaming earbuds, so they’re very budget-friendly.  

For reference, in our roundup of the greatest gaming earbuds on the market, we recommended the wired Turtle Beach Battle Buds for their cheap price point, and they cost $29.99 / £28, so on cost-factor alone, the Roccat Syn Buds Core are even better. Compared to the pricier 1MORE Quad Driver in-ear headphones, which - at recommended retail price - go for around $199 / £200, these are a fraction of the cost, although tradeoffs in quality can be expected when comparing the Roccat Syn Buds Core to high-end earbuds.

Design and features

Roccat Syn Buds Core leaning on their drawstring bag.

(Image credit: Future)

From the moment you pull your Roccat Syn Buds Core out of the box, you have everything you need for a comfortable and portable experience. As well as three different sizes of silicone ear tips to swap and change as required, the earphones also come with a small, thin fabric drawstring bag to store them. They also come with a short quickstart guide to explain the contents, device compatibility, and technical specifications.

Being a regular drawstring bag, there’s nothing to stop the wires from getting tangled, and the bag itself is plain black with no further design to distinguish the brand. It’s also so thin that I can’t imagine it holding up particularly well as far as wear and tear is concerned, nor should you expect it to offer much protection to the earphones themselves, so don’t expect wonders from it.

As for the earbuds themselves, these boast a lengthy 1.2-meter cable, offering plenty of room for movement and flexibility when in use. The individual buds are ergonomic and designed to stay comfortably in each ear (with left and right markings to indicate which goes where). In my time using them, they remained comfortable even when worn for lengthy periods of time. However, I found that even when swapping the silicone tips to fit my ears better, the earbuds were still quite susceptible to falling out when I was using them during calls and actively speaking. 

The Roccat Syn Buds Core feature inline headset controls with three buttons built into a plastic block on the left earphone wire. These buttons include a ‘multifunction button’ for pausing and playing music on compatible devices, as well as buttons to adjust volume. Unfortunately, these inline controls are incompatible with Nintendo Switch and iOS devices, significantly limiting their functionality. Also included on the inline controls block is a microphone, which is ideal if you plan to be on a call while gaming on a mobile device. 

Otherwise, the earbuds are very lightweight, adding to their comfort factor, despite looking slightly bulky. The inline control block feels sturdy and robust, and the wire passing through it doesn’t rattle or show any risk of becoming disconnected. 


Roccat Syn Buds Core plugged into a white Nintendo Switch OLED model.

(Image credit: Future)

The Roccat Syn Buds Core provide a rich, booming sound (if you want it), not to mention impressive bass, for an overall listening experience which is brilliant given their price. The 10mm drivers really pack a surprising punch - with earphones I’ve used in the past, I usually set my volume to the maximum setting to get a more dynamic listening experience, but the Roccat Syn Buds Core are so powerful that I only had to put them to 70% of the maximum volume for the same impact.

Furthermore, using them while gaming makes in-game action even more immersive, allowing you to hear background music in more detail and sound effects with much greater clarity. 

When playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch, I was able to experience the game’s gorgeous, uptempo soundtrack in greater quality than I ever had before. In my experience, the racing game’s catchy tunes often get lost when playing through the TV or Switch’s speakers, with all the crashes, noisy items and characters hogging the limelight. While these sound effects still ring loud and clear when using the Roccat Syn Buds Core earbuds (and hearing the low hum of engines and smashing of item boxes in such clarity is a truly immersive experience), it’s also much easier to focus on the music.

Meanwhile, the microphone also proved to be surprisingly high-quality - when testing it in an online meeting, my colleagues agreed that I sounded much clearer than usual when using my laptop’s built-in mic. It’s worth noting that in further testing, I found that the mic picks up movement quite loudly, too, so users should be wary not to tap or move it directly when in use.

Due to the inline controls’ limited compatibility, I was forced to test them on an old Android phone. This is frustrating given that the box markets the Roccat Syn Buds Core as “Nintendo Switch ready”, but these consoles aren’t able to use one of the earphones’ main features at all. The volume buttons worked effectively and smoothly, although it consistently took a moment after pressing the multifunction button for music to pause or play.

Should I buy the Roccat Syn Buds Core?

On a budget, there’s no doubt that the Roccat Syn Buds Core boast superb sound quality to suit your gaming needs. However, there’s no getting around the fact that as wired earphones, they’re becoming dated, and fast.

While battery life is never going to be a concern, the overall utility of the Roccat Syn Buds Core is dwindling as less devices include a headphone jack for them to plug into. Additionally, the inline controls’ already-limited compatibility is another nail in the coffin. While you can’t go wrong for the price, they feel like more of a short-term solution to high-quality audio on the go, rather than hardware that can continue to be used well into the future. 

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How we reviewed the Roccat Syn Buds Core

I spent around a week using the Roccat Syn Buds Core to play Nintendo Switch games like the fast-paced racing title Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as well as music and rhythm games Mush Dash and Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun, where I found them particularly pleasing to use. I also used them on a Windows laptop to listen to music, where they continued to hold up well for long listening sessions.

For more ways to enhance your gaming experience, be sure to take a look at our recommendations for the best wired gaming headsets, as well as the best wireless gaming headsets.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P headset review – comfort, quality, and perfect for co-op
1:25 pm | October 20, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Gaming Gaming Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Although it might not cross your mind initially, having one of the best PS5 headsets will take your experience with the console to the next level. I spent a lot of time relying on the built-in speakers of my TV to enjoy what the PS5 has to offer, but now I've had a chance to use the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P during my gaming sessions, I don't think I will ever play without a headset again. 

But even though the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P headset is designed to be paired with the PS5 primarily, anyone who also primarily uses PC as their platform of choice should consider this headset. It works seamlessly, providing the same quality audio as you can expect when in use on PS5 and only excluding the built-in compatibility with existing PS5 audio features.

Between its extensive audio profile covering every high to low note, its comfort, and its crystal clear microphone, there’s a lot that goes into why the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P headset is well worth adding to your setup. 

Price and availability

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P is available for purchase right now for $179.99 / £174.99 (around AU$349) from a variety of retailers. US consumers will be able to buy the headset from SteelSeries, or retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy, whereas UK shoppers can also purchase via the manufacturer’s site, or places such as Argos and Amazon.

In comparison to alternative premium gaming headsets such as Razer's Blackshark v2 Pro which is currently available for $199.99 / £179.99, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P falls ever so slightly cheaper - despite not cutting corners on any of the quality. The Turtle Beach Stealth Pro headset is another great example that falls among a similar price range, setting you back a whopping $329 / £279 - but as we highlighted in our review, its quality dips within its microphone, which is something the Arctis Nova 7P excels in. 

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P - design and features

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

Out of the box, it’s clear that the Arctis Nova 7P is a high-quality headset. Its build is incredibly strong, featuring a sturdy, metal form factor to help give it that premium feel. It’s got a deep blue-hued headband across the top for enhanced comfort, and the ear cups are made of a pleasantly soft material. The entire product is white aside from its blue band to mimic the stylings of the PS5. 

In terms of features, buttons are kept incredibly simple, with a power button on the right cup alongside the Bluetooth button you’ll use to connect the headset to your device, and a mic mute button on the left cup alongside a volume wheel for quick adjustment while in-game. These buttons are, for the most part, easy to use and in comfortable positioning, making them easy to use when the headset is being worn.

One complaint I would have is how close the Bluetooth and Power buttons are, which sometimes results in me pressing the wrong thing when trying to turn the headset on and wondering why it's taking so long to connect. For a premium headset, it’s a fairly basic setup, and it would’ve been nice to be able to access EQ presets on the device itself.

One notable feature regarding the design of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro headset is its comfort during longer gaming sessions. I wear glasses when sitting in front of screens, and more often than not wearing a headset simultaneously will result in a dull ache or a feeling of abrasion behind my ears where the cups of the headset have been resting for too long, but the soft cups of the Arctis Nova 7P mean this problem is avoided entirely.

The microphone also neatly tucks away within the left cup of the headset, so when you’re just playing games by yourself, you won’t have to worry about a mic getting in the way. When you do need it though, it’s incredibly simple to pull out and move to the position you need due to its flexible mic arm, rather than it being rigid and stuck in one place.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P - performance and battery life

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

Being a higher-end SteelSeries headset, the performance is very impressive. It’s simple to connect to both PC and PS5 with the included USB dongle. The sound profile is incredibly clear, and even at low volume levels, you are able to hear even the most subtle sound effects or noises within a game. It’ll impress users who love a strong bass profile, too.

The headset features support for 360 spatial audio, which makes in-game listening far more immersive and captivating. The Arctis Nova 7P is also compatible with the PS5’s Tempest 3D Audio. 

The custom high-fidelity drivers within the headset offer an impressive range, so you’ll be able to pick up on even the most subtle noises within games, or the lowest notes within songs. This is ideal for any titles like the best FPS games which require you to be on high alert for audio cues like player footsteps, or distant gunshots to signify where your opponent is hiding. 

This high-quality performance is carried over to the microphone - which is ideal for anyone who wants to make the most of the best multiplayer games on PC. With AI-powered noise canceling, you’ll be able to tailor performance to filter out background noises. Over voice channels and calls, the microphone consistently offers clear output so your teammates will always be able to hear you clearly. For titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Overwatch 2 - it’s a fantastic companion for a competitive or co-op-oriented gamer. 

As claimed by the manufacturer, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P is said to boast an impressive 38-hour battery life, but since taking it out of the box and using the headset for about three weeks on and off, I've only found myself charging it once - so I can confidently say that statement tracks. 

Battery life is an essential consideration when it comes to the best wireless gaming headsets since you don't want to have to worry about charging mid-match, and you’re free to use the headset for hours on end with no tether to a charging cable. As someone who is constantly forgetting to charge their tech, the battery life of the Arctis Nova 7P was a relief when I was jumping in and out of multiplayer games and Discord calls and simply not having to deal with a depleting battery light or audio signifier. 

As a whole, my experience with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P has opened my eyes to a whole new level of expectation when it comes to gaming headsets. Even though the product still has its flaws, such as the button placement, it's something that I would greatly recommend to anyone looking for a trustworthy headset that is a guaranteed gateway to more immersive gaming and clearly communication for co-op sessions. 

Should I buy the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P wireless headset?

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How we tested the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P

I used the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P across PC and PS5 for around three weeks. During this time, I've played games such as Sea of Thieves, Wizard with a Gun, Lies of P, and The Mortuary Assistant, all of which have sounded incredibly crisp and clear and made use of the headset's fantastic audio profile. In particular, using the headset for horror games has helped me pick up on several audio cues like footsteps behind me or gentle whispers which I may have missed if I had played relying on speakers instead. 

In addition, I've tested the headset during Discord calls to see how easy it was to connect and how clear the audio through its microphone sounded, and I've used it to listen to music which once again has made full use of the audio profile.

If you’re specifically looking for a headset for your Xbox, we’ve got a list of the best Xbox Series X headsets. But, if you’re looking for additional ways to make the most of your PS5, we’ve got a list of the best PS5 accessories too.  

JBL Quantum 360P review – a capable but not complete mid-ranger
10:06 pm | September 20, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Gaming Gaming Accessories | Comments: Off

If you’re shopping around the mid-range level of the best PS5 headsets, you may well find the JBL Quantum 360P wireless model. Looking to offer a value-busting wireless option for PS5, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch, the 360P is a capable though relatively unspectacular headset.

While it sports JBL’s reliable audio quality, making the sound of all media shine, the set is let down by tacky, cheap build quality, and sports a mic that is relatively unexceptional. It also has tough competition in the space in which it’s pitched and struggles to shine through - though there is no denying, particularly in isolation, the value it can offer if you’re after a solid and handy wireless PS5 headset that offers a pretty rich soundscape.

Price and availability

Coming in at $129.95 / £79.99 the JBL Quantum 360P sits squarely in the mid-range price bracket. Despite coming from a well-known and widely active brand, the JBL Quantum 360P isn’t currently available in Australia. The price is about right for its mid-range proposition, but would certainly be even more attractive should it receive price cuts price-cut treatment at retailers or during sales events. We often see headsets in this bracket try to push the value envelope - specifically with those offering wireless connectivity - so the Quantum 360P has to do exactly that right from the off.

As mentioned, the JBL Quantum 360P is stacking up against the likes of the official PS5 Pulse 3D wireless headset, the Logitech G535, and the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 headset. This makes for tough company for the 360P with those competing headsets offering wonderful bang-for-buck value, top build quality, connectivity and flexibility, and excellent overall audio prowess. As a result, the Quantum 360P risks fading into the background of the conversation before it can even enter it. 

Design and features

Profile and detail shots of the JBL Quantum 360P wireless gaming headset

(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

The 360P’s design is immediately clear as something that’s geared toward being in keeping with the PS5’s own design aesthetic. White, black, and blue abound across the headband and the cups, and it looks right at home next to Sony’s console.

The headband offers some padding at the center which is a bit lean for my liking, and a little scant considering the north-of-$100 price tag. The leatherette cushioning on said cups is relatively comfortable and soft, but not the plushest or nicest I’ve experienced such as the ultra-comfy SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. Still, overall comfort is adequate and feels fine for sessions lasting a few hours - though I did notice the headband being slightly uncomfortable over longer periods.

The earcups house all of the headset’s onboard features, as well as some light JBL branding which is unintrusive. On the right cup, there’s the power switch and the power/connection LED. The left houses the mic port, USB-C charging and connection port, charging LED, mic mute button, volume wheel, and game/chat balance wheel.

Where the cups fall short is in the build quality. They feel loose in the build and readily freewheel from the hinges about all of their axes. At best, this never screams top-end build quality, and at worst, it’s frankly annoying and makes the headset unwieldy in the hands. What makes this latter point worse is the tacky-feeling plastic that the headset is finished in all over. It’ll do a job of protecting the set from most bumps and drops, but it is far more representative of something cheaper than its price tag would suggest.

Profile and detail shots of the JBL Quantum 360P wireless gaming headset

(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

The headset offers a streamlined wireless focus, epitomized by the fact that there are no wired audio options on the 360P; no audio jack, and no audio through the USB-C port. What you get instead in this cord-free set is a 2.4GHz wireless connection via the dongle as well as a Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity option. Neat and focused, as I say, but it’s always a plus to have a physical, wired connection as a backup. Nonetheless, the 360P offers versatility by being compatible with PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, mobile, and Mac.

While primarily geared toward PS5 and PS4 use, you can deploy the 360P on PC too, which will allow you to make the most of JBL’s Quantum software, where you can tinker and customize your EQs, mic levels, and spatial sound settings. However, it’s worth noting that settings are not stored on board, so can’t then be ‘taken back’ to another platform.

Lastly, JBL claims the Quantum 360P has a battery life of 22 hours when using the 2.4GHz connection, and 26 hours when using Bluetooth. In my testing, I have found this to be around right - I recently only had to put the headset on charge after 20-something hours of use (both 2.4GHz and Bluetooth).


Profile and detail shots of the JBL Quantum 360P wireless gaming headset

(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

No matter what you spend on a gaming headset, the proof is in the audio pudding. And in the Quantum 360P, the proof is very in keeping with JBL’s audio chops and known quality - no matter the media, the audio provided by the 360P is rich, rounded, and enjoyable.

To put the 360P through its paces, I tried several games and predominantly used it while getting the hours in for my Lies of P review, but also tested the set with Back 4 Blood with my friends, and when jumping back into Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (in preparation for Assassin’s Creed Mirage). Across all those games, the audio delivered to me was rich and certainly channeled JBL’s pedigree. The bass was particularly fulsome and rounded, and no details or audio cues, no matter how subtle were ever missing. 

Guns were punchy in Back 4 Blood, and the awful noises all the Ridden make throughout levels were nice and clear; every mechanical clang of Lies of P’s puppet enemies was well-presented, and the cacophony of busy boss fights was well-balanced too; and the sounds of Valhalla’s world from trees rustling to the swish of arrows was lovely. JBL’s audio quality is certainly in the 360P’s DNA and experiencing this through the set’s 40mm drivers (about par for this range of headset) is one of the 360P’s best features.

In practice, the game/chat dial is nice to have but a little inconsistent and the differences were subtle at best, and the dual connectivity is certainly nice to have - though is rapidly becoming the standard in 2023.

JBL’s audio quality extended to other media in my testing too. All music, pretty much across the board, was rich and detailed - from background video game soundtracks to country and heavy metal, the 360P did a top job of acting as a daily driver set of headphones for music, work, and everything else away from gaming too.

Profile and detail shots of the JBL Quantum 360P wireless gaming headset

(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

Audio downsides were not totally absent, however. I found the top end of the soundscape cut across other audio quite jarringly at times; even down to Slack notifications being a little tinny and echoey as they barged through music. It’s also worth noting that on consoles you won’t get any onboard or JBL-own surround sound features - you’ll get the PS5’s own benefits on that console, but anything else surround sound wise is reserved for PC only.

The microphone being detachable is a welcome move so as to offer a neat solution for when it’s not needed, however, it too is lacking in build quality and doesn’t scream of a more-than-$100-price standard. It wobbles a lot, doesn’t hold a strong bend, and is finished with a cheap-feeling rubber. Team this with a solid but unspecial quality of presenting and carrying my voice, and it’s another middling feature on the whole. It’s relentlessly fine and perfectly serviceable.

The JBL Quantum 360P really is the definition of an unspectacular, gets-the-job-done mid-range headset, but for something that’s on the expensive side of $100, folks should expect more - especially from the robustness, build quality, and design.

In the face of its peers, and while the audio quality and dual connectivity do save the 360P somewhat, on the whole, it doesn’t do an awful lot to stand out above the competition - which is fierce at this level. Personally, for something PS5-specific at this price point, I’d choose the Pulse 3D, and for something beefier and multi-platform, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2. As a result, it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend at its retail price - though it could be an attractive proposition during sales like the Black Friday gaming headset deals.

Should I buy the JBL Quantum 360P wireless headset?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How we reviewed the JBL Quantum 360P headset

I used the JBL Quantum 360P headset as my daily audio-giver for PS5 and PC, for work and play, over the period of several weeks. As a result, I was able to test it with a variety of media, from different genres of games, meetings, and calls, to all kinds of music. I wore the headset for varying session lengths, from a couple of hours up to all day on my PC. The battery life I experienced was around that that JBL claim.

I was also able to directly compare the headset to my usual go-to PC set, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023), and my regular PS5 set, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless to see how the 360P fares against premium gaming headsets in both single player gaming, audio quality, and microphone qualities.

If you’re looking for a headset compatible with the other consoles, check out our guides to the best Nintendo Switch headsets, and best Xbox Series X headsets.