As its name suggests, this gamer headset connects via USB and also offers 7.1 virtual specialization, to improve immersion. Like the rest of the range, it has a new hanging headband and several cool features.
A Globally Convincing And Comfortable Design :
When you take the Roccat Elo 7.1 helmet out of its box, its lightness is immediately noticeable. The helmet does not exceed 374 grams and should therefore logically prove to be comfortable once installed at the top of our head. Especially since it seems clear that Roccat has aimed for comfort above all in building this new model.
Indeed, the helmet has a suspended headband, which until then was mainly found on the Siberia and Arctis models from SteelSeries. This arch is articulated around a first thin metal structure which provides the junction between the two atria. A second flexible plastic hoop, covered with foam and imitation leather, ensures the connection with the skull to distribute the weight correctly and above all to adjust perfectly to the morphology of each person.
As a result, there is no size adjustment at the level of the arch since it adapts naturally thanks to an elastic system. Despite this, the Roccat Elo 7.1 USB adapts perfectly to large skulls and will therefore convince the vast majority of users.
Going down along the structure covered with hard plastic not really qualitative, we will appreciate the presence of a joint allowing the pivot of the atria at 90 °. This will allow the helmet to rest on the top of the pecs without hindering head movements when not in use. A small ergonomic bonus that we would like to see generalize among all manufacturers.
The two ear cups are also mounted on a rather classic articulated system to be able to correctly follow the curves of the user’s head. Note also that the foams, which completely encompass the ears and are covered with imitation leather, offer a slightly thicker lower part, to best fit the lower part of the face. Note, however, that we have not seen a huge difference with conventional earbuds.
Due to its USB connection, the Roccat Elo 7.1 USB benefits from configurable RGB lighting located on the back of the earcups and which illuminates the two logos on them. Completely gadget since out of the user’s field of vision, this lighting can be personalized using the Roccat Swarm software which we will discuss a little further on.
If the right headset simply diffuses sound, the right accommodates several buttons as well as the headset connections. In particular, there are two adjustment knobs allowing independent management of the output volume of the system as well as the level of the audio return of the integrated microphone. Finally, a button to cut the latter is also in the game. The whole is rather accessible and can therefore be reached without special effort.
It is therefore on this same headset that we install the small removable boom microphone. As often, we have here a small shape memory boom which is long enough to place the microphone correctly at mouth level. No windshield is provided, so pay attention to sound tests to check if the microphone is not too sensitive to breath
Finally, the headset will only connect via USB to our machine. The integrated, braided cable measures no less than 2.5 meters, allowing it to run neatly behind or under the desk. We regret on the other hand that the friction noises of the latter are transmitted a little too easily and quite audibly in the atria. Pity. Note that with this unique connectivity, the Roccat Elo, 7.1 USB will not be compatible with home consoles.
In terms of comfort, we have no complaints. The helmet adapts perfectly to the contours of the skull, stays in place and does not overuse the skull. It can therefore be used without difficulty for several hours. Note that as a wearer of glasses, I did not experience any discomfort with the atria.
In the end, despite a few small flaws, this new Roccat helmet offers a successful design and all in lightness. The emphasis has, it seems, been on comfort and it is a successful bet for the brand. We regret the use of questionable quality plastics which slightly tarnish the rest of the design. Despite this, the whole exudes solidity and no cracking can be heard.
Roccat Swarm, The (Too) Complete Pilot To Customize The Helmet :
As always, we are moving towards the Roccat Swarm software to manage all aspects related to the Elo 7.1 USB. All the settings of the helmet are grouped in one and the same step, a little too much in our opinion. A second tab is dedicated to lighting effects, but we won’t dwell too much on the subject, as the interest is very limited.
The first configuration block offers a complete equalizer as well as various presets for certain types of playing in particular. You can also customize the sample rate used by the headphones and activate some voice enhancement features, compressed sounds and bass. It’s hard to know what these “improvements” really do and we tend to leave the default settings in place anyway.
Roccat also offers 7.1 specialization (that’s normal, it’s in the name of the product) that can be activated with one click, within the pilot. Two presets are available, but we have a preference for the “Clarity” mode which we will come back to in the next part.
Finally, the last interesting part of the pilot focuses on the microphone and its different options, including the possibility of activating noise reduction, the capabilities of which we will check in the next part. Microphone sensitivity can also be adjusted and voice changes can be applied to (maybe) make your friends on Discord laugh.
All of the other settings on this page seem superfluous, if not totally unnecessary, since most of them are already present in Windows. The only potential interest will be having the possibility to personalize them via the Swarm profiles.
As always, the settings will have to be saved in profiles to be associated with games or applications in order to adapt the settings of your peripherals to each use. For example, you can associate a specific equalizer with one game and activate 7.1 spatialization for another.
Average Sound Performance :
Roccat has equipped its Elo 7.1 USB with 50mm transducers, in the current market standard. We put them to the test on several music listening sessions of different styles as well as on a few shooting games to verify the performance of its virtual 7.1 specialization.
When listening to music, with the headphones set to a stereo profile, we enjoy a rather rich and enveloping sound. The whole is well balanced with no particular predominance of low frequencies, which is not to displease us. We regret a slight lack of definition on some slightly more complex songs as well as a very slight lack of roundness and naturalness on the low frequencies.
In game, the good stereo sound of the headset allows a fairly efficient localization of the origin of the sounds. Enabling 7.1 specialization will not necessarily increase the accuracy of this location, but the immersion is clearly better. We appreciate here the fact that Roccat offers surround sound with a fairly light treatment that does not distort the sound too much, while (virtually) widening the soundstage. The two available modes differ in terms of the central voice which is boosted in “Clarity” mode. The choice will be made according to tastes and situations.
In short, the Roccat Elo 7.1 USB offers an overall convincing performance that will adapt perfectly to the gaming use for which it was designed. Note that the volume of the headphones is particularly high. In our tests, we did not exceed 20% sound level on Windows to remain in acceptable listening conditions. Finally, the sound insulation would have benefited from being a little more pronounced since the ambient sounds remain very audible.
The supplied microphone is also convincing with an ultimately quite clear sound that does not distort or stifle the voice too much. The rendering remains natural and much better than many other competing headsets. On the other hand, we remain quite skeptical about the noise reduction proposed in the pilot, which does not seem very effective, or even totally useless. Note also that the microphone remains sensitive to the effects of breath and that it will therefore have to be placed correctly.