As someone who tends to play single-player games, I usually have no need for a headset while using my PlayStation 4, being perfectly comfortable listening to game audio through my television's speakers. Headsets I've used in the past—which are admittedly few and far between—were never the right fit for me, whether they were uncomfortable to wear because of my glasses or because they put too much pressure on my head in general. After spending some time with the EasySMX VIP002S RGB Gaming Headset, I believe I've been converted.

Improved audio

EasySMX VIP002S RGB Gaming Headset

Quality meets affordability.

The EasySMX VIP002S lacks some of the more advanced features that are present in expensive headsets, but it's perfect for those who don't want to break the bank and still receive exceptional quality audio and comfort.

The Good

  • Affordable
  • Plug and play with no hassle
  • Comfortable
  • Quality audio
  • Bendable headband

The Bad

  • Wired
  • Game/chat audio cannot be adjusted independently of one another through headset
  • Cannot mute mic through headset on PS4

EasySMX VIP002S Gaming Headset What I like

My glasses usually cause issues whenever I try on a headset, and I'm glad to say that I didn't have much of a problem wearing the EasySMX VIP002S headset over them. There was an initial adjustment period when I first put on the headset, but after a few minutes it sort of just faded away and I didn't consciously notice that I was wearing it. That's a major positive in my book, especially when it allowed me to wear them for hours at a time without feeling too irritated. The EasySMX VIP002S headset sports memory foam cushions and a bendable/adjustable headband for extra comfort. But comfort is only one part of the equation.

I can hear the snow delicately crunch beneath Kratos' feet in God of War. Not just his weapons clanking or the gear attached to his back shuffling around. Atreus' illness, which I thought had only manifested in irregular coughs, also happens to be occasional sneezes and sniffles, too. I'm sure these sounds are there on my television's speakers, but they're muted to an extent. Dimmed down. Lost in other background noise. On the EasySMX VIP002S headset, they're clear. I'm hearing new sounds that I didn't even know existed before.

And the best part is that I'm hearing these sounds without static. On my old Razer Kraken 7.1 headset, which I don't use anymore, I could never get rid of a small amount of static feedback that was always persistent no matter how I fiddled with the audio configurations.

Hearing these sounds is even better when the headset provides a sense of spatial awareness. Depending on which direction you turn the camera and where a sound is coming from in-game, you'll hear it louder in either the right or left ear. Granted, this is a feature found in many headsets, so it's not innovative or new, but it still provides an added layer of depth to the experience you may not have had otherwise, and it works well.

Its microphone also provides the clarity you wouldn't receive from the measly pair of earbuds included with a PlayStation 4. Everyone I talked to—whether it was over PS4, Xbox Live, or Google Hangouts on my laptop—could hear me clearly without a problem. I've had complaints before where my microphone would sound muffled, so this is a step up.

This may be a plus or minus depending on your tastes, but I also like how the EasySMX VIP002S could also pass for a regular, run-of-the-mill headset not specifically designed for gaming. Too many products marketed towards gamers tend to be unsightly and usually have bright colors like red or blue thrown in somewhere. Though there is a small circular light strip on each earmuff of the EasySMX VIP002S, they look casual and not obnoxious.

The 18-month warranty doesn't hurt, either.

EasySMX VIP002S Gaming Headset What I don't like

As with any headset that isn't expensive, sacrifices were made to cut down on the cost. Does it have its own app or configuration software? No. Does it have an advanced control panel allowing you to independently fine tune your game and chat audio? Also no. This headset is affordable because it doesn't pack those extra features that, while could be considered superfluous, certainly come in handy for a lot of people.

While its "plug and play" support is something that I consider to be a boon, I still wish it allowed me to have greater control over the audio itself. As it stands I cannot independently dial up or down my game and chat audio if I have everything fed through the headphones. Bumping up the chat audio causes the game audio to bump up with it and vice versa. This can be fixed by going into the settings on your PlayStation 4 and controlling it that way, but it's inconvenient to do so. Even when I had my PS4 set to prioritize my chat audio, the game audio would frequently drown out who I was speaking with.

To adjust the audio, you use a dial on the left earmuff (the right earmuff dial controls its RGB lighting), with a separate button controlling the microphone under the left dial. I like the dials themselves, but I take issue with the mic button. Because the button lays on the earmuff and the light indicator on the mic itself faces away from me, I can't tell when my microphone is muted or not when using it on PC. The only way to do so is for me to physically take the headset off and check if the light is on, or I may end up talking to myself completely unaware of the problem.

What's worse is that this issue doesn't exist on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One because the button to mute your mic doesn't work at all when you're using it on consoles. No matter how many times I pressed it, the microphone was always on. If you want better control over this—or any control, for that matter—it'll need to be done in the PS4's settings where you can lower or raise your mic volume. And because it's plugged into a controller through the 3.5mm jack and not a USB port, none of the lights are even powered, including the mic's indicator.

The USB cable on the EasySMX VIP002S headset exists solely to power its RGB lighting and mic indicator, but this doesn't function in any usable form on consoles because there's nowhere to plug the USB in on a controller. The only way I could get its RGB lighting to work on console was by plugging it into the USB port on the front of my PS4, but without using the 3.5mm plug as well, the headset won't work. Because of how the cord is designed, however, that means that I'd need to hold my controller right next to my console in order to use it with the headset. The 3.5mm plug and USB connector are split off by several inches at the end of the cord, with no way to adjust the individual lengths of either wire.

EasySMX VIP002S Gaming Headset: Should you buy it? Yes.

Despite its drawbacks, it's hard to be too harsh on it when it provides such clear audio and has the benefit of being comfortable after a long time in use. When you factor in its cheap price, it's even more appealing.

4 out of 5

Professional gamers or eSports players may need the most expensive and very best headsets around, but for everyone else, the EasySMX VIP002S RGB Gaming Headset will do the job just fine if you can live with a few inconveniences.

$36 at Amazon

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