The ZOWIE Hammer is an interesting product with mixed results at the end of the day. They are fairly well packaged and assembled and seem strong and rugged.
The Hammer also comes with a good length of cable and a little novelty gift of another set of ear pads in case your ears happen to sweat a lot. The supplied microphone is also strong and well protected and should provide a good sturdy solution for gamers who want to talk and play.
Although this is not the area to mention new findings, please bare in mind that there is no software or even a manual, so configuring the mic is left up to the user.
Continuing with the mixed bag analogy, listening tests were just that. Some mild rock music was passable for the most part, but electronic music was the best.
The low-end was atrocious, never sounding impressive no matter what volume level or EQ setting was used. And this was on the best consumer sound card out, the ASUS Xonar Essence STX. So, you get the picture.
So, "what's the bottom line?" - I hear people out there saying "what do you expect? They only cost a hundred quid AU?". Well, so do the Steelseries Siberia Red and they are a much stronger product.
Spend a little more and you get dedicated surround with an array of eight speakers featured in the powerful 5.1 Sharkoons. Spend a little more again and you get a gorgeous pair of Razer Megalodon in their sumptuous little hat box with all the trimmings.
I feel I really have to be cruel to be kind. It's not like every company can nail the bull's eye with their fist arrow. But I'm afraid ZOWIE missed the whole target zone and got the little guy standing behind, minding his own business.
If I were in touch with the designers I'd say; re-group, reload and come back again stronger with more knowledge and I'll start over with a clean slate.
No-awards today I'm afraid. But my score does reflect the fledgling nature of ZOWIE and their need to gain some experience with what's required when designing a product. So I'm not going to be excessively stiff with my mark, because even corporations and companies must start somewhere.