Introduction & Specification Details and Close-up
Today in the lab, we have a new ROCCAT gaming headset, and this one is the lowest end of the new Elo lineup - the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo.
ROCCAT has decided to send me out its entire line of Elo gaming headsets, and today we will be taking the Elo X Stereo through its paces. We will be taking a close-up look at the headset's build quality, design, structural integrity, gaming performance, microphone performance, and more. The goal is to try and lay before a potential buyer the positives and negatives of the product while also trying to describe the best kind of gamer for this headset.
As previously mentioned, the Elo X Stereo is the cheapest in the line up of ROCCAT gaming headsets, coming in at the cost of $49.99 on Amazon. The low price point means the Elo X Stereo is competing with the likes of Razer's Kraken X ($50), Sennheiser's GSP 300 ($90), and FNATIC's REACT ($80). Most of those headsets I quite enjoyed, and some of them I recommended for low-entry buyers into the gaming headset market. Today we are going to see if the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo deserves to be recommended - is it the new $50 price point king?
Here we have an image of the front of the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo box. On the front, we can see a nice graphic of the headset, as well as the platforms it supports in the top right-hand corner.
Next, we have a shot of the side of the box, and as you can see, there is another nice graphic showing off the features on the left-hand earcup.
Moving on to the back of the box, we have a much more in-depth look at the headset and all of its features. We can see that the microphone is detachable, the earcups are memory foam, and that the headband is self-adjusting.
Here we have an image of the headset outside of its box, and as you can see, it's sporting a very nice all-black design with clear ROCCAT branding on the left earcup.
Next, we have a close-up of the detachable microphone. This microphone is unidirectional, and there really isn't that much that is special about it (standard gaming headset microphone).
Moving on to the earcups, you can see they have a leather finish and are an oval design.
Here we have the features on the back of the left earcup. From top to bottom, we have the volume wheel and the mute microphone button.
Included in the Elo X Stereo box is a splitter cable that also acts as an extension.
Jak's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570 (Wi-Fi) (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X @ 4.4GHz (buy from Amazon)
- GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER XC GAMING (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: be quiet! Silent Wings 3
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: GALAX HOF Pro SSD PCI-E M.2 2TB
- Power Supply: Corsair CX Series 750 Watt (buy from Amazon)
- Case: be quiet! Silent Base 600 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Design & Software
One of the first things you should know about ROCCAT's entire line of Elo gaming headsets is that they are a snug fit. Personally, I think of the tight clamping pressure of the headset as an extra feature that I enjoy, as I'm the type of gamer that loves his immersion in games, and I believe that a nice tightly fitted gaming headset can get you deeper into immersion than a loose design. However, I do recognize that not all gamers feel this way, and some people prefer a loose design. If you are one of these people, I wouldn't consider the Elo series.
Comfort-wise, the Elo X Stereo is much like the Elo 7.1 Air, it has incredibly comfy cushions that, while are a very snug fit, are still very breathable. During the time I was testing the headset, which was more than 30 hours, I didn't notice my ears becoming too hot at all - something that is very common in gaming headsets that have a tight clamping pressure and leather earcups. The build quality of the headset doesn't feel cheap, and even though it is a very light headset, it still feels somewhat premium. There were no creaking and hinge sounds when I flexed the headset, and the metal frame adds a positive level of structural integrity to the product. The only place I would be worried about breaking is the small cable that runs from each earcup under the headband as it's exposed.
Compared to its older brother, the Elo 7.1 Air, the back earcup is very clean and user friendly. The Elo 7.1 Air had some problems with its feature layout on the back left earcup, but since the Elo X Stereo doesn't have any of those features, there are no problems. On the back left earcup, there is just a simple volume wheel and a mute microphone button. The Elo X Stereo also doesn't feature any LED's, which are both equipped on the Elo 7.1 USB and wireless Elo 7.1 Air.
The only critiques I have with the features and design of the Elo X Stereo is that the volume knob could have had a little bit more tension added to it and that the microphone should have been flip-to-mute instead of being removable. While those critiques do sound small, and they are, I still believe they are worth mentioning to a potential buyer.
All in all, I feel as if a gamer went out today and was looking to buy a cheap $50 entry-level gaming headset for his/her setup, they would be absolutely shocked at the value and feel they get out of the Elo X Stereo. It's a $50 gaming headset that feels and looks like a $100 gaming headset. Incredible work here, ROCCAT.
The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air is supported by the ROCCAT Swarm software, which can be downloaded here for anyone who needs it. However, the Elo X Stereo doesn't come with software support
Performance & Microphone
As with all of the gaming headsets that I test, I like to use the headset for anywhere between 30-50 hours, as I believe I can gather an adequate understanding of the headsets sound signature with this amount of time. For the Elo X Stereo, I tested the headset in Apex Legends, Valorant, and Warzone, as I believe most gamers that are picking up this headset will be using it for competitive shooters such as the ones aforementioned.
So, how did the Elo X Stereo do? Well, I was absolutely blown away with this headsets sound quality. The Elo X Stereo sports 50mm neodymium-magnet drivers, and for just $50, you are getting an incredible sound experience. In Apex Legends, I was able to pinpoint every footstep, feel the power of every grenade, and hear the clear ring of each of my weapons.
The very same goes for Valorant, and Warzone, as the headset created a very immersive experience that even got me to the stage where I forgot that I was testing it. I believe the headsets clamping pressure adds to the headset's overall immersion, as the clamping pressure + leather earcups cancel any environmental sound that may be happening in your room - equalling noise cancellation and more immersion. For $50, I would struggle to find a better headset for in-game sound quality.
[strong]Stealth 600 Gen 2[/strong]
[strong]Sennheiser GSP 300[/strong]
[strong]ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air[/strong]
[strong]ROCCAT Elo X Stereo[/strong]
As you can most likely tell, there is a clear quality difference between the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air and the Elo X Stereo. The fact that the Elo X Stereo sounds far better in quality makes me think that the Elo 7.1 Air microphone that I was given as a test sample was faulty. As always, you decide which microphone you believe sounds better!
The Elo X Stereo has exceptional value, and any other competitors cannot beat the sound quality at this price point. The headset's comfort is amazing, and along with its clamping pressure, the headset provides very high levels of immersion.
The downsides to the Elo X Stereo is the missed opportunity to have a flip-to-mute microphone and a bit more tension added to the volume wheel.
In short, I was blown away with the Elo X Stereo, and I believe if you went out and bought one today, you would be blown away as well.
ROCCAT has taken an entry-level gaming headset and has made it feel and look like a premium gaming headset. As I mentioned in the design section of this review, after wearing and using the Elo X Stereo for numerous hours, I concluded that the Elo X is a $50 gaming headset that looks, feels, and sounds like a $100 gaming headset.
I have used many low-end gaming headsets, and nothing has fit my particular choice of gaming headset like the Elo X Stereo. For this reason, I would say that the Elo X Stereo is now, and quite easily, my king of the $50 gaming headset price point. If you can put up with a cord and don't need any flashy software features and want incredible in-game sound with high-quality immersion - you have found the headset you are looking for. Oh, and did I mention it is only $50?!
ROCCAT, you have killed it with this headset, be proud of your work!
The Bottom Line
The ROCCAT Elo X Stereo is simply the best entry-level gaming headset at the $50 price point. It blows all other competition out of the water with its immersive sound, comfort, design, and performance.