Tech Up! Roccat Elo X Stereo

By Michael McCann 18.11.2020

It's great to see Jeff Lynn finally getting back out there and rockin' again… oh wait, these Elos are actually a new range of gamer headsets, made by German manufacturer Roccat. The Elo series consists of the 7.1 Air, 7.1 USB and the product that a spotlight is being focused on today, the X Stereo. The Elo X Stereo is the cheapest headset of the bunch, with the others offering the same build ethos, but some upgraded components and extra magubbins. What the X Stereo loses in not having modern features such as wireless communication or braided cables, it makes up for in other areas; areas that possibly matter the most. One could argue that it is a leaner headset, distilling down the essential requirements, and eschewing some of the fat that it's meatier, older sisters carry. Taking the RRP into consideration as well, for the consumer on a budget, it's a product that ultimately delivers a lot of bang for buck.

What the Roccat Elo X Stereo is in essence, is no frills. It has no fancy hinges, no RGB lights to speak of, no bells, and no whistles. The design is basic, but it is also tasteful and direct. There are no garish logos or leet speak slogans that often adorn other headsets in this price category, meaning that wearing them in public, if desired, requires little extra thought. It has a plastic matte finish with removable pleather ear cups, no more buttons than which are required (a volume dial, and mic mute), and a metal self-adjusting headband. The result is modern looking, but with a slight aviator design feel. The lack of any real moving parts or over designed elements makes for a surprisingly durable and instantly appealing headset. The build quality is excellent.

Image for Tech Up! Roccat Elo X Stereo

The headphones are large. The cups fit over the ear comfortably, and though it's mostly straight down to business with the self-adjusting headband, fitting most head shapes, it is possible to find it pulling tighter over longer play sessions, and will need some minor readjustment here and there. It's worth noting that one much touted USPs, ProSpecs, which alleviates the pressure that is put on glasses when wearing them with the headphones, this can still be an issue.

Over extended periods, at least for this reviewer, glasses arms were found to be digging into the side of the head eventually. It's not untenable by any means, and comes with the obvious caveat that it will be dependent on the type of glasses being worn, and other factors such as the size of the head that is nested under the headphones. It hasn't been compared to similar headsets, though, so this may be an improvement on what is a constant issue for glasses/headset users.

Image for Tech Up! Roccat Elo X Stereo

The headphones connect to any audio device with a 3.5mm jack. This could be a deal breaker for some, as many newer phones are now ditching the 3.5mm connector. However, the connector is still a standard across the vast majority of devices and it's an analogue direct input, which means incredibly reliable performance and a versatility to connect to anything with zero headache for set up. Also bear in mind that Roccat is offering more expensive Elo with wireless functionality, should you want to pay that bit extra.

One thing that is included in the box with the X Stereo that's massively appreciated is a PC splitter cable. This splits the audio output from the mic input as well as extending the cable to easily reach the back of most PC/room arrangements. In this instance, what it allows is for easy switching between headset and auxiliary speakers audio output with the absolute minimum of fuss. It's something that previously wasn't known to be desired, but now would be difficult to live without when switching between use from PC to PS4.

Image for Tech Up! Roccat Elo X Stereo

The audio quality is decent, with perhaps losing a little of richness in the mid and bass frequencies. They perform well in most situations, through having the ability to comfortably play between PC, PS4, Xbox, Switch, as well as listen to music, podcast, or make video calls. This versatility means they could easily make a strong argument for being a main-use pair of headphones. For the purpose of gaming, what everyone is here for, they facilitated full immersion sailing in the virtual seas, plundering rival ships upon extensive testing in Sea of Thieves. The sound is crystal clear, with the ability to hear everything around you, and make communication with teammates effective. The mic detaches, also via 3.5mm, and, in line with the rest of the headset, is sturdy and well thought-out, further reinforcing the X Stereo's adaptability.

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
Roccat really hit the sweet spot balance between affordability and a top quality product with the Elo X Stereo. No, it's not the best in class in any one grading criteria for a gaming headset or a pair of headphones, and yet for its price it still manages to give the run-around in certain areas to some more expensive options. To that end the Elo X Stereo exceeds expectations of what a budget gaming headset can be, whilst being fit for many different purposes and use cases. It really is appealing when a product doesn't do 'too much' of anything, and instead focuses on doing the couple of things it should be doing, and doing them well. And that is what Roccat has delivered with this headset.

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