The EDGE Acoustics GX400 is a gaming headset for gamers looking for uncompromising quality.

A good headset can make or break the gaming experience. Positional audio cues from the game give you a better idea of whether bad guys are to the left or to the right of you. A microphone is vital for in-game chat, especially if you're raiding in http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/index.cfm?ReviewID=653.

Too often, though, gaming headsets are designed using cheap hardware that produces mediocre sound. Enter EDGE Acoustics' GX400 headset for gamers looking for uncompromising quality.

You're probably not familiar with EDGE (Enhanced Definition Gaming Earphones), but the company's genealogy is impeccable. EDGE is an imprint of pro headphone and earphone maker Etymotic Research and it uses technology developed by Etymotic for its own line of pro earbuds.

The EDGE Acoustics GX400 rests in your ear canal and features flanged soft silicone cones to block out external noise. This noise-blocking characteristic may be unnecessary if you're playing games in a quiet space, but we found them to be superb for filtering out fan noise from nearby machines, a ringing phone and various other distractions that otherwise would have taken away from the gaming experience.

The EDGE Acoustics GX400 combines audiophile-quality sound reproduction with the features gamers are looking for in an earbud system.

An inline microphone is built into the cord coming from the left earbud, approximately at the same latitude as your mouth. Quality of voice recording on the mic is excellent, although it does tend to run a bit sensitively; it's prone to picking up ambient noise in the room, which can be a distraction to other players unless you use a hotkey to activate the mic only when you want to speak (a feature most games have).

The EDGE Acoustics GX400 has a nice lightweight set of earbuds and the audio quality is superlative - reproduction was rich and clear, and imaging was brilliant. You're not going to get the deep rich bass you get out of a set of desktop speakers paired to a subwoofer, but you definitely get better stereo imaging with sharper reproduction.

You can hear more distinct sound effects, such as shells falling from a gun, for example, or drips of water.

We don't doubt EDGE's claim that the EDGE Acoustics GX400 can give a skilled gamer the "edge" over the competition (pardon the pun). For $179 (around £90), they ought to, but that's a relative bargain for a set of Etymotic earbuds.

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The EDGE Acoustics GX400 is a gaming headset for gamers looking for uncompromising quality.

EDGE offers the EDGE Acoustics GX400 in either matte black or ruby finishes, and includes different sets of earcones to fit differently-shaped ear canals. We found them to be very comfortable compared to most of the others we have tried.

The cable that connects the EDGE Acoustics GX400 to your PC runs 7ft long. A clip lets you attach it to your shirt, and a Velcro strap lets you bundle up the slack and tuck it away so you don't have loose cabling running everywhere. There's also an inline volume control and mic mute switch.

While gaming is the focus of EDGE's marketing (and of our testing), it's also important to note that you can use the EDGE Acoustics GX400 for any voice input, such as assistive technology or Voice over IP (VoIP) applications such as Skype, or any other task that requires a mic.

Just bear in mind what we said about the mic's propensity for capturing ambient noise. If you're in a particularly noisy environment, this may not be your best choice for podcasting.

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EDGE Acoustics GX400: Specs

  • Balanced Armature
  • 102dB SPL
  • max output: 122dB SPL
  • max continuous input: 0.75vrms
  • 27 ohms nominal impedence
  • 35-42dB noise isolation
  • 50Hz-16KHz frequency response
  • 7ft cable
  • Balanced Armature
  • 102dB SPL
  • max output: 122dB SPL
  • max continuous input: 0.75vrms
  • 27 ohms nominal impedence
  • 35-42dB noise isolation
  • 50Hz-16KHz frequency response
  • 7ft cable

OUR VERDICT

They're not cheap but, for the money, the EDGE Acoustics GX400 provide you with audiophile quality that's hard to beat.

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