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  eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Headset review

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eDimensional has been around for a few years now as a web-based retailer, probably the last time you heard about them was because of their stereoscopic 3D glasses, a product that had its momentum a few years back. eD is perhaps one of the few companies still selling these glasses which have proven to be popular in certain circles, particularly among flight-sim and first person shooter enthusiasts.

We recently had the opportunity to take a look at a new product catered to that same audience, the eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback headphones.

At first glance my impression on the AudioFX was a positive one. The headphones delivered good audio output and the built-in microphone worked well. eDimensional claims the set was built with voice recognition (for games) in mind, they also sell a piece of software called Voice Buddy (think of macros activated by voice); the Mic used on the AudioFX features noise cancellation.

The set also vibrates as you can tell by the force-feedback on its name. I will comment on my impressions over this feature later on the article, for now here’s what the manufacturer had to say on how force-feedback works with audio output:

“The human ear cannot hear anything below 20-25Hz but other frequencies can be "felt" as vibrations. If you've ever watched movies on a powerful home theater system then you know that bass is often times more a "feeling" than a "hearing" sensation. The Audio FX's bass amplifier interprets frequencies below 20Hz and transforms them into vibrations that we can feel through the headphone earpiece. Advanced transducers located in the earpieces convert these low frequencies into real vibrations to be felt for the most realistic and immersive sound experience ever.”

I was pessimistic about the fact the headphones seem to be somewhat bulky but I quickly realized this wasn’t much of an issue. Comfortable headphones are very important, especially when used for long periods. While testing the Audio FX headphones, I found that the headphones had plenty of padding, and the ear cups fit snuggly around my ears.  While a downside to the headphones is that people with larger sized heads may have a bit of discomfort wearing them, even when stretching to the largest setting.

For proper output, the headset should be connected to soundcard’s microphone and speakers ports while using an additional USB plug for power.

 

Gaming

From novice to more advanced gamers, they can all enjoy the benefit a good pair of headphones, even more so when coupled with a good soundcard for improved detail and 3d positioning.

The unique vibration feature, something that isn’t a gaming headphone standard, allows you to literally feel projectiles fly by. Games tested included Quake3, Doom3 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Doom3 is an eerie game where monsters often times try to blind side a user, and it is sometimes hard to hear them approaching.  While using the headset, I found that I could actually hear a monster approaching.

The only downside of the headset is a microphone related issue.  When the vibration feature is engaged, I was unable to use a program like Teamspeak because the speech may become garbled during transmission.  It is a nuisance to have to turn the vibration feature off to chat during a gaming session.

Although gaming is what the AudioFX headphones were originally designed for, we also tested the set with movies and for music listening.

 

Movies

The Audio FX headphones will proficiently allow a user to watch a movie and the vibration/bass feature is a nice touch.  The headset specifically excelled when watching action or war movies like: Saving Private Ryan, Die Hard, and Enemy at the Gates. When a grenade went off in the movie, the sound and vibrations that the headphones provided was excellent. Then again if you prefer watching a movie using a pair of headphones will be up to you.

 

Music

Listening to music was perhaps the worst aspect of the Audio FX headphones.  After listening to multiple MP3 files and several streaming Internet radio stations of: hip-hop, rock, classical and blues, I found that the set had a problem picking up the low pitches and simply sounded horrible.  As the volume was raised on the headphones, I wasn’t impressed with the increasing amount of distortion that was being produced.

 

Final Thoughts 

The eDimensional AudioFX does pretty well in tasks it was designed for, those looking for a headset that delivers crisp and clear sound in games will find this to be a good buy as long as you don’t expect studio-like quality music output. The periodic vibration feature and microphone conflict is a minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

The additional force-feedback feature does add to the experience, so if you appreciate this extra I would say the $49.99 price tag could be easily justified then. Also you may want to look at the Voice Buddy software, although we weren’t provided with a copy of the program, it sounds like yet another good reason to have a headset at hand for your gaming needs.

Pros:

  • 6 ft. cord

  • Vibration/bass

  • Comfortable headset

Cons:

  • Mic sometimes does not work

  • Mediocre output for music listening

 


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