Gamers on a budget, such as myself, often do not have the means to have the nicer periphery needed for premium PC gaming. Other gamers have people in the home to consider, and need a personal aural experience that doesn’t disrupt their co-inhabitants. The brand new Enhance GX-H3, a basic gaming headset, aims to solve both problems. The GX-H3 is a comfortable and capable personal sound system, and a more than capable communication device. A litany of design problems, low-quality materials, and disasters waiting to happen dampen the groove that the sound quality tries to lay down. With a relatively high price-tag and limiting hardware design, the GX-H3 is a headset with room to improve.
The first thing you’ll notice out of the box with the GX-H3 is the very common black/blue color scheme and a relatively classic design. While the black/blue color palette is about as tired as it get,the look and feel of the headphones, from the way the adjustable sliders glide on a wire to the oversized padding on the ear pads themselves, more than makes up for it and reminds me of 1980’s radio in the best way. Brown and white would have put the design over the top in a full retro feel.
As it is, the design is very best, but also the most deceiving of the GX-H3’s features. Hiding in the design is a series of issues waiting to happen. The wire is fed down to the ear pads with a thin cord wrapped in nylon-esque material, and it risks being ripped out each time you extend the headset out. No matter if you’re expanding or contracting, you could break the headset each time you adjust it.
The cord itself is lengthy enough for comfortable use and has a nice rubber coating that is strong, but it’s slick and leads to a lot of annoying rubber-on-skin problems. The on-wire volume/mic controls is unwieldy, offering an oddly shaped little problem child that I accidentally turns my sound down on, likely a result of the fidgeting with the rubber-on-skin issue from the cord itself. I hate it, and I have a feeling you will too.
The microphone itself is fine, with the right length and look, but the boom only swings in one direction, and basically forces you to have the microphone on your left hand side of the face. Players like me, who prefer the microphone on the right hand side, will be forced to swing the microphone all the way around each time we use it and put it away, again causing more pointless wear and tear and furthering the risk of breakage.
Lastly on the design and function, the connectors for the GX-H3 are a two pronged set of 3.5mm auxiliary connectors, one for audio and one for the microphone itself. I was left dumbfounded by this decision, to be perfectly honest. The sound quality for both audio and microphone transmission is better with a USB connection, and a USB connection would have made this headset more universal with other devices. The cost savings of using the auxiliary connection are not to be found in the consumer price. I can’t even use this headset with my basic laptop computer because it lacks a proper auxiliary microphone jack. Even inclusion of an adapter would have lessened this problem by a great deal, but no such luck. This is an odd decision that severely limits when and where this headset can be used.
While the physical qualities of the GX-H3 represents a poor headset in sexy sheep’s clothing, the sound quality is top notch, despite the lack of USB connectivity. Stereo 2.0 bumps out a crystal clear buffet of noises, creaks, gun blasts, and gentle breezes in crystal clarity. The headset does a magnificent job of differentiating between game noise and any non-game music you may be playing, and seems to magnify the ambient noises of the game when needed to overcome any extra noise. The GX-H3 would be a decent enough headset for a hobbyist music producer for both listening and recording beyond it’s gaming qualities.
Finally, the most basic but probably most important headset quality is comfort, and the GX-H3 manages to score well here. Soft ear pads relieve the pressure on your ears well, and the arch of the headband gives you plenty of space for your scalp, reducing rub irritation. This headset would be very easy to wear for hours on end with little discomfort, but even with that being true, each minute spent using the product is another risk in tripping one of the GX-H3 many Rube Goldberg-esque disaster set-ups and ruining your headset for good.
With the many cost cutting measures involved here, you’d think that the GX-H3 would be a relatively low-priced headset. If that were true, this would be a much more acceptable product, but with an average price tag of $35.99, the GX-H3 is a tad on the high side, and not quality enough for a serious PC gaming aficionado. The headset is marketed as a comfort headset, and if that is what you find important, you could do worse for the price. Otherwise, you’re going to find a lot of problems and little to love here.