Contact: hi (at) gamermalaya.my
Edifier G3 Gammatera Review
Another day, another gaming headset in the market. The “gaming” moniker certainly gives a bad rep to the headset category as it is just a marketing mumbo-jumbo to mark up prices. But it might change for the better soon. Today we will take a look at the Edifier G3 Gammatera gaming headset. Many thanks to Edifier Malaysia and Inter-Asia Technology for providing the review unit to us.
The headset body is fully made of plastic, with 3 different types according to their website. The main plastic is PVC with ABS and PP plastics added for extra durability. The color consists of black for the headband, mic and cushion pads. Gunmetal gray for the earcans, mimicking the look of metal and a nice touch for appearance. The surfaces are also matte which means that none of our oily fingerprints will stain the look, thank you Edifier.
This is an over-ear headset, which means it will fully cover your ear instead of resting on your ear. The cans are flanked with side meshes that function as display area for its built in lighting effect (yes, there is lighting effect but no RGB). The telescopic adjustable headband is lined with soft pleather cushion. Earpads are of velour type with acceptable softness and the earcup/driver housing have some movability to adjust to different head shape. The headband feels very durable with enough flex but being fully made of plastic it will break if flexed excessively.
Overall for a gaming headset, the styling can be considered decent with the side meshes and aggressive lines with the lighting effect have this sci-fi spaceship look which also reflects the typical gaming product aesthetics without being overdone.
Being a headset this also includes a microphone. Located on the left can, it is a rotatable mic with 120 degree of rotation. However, it is a static shape mic with no flexibility to move it closer or nearer like the ones on HyperX Cloud and Razer Kraken. The mic housing lines may deceive you of it being flexible but no, it is just a solid piece of plastic. Also, the mic does not auto-mute when pushed away but it is mute-able with the inline control.
The cable is 3 meters long, plenty of length to reach anywhere like your PC rear panel under the table and then a few feet extra for you to extend around. The headset interfaces through USB, therefore user cannot use it on devices without a USB-A port like smartphones and USB-C only laptops without an adapter.
Fortunately the operation is straight plug-n-play, no additional bloat software needed. The reason for USB only connector is the inclusion of a more extensive inline control and to power the dynamic lighting effect, at which both aspects are difficult to perform with an analog interface. It also powers the built in DSP circuit for its sound processing.
The inline control is where the heart of the headset brain is. It houses the headset’s signal processing circuit (DAC, amp, etc) and includes plenty of control functions, namely up (+) and down (-) volume buttons with 30 levels of volume, bass boost button, audio mute button, audio mode switch and mic mute switch. The audio mode switch consist of Music mode and Game mode, which adjusts the audio equalizer and the accompanying light effect color.
Contrary to usual inline controls like on analog headsets being close to the users chest, the G3 controls are placed further down the cable, around 1.3 meter approximately. This makes it able to be placed on the table, easily reachable for adjustment e.g. muting the mic.
One interesting feature of the mute button is that it does not mute the audio output from the built-in DAC, but from your computer with the mute setting from the operating system. Also, the light on the inline control will blink on mute mode.
Let’s talk about the light effects shall we? It has lights within the earcans mesh though it’s not RGB, only limited to blue and red and it changes according to the audio mode you are in. Flip the switch up to Game mode and the light changes to blue, vice versa and it changes to red.
Personally, I find this a gimmick as the user cannot even see the lights during wear except on the inline controls only. Plus, you cannot turn the lights off. However, this might be a great aesthetic show in use cases such as cyber cafes and gaming tournaments.
I can safely say this is a rather harmless gimmick or feature, however you want to call it, as compared to other headsets like vibrating effect and RGB-follow-equalizer mode etc. A well-executed extra to say the least, though acceptance may differ. An option to turn the lights off will be greatly appreciated. One question though, why blue for gaming mode and red for music? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Fire up (red) in game and chill out (blue) with music.
The full specifications of the headset can be found at the Edifier Page
Sound Quality and Comfort
As a starter, my standard equipment consists of HyperX Cloud Core, Beyerdynamic DTX 710 and KZ ATR powered by Fiio Olympus 2 E10K DAC. Therefore the audio quality review will be relative to my experience using the setup. Your preference and setups may vary.
The Edifier G3 is a closed-back design, but little to no passive noise isolation is there as external noises will still pierce through as the earcups are not statically attached to the walls leaving some gaps for most of outer sound to get in. This can be a pro or con for some, your preferences may vary.
This is not a studio monitor, so don’t expect a flat sound signature like the high end Audio Technica and Beyerdynamic products. This is a gaming and casual music focused audio gear which means some biased frequencies (“coloured” in audiophile lingo). I tried a variety of music genre from pop, hip hop, rock, ballad, R&B and electro from my library in both Spotify and offline MP3/FLAC collection to try and feel every bit of frequency available.
Sound quality is very subjective as each listener is different so I try to be as understandably objective as possible. My ideal sound signature is the Audio Technica ATH-M40x so you can compare it from there.
In music mode, the sound signature can be thought of as bright (enhanced high), with a slight bass boost. However the brightness can be a bit harsh in the highs, and the bass is not as lush as I prefer. This signature can be categorized as “fun” and definitely made for casual music enjoyment. Mids and vocals are clear, no muddiness detected which I consider a blasphemy if messed up.
The extra bass button works as intended, with the boost not immediately noticeable as not all low-end frequencies are enhanced. Only some specific bass window is the one that is focused. When the Edifier G3 is compared to the HyperX Cloud Core and KZ ATR, it is definitely brighter and bassier but not as full, likely to be caused by the lack of isolation. Against the DTX 710 however, it is a better experience as I consider the 710’s bass bit too much and compromised my enjoyment.
The gaming mode is objectively not for music. I can guarantee 100%. The equalizer pretty much bumped the low and high end frequencies for better functionality in gaming. I tried to emulate the Game mode signature with equalizer in Music mode using Foobar2000 and the bars matched closely with a smile shape. The low end is boosted for better footstep detection and it feels like a slight externalization effect added for better surround awareness.
I tested the Game mode on Overwatch with the game’s “Dolby Atmos for 2.1” mode enabled and the aural experience is definitely elevated as compared to normal mode. I emphasize again, use this for game only. I’m not judging, but you may have to get an ear-check if you insist on this mode for music.
A definite thumbs up for the G3 mic sound quality. Voice is clear and bright with no electrical noise contamination. Unfortunately there is a noticeable echo and the sensitivity may be a tad high and will pick up surrounding noises,. But nothing a software filter cannot fix like in Discord and your in-game voice chat.
If you are a starter streamer and no budget for a fully discrete headphone and mic setup, the G3 mic quality is sufficient enough for your viewer and teammates to not complain about your voice sounding like a frog underwater.
Comfort-wise, the headset is light and not fatiguing in long session. But I have a complaint with the earpad, being rather small and shallow. The small and shallow pad makes it barely fit my average-sized ear and my eartips uncomfortably pressed against the hard plastic driver housing that is only lined with thin foam padding.
I would appreciate a thicker and larger earpad with a thicker driver padding like the HyperX Cloud. The cushion softness and texture is barely acceptable as it is, just the shallowness grinds my gears verily. This is a compromise that should not be overlooked as this is THE comfort factor for user.
Edifier manage to produce a budget gaming headset in the Edifer G3 with decent sound quality for music enjoyment and gaming thanks to its dual sound profile by the built-in dedicated audio circuitry. The lighting effect might be a gimmick for some but it adds character to the product. Mic performance is great, sufficient for budding streamer and general all-round voice chat use e.g in-game or Discord but may require some software filter. Built quality is decent for its price but the earpads have a lot to improve in terms of comfort.
The Edifier G3 definitely belongs in its price class and a recommended purchase for those wanting to upgrade to a better mainstream quality gaming audio gear.
Review unit provided by Edifier Malaysia and Inter-Asia Technology