QPAD QH-90 Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅18-04-13
Performance Testing

On the first time putting these on it is instantly obvious that this headset is very comfortable. The soft leather with the memory foam padding combined with light weight aluminium frame provides a firm non slip grasp that is a cut above many other headsets and is even comfortable while wearing glasses. The ear cups are large (2.75" x 2" ) easily accommodating my average ears and are tightly sealed with minimal sound leakage. It is easy to forget you are wearing the QH-90 and requires silent people moving their lips at you to serve as a reminder. Over time my ears did warm up a fair bit but not uncomfortably so and never got sweaty so the material must be breathable.

The soft feel plastic used throughout feels very good quality and strong while the aluminium frame speaks for itself, you're not likely going to damage it through regular use and would take some excessive force to do so. The adjustable straps do not tend to slip or slide like some other headsets may, which is a sign good design. The use of leather is a time tested treat and is a welcome luxury, unless you are against the use of animal products. Generally speaking, modular cabling is an excellent idea but it seems strange as to why QPAD did not decide to go completely modular and have a 3.5mm jack on the headset itself similar to the ASUS ROG Vulcan ANC, rather than a hardline tethered to it. Some may argue that the extra connections may dirty the audio signal, some might point out that accidentally pulling the jack out of the headset could be annoying, still it would have been a nice addition. It was discovered that the cable coming out of the left ear cup can be pushed in/pulled out of the headset by around 10mm which is designed to help cushion the forces exerted by snagging as it is not unknown for people to get cables caught under their arm, keyboard, leg, (with 3m of cable you can wrap it around yourself a fair few times should you wish) which can give a sharp sudden tug on the cables involved, this again is another well thought out design inclusion.

The 53mm drivers do well to immerse you in powerful sound though doesn't seem perfectly balanced across all tones. Cranking up the volume there is minimal distortion and no hiss, just be careful as the QH-90 is very loud! Listening through Passion Pit's 'Take a Walk' was pleasant but it is clear that the bass lacks a little heart comparatively though by no means poor. Mid tones seem a little weaker and the strongest point being the crisp clear high tones. The quality of the output will also depend on the sound card being used and quality of the audio source and the QH-90 makes low quality audio compressions sound, well low quality and very tinny, while .wav and .flac files reproduce every nuance to the point that it can be uncomfortably accurate in the form I can only describe as excessive mouth juice (think of vocalists). Overall the Qh-90 is great for multi-media purposes but spending some time fiddling with the audio equalizer to balance the tones better may be needed. Ironically, QPAD were open about the audio performance of this headset in their overview, stating, 'They produce a somewhat more pronounced bass, and crispy, clear highs, but with slightly softer mids.' which suggests that this headset is more geared that way by design presumably for the benefit of gaming.

Listening to AFI's Prelude 12/21 in a lossless codec, was a wall of awesome, however, on listening to various Punk and Metal tracks I began to suffer from Hi-Hat abuse, acoustic music is definitely a strong point for this headset.

Jumping on for a bout of Battlefield 3 shows how strong audio quality can really be using a headset of this quality. Enclosed areas felt tight and open areas sounded vast, gunfire shots were balanced between a bassy kick and the high 'cack' and in the heat of action was very intense. Each gunshot is followed up with a perfect tinkle of spend rounds hitting the floor behind you and it is very easy to hear a grenade landing close by too. From the quietest sounds to the loudest each was very clear.
Taking a stroll through Skyrim you could hear errant conversation walking through the towns clearly with the crackle of fire well defined in the background. Walking through the wilderness you can hear wildlife rustling in the grass and the chilling wind howling overhead. Games when combined with great audio really does have a stronger immersive feel and this headset delivered that great audio in every game played.

Microphone quality is very good and clear and does well to not pick up much background noise. In a Skype conversation, it was asked if I was alone in the room because he couldn't hear anything in the background because he normally could. On questioning him on what could be heard, he was shocked to find that there were two young children running around playing with COD:BLOPS2 running on the TV, I turned the TV up to what would be considered very loud at which point my friend then started to comment on background noise. This could be due to the microphone sensitivity/gain settings I was using, but it is more believable that it is the quality of this microphone as I never changed my microphone settings from what they are usually set to.

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