The Roccat Elo 7.1 Air Wireless Headset is the top model in the Elo series. Roccat was acquired by Turtle Beach in 2019 and is now the company’s official brand for PC gaming accessories. We briefly discussed all in this Roccat Elo 7.1 Air review article.
The Elo Airs try to be an all-rounder for around $100: 7.1 sound, RGB, d wireless. They also offer Turtle Beach’s patented “Superhuman Hearing sound adjustment.” But how good is the simulated 7.1 sound really, and can you expect an excellent wireless headset for this price?
Our test revealed that the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air is instead an average gaming headset. It offers a good range of features, and the price of “only” $100 is remarkable for a wireless headset. The microphone is good, and the comfort is also good.
Place here Description for your reviewbox
- Solid microphone
- Solid performance
- Good battery life
- Good wearing comfort
- Spongy service
- Software fiddly
- Sound quality just average
Are you looking for alternatives to the Roccat Elo Air 7.1? Maybe you prefer something with a cable? Then take a look at our d review:
Wired alternatives in our buying guide to the best game design, finishing & comfortable headsets.
Cheaper and more expensive wireless alternatives in our current wireless gaming headset test
Looking for something specifically for the Playstation 4? Then check out our article on the best PS4 headsets.
Roccat Elo Air 7.1: Design & Finishing
The new Elo series from Roccat offers you three different models, whereby the Elo 7.1 Air is currently the high-end product of the series and advertises wireless sound, RGB lighting, and surround sound. With the included USB dongle, the headset connects easily to your PC or console, and you can also get started right away. Just be warned that the out-of-the-box sound isn’t the bomb (more on that below).
Visually, this is a gaming headset. There’s a large colored LED Roccat logo on both headphones, which is something. Of course, you won’t see this illumination while gaming – nice, but we never really understood illumination in headsets.
The adjustable headband fits all head sizes and can be easily stretched, but there is no ratchet. Due to this design, however, the headset sits firmly on your head and offers a comfortable fit. We had no problems with slipping, falling off, or the like – it fits snugly but not too tight.
The faux leather headband and ear cups are soft and breathable. Despite its lightness, the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air feels sturdy and durable. Even though we find a lot of plastic here (which is perfectly normal and justifiable for this price), the plastic is high-quality, and the metal braces on the headpiece also give good stability.
Enjoying this Roccat Elo 7.1 Air review? You can read our another article on Roccat Kain 120 Aimo review: Best mouse in the mid-range
Roccat Elo Air: Comfort
The ear cups are attached to hinges and rotate fully for a relatively flexible fit. Let’s be clear: the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air is a very comfortable wireless gaming headset. The suspension band sits with just enough tension without being too tight. The ear cushions are made of memory foam covered in faux leather.
The Elo Air is also more comfortable than average for glasses wearers, but you’ll still feel some lateral pressure after a few hours despite the “ProSpecs Glasses Relief System.” But it has to be said here clearly that the Elo Air is more comfortable than many other over-ear headsets. Still, the faux leather is a bit too stiff to seal glasses well. And the headset lacks the tension to solve the problem.
Unfortunately, the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air headset controls are a bit oddly placed and also quite spongy when pressed. We often tried to adjust the volume in-game and accidentally increased the volume of the voice chat instead. Also, the power button is rather small, while the microphone mute button is very large in comparison. Which means that the latter can be pressed by mistake.
By the way, the headset’s range is around 10 meters and did not break down at any time. There is nothing to complain about here.
What gives us a bit of a headache is the open cable routing on the sides of the headband. As you can see in the picture, the cables are exposed and are more or less directly attached to the flexible headband and the headphones. Although there were no problems during our test, such constructions are always a bit questionable – the keyword cable breakage immediately comes to mind.
It remains to be seen in the long-term test how well the whole thing performs. Just keep it in mind – in case you are someone who likes to get tangled up in the headset or throw it down from time to time. Nevertheless, the cables are covered in fabric, which gives a high-quality impression. Sascha also uses a pair of headphones with a similar construction in his private life and has never had a cable break even without a jacket.
Sound & Software
The question that is of burning interest to you. Is the virtual 7.1 sound any good at all, or can it be thrown away? We recommend using the device in stereo, but why buy a 7.1? You can already see the problem. The sound of the Elo Air is definitely more usable in stereo mode WITHOUT software than with any EQ adjustments or the 7.1 sound.
Don’t get us wrong. The sound quality in stereo mode is definitely usable, and it’s just that somehow that’s not the point of the exercise. But even in stereo mode, the bass is rather weak, and the sound is simply thin. Sure, you can get a bit more out of the 50mm drivers with the help of the Swarm software, but it’s all rather bad than good.
The Swarm software gives you access to additional features like virtual 7.1 surround sound and more detailed controls for the headphone equalizer, RGB light color adjustment, microphone settings, and more. It works, but honestly, the app is very poorly laid out, and even basic things like checking the battery level require digging around. But back to the sound.
Due to the 7.1 emulation, differences in trebles and mids are lost. The standard stereo sounds much cleaner, especially when gaming. In addition, the presets for certain games offer you a few optimizations via the equalizer, but the sound is often very distorted and makes certain sounds almost overdrive. For example, footsteps in shooters become more audible but sometimes drown out other background noises unintentionally.
Of course, the Roccat Swarm software is not necessary. And honestly, we recommend you leave this stuff out altogether.
Consorts like the Logitech G935 and Steelseries Arctis 7 are better since they offer a much more differentiated and clearer sound. Of course, some of them cost 30-50€ more, but the whole thing works as it should.
Battery life of the Roccat Elo Air
Roccat claims that the battery of the Elo 7.1 Air can last up to 24 hours. We could confirm this in our test. The battery lasted just over 23 hours on a single charge with the backlight off at a constant medium volume. The battery lasted much shorter with the backlight on and gave up the ghost after just under 16 hours. Definitely very decent!
During longer breaks or rest periods, the headset turned itself off to save the battery. However, this is a good thing in our opinion, but it might annoy some of you.
In short: Unfortunately, the Roccat Elo Air 7.1 disappoints a bit in terms of sound, especially since only the stereo mode is really usable. But bass lovers will definitely not get their money’s worth here, and there are comparable headsets with better sound for music as well.
How good is the microphone?
Although we were disappointed by the sound, we were pleasantly surprised by the microphone. A listening sample is available in the video above.
The microphone is a high-sensitivity TrueSpeak microphone with variable microphone monitoring so that you can hear your own voice in the headset. It also offers noise cancellation, which means background noise is nicely canceled out.
It’s not flip-up, but it is removable. Like many gaming headsets, this microphone also offers a heavily underemphasized bass and midrange. As a result, all with lower voices come across as somewhat distorted, as the bass parts of speech are not output at the same volume as other equally loud aspects. Nevertheless, there is little to complain about in the microphone at this price point, and the sound quality is absolutely acceptable for gaming and voice chats. However, like most headsets, it is rather less suitable for recording or podcasts.
The microphone options include a setting called Magic Voice, which does not aim to improve the microphone performance but to distort your voice quite a bit. A nice gimmick but rather useless.
Roccat Elo Air 7.1 review: Our conclusion
Would we recommend the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air to you? It’s a bit difficult for us. If you’re absolutely looking for a wireless headset for under $100, then it might be an option for you. You get a good range, a top battery, solid build quality, and a decent microphone.
However, many gaming headsets in this price range are better.
If you really want to stick to $100 and want wireless gaming, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless* offers more for the same price – significantly better sound.
If you’re looking for a wired alternative, then the Razer BlackShark V2* at the same price is clearly ahead with more features and better sound. For another great option in the same price range, check out our HyperX Cloud Alpha S review.
The Roccat Elo 7.1 Air is a solid gaming headset, but it has a tough time on the market compared to the numerous good options for the same price.
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