The company

After my initial half an hour with the Gioteck EX-05 wired headset on my Xbox 360, performing exactly as I wanted and ticking all the right boxes, my thoughts were that this company really understand what a gamer needs out of a headset.

Upon doing some homework on the company I found out why – the Gioteck gaming accessories are designed by gamers, for gamers. The brand is one of the fastest growing third-party accessory companies. After taking the UK and Europe by storm, Gioteck are growing in presence in the US market, already gaining 22% of the Playstation 3 third-party headset market. With a recent new partnership in the US, the brand is expecting revenue to grow in the region by around 600% in the coming year.

The company is also expanding into the Middle East and thanks to Apex Interactive; the stunning and complete line-up of gaming accessories is now available in South Africa. We believe BT Games has a timed exclusivity to the range and will be joined by the rest of the local retailers thereafter.

The total solution

The Gioteck EX-05 gaming headset is a wired Xbox 360 headset, but there is also a multiplatform option [Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC] as well as a wireless option. The multiplatform option is around 20% more in price as it ships with the USB Wi-Fi connection for the wireless functionality.

With the design of the headset, it is clear that the aim was performance over style. That is not to say it is not a stylish headset, it is, and the finish looks to be of a high quality. The hardware is a black and grey finish on the ear-pieces, and the ergonomically designed headband is finished in the military-inspired digital camouflage mesh. The moving parts are coated in rubber for durability and despite this, the overall weight is light.

The proficient theme is clear in all aspects and even the headband was manufactured in mesh for your scalp to breathe – gaming sessions are usually not brief. Then the ear-piece is typical to helicopter-pilot or military styled in that it is square, so there is no need to constantly adjust as the case with round ear-pieces or the inner-ear pieces. The actual ear-piece is on a slider and it swivels and tilts as to cater for that perfect fit. I found the headset to be perfectly comfortable, and once they were fitted properly I did not need to adjust them. The ear-pieces surround your ear entirely with padding which drowns out external noise, so you are totally engage aurally with only the game. The rubberised mic is completely flexible and filters out external noise. The rubber that was used to produce the mic-arm is of much higher quality that the standard Xbox mic [which I think is pretty flimsy], so once adjusted it will sturdily hold its form.

The headset comes with a short wire and with stereo pin connectors which plugs into the main stereo audio cable. With the gamer in mind, where the headset pins connect to the main cable is a small clip-on volume controller, which allows the main volume and the voice volume to be adjusted as well as muting the mic at a clip of another button – perfect. The audio cable connects with the Xbox connector into the Xbox and the headset is powered by a USB cable which is adjoined to the audio cable. The only gripe I have with the headset is that it caters for the R/G/B connection as well as HDMI for optics, but not VGA, as the connector connects to where the VGA connector plugs into the console. I do prefer VGA cable for my optics, but HDMI does work perfectly, so this is a small gripe.

Dongles and Volume Controller

The performance

The Gioteck EX-05 headset out-performs its modest price, and I was more than impressed with the sound and comfort even over longer periods.

Sturdy Mic

The 40mm driver makes for a speaker that packs more than enough punch. The speaker sounds as if it consists of the separate drivers for the high, mid and low frequencies. The high-pitch levels impress as does the bass to give that ‘full sound’. Only at the highest volume was the distinction between the three separate frequencies not entirely separate-sounding. The highest volume is very loud, not at a level that I would ever need to listen to, and for any clearer sound at that volume you would need to filter sounds through an amplifier. So as stand-alone headset, the EX-05’s volume is more than impressive, I actually comfortably listened on slightly less than half volume.

The clarity is crisp and clear and again, the distinction in the three sound frequencies is evident here, so the voices are not muffled amongst the general noise as is the case with lesser products. The acute volume controls allows for perfect tuning to separate the game’s sound with player-chat.

The price

To say the Gioteck EX-05 headset is ‘good value for money’ would not be the best way to put it. It is a great product period, which happens to come in at a surprisingly low price. I was sent the pricelist and had to check and re-check that I was looking at the correct model to price. I tested the headset before perusing through the pricelist and I was genuinely stunned with the price that I consider an absolute steal at around R 600 [launch price]. I would honestly be happy to pay considerably more for the product after testing it.

What we loved

  • Design
  • Sound quality
  • Volume control for mic and sound
  • Mesh headband
  • Ear-piece design
  • Packaging
  • Long-length cable
  • Price

Not so much

  • Would love to be able to use my VGA cable with the headset

The verdict

I personally will be spending R100 more for the multi-platform model as I make use of both consoles online. This range of headsets blends performance with functionality in a swish design that was produced with the gamer in mind. It does exactly what I want it do at a level that surprised and impressed.

With reviewing software it is for the reviewer to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’, but with hardware I would be a little more mindful with my verdict as it is not a matter of taste, but rather a matter of performance. I can wholeheartedly and with no reservations recommend the Gioteck EX-05 range of headsets to anyone looking for the total solution.

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