Roccat Elo 7.1 USB Review
Roccat has quickly established themselves as one of the premier brands within esports — This is none the more evident than when Turtle Beach acquired the brand back in 2019 to help strengthen their presence within the esports industry. Since then, Roccat has released several esports focused products that combine Turtle Beach’s audio quality with Roccat’s German engineering as we head into the next generation of gaming.
Back in September this year, Roccat announced the next generation of PC peripherals with the Roccat Elo range. Rene Korte, Head of PC Products at Turtle Beach, even went as far to declare that the Elo range is the “first wave of Roccat’s new precision-focused PC gaming accessories”. I recently got my hands on the Roccat Elo 7.1 USB gaming headset and I must admit, a quick glance over the specs of the Elo 7.1 USB and boy, he’s not wrong. For just under $150 AUD you get huge 50mm drivers, 7.1 surround sound, Turtle Beach’s TruSpeak microphone technology, and of course, AIMO Intelligent Lighting. This sounds amazing on paper, but how does all this perform in the real world, Mr Korte?
The overall look of the Elo 7.1 USB is sure to divide many gamers — On one hand, its design is a bit basic as there are no obnoxious in-your-face RGB effects. But on the other hand, it’s simple, almost traditional design proves that less can sometimes be more. If I’m being honest, I much prefer the latter approach and clearly, so does Roccat.
Roccat has taken a page out of Razer’s book by including a self-adjusting headband. These headbands are usually reserved for premium products, so this is perhaps the first hint of Roccat’s intentions with the Elo range. Not only does the steel headband provide structural support, but having a dynamic fitting headband ensures that gamers of all sizes can enjoy the headset without the nuisance of having to manually adjust the headset every time your sibling using it.
Backing up the fitment is a lightweight design, which comes in at a modest 374 grams. I was surprised when I popped the headset on the scales as it actually feels much lighter than this and is technically heavier than other wired competitors such as the SteelSeries Arctis 5 (277 grams) and the HyperX Cloud Revolver S (360 grams). This is where Roccat’s superior German engineering has come into its own as the weight distribution of the headset in first-class, even deceiving the most trained eye.
Moving down the headset you will notice that Roccat has incorporated Turtle Beach’s ProSpecs Glasses Relief System, which incorporates dual-foam ear cushions to cater for gamers with glasses. This is a nice quality of life addition but unfortunately, I am not a fan of the faux leather finish. This material tends to keep the trapped heat in and doesn’t allow your ears to breath under the headset. This doesn’t help when
you have absolutely useless teammates who can’t even watch your back for 4 seconds so you can reload, instead, you both die to some noob with a shotgun who was 1-13 you’re upset.
A criticism I had of the recently reviewed Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 was that all the headset’s control were crammed onto the same ear cup — it turns out that the engineering team at Roccat must have missed my review (how dare they!) as they have made the same mistake with the Elo 7.1 USB.
Featured on the left ear cup is nothing but smooth plastic, this means that the right-hand ear cup is more crowded than an all-you-can-eat KFC buffet! Not only does is the headset’s USB cable moulded into the earcup, but also is the headset’s volume dial, chat mix dial, mic mute button, and even the plug-in microphone is connected to this same earcup! Thankfully, the mic is at least removable, which is good in case you have deaf teammates and want to free up some real estate.
In an age of wireless technology, using a braided USB cable (at least it’s 2.5m in length) may not suit every gamer, particularly the new generation of gamers who may not be accustomed to having cables getting in the way, but all is forgiven as soon as you fire up your favourite game and let the huge 50mm Neodymium magnet drivers do their thing! They may only have your stand 20 – 20,000Hz frequency range, but the range and balance between its high and low frequencies produce a great sound stage for gaming.
The sound accuracy provided by the headset allows for FPS gamers to feel like they have an edge on the battlefield — Games such as Call of Duty and Valorant really allowed the Elo 7.1 USB to shine well above its modest $150 AUD price tag.
I can’t go through this review and not discuss one of the main features of the Elo 7.1 USB, especially as it’s in its title — that being the 7.1 surround sound. If you have read any of my other reviews you will know that I am not a huge fan of virtual surround sound and the Elo 7.1 USB does little to change this. It is, however, one of the better examples of how to implement virtual surround sound the 7.1 adds to the already impressive sound accuracy and depth on offer.
Enabling 7.1 adds a sense of immersion that stereo lacks — I even went back in my games catalogue and fired up some of my favourite horror games (Outlast and GTFO) and found myself beginning to come round on the whole virtual surround sound concept.
The unidirectional microphone utilises TruSpeak technology and is a clear (pun intended) highlight of the headset. This is no disrespect to the rest of the Elo 7.1 USB but from the moment the first time I jumped on Discord for a round of Valorant and was instantly I was asked which microphone I was using, I knew it was a winner. I even turned mic monitoring on for myself and listened to my own soothing, almost hypnotic voice and was thoroughly impressed.
OK, not so much with my voice, but absolutely impressed with the clear, crisp and natural sound that Truespeak mic provided. To top it off, Roccat has even included what they call Magic Voice. What is this you may ask? Well, Magic Voice transforms your voice into one of four options – Male, Female, Monster or Cartoon. Unfortunately, the female voice didn’t make me sound like Scarlett Johansson, but your Discord channel is sure to get a kick out of Monster and Cartoon voices!
Roccat Swarm software is honestly one of the best first-party pieces of software that any manufacturer provided with their peripherals. Sure, its far from perfect with too many options crowded into each page but the level of customisation and the vast amount of settings on offer is next-to-none. Everything from firmware updates, to profiles configuration, to EQ settings, to microphone sensitivity and active-noise reduction are all there. Roccat’s AIMO Intelligent lighting system is also built into the software and allows the inbuilt AI to gather data about your game and use this to reflect your in-game status using the Elo 7.1 USB’s RGB lighting.
Roccat’s bold statement of focusing on precision is none the more obvious than with the Roccat Elo 7.1 USB. It is one of the best mid-range headsets on the market and if you ask me, competes well above its $150 AUD price tag. In the age of wireless technology is can be hard to look past a fixed USB connection, but if you can you will not regret it and I guarantee that you will absolutely the love its audio quality, clear microphone, great software support, and AIMO intelligent lighting. And if you can’t, then go out and purchase the Roccat Elo Air!
Roccat Elo 7.1 USB Review
- DESIGN - 85%85%
- AUDIO PERFORMANCE - 87%87%
- MICROPHONE - 93%93%
- VALUE - 95%95%
If you can look past the wired USB connection, the Roccat Elo 7.1 USB is a fantastic headset full of features at an amazing price.
For more on Roccat, check out our previous coverage.