Styling is simple, with an all-black finish and painted-on grey logos on the earcups. There isn’t the sleekness of the likes of the Corsair HS50 Pro or SteelSeries Arctis 3, but there are no garish touches to the design either.
Build quality is solid enough too, although we’re a little concerned by the wires that connect each earcup to the headband. Twist the earcups so that they sit flat (as they’re prone to do when you pick up the headset), and the wire almost pulls taught, potentially making for a point of failure where the cable joins to the earcup.
The headset uses the same style of headband as the Asus TUF Gaming H7, with a flexible, padded and elasticated inner headband suspended below a rigid, sprung steel outer band. It makes for a good distribution of weight on the top of your head but, like the Asus, it doesn’t feel as secure as more traditional headband designs. The outer metal band also rings when knocked, although there’s a little more natural damping on the Roccat than the Asus, so it doesn’t ring as loud or as long.
The excellent earcups also help with that slightly looser fit. They fit much more snugly around your ears than the ones on the Asus, providing a firmer grip that takes some of the middling 304g weight of the headset off the headband and helps to prevent the headset from slipping. The padding is also very obviously contoured so that it tucks into place tight under your ear. Comparatively, many headsets with flat earcup padding can leave a bit of a gap in this location.
In terms of features, you get an on-headset volume control and microphone mute button, which might be small, but they’re also easy to reach, while not being too easy to knock. The microphone is removable and bendable, and offers adequate but unremarkable audio quality. The main cable, though, is fixed, so a busted cable will mean a busted headset. Its 1.65m unbraided length terminates in a combi-jack that could be used for a mobile phone or console, and there’s also a 1m splitter extension cable for separating the microphone and headphone signals.
The Elo X Stereo certainly isn’t a festival of features, but along with its comfortable, relatively lightweight design, it also delivers that most important aspect when it comes to headsets – good sound quality. This headset can’t compete with the likes of the HyperX Cloud Alpha and Sennheiser GSP 300 for clarity, but it’s largely the equal of the other headsets on test, despite its low price. There’s a stronger bass boost than on some headsets, but it’s not overdone to the point of ruining the overall sound.
The Roccat Elo X Stereo makes for a really compelling gaming headset for the money. It’s comfortable to wear, has all the essential features you’ll need and offers a sound that, although a little bass heavy, is basically fine and certainly clear enough for gaming. For just £40 inc VAT, it offers great value, making it our top choice if you want to buy a truly low-cost gaming headset.
Simple but highly effective, this budget headset delivers where it counts. If you’re on a limited budget, this is the headset to buy.
COMFORT 16/20 / FEATURES 13/20 / SOUND QUALITY 32/40 / VALUE 20/20 / OVERALL 81%
+Comfortable lightweight design
Rapid unscheduled disassembly
Connections 3.5mm stereo
Audio config Stereo
Frequency range 20-20,000Hz
Extras Removable mic