They may not be a name that is on everyone’s lips, but EKSA make some decent gaming headsets. Cheap in price but surprisingly high in quality, if you’re looking for something a little different to the norm, it’s a brand to consider. You will however need to be made aware of some slight oddities before you go and open that wallet though, with the EKSA E910 a weird addition to the market.
From the off and there’s no debating the aesthetic look of the EKSA E910. It very much runs similar lines to other EKSA products – the E900 especially – all black in colour with red hints on the inside of the earcups, whilst the outer glows bright when in use. It’s a pretty chunky headset but that’s for the better with a EKSA branded top headband complemented brilliantly by an underside that is well padded. It comes with an adjustable, flexible inner aluminium frame, which is easily moved to ensure that this will fit the vast majority of users, no matter what their head size.
The cups themselves are nicely integrated into that frame, with just enough movement to allow a near perfect fit every time. When you include the fact that the memory foamed cups are extremely well padded, with more squish to them than many other headsets on the market, and initial thoughts are very good indeed.
In fact, there’s more than enough comfort in the E910’s for them to go up against much bigger, much more expensive names in the comfort stakes; we’d go as far to say that aside from a few very premium options that come in at more than triple the asking price of the E910’s, these are as comfortable on the head as you are going to get. Whether that be for minutes at a time, or sheer hours of gaming or music listening, credit has to go to EKSA for the workmanship in their creation.
The left cup is also home to all manner of buttons, switches and dials. With this being a wireless headset, the power button is a cinch to hit and there’s a definite ‘Power on/Power off/Headset connected’ message ensuring that you always know what is happening when these are in place. There’a a USB-C charging port for when the battery level gets low – EKSA are promising up to ten hours of use time, thanks to its 1200mAh large lithium battery, and a short charge time of just two to four hours to get you back up to speed again. We’ve no issues with those numbers and in testing have found them to be about right.
The main volume dial is present on this left cup too, as is the retractable boom mic and mute button – again with a nice message being played through your ears once that mic is muted.
So far so good eh? Well yes and the audio that these are able to deliver is pretty neat too. A little more bass-orientated than we would personally like, there is absolutely no issue in terms of the sounds that are delivered to your ears. Granted, the E910 and the 50mm drivers within can’t tie the laces of the uber premium sets like the Audeze Penrose X or even the Razer Nari Ultimate, but then these are headsets for a totally different marketplace and gamer. In reality you’re unlikely to have a single issue with the sounds that come out of the E910, whether that be through gaming and when in the heat of battle or a race, or when kicking back with these attached to your laptop, listening in on some music. Perhaps we’d like the volume dial to allow those tunes to be blasted out at past 11, but it just about gets loud enough for everyday use.
In all, the EKSA E910 is a headset that should well be considered. Or at least, it could be if it weren’t for those usual EKSA oddities. Some may call these ‘issues’, but we’re absolutely flummoxed as to the ideas behind it.
First off and the mic is temperamental at best. Retractable with ease, this uni-directional dual-mic with environmental noise cancellation should well be fine, but if you can get it to work on a regular basis, you’re a better person than I. Instead we’ve been left wanting whenever we’ve joined party chat on Xbox, so much so that whilst the headset has been great to kick back with as we’ve blasted out the tunes and listened to the screaming revs of a V8 in Forza Horizon 5, the second any form of group play has been put on the table, the E910 has been cast aside for a more stable product – mostly the EPOS H3.
Secondly, and this is the most important factor to consider prior to opening the wallet for an EKSA E910 purchase, is the way the whole wireless capabilities have been put together.
Again, credit must go out to EKSA for throwing out plug and play possibilities, with 5.8Ghz wireless transmission technology helping power the E910. But in reality, it’s a mess. So much of a mess that once this review is over, this headset will go back in the box and hardly looked at again.
You see, included in the E910’s box is a wireless USB-C transmitter, along with a 3.5mm audio cable. Nothing weird there you may think, but in order for the headset to work – on Xbox at least – you need to plug that transmitter into a USB-A port, powering things up. From there, one end of the 3.5mm cable goes into the transmitter, with the other end going out to whatever is providing the sound – the controller you want to use, for instance. In turn this means you need to be sitting close to where the transmitter is plugged in. General rules will apply and say you should plug this into your Xbox console direct, and that’s possible, but you can also plug into a laptop should the need arise. As long as it’s taking the audio from your controller, that’s all that matters.
The issue is the length of the audio cable. It comes in at a paltry one metre in length, which means you’ll need your controller to be within that of the power source, AT ALL TIMES. Believe me, that is an utter ballache.
If EKSA could have found it within themselves to increase this cable to at least a couple of metres in length, ideally three, then it would mean the E910 could well have been a daily driver, one that we’d have had no issues using – at least for regular single player play. Instead, it’s one that is an extremely hard sell, unless you find yourself sitting on top of a PC, laptop or Xbox. Hell, failing that, stick a 3.5mm jack on the headset itself and be done with it.
There is a way around that weird set-up and that’s to plug the USB-C transmitter into your TV direct, letting it grab the audio and fire it towards the headset and your ears – at least in theory. You’ll need a TV with at least USB 2.0 on board, and whilst our sets have that, not a single USB port wants to carry the audio across; messing around with multiple settings hasn’t helped and isn’t something we feel should be needed when you’re just trying to play games. Blame the TV if you must, but we’ll blame the awkward instructions and set-up that EKSA are promoting for this use case.
It’s a shame then because the overall aesthetic and quality of the headset is high. The EKSA E910 sounds good, feels really nice on the head and is able to do what you need of a wireless headset. That is, until the ‘wireless’ capabilities are properly considered. We’d buy the E900 instead.
Huge thanks go out to EKSA for providing us access to their E910 headset for review. If you wish to grab one for yourself, head on over to EKSA direct. You’ll also find them on Amazon.