The Roccat ELO 7.1 Air gives you a proper wireless gaming headset for just $90. That modest pricing is reflected in the design, which sports a plain all-black finish and simple shape. However, you still get RGB lighting in the form of the backlit Roccat lettering on the right earcup and the Roccat logo on the other (the lighting can be dimmed via software). Build quality is also solid, with no signs of weak spots and a generally solid feel throughout.
The springy metal headband provides the clamping force for the headset, but in one of the more bizarre design oversights we’ve encountered in some time, the headband rings like a bell if it’s knocked. This sound is then transmitted through the headset to its microphone. You’ll need to hit it quite often and hard to disrupt your gaming session or video chat, but it was an occasional distraction in our testing.
The headband uses a self-adjusting system, where the floating padded strap stretches internally as it comes into contact with your head, raising and lowering the band accordingly. It worked well for us, but the lack of strict adjustability reduces the range of head sizes that can be accommodated.
The earcups are on the smaller side, but are well-contoured to avoid squashing your ears. The padding is also sufficiently deep and includes a section of softer foam where the arms of glasses would pass through them, making the headset more comfortable for glasses wearers.
Meanwhile, the mic is a basic detachable, bendable affair that plugs into the left earcup. Its sound quality is nothing special, but it’s adequate for gaming sessions. More impressive is the built-in microphone monitoring, with a dial for adjusting the monitoring level next to the volume wheel on the left earcup. It’s a shame these dials are both small, though – it’s a little tricky to locate them both and too easy to knock one rather than the other.
Also in this cluster of controls is a mic-mute button, a tiny power button and a USB Type-C charging port. Battery life appeared to largely live up to Roccat’s impressive 24-hour claims in our testing too.
Sound quality is impressive too, not because of outstanding levels of detail but thanks to the headset offering a reasonably flat sound profile. Bass is strong, but it’s not massively overdone, and the treble isn’t cranked up to the overly shrill levels of some gaming headsets either. We found this headset lent itself well to music and video watching as well as gaming.
If you do want sound that will give you a gaming advantage, you can turn on the Superhuman Hearing setting in Roccat’s Swarm software, which boosts those frequencies often associated with in-game sounds, such as footsteps. It works surprisingly well, allowing you to pick out enemies more easily, even if it does make the whole soundscape sound rather strange. The excellent virtual surround sound can also be switched on and off via software, though sadly there isn’t a button on the headset for quickly making the switch.
Roccat ELO 7.1 Air pros and cons
- Light and comfortable
- Flat and balanced sound
- Great value
- Awkwardly placed volume control
- Ringing headband
Roccat ELO 7.1 Air specs
The Roccat ELO 7.1 Air specs list is:
|Connections||USB-C charging, 2.4GHz dongle for audio|
|Audio config||Stereo and virtual 7.1 surround|
|Sensitivity/sound pressure level||Not stated|
|Mic frequency response||Not stated|
|Mic sensitivity||Not stated|
|Battery life||24 hours|
|Extras||Mic mix dial, RGB lighting|
Roccat ELO 7.1 Air price
The Roccat ELO 7.1 Air price is $80 (£80), making it great value for the features, build quality and sound it provides.
Price: Expect to pay $80 (£80)
Roccat ELO 7.1 Air review conclusion
The Roccat ELO 7.1 Air has impressed us. Its compact and simple design looks the part, it sounds good, it has a few extra features such as the mic mix dial, and the combination of decent battery life and a USB Type-C charging port makes it easy to keep the headset going. The ringing headband and limited adjustability aren’t ideal, but the modest price of this wireless headset makes it an easy recommendation for the quality on offer. So good is the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air that it earns a spot on our best wireless gaming headset list as our best budget wireless headset.
Adequate all-round performance and a few extra features make this a great-value wireless gaming headset.