I’m always on the hunt for an affordable yet great sounding headset… and they have to be comfortable… and lightweight… and look good. Did I mention they need to have good bass and cancel outside noise? Okay I admit, I am a picky dude when it comes to headsets. Whether its gaming headsets, surround sound headsets, earbuds or just regular ‘run of the mill’ headphones, I tend to look for ones that deliver in many, and I mean MANY, areas. Over the past week I had a chance to put the “808 Audio: Studio-Style Over-Ear Headphones” through its paces and in the end several things made this cranky headphone junkie happy about this headset.
First of all, the look and packaging of the headset is sharp. For a headset that costs around $100 bucks, I was impressed with everything you get out the box. In addition to the nicely designed piano black headset, you get a storage case for on-the-go use. The headset itself is foldable so it fits into the case without any problem at all. There is really nothing special about the case but there is no question it’s perfect for air travel or at the very least you can use it to put all your toiletries in it.
The headset also comes with two kinds of detachable cables: DJ-style heavy 3.5 mm cable and duotone flat 3.5 mm cable with a mic. I preferred the heavy DJ styled ones but having the two options was nice. That said I would have preferred if one of the cables was a little longer. Both cable lengths are just over 3 feet which is fine for listening to sounds off a potable gaming device or smart phone; however, if you want to plug it into a receiver or docking station and kick back, you better sit close. The 808 model I took a look at is wired; however, there is also a wireless version that runs for about another $30 bucks or so.
Out of the box the 808’s are somewhat light. I say somewhat as I have played around with lighter cans before (insert joke) but overall the weight was never really an issue for me. As I mentioned the glossy black finish is slick looking and the silver 808 logo on each ear gives the headset a snazzy look. They don’t look cheap at all. If glossy black isn’t your thing, the headset is available in gloss white and matte black.
Comfort wise, the 808’s are solid. They aren’t exactly the Lazy Boy of headsets but they are comfortable. The over-ear cushions are a tad on the small side but they don’t feel tight around your head at all. From the padding around the speaker cups to the foam padding under the chassis, the 808’s score decent marks in the comfort department. I should mention that after about a half-hour or so my ears and head did sweat a little bit; however, this is to be expected a little given the black leather on the ear cushions and how well they isolate outside noise. Besides that I am a sweaty mother trucker.
So how does the 808 headset sound? Well it sounds far better than I expected. I didn’t expect much from the drivers but I can admit when I am wrong. The 40mm drivers packed a punch and delivered some fantastic sounds. If you like bass you will like the 808’s. I played a few of the hip songs all you kids are listening to including Lil Jon’s “Outta Your Mind” and Kanye West’ “Flashing Lights” and the results were simply fantastic. The clarity is crisp and the bass rattles your ear drums. Needless to say I was impressed. I realize I’m aging myself here but even some of the older tunes I played from the Eagles “Hotel California” and Bob Seger’s “Still the Same” sounded great. Every little sound could be heard with the crisp highs and sharp lows. Granted the headset doesn’t feature 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound but I was still pleasantly surprised with the dynamic range.
As far as the noise isolating feature is concerned, the headset doesn’t exactly eliminate outside noise but it does a fairly good job minimizing them. It says something when my wife had to tap me on the shoulder because I couldn’t hear her. Then again I have mastered the art of tuning her out (love you honey!).
Overall, the 808’s are an affordable bass heavy headset that offers up some decent comfort. These sharp looking headsets are not the best headsets on the market nor are they the best sounding. Yet what they do offer a competitively priced headset that sounds great and are not an eyesore by any stretch of the imagination.