The moment I laid eyes on Sades’ latest PC gaming headset, I knew it was going to be a challenge reviewing it.
Not because there’s anything wrong with it – the Sades Armor is a great headset – but because the font on the box is near-identical to the one used for the Harry Potter films.
Even before I’d removed the headset from the box, I was mentally queuing up gags.. “let the Sades Armor work its magic”, “perfect for Snaper Elite”, and so forth. But I’m a professional and, with a superhuman effort of will, I’m determined I’ll make it through this hands-on without resorting to Potter Puns. Honest.
Fontwork aside, the Sades Armor (retailing at between £40 and £50) is a striking headset. The moment you insert the solo USB plug into your PC, you’re greeted with a bright blue glow from the earpieces, microphone tip and in-line volume/colour control. If blue’s not your colour, you can tap the in-line remote to switch the earpiece colour to green, turquoise, pink, yellow, white or a rotating rainbow.
It’s a purely cosmetic feature, but as someone who’s known for accidentally standing on headsets, I appreciated being able to see exactly where the Sades Armor is, instead of it disappearing into the gloom under my desk. Equally striking is the level of comfort the headset offers; I spent several straight hours with the cushioned earcups clamped to my head and didn’t experience any problems. Some of the over-ear headsets I’ve tried have warmed my ears up to the point where I could actually feel them sweating but, while the Sades Armor’s cups stayed firmly in place, that was a non-issue here.
I would have appreciated the cord being another half-metre longer; that’s not an issue I can lay at Sades’ feet, since they intended the headset to be used with a PC. But once I discovered it also worked on my PS4 (with the exception of the in-line volume controls) it became my go-to headset for that console. Aside from gaming, I also used it for a couple of Zoom meetings, where another of the headset’s features came in handy. Mute the headset with the in-line remote and the tip of the microphone starts flashing. There’s no more yelling “Can you hear me?” when you can just glance down and see when you’re on-mic.
Sound quality is excellent; the headset I was using previously wasn’t exactly cheap and nasty, but the Sades Armor headset brought up the bass without stifling other sounds, giving me a greater sonic range than I was used to. And while the headset’s not advertised as surround sound, every shotgun blast in DOOM echoed around my ears, as if I was standing in the room, being besieged by demons. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, while less frenetic than DOOM, proved to be even more disquieting than usual thanks to the Sades Armor’s sonic performance. And while I can’t vouch for the people hearing me speak in-game, the flexible noise-cancelling microphone delivered clear recordings without it being in my face all the time.
My only genuine gripe about the Armor is that for a headset aimed at PC players, there’s nothing in the way of easy customisation. The box notes that it’s is powered by Realtek audio technology and there are four “Realtek Effect” options that can be used to tweak the way the headset sounds; I can’t say I noticed a huge difference when playing with these, but it’s handy to have the option. However, actually accessing these settings (despite having installed the drivers from Sades’ site) requires you dig through device properties. Clearly, a lot of work has gone into making the Sades Armor headset sound and look great, but it cries out for a user-friendly front end.
Even if you discount the Sades Armor’s LED features, it’s an excellent piece of kit and it won’t be leaving my ears any time soon. If you’re looking for a gaming headset that delivers quality performance without breaking the bank, the Sades Armor is Weasley worth your money. Damn.
Want to support GameSpew? Buy a Sades Armor headset using our Amazon affiliate link. It won’t cost you anything extra, but we’ll get a small slice of the purchase.