After getting my hands on two LED-laden Sades headsets, the FPOWER felt like a bit like an anticlimax. What’s the good of a headset if it doesn’t glow with the power of seven billion suns?
But the manufacturer’s Armor and Locust headsets, as excellent as they are, are intended for use on a PC. They draw power from the USB connection to fuel their eye-melting lights, so while they do work on a PS4 console, Xbox One or Switch owners are out of luck.
The FPOWER, on the other hand, works with multiple gaming platforms. It uses a combined 3.5mm jack (with an extension Y-cord that splits into a separate 3.5mm audio and microphone jack) so you can use it with anything from a Mega Drive to a Xbox Series X. On PlayStation or Xbox, you can connect it directly to your controller, which is where the shorter cord comes in, though with the two cords combined you’ve got a good two metres of length. That’s more than enough to avoid ripping the headphones off when you realise you’ve left the remote halfway across the room.
You can wear the FPOWER for a good few hours with no comfort issues, during which time you’ll have missed several parcel deliveries, thanks to the pads’ noise-cancelling effect. The FPOWER sports an in-line volume control, complete with microphone mute button, so your fellow players can’t hear you knocking back yet another can of bargain basement energy drink. And, yes, the FPOWER’s microphone quality is as good as you’d expect from a headset built with gaming in mind. But the coolest feature by far is the way you can just yank the microphone out entirely. It’s possible you’ll forget where you put it, but it beats seeing the mic out of the corner of your eye, no matter how far back you bend it.
The Sades FPOWER is the most sensitive headset I’ve owned; watching Nero run up the Qliphoth in Devil May Cry 5, I heard the crackle of… well, I won’t spoil it for you. Both the Sades Armor and my Sony MDR-V150 headphones missed that and, diving into other games, I started spotting other audio cues that had passed me by.
But there’s a catch. The trade-off for picking out these hard-to-hear sounds is that the FPOWER doesn’t quite have the same power when it comes to mid-range sounds. General sound quality was still good, but it didn’t quite match up to either of the other Sades headsets.
Ultimately, if you’re looking to be near-deafened every time you play DOOM, you won’t get that here. But if you want to shut out the world and hear what you’ve been missing, the Sades FPOWER is a sound choice.