Roccat Elo 7.1 Air

Wireless Gaming Headset with 7.1 Surround Sound

Turtle Beach was worth around 17 million euros when it acquired the German gaming accessories manufacturer Roccat. Their portfolio includes not only gaming mice and keyboards, but also headsets, i.e. their former competitors from the US manufacturer. The Elo 7.1 Air is just one of them, but with a retail price just under 100 Euros, 7.1 sound, wireless connection and RGB lighting, it is certainly one of the most interesting ones.

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Unpack, connect, set up

You won’t find much in the box. Besides the headset, a wireless USB dongle, a charging cable and a detachable microphone are included. It’s already obvious: This is purely a PC gaming headset, for Windows 7 to 10. If you try to use this device on a console, you’ll be astonished by the PlayStation 4 with full sound, including microphone recognition. The same applies to the Nintendo Switch. Whether it is smart not to print this on the box remains to be seen.

All other devices have to go without, thanks to lack of cable connection and/or Bluetooth.

For wireless connection a USB type A input (2.0 or higher) is required. To get the best from the Elo, you should download and install the Roccat Swarm software from the homepage.

Roccat Swarm Software

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The Roccat Swarm software is used to configure all the headset’s settings. As well as all the usual options, there are also some that make Roccat stand out from the competition. For example, the sampling rate of the headset can be set from 16 bit and 44.1 kHz to up to 24 bit and 96 kHz. This is important for high-resolution audio signals and increases the frequency range and dynamic range. The microphone also offers the possibility to go from 44.1 kHz to 48 kHz.

Another special feature in the settings is called “Magic Voice”. You can already guess what this entails, effects can be put on your own voice. Male, female, cartoon or monster? Everyone can be whatever they feel like. Unfortunately, you can’t hear yourself with the effect through the headphones, but for the person on the other end of the line, it’s certainly a unique and funny experience.

The”Superhuman Hearing” is much more interesting. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this function is a product of the Turtle Beach takeover and might be well known to owners of a headset from the parent company. When Superhuman Hearing is activated, it strongly affects the frequency bands to amplify important sounds in the game (footsteps, reloading of the gun…). This gives the player an advantage in detecting positions. However, if you just want to enjoy your game visually, you may prefer to do without this function. But for e-sportsmen, this is certainly worth a try (with your ears).

And because it illuminates so beautifully, the light show is naturally given a whole section to itself. You can set up how and in which colour or colours it should shine.

Apart from this, there are the usual settings, but there is one striking negative aspect: Changes are only transferred to the headset after a short delay. The software underlines the process by briefly darkening the display. If you don’t activate the “Auto Apply” button, nothing happens, because you have to click “Apply” after each change. This is rather cumbersome, particularly when fine-tuning in the equalizer.

On the other hand, the pins that can be activated on each function to staple them to the main page of the software are beautiful. This means you can put the most important settings into the start window and unimportant things, like the magic voice, remain hidden. The profile slots, where you can store profiles not only for games but also for other applications, including automatic change if desired, are also impressive.

Headphones

Some functions can be operated directly from the headphones. Besides the obligatory on/off switch, there is a mute button for the microphone, a button for microphone monitoring (how loud you want to hear yourself speak, this does not apply to the voice effects) and a volume control.

Everything is located on the left side of the headset, the connection for the charging cable and for the microphone is also located here. All buttons and controls also work on the PS4 and the Switch except for the volume control.

The headband mechanism automatically adjusts wonderfully to your head size. The ear cushions are made of memory foam and spectacle wearers will be pleased with the softer foam around the temples – another successful result of the cooperation with Turtle Beach.

Sound

At first, if all functions are deactivated, the Eli 7.1 Air Headset sounds quite thin. Basses are hardly present, and the mid and high frequencies sound unbalanced.

By intervening via the Swarm software, you can tickle some better sound from the 50mm drivers. Various presets adjust the headphones for different game categories, and the manual adjustment of various parameters of the ten frequency bands of the equalizer provide the remaining fine-tuning. The EQ is the central point where the Elo Air can be taken to the next level of sound, and we believe that the presets should be seen more as sound tests.

A little more bass here, a little clearer treble there and the tester is halfway happy. But unfortunately only halfway, because the sound never really convinced me. While many gaming headsets are very bass-heavy by nature, the Elo Air lacks a little bit of “boom” at the bottom. The additional features that can be activated, such as the “Bass EQ” don’t help either. Basically, these additional settings should be used with caution, as they interfere with the sound very powerfully and, depending on use, their effects can be very unpleasant. So if the sound sounds strange, like it is being pushed through a filter, it could be due to an activated function.

7.1-Surround

As with many other manufacturers, the sound after the change from 2.0 to 7.1 sounds rather daunting. The created space seems tinny and compressed. But the benefits for gaming are obvious, positions are much easier to hear. The disadvantage is that the sound is much worse, and even after a lot of fiddling with the settings, the sound is never as good as in stereo mode.

Microphone

There’s no question, the microphone is good, the voice is clear to the person you’re talking to and there is little to complain about. There are points deducted for the slight background noise, which can be heard even when noise reduction is activated, but fortunately, it’s not really disturbing. The monitoring of your own voice is very useful and can also be adjusted directly on the headphones.

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Andreas Proß
1 year ago by Andreas Proß
  • Rating: 3.25
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

The strengths of the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air definitely lie in the headphone design: The wearing comfort is excellent, the operation on the headset is self-explanatory as well as easy to reach and the headphones leave a very good visual impression. The battery also lasts for a long time and the connection via USB is stable and reliable. The microphone is also good, despite a low background noise, but unfortunately, the sound of these headphones is only average. All in all, this Roccat headset left me with mixed feelings and the impression I got was that the Elo 7.1 Air could actually do much more, but that in terms of sound it suffered from the software.

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Weight without cable345 g
  • Cable length200 cm

What's in the box

  • USB wireless transmitter
  • USB charging cable
  • Detachable microphone

Special features

  • Transmission frequency range of 2.4 GHz

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