Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review

January 10, 2013 | 10:09

Tags: #headset #peripheral #surround-gaming

Companies: #ozone

Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews

Manufacturer: Ozone
Rage 7HX UK Price (as reviewed):
£53.04 (inc VAT)
Rage ST UK Price (as reviewed): £27.76 (inc VAT)
Neither headset is currently available in the US

Although we've yet to be impressed by Ozone's offerings in the mouse department, its Strike mechanical keyboard that we saw a few months ago was more impressive. Today we have with us its two latest headsets, the budget oriented Rage ST and the mid-range Rage 7HX. The most recent headset we saw, the Gioteck EX-05, was also a budget one, and despite its cross-console compatibility, was woeful in the sound department. Let's hope Ozone doesn't make the same mistake.

Other than the slightly altered colour scheme, the two headsets are physically identical from the outside. For clarity, the Rage 7HX is the red and black one whereas the all black headset is the ST version, although it's also available with white, red, yellow or blue earcups as you please. The three red bits on either side of each earcup are lit by LEDs when the Rage 7HX is connected, along with one on the microphone and six on its in-line controller too.

Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews
Click to enlarge - No, we haven't just Photoshopped out the red bits, these are actually entirely different headsets, with the Rage 7HX on the left and the Rade ST on the right.

The outside of the earcups is coated in a nice soft-touch plastic which reminds us of Xigmatek's Midgard II case. Plenty of leather padding across the headband makes both headsets comfortable in this area, so it's a shame that it hasn't been extended to the ear cushions, especially in the costlier Rage 7HX. That said, the textured cloth that is used is soft enough to not be an issue in use, it's just not as pleasant as other headsets with leather padding here.

The build quality of the pair of headsets is also great, as they each feel nice all over and sturdy too. For the £53 Rage 7HX, this is spot on, but for the sub-£30 Rage ST this is a real bonus as it feels like a more expensive headset and makes the similarly priced Gioteck EX-05 feel like a cheap toy by comparison.

Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews
Click to enlarge - There's plenty of extension for larger craniums

Though you cannot tilt or swivel them to suit your head shape, the earcups of the Rage headsets extend quite some distance on either side so as to cater for larger noggins. Our small ears were mostly well covered but larger ones might struggle to be completely enclosed. We don't like our heads to be clamped, but the pressure exerted by the earcups could be greater, as it's fairly easy to shake the headset loose, although in general use it's never an issue. The 7HX is the slightly heavier headset, but neither become uncomfortable or too warm after prolonged use.

The aforementioned textured cloth used to pad the earcups is fairly poor at containing sound. Combined with the relatively low pressure the headsets exert on your ears this means that neither one has very effective passive noise cancellation and both tend to leak sound out quite easily too.

Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Review Ozone Rage 7HX and Rage ST Reviews
Click to enlarge - The detachable mic fits to the left earcup and has some flexibility to it

Another trait that the Rage headsets share is a fully detachable microphone, which attaches to the left earcup via a 3.5mm jack. Judging by the specifications and the shape, the same mic is used for both the Rage 7HX and Rage ST, except with a different colour scheme to match the relevant product. The microphone itself is slightly flexible but has a limited number of places that it will actually remain in when you adjust it. We experienced no problems with voice clarity and the active noise isolation did a good job of eliminating loud background noise such as typing.

You'd be forgiven for wondering if the paint job (and price) was actually the only difference between the Rage duo, but fear not. The Rage ST, which connects via a pair of 3.5mm jacks, is limited to stereo sound only, whereas the USB powered Rage 7HX can take advantage of virtual 7.1 surround sound, so at least the letters and numbers in their namesakes aren't completely devoid of meaning.
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