Viper V380 Gaming Headset Review
Shining bright, under $100
With gaming headsets being a dime a dozen, sorting the good from the mediocre can be a tough task. Viper hopes to cut through the noise and deliver a headset that checks all of the boxes for an affordable price. The Viper V380 Gaming Headset features beautiful illumination, 53mm neodymium drivers, convenient on-ear sound sounds, 7.1 virtual surround sound, ergonomic design, detachable microphone, all for the affordable price of $89.99. Will they meet the high expectations of today's gamers?
- Current Price: $89.99
- Ergonomic closed-ear design for passive noise cancellation
- 1 Virtual surround sound
- Hi-Fi 53mm Neodymium Drivers
- USB Interface
- Durable Braided 2.1m cable
- On-Ear sound controls
- Full-spectrum RGB illumination
- Detachable Environmental Noise Cancellation Microphone
- Frequency Response (Headphones): 20Hz - 20kHz
- Frequency Response (Microphone): 100Hz – 10kHz
- Weight: 310g
The Viper V380 surprised me right out of the gate. During my unboxing, I noticed right away that Viper focused on quality instead of just capitalizing on the headset craze, beginning with the box. Now, I know this may seem like a minor thing but for me, it is one of the more pleasurable parts of getting buying a new product: having that unboxing experience. Upon opening the box, the headset was cradled well in the foam insert and presented well.
The first thing I noticed was how light they were. The V380 features a solid and durable build. The chassis feels good in the hand and doesn’t flex or creak, even though it’s built with a mix of metal and plastic to keep the weight down. The yokes, one of the most common points of breakage is metal with a reinforced plastic hinge.
Viper has also given good consideration to long-term comfort. Both the headband and ear cushions are trimmed in plush faux leather. This really assists in blocking outside noise – and yes, that does actually matter. Even though these headphones look like they’re open-back, even though the mesh on the outside of the earcup might lead you to think otherwise. The leather-wrapped headband has the right amount of flex and clamping force to keep it comfortable during long gaming sessions, and is padded enough to prevent head pain even after several hours of gaming.
The ear cushions fit well and provided proper isolation at the expense of some breatheability. Some headsets aim more at form over function, that being said I can honestly say the V380 features a very crisp audio experience for such a light package.
Putting the headset through some rigorous trials was quite enjoyable. I wanted to see just how well these could perform, so using audiocheck.net as my tool, I checked the frequency response. My results came within .1 percent of the specifications on the datasheets. The quality of the drivers proved to be exceptional, and the driver matching tolerances were spot on with only a minor variation in the mid-range.
Build quality has quite a bit to do with how sound presents on a headset, which is another good reason not to go for the most affordable headphone you can find without doing the research first. Depending on the construction, high frequencies can take on sibilance or hiss. Deep bass content can cause rattle. During my testing, I turned things up a notch and used bass frequencies that shook the drivers. Even on unrealistic frequency tests like this, there was no rattle or hiss which goes miles to show the quality of the build.
Virtual Surround Sound
Is virtual surround sound comparable to true surround sound? For the audiophiles out there, the answer is as clear as the audio is on the V380. For the gamer not looking to spend their life savings are audio equipment, going virtual can bridge the gap between basic stereo and epic surround sound setups. Vipers V380 offers a 7.1 virtual surround sound experience that is immersive as well affordable. Multiple gaming sessions with my favorite first-person shooters allowed me to test this for myself. It was easy to tell were both friend and foe were on the map. This helped me to be more accurate and aware on the field than my prior stereo headset. While this doesn’t compare to full blown (and expensive) surround sound systems, I loaded up various surround sound test audio clips and without fail this headset portrayed the exact locations as presented by the audio test clips and expanded the sense of space.
Viper’s software does allow control over the equalizer. This, however, is more of a manual adjustment as there are no premade settings to use. Users without knowledge may find it difficult to adjust without some trial and error.
Illumination on headsets is far from new, but the implementation can vary widely between headsets. The Viper V380 features full-spectrum RGB lighting and is visually appealing. The LEDs outline the angular design of the headset while being vibrant. You control this in two ways, the first being the dedicated button on the headset itself. This allows you to cycle through two different effects as well as separate colors. The second option is using the Viper Software suite where you’ll find more control over the settings, colors, and effects. The only thing I wish they would add is an option to easily sync lighting between other Viper peripherals you may have.
Viper decided to go with something a bit different from many headsets in this range and make the mic detachable. During my trials, my teammates had no issue hearing me loud and clear due to the environmental noise cancellation and omnidirectional mic. The headset does include a dedicated mic mute button located on the earcup. The only thing I was not fond of was the semi-flexible arm which struggled to stay in position after I'd moved it.
For $89.99, the Viper V380 RGB Gaming Headset hit the target for being a great listening device and a great value. I would highly suggest this set of headphones for anyone looking to upgrade from a traditional basic pair of headphones or even a seasoned gamer looking for something with a bit of flair. In the weeks of testing, I found that I often grabbed for these even over my more expensive wireless set. Everything I threw at these they passed with flying colors. music, movies and of course gaming all were clear, loud and overall a great experience.
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.