Roccat Elo 7.1 Air Headset Review
The Roccat Elo 7.1 Air Wireless Headset is the top model of the Elo series. Roccat was acquired by Turtle Beach in 2019 and is now the company’s official brand for PC gaming accessories.
The Elo Airs try to be an all-rounder for around 100 euros: 7.1 sound, RGB, AND wireless. They also offer the patented “Superhuman Hearing Tone Adjustment” from Turtle Beach. But how good is the simulated 7.1 sound, and can you expect a good wireless headset for this price?
Our test showed that the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air is more of a pretty average gaming headset. However, it offers a good range of features, and the price of “only” € 99 is remarkable for a wireless headset. The Microphone is good, and the comfort is also good.
Unfortunately, the sound is weak – ergo, if you don’t value wireless, there are better options.
- Impressive battery life
- Wireless audio
- Good audio quality
- 7.1 true surround sound
- Better wired headsets
- Sound isolation
- Volume wheel in an awkward place
Roccat Elo Air 7.1: Design, Quality & Comfort
The new Elo series from Roccat offers you, three different models. The Elo 7.1 Air is currently the high-end product of the series and advertises wireless sound, RGB lighting, and surround sound. With the supplied USB dongle, the headset can be easily connected to your PC or console, and you can start right away. Just be warned that the “out-of-the-box” sound is not the best (more on that below).
Visually, this is a gaming headset. There is a large colored LED Roccat logo on both headphones, which makes a difference. But, of course, you won’t see this lighting while gaming – nice, but we’ve never really understood lighting on headsets.
The adjustable headband fits all head sizes and can be easily stretched. There is no grid here. Due to this design, the headset sits firmly on your head and offers a comfortable fit. We didn’t have any problems with slipping, falling, or anything like that – it sits full but not too tight.
The synthetic leather headband and ear cups are soft and breathable. Despite its lightness, the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air feels stable and durable. Even if we find a lot of plastic here (which is completely normal and justifiable for this price), the plastic is high quality, and the metal struts on the headboard also provide good stability.
The ear cups are hinged and rotate completely for a relatively flexible fit. You have to be clear: The Roccat Elo 7.1 Air is a very comfortable wireless gaming headset. The suspension strap sits with just enough tension without being too tight. The earpads are made of memory foam that is covered with synthetic leather.
Even for eyeglass wearers, the Elo Air is above average comfortable, yet you will, after a few hours despite the “ProSpecs Glasses relief system,” feel some lateral pressure. But it has to be said very clearly that the Elo Air is more comfortable than many other over-ear headsets. Nevertheless, the synthetic leather is a little too stiff to seal glasses well. And the headset lacks the tension to solve the problem.
Unfortunately, the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air headset controls are a bit strange and spongy when pressed. We have tried many times to adjust the volume in-game and instead accidentally increased the voice chat volume. In addition, the on / off switch is rather small, while the mute microphone button is very large in comparison. Which means you accidentally squeeze the latter.
The range of the headset is the way some 10 meters and broke off at any time. So there is nothing to complain about here.
What gives us a bit of a headache is the open cable routing on the sides of the headband. As you can see in the picture, the cables are exposed and are almost directly attached to the flexible headband and headphones. Although there were no problems during our test, such constructions are always a bit questionable – the keyword cable break comes straight to mind.
In the long-term test, it remains to be seen how well the whole thing turns out. So keep it in the back of your mind – if you’re someone who likes to get tangled in the headset or throw it down a lot. Nevertheless, the cables are covered with fabric, which gives a high-quality impression. In addition, Sascha privately uses headphones with similar construction, for example, and has not yet had a broken cable there, even without sheathing.
Sound Quality, Software & Battery Life Of the Roccat Elo Air 7.1
The question that interests you very much. Is the virtual 7.1 sound any good, or can it be thrown in the bin? Of course, we recommend you to use the part in stereo, but why buy a 7.1? You can already see the problem because the sound of the Elo Air is more useful in stereo mode WITHOUT software than with any EQ adjustments or 7.1 solderings.
Don’t get us wrong. The sound quality in stereo mode is usable, but that’s somehow not the purpose of the exercise. But even in stereo mode, the bass is rather weak, and the sound is simply thin. Of course, you can get a little more out of the 50mm drivers with the help of the Swarm software, but that’s all rather bad than right.
The Swarm software gives you access to additional functions such as the virtual 7.1 surround sound and more detailed controls for the headphone equalizer, the adjustment of the RGB light color, microphone settings, and much more. It works, but to be honest, the app is very poorly structured, and even the basics like checking the battery level require searching around. But back to the sound.
Due to the 7.1 emulation, differences in highs and mids are lost. As a result, normal stereo sounds much cleaner, especially when gaming. In addition, the presets for certain games via the equalizer offer you a few optimizations. Still, the sound is often very distorted and ensures that certain noises are sometimes almost overdriven. Steps in shooters are more audible but sometimes drown out other background noises.
Of course, the Roccat Swarm software is not necessary. And to be honest, we recommend you to leave this stuff out completely.
There consorts like the Logitech G935 and Steelseries Arctis 7 are further, offering a significantly differentiated and clearer sound image. Logically, the things sometimes cost 30-50 € more, but then the whole thing works as it should.
Roccat claims that the Elo 7.1 Air’s battery can last up to 24 hours. We were able to confirm this in our test. The battery lasted over 23 hours on a single charge with the lights off at a constant medium volume. With lighting, the battery lasted much shorter and gave up the ghost after almost 16 hours. Very neat!
During longer breaks or periods of rest, the headset has switched itself off to save the battery. We think this is a good thing, but it might annoy some of you.
In short: Unfortunately, the Roccat Elo Air 7.1 disappoints a bit in terms of sound, especially since only the stereo mode can be used. But bass lovers will not get their money’s worth here, and there are also comparable headsets with better sound for music.