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ROCCAT Elo X Stereo
September 1, 2020
Original: $49 USD
Feb. 2022: $34 USD
24 x 7.8 x 24.6cm
The ROCCAT Elo X Stereo headset is a budget gaming headset built to be versatile. It works on any device with a 3.5mm jack, has no additional software, and it’s comfortable for hours. If you’re tired of gaming headsets that feel too bassy, and microphones that aren’t clear enough, this could be just the thing.
However, this gaming headset isn’t without its drawbacks—do the positives outweigh the negatives?
Editor’s note: this review was updated on October 20, 2022, to update formatting.
What’s it like to use the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo?
The ROCCAT Elo X Stereo is as straightforward as it comes. All you do is connect the headset into a device with a 3.5mm input and you’re ready to go. ROCCAT includes a detachable mic and a PC splitter for computers with separate microphone and headphone jacks. The headset’s controls are on the left ear cup: a volume dial and a microphone mute button. The volume dial doesn’t control master volume, and it’s positioned in such a way that you’re not risking accidentally cranking things up every time you adjust the headset.
When I put the headphones on, the metal part of the headband rings when it shifts on my head. It’s a bit strange, and the sound occasionally happens out of nowhere, which isn’t great. The pads on the ear cups are comfortable and don’t hurt my head after a few hours, even though I wear glasses. The headset is a little bit heavy and slips when I lean forward. This can be a problem because the suspension frame, similar to that of the SteelSeries Arctis line of headsets, means there really isn’t much you can do to get a more secure fit.
How is the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo for gaming?
The ROCCAT Elo X Stereo is pretty great for gaming. It has great stereo sound that accurately represents directional sounds in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Splitgate. (Yes, Windows Sonic was off.) Other gaming headsets with a bassier sound can make CS:GO sound especially overwhelming, but it sounds great in this headset. Footsteps and jumps don’t sound too loud, and gunshots from bigger, boomier guns aren’t overwhelming at all.
My experience playing Splitgate in this headset is the same. Directional sounds are accurate, guns aren’t overly boomy, and footsteps and jumps sound like they should.
This headset handles the environmental sounds of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild really well. Everything from footsteps to rain to battle music comes through beautifully, with the stereo sound helping a lot with directional awareness. Some headsets can make louder sounds like thunder sound too overwhelming or boomy, but they sound great in this headset.
How well does the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo block noise?
Isolation on this headset is really lacking. The ear cups don’t seal the ear very well, and there isn’t much adjustability with this headset, so lots of sounds come through really easily. I can easily hear my mechanical keyboard when I’m playing a game or listening to music, and I can hear regular household sounds like finger snapping, cooking, and I can even hear the sound of my neighbor playing guitar through the thin walls.
How does the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo sound?
The ROCCAT Elo X Stereo headset has a noticeably different frequency response to a lot of other gaming headsets. This headset under-emphasizes bass and sub-bass, resulting in a much less boomy, bassy sound from music and games. As you can see from the chart above, the response deviates significantly from our ideal target curve not just because of the low-end roll off, but also due to the extra boost in the treble region (around +7dB at 8kHz). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be a personal preference for those who find most gaming headsets to be overwhelmingly bassy, or appreciate being able to pick out high-frequency details clearly.
Lows, mids, and highs
Music through this headset still sounds pleasant for the most part. Listening to Savior Complex by Phoebe Bridgers, I can clearly hear all the instruments, like the melodic acoustic guitar strumming, the subtle bass line, and the symphonic strings surrounding the whole song. Phoebe Bridgers’ voice comes through clearly among it all.
Music through this headset still sounds accurate and pleasant.
Guillotine by Death Grips is a more bass-heavy song and sounds a bit underwhelming in this headset. The under-emphasis of sub-bass sound from this headset causes some masking of those frequencies. While the rest of the sounds of all frequencies throughout the track sound great, that sub-bass element is absent enough to make the song less enjoyable. It’s not like the sub-bass is completely missing, but it’s less present than I would personally like.
Does the ROCCAT ELO X Stereo have a good microphone?
The microphone on this headset is impressive given its status as a budget headset. Voices come through very clear without any noticeable distortion. Everything is loud and clear through this mic, and you don’t need to adjust much to get clear audio that’s ready for any game or video call. Listen for yourself:
ROCCAT Elo X Stereo microphone demo (Ideal):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo?
If you just want an affordable gaming headset with less bass, this could be the one for you. It’s easy to use and great to game with, with alright sound and a surprisingly great microphone. If you can look past the occasional metallic ringing noise from the headband and the awful isolation, this headset is worth the money for any gamer on PC or consoles.
What should you buy instead of the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo?
If you want a more bass-heavy headset with surround sound for the same price, the Razer Kraken X is a great option. For just a little bit more, the Razer BlackShark V2 is also a great option, with great isolation and sound quality as well as surround sound. These two options are best for PC gamers, so you can take full advantage of all the features that you can use with the Razer Synapse software.
Another affordable option without too many bells and whistles is the EPOS Sennheiser GSP 300 headset, which also under-emphasizes in the sub-bass range like the Elo X Stereo. It’s comfortable and easy to use, a lot like the Elo X Stereo.
Frequently asked questions about the ROCCAT Elo X Stereo
Yes, since the ROCCAT Torch USB microphone has a 3.5mm input on the mixer base, you can connect the Elo X Stereo to it. You may want to detach the microphone from the Elo X to ensure the device registers the Torch as your preferred mic, not the headset.
If you need wireless functionality, you should get the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air. Similar to the Elo X, the Elo 7.1 Air is a pretty unremarkable headset but you can use ROCCAT Swarm (PC) to customize your user experience a bit. This includes a custom EQ module and LED customization.