Tt eSPORTS Level 10M Gaming Headset Review

Print
by Ryan Perry on July 28, 2014 in Audio & Media

Thermaltake’s Level 10 product line has always been as much about style and design as it has been about innovation and function. Until now, one piece of the puzzle has been missing: audio. That changes with the Level 10M gaming headset, designed for gamers and those on-the-go. Let’s find out if it’s deserving of that Level 10 name.

Testing & Final Thoughts

Whether playing a game, listening to music, or watching movies, the results were the same. The Level 10M headset does a good, all around job by producing crisp high and solid mid-range sounds that are easy to pick out.

If you’re looking for a lot of low end punch however, you’re not going to find it here. There are always tweaks that can be made using software, but the sound distorted before reaching the fair level of bass that I was hoping for.

Moving on to the microphone, the noise cancelling ability of the Level 10M was average, and required some changes in the soundcard’s software that weren’t necessary with my daily driver headset. This could be due to an increased sensitivity to counteract the shorter microphone arm that sits at the cheek rather than in front of the mouth, but we can’t say for sure. What we can say is that there was a very noticeable hiss before additional noise cancellation was selected within the soundcard options.

Finally, the voice quality was metallic and robotic, but still good enough to get the job done. While my voice was clear, it was evident from the recordings that sound reproduction was a little off.

Where the Level 10M really shines is in the build quality and overall design. Thanks to the aluminum that runs through the headband it feels incredibly solid, and doesn’t exhibit any of the plastic creaking found in some headsets. Kudos to Thermaltake and BMW for managing to keep the weight down as much as possible, while still using quality materials.

During a two hour gaming session, the Level 10M was much more comfortable than my daily driver headset. The padding on the top of the headband does well to absorb the weight, and the soft, over the ear cups negated any clamping force.

Final Thoughts

Having used a surround sound headset exclusively for about 3 years, I frequently caught myself making comparisons between them. This isn’t fair since the two are aimed at different markets, but it’s hard not to notice the immediate limitation of a single audio driver. While the Level 10M struggles to handle average levels of bass, it does well in every other field.

Some folks might be wondering about positional audio for first person shooters, but I purposely left this out in the testing section because stereo headsets, like the Level 10M tend to be less than stellar in this department. While it isn’t the fault of the hardware, performance in this area was weak and is something that prospective buyers might want to keep in mind.

The microphone was a bit of a let down, but I tend not to talk much in game anyway. This isn’t a headset that you’re likely to pick up if you’re looking to doing some recording or voiceover work, but it would have been nice to see some extra care taken with the microphone setup so that it didn’t sound as if some sort of processing was being done to change my voice.

Even though the Level 10M gaming headset does have some audio limitations, the styling is a welcome change in my opinion. The overall look garnered a mixed reaction when I showed it to some friends, and their opinions were split down the middle about whether or not they would wear it out in public, which is what Thermaltake intends. Perhaps a detachable mic would have swayed the votes somewhat.

I can’t mention the build quality enough though. This headset is built like a tank, but still light enough to stave off fatigue during long gaming sessions. Even though it may not be comfortable for some, the headset felt light as a feather and rested exactly where it needed to when wrapped around my gigantic noggin.

Thermaltake Level 10M Headset

The purpose of a review is to help readers and prospective buyers to determine if they should drop some cash on a particular product, but I feel like this one is only going to make people sit more firmly on the fence, rather than push them one way or the other.

While the Level 10M headset doesn’t have the total package required to bag an Editor’s Choice award, it is a good, all around headset that’s built to last, but just don’t expect any aural wizardry. At a penny shy of $100 US, it’s certainly not cheap, but if you can find it on sale for 25% off, which has been the case lately, it’s a worthwhile investment.