- Very comfortable
- Good noise cancelling
- 7.1 surround simulation is fun for movies
- Mic is not sensitive or clear
- Headphones don’t fold, though cans do rotate
- Thin perceptual bass response
The EKSA Air Joy Plus Gaming Headset is a mid to low budget entry into that popular genre of headphone, the gaming headset. The very idea there might be a variety of headphones called gaming headsets is a marvel to me. Growing up in the era when multiplayer gaming was in its infancy, the idea that you’d actually need something so specific like this to do cooperative gaming is amazing to me.
It’s true to say, headphones are a well-developed technology by now and have become cheap and numerous, so they are all mostly good, and all that distinguishes them are price, build quality and audio fidelity. In this last area this headset is a mixed bag.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by EKSA. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Comfort and Silence
The EKSA Air Joy Plus Gaming Headset is a USB gaming headset with big, comfortable ear pads which completely surround your ear. The main joy in the Air Joy is that this is a very lightweight headset, perfect for LONG tracts of wear during extended sessions of the current crop of multiplayer games. Compatible with all flavors of Windows from 7 upward, it also works perfectly with PS4 and PS5, Nintendo Switch, macOS and certain smartphones.
Along with a native USB-C connector, an adapter so you can insert it into any regular USB socket is also included. No driver installation is required unless you want to take advantage of the 7.1 surround simulation, which needs quick and simple installation of a driver you can download.
The set features environmental noise cancellation through a mic in the side of the unit with a powered circuit to cancel out any environmental noise. This means the sound you hear is untainted by outside noise. It also means you can just set them on your head without any sound, and they give you a delicious creamy silence to relax in.
The headset has a flexible gooseneck microphone with a foam windshield. There is a mic mute button too in case you don’t wish for your fellow players to hear you breathing the whole time.
Highs and Lows
Most headphones are good enough if you’re not obsessed with the best quality and don’t have bottomless pockets. This headset is a mixed blessing. Audio quality in the headphones is pretty good, but the mic doesn’t have the same quality.
Let me explain: these headphones are quite good in certain circumstances, but they do suffer from one big downside of the microphone in the gooseneck. Before I talk about that, let’s run some tests.
Testing headphones is almost always an entirely subjective experience, which is why I’ve used my favorite test audio to try and nail down how these measure up to their published specs. The bass went down to 20Hz quite comfortably, and on the treble, it peaked out around 15KHz. (It’s possible my hearing may have lost some top end, as the younger you are, the more you can hear up there.)
The build quality tests didn’t rattle the drivers, even at the lowest frequencies, so the drivers are decent quality and tightly mounted, which means no distortion. Similarly, the driver matching test showed the drivers to be perfectly matched and wired correctly, and the image didn’t drift from one side to the other during a test of all frequencies.
The binaural realistic reproduction test sounded clear and with near perfect stereo placement. The sound was clear and pleasant.
The 7.1 surround reproduction wasn’t especially wide or expansive, but you do get the suggestion of surround sound. Movies sound great and so do surround-equipped games: lovely separation and clarity. It’s not the best surround experience, but honestly I was amazed it did it at all. Drivers are not included, but finding and installing the driver is a short Google search.
Yes, the build quality of the EKSA Air Joy Plus Gaming Headset is quite good, lightweight, and provided you treat them kindly, they should last you a long time. The fit is comfortable and light and doesn’t squeeze your head – which, if you have a huge melon like mine, is a blessing.
The noise cancelling is also good for a set of headphones in this price range, and it’s difficult to hear anything except the loudest noises when you have them on. It’s very soothing. It’s all good up to this point, which is what makes the downsides disappointing.
Where low-end headphones usually fall down is, ironically, on the low end. The bass didn’t rattle my fillings, and it’s not the strongest bass I’ve heard: it’s clear rather than loud. It’s what I’d call “realistic” levels of bass. There’s no bass boost, and to me that’s a good thing, as I think sometimes people mistake powerful bass for quality. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Also, the headphones don’t fold, which means they take up a lot of room if you pack them in a bag, although they do rotate flat, which helps a bit, and come with a spongy protective pouch that helps to protect them.
But for me the main downside in this otherwise decent set of low-end cans is that the mic isn’t sensitive and needs to be close to your mouth in order to pick up. It sounds like the output is from a system on a helicopter, low level and distorted. In that sense, it’s perfect for barking orders to a seal team in co-op mode (it sounds dramatic and action movie-like) but not as good for phone/Zoom calls or voiceovers.
If voice quality of the mic is high on your list, this could be a dealbreaker.
The EKSA Air Joy Plus Gaming Headset is priced at $35.99 (RRP is $51.99) and for that price, you get a budget set of gaming headphones with great sound and a lesser-quality mic.
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