XPG may be a name you have not come across before, and even after a brief bit of research I could find little more than the existence of a couple of headsets, one of which being the XPG EMIX I30 Gaming Headset that was on my desk – until I noticed something on the back of the box… the headset is actually made by Adata, a name I’m sure a lot more of you are familiar with. Unfortunately the link from Adata’s website leads us to a registry landing page so the trail went cold.
So with very little provenance or history to go on, it’s time to just get stuck in and see what the wired ear-bud style headphones have in store for us.
- Frequency response
- Rated power
- Power capability
- 5Mw MAX
- Cable length
- 4m stranded (Y type)
- Plug type
- 5mm 4-pole
- 2 years
First impressions from the packaging are fairly positive, the outer sleeve covering the sturdy cardboard box presents us with a clear image of the earbuds along with a limited amount of information about the headphones.
The rear of the box gives more details about the product as well as the additional contents of the box. The drivers are 13.5mm which professes to offer great bass and the contacts are gold-plated for better conductivity.
The side of the outer sleeve gives is a list of the ample contents which I will go over in detail later.
The other edge gives us the lowdown on why you should be buying the XPG EMIX I30, the first real 3D surround in-ear headset, 5.2 surround, great treble and bass, as well as a design that improves timbre and so on.
Finally getting inside the box and we are gifted quite a variety of extras; in addition to the earphones themselves we have a 4-pole to 2×3.5mm jack splitter cable for use on your PC, an airline jack, 2 extra pairs of silicon tips for a more comfortable and secure fit, a firm case for all the contents to be kept safe, and an information booklet.
The earphones themselves are quite distinctive in metallic red and black metal, they are somewhat spherical in nature with the silicon tips in translucent grey providing a bubble on top. There are no controls on the earbuds themselves, instead the control box is lower down on the right side of the y-shaped cable.
The control box of the EMIX I30 is a simple looking affair, being only a single button and a hole for the microphone. It’s not quite as simple and straightforward as it first appears though, the button has multiple functions when the headset is used with a smartphone; a single press will pause and restart music playback and also answer calls or end them, press twice to skip to the next track when playing music and three times to skip back to the previous track.
My first use use of the headset was connected to my mobile phone, and I instantly came across a problem. The headset will pause playback and answer a call with a single press, but if you manually answer a call then press the button it will not only pause the playback but also close the call… something that I wasn’t expecting at the time. Another issue I came across was the skip forward and back functionality only seems to work when playing a playlist of tracks on your device – if you are using Spotify for your tracks, then this skip function is not available.
It is certainly not all bad news though, like most audio devices aimed at gamers, the bass on the XPG EMIX I30 is very well represented by the default tuning. This means that revving engines, gunfire and explosions, whether in game or on video playback, is really powerful. If you enjoy some beat to your music then you will be happy with these. Rock and heavy metal is very enjoyably reproduced and even tracks that rely on acoustics over bass, sound respectable when played through the device.
If you like your music loud then you might be disappointed, I would describe them as being ‘loud enough’ but there could have been a bit on top of the max for those who really want it. Playing games and listening to movies however really brought the headset to life, hearing everything from the tiniest sound to the roar of a thunderstorm though I couldn’t really say that I got a full 5.2 surround experience – after all, there was only one driver per ear and although the sound was great it didn’t seem any more localised than good stereo.
One downside was with phone calls, there was again a lot of bass present that occasionally made the other party hard to understand until I became used to it, but I think it was asking too much of the headset to expect great call audio on top of excellent movie and fantastic music and gaming sounds. Speaking of gaming it didn’t seem to matter if I was playing The Witcher 3 or Hearthstone, the XPG EMIX I30 never disappointed in it’s performance.
In a nutshell, the performance of the headset in gaming, movies and music was always great and occasionally fantastic. I would sadly rate the XPG EMIX 130 as being sub-par for phone calls or anything with subtle dialogue – at least until you become accustomed to the slight distortion from the bass and treble focused tuning.
I really like the cosmetic design of the XPG headset, it’s certainly gamer-centric in the classic black and red theme, but the option to go with only one button for all functions is a bit baffling. It causes confusion as to it’s limitations and it seems to excel at presenting those.
Throughout my time with the EMIX I30 one thing niggled me, I had no indication of the price and so no way to evaluate it’s value, until now that is. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, the RRP, at least in the UK, is £89. Right from the start, with an enjoyable unboxing experience and the great acoustic performance that comes from the nicely tuned drivers I was prepared for an expensive product. I would have liked to see it around the £50 mark with an eventual store price of perhaps £40-45 and it would have been well worth putting this headset on your shopping list. Sadly all the great stuff goes out of the window if you simply cannot justify paying for the item in the first place and that’s where my feelings are currently, the XPG Emix I30 is just too expensive.
Final thoughts: the performance for the most part is great, and styling and presentation are good enough that they outweigh any bad points and so it it is quite easy to give the XPG EMIX I30 the Play3r Silver Award, sadly it’s the value aspect that holds me back from anything higher.
Thanks to Adata for sending us the XPG EMIX I30 5.2 Surround In-Ear Gaming Headset for review.
- Great booming acoustics in games and movies
- Plenty of bass and treble to go around
- Classic gaming styling
- Poor call audio with too much bass/treble
- Single button for multiple functions doesn't really perform well enough
- The RRP is hard to justify