There are three main areas to address when it comes to a headset, they are Comfort, Audio Quality, and Microphone performance. I’m going to start off with what I consider the most important, and that is comfort.
In design terms, the Echelon Forest is of traditional design with a telescopic headband for size adjustment which offers a good range to suit virtually any size of head.
Though the design may be conventional, the headset does sport particularly large 100mm ear cushions and the result of this is absolutely superb comfort levels because they don’t come anywhere near your ears; if they do you can probably detect radio signals through yours.
Not only does this make them inherently pleasant to wear but the softness of the thick padding combined with the light clamp pressure makes the Echelon Forest a very good choice for users with glasses.
An area where headsets often fail for me is in the headband padding; not so here however, the headband pad is large and thick enough to provide a good level of comfort thanks to the light weight of the headset and the softness of the foam.
Overall this headset is right up there in terms of comfort, and just like ASUS say it really is ideal for marathon gaming sessions.
In their previous outings the 50mm drivers this headset packs have been highly praised for their clarity and punchy bass response, and said praise is no less deserved by the Echelon Forest.
The Forest’s drivers pack a nice meaty punch to them that makes the heavy basslines of electronic or hip-hop music satisfying to listen to but so do they deliver the clean mids and crisp highs that make even the crooning of a Soprano a pleasurable listening experience. With the help of a bit of equalisation there is no music that doesn’t sound good through this headset, though they don’t quite match the pin sharp HyperX Clouds.
In gaming the headset also performs well, the directionality is solid for a stereo headset and the punchy bass really helps you get immersed in a gunfight whilst the clean response of the drivers also makes footsteps easy to pinpoint. If you are really hardcore I can imagine you might want to EQ some of the bass out to be more competitive but I’m sure the majority of users will find the immersive qualities of the bass response a very satisfying gaming experience.
For the money there really is nothing to moan about with the audio performance, this is just one of the better sounding headsets I’ve used full stop; it may be a bit bass heavy for some but it is by no means unbalanced and personally I enjoy a richer soundscape from a gaming headset so it gets the thumbs up from me.
The microphone can often be an area of sacrifice on gaming headsets but in the scheme of things the offering here is really rather good. The quality is very good and the fact that it neatly retracts into the ear cup is really handy if you want to get the mic out the way.
The only downside is that at high volumes the mic can pick up a lot of feedback from the drivers which can be a pain for people you are gaming with but if you go down to a more sensible volume it really isn’t much of an issue.