- Brand: QPAD
- Model: QH-90 Gaming Headset (Closed Cup)
- Website: http://www.qpad.com/products/headsets/QH-90-White/
- RRP: £71.99 (At time of the review)
Taking a look at what’s currently on offer to gamers, enthusiasts and general users, there is no shortage of designs, colours and shapes of gaming peripherals to choose from. Choosing the right gaming gear can be a tedious task at the best of times with a huge selection available and it can take a pretty eye catching design to get noticed from pedigree crop, but how do you choose your weapon? Well I would like to talk about one brand in particular, QPAD.
With QPADs main objective focusing on arming the plethora of professional gamers with peripherals worth yearning for, there is a huge market for products that look good and perform equally as well. With sleek and stylish Swedish design, it’s down to the performance of their products that people will buy their stock. Having previously had a look at their MK-80 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, it’s time to take a look at something different from their range.
Sound is just as important to gamers than any other peripheral, especially in first-person shooters, where are those shots coming from? Can I hear footsteps? Is that semtex I can hear beeping below me? All these things are definitely important for even the casual gamer, as it has a direct impact on performance and the overall experience.
In my possession today is one of QPADs QH-90 gaming headsets in white. How does it perform? Is it worthy of being called a gaming headset? Or does it fall flat on its ear cups?
Let’s find out, starting with the specifications
QH-90 Technical Specifications & Features
- Hi-fi capable 53mm drivers for supreme audio quality
- 15-25.000 Hz frequency response
- Detachable microphone (quick and easy to plug/unplug for music-only purposes)
- Solid aluminium construction for durability and stability
- Super-soft padded leather headband and leather padding on cups
- Closed cup design on QH-90 for enhanced bass-reproduction and sound leakage
Transducer type: Dynamic Ø53mm
Operating principle: Closed
Frequency response: 15Hz-25KHz
Nominal impedance: 60 Ω per system
Nominal SPL: 98±3dB
T.H.D: < 2%
Power handling capacity: 150mW
Sound coupling to the ear: Circumaural
Ambient noise attenuation: approx.20 dBA
Headband pressure: 5 N
Weight with microphone and cable: 350g
Cable length and type: 1m + 2m extension + 10cm iphone
Connection: Mini stereo jack plug(3.5MM)
Transducer type: Condenser(back electret)
Operating principle: Pressure gradient
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power supply: AB powering
Supply voltage: 2V
Current consumption: Max 0.5 mA
Nominal impedance: ≤2.2 kΩ ± 30%
Open circuit voltage at f = 1 kHz 20 mV / Pa
Frequency response: 100 – 12,000 Hz
T.H.D: 2% at f = 1 kHz
Max. SPL: 105dB SPL (THD ≤ 1.0% at 1KHz)
Microphone output: -39±3dB
Length mic boom: 150MM(include gooseneck)
Capsule diameter: Ø6mm
Now to take a look at the packaging….
On the front of the box, there is a nice illustration of the headset in all its glory, along with a list of small thumbnails which state the features. The main colour scheme of the box is a very minimalistic black and white theme.
The rear of the outer packaging gives a general overview of the specifications in 6 different languages. It also gives a small statement from QPAD on the QH-90 itself.
Inside the box, is another box! The inner packaging is a crisp matt black, which is a very nice feature. It gives me a sense that the headset inside is going to be of good quality. Looking at the inside of the lid of the inner packaging, is a message congratulating the end user for purchasing the headset from QPAD which I feel is nice. It is something different and I can only give credit to QPAD for making me feel honoured to have the QH-90 in my possession.
After finally getting through both boxes, we are greeted with a number of different accessories such as a quality nylon carry bag, 2m extension cable, iPhone/MP3 player adapter and a control box which has a really nice soft feel to it.
The 2m extension cable is a nice touch, especially for those who need it like myself. I have a large desk and game on the other side of my desk from my gaming rig and I can imagine a lot of gamers would love to have the option to extend their cable length when required.
The main material of choice by QPAD on the QH-90 is leather, more particularly white leather. It has a nice feel to it and does compliment the overall aesthetics of the headset really well. Although not as crisp as the plastic closed ear cups, it still looks great.
As you can see from the padding, there is lots of it and it really does look like a comfortable headset. Comfort is a huge factor when I game, I really like to rack the hours up and a comfortable headset equals a better experience overall.
Another nice touch is the white braiding, which protects the cable from being damaged during use. Also, as you can see here, the headset is adjustable for paramount comfort. The main mechanism that adjusts is made from aluminium. The ear cups themselves are held in place with very strong plastic joints.
On the headband, the QPAD Logo is embroidered which yet again adds to the quality of this product.
Here is the side of the ear cups, which have the QPADs predominant Q logo displayed on both sides. The cups are made of a solid strong plastic and I have no qualms about the quality or the durability of them.
Now to see how they perform under testing….
To give a large variation of the QH-90s capability in terms of sound quality, I decided on a certain testing methodology and one that I feel would get the most out of the headset. I have split testing into 4 main categories, Gaming, Music, Voice Communication via Skype and Comfort.
All testing was done via my Asus Xonar D2X sound card as I felt if you are willing to spend the money on buying a quality gaming headset, you would also opt for a dedicated sound card. However this does come down to personal preference and felt it would get the most out of the headset whilst testing.
Starting with gaming, which is what the QH-90 is designed for, I picked a couple of games I felt should show what the QH-90 is made of. Out of my catalogue I decided on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Fifa 13, and World of Warcraft. First on the agenda was to dive into Call of Duty, engaging in battle on Nuketown 2025. This is a very close combat type of map which I thought would be perfect for testing the headsets positional audio capabilities, bass tones for constant explosions and for the higher types of gun abuse such as squeals from SMG fire. My first impression was a good one, clear crisp gunshots, nice vibrant explosions especially when I stood next to a car with C4 on top of it (big mistake). I could quite easily hear people trying to run behind me and the sound around the map was vibrant as I was dancing around aimlessly trying to gain some kills. The bass was punchy and crisp, the high and mid-range was pretty good also. The bass did feel slightly weak which I was slightly concerned about but the quality was still really good.
While testing the QH-90, I thought it would be a good time to challenge one of the other editors to a game of Fifa 13. Cue Brendan van Varik and his so called *skills* at football games, I set about letting him experience a goal glut so to speak. The sound during game play was awesome, commentary was crystal clear, the crowd chants were very distinguished and the sound effects such as slide tackles, kicks of the ball and the whistles of the referee were a pleasure to listen to. People could be wondering why Fifa 13 was in my list but I feel it’s good to get a general all-round feel when it comes to sound and that’s what I want to provide.
My final gaming test was World of Warcraft and with the amount of different sounds around the expansive WoW world, I thought it would be a perfect test of the QH-90s audio capabilities. From the clanging of warriors swords to mighty dragons trying to stomp on me, the QH-90 was in its element here. With mages fireballs being spammed beside me, to me casting heals to keep the main tank alive, all the sounds were crisp, clean and vibrant to say the least. I feel the only thing letting the headset down is the bass reproduction. I feel it could be more defined and a loud thud comes across punchy, this is good for games with constant explosions but for a rumble I was quite disappointed. This could be down to my sound card but it is generally fine with other headsets I have used.
To test the music reproduction qualities of the QH-90, I picked 3 songs from 3 different genres.
Rock: INME – Crushed like a fruit
Dance: Tony De Vit – The Dawn (Dark by Design remix)
RnB: Rihanna – SOS
My choices were purely based on personal preference and songs I feel would showcase a diverse range of sounds to my ears. First of all a listen to INME is always welcomed, one of my favourite bands. The nice kick of the bass drum all the way to the riff emanating from Dave McPhersons guitar, the sound was crystal clear and my ears were very happy with what they were hearing. Bass again was slightly lacking but wasn’t a huge worry. Moving onto Tony De Vits the Dawn (DBD Remix), it’s a very fast paced dance song, with lots of quick bass thumps, a wide range of instruments screaming all over my senses. I really enjoyed listening to the song via the QH-90s. Finally was Rihannas fantastic song, SOS. Again, I felt the bass was lacking which is beginning to be a regular jaunt with the QH-90.
With no drivers or software available, there was no way to adjust the bass other than via the Asus Xonar control panel. The QH-90 relies on its inbuilt 53mm drivers which are designed for superb audio quality.
Whilst chatting to Brendan, which I usually do on a daily basis, the sound was of overall good quality. Voice was clear and the microphone was of excellent quality. The problem whist using Skype during gaming, was there was some sort of interference as the sound coming from my mic was described that of a helicopter. I have no idea what could be causing this and although it was a minor annoyance for them, it was bearable. However it was a negative point and doesn’t happen with any of my other headsets.
Comfort is where the QH-90 shines best in my opinion. Probably the comfiest headset I have ever worn, the padding on the closed cups is generous, the headset was relatively lightweight and didn’t weigh my head down after long sessions while wearing them. The padding was very nice on my ears also, they didn’t feel nippy which is a fantastic plus point.
Well after using the QPAD QH-90 gaming headset constantly for around 3-4 days, how do I rate them and more importantly, how good were they during testing?
Well to summarise the overall performance, QPAD have done a very good job at producing what I would describe as, an all-round, good performing headset. The QH-90 is touted as a gaming headset but I feel it’s much more than that. With its diverse range of tones in not only gaming, but in music also, these are the real deal. Although they aren’t 5.1/7.1 certified but classed as Pure Hi-Fi grade, they do compete with the markets other offerings in the same price bracket. I would have liked the QH-90s bass reproduction to be slightly deeper, the bass does still have a distinctive punch. The other drawback was the interference during my Skype conversations whilst gaming. This was an annoyance that I have not yet experienced but would love to know the solution, as it brings down the quality a touch in my opinion. Speaking of quality, the closed cup design worked very well, as my music could not be heard externally as I was listening to it at medium volume.
The aesthetics are beautiful and the design being minimal, which is a feature on the majority of QPADs range, the white is a stunning crisp and clean colour and compliments the headset well. The detachable microphone is a nice feature and with the iPhone adapter the QH-90 comes with, you can use it on the move while listening to music, which is a nice touch.
Touching on the price, they are priced very competitively but I feel they would appeal to more gamers if they were in the £60-70 price bracket as for not much more, you could pick up a dedicated 7.1 gaming headset which I feel would be the better choice. Don’t let that put you off QPADs QH-90, as the quality for the price your paying is going to be very hard to better, couple that in with the looks which are as big of a plus as the quality in peoples purchasing criteria, the QH-90 is an all-round, good quality headset.
If you’re in the market for a new headset, want one that’s very comfortable, has a diverse range of sound and spec wise and competes with some of the very best gaming headsets currently available to buy, look no further than the QPAD QH-90 gaming headset.
The QH-90 greatly deserves our award for design based on the comfort and the fantastic aesthetics; I look forward to experiencing more QPAD products in the near future.