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Genius Zabius Multi-Platform Gaming Headset Review

/ Jun 24th, 2014 No Comments

PC-centric hardware manufacturer Genius has been producing good quality, mid-range products under the GX Gaming lineup for a few years now. The Genius product line extends into console territory with gaming headsets that are not only compatible with PC and Mac, but PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. The Zabius Multi-Platform Gaming Headset boasts a list of nice features, but are they enough to stand out from the crowd?

Build Quality

The headset itself feels fine, with construction having a tight feel to it. There is a complete lack of any clinks or cracking sounds commonly experienced with cheaper sets. The materials are another issue. The cushions on the ear cups are coated in a rough fabric, making them very abrasive on the face. Combine that with foam that has little to no give and a very tight fit fixed headband and the Zabius is anything but comfortable. After only 20 minutes, the set will cause a significant amount of discomfort.

The other side of the ear cups offer a metallic finish with red LED accenting that pulsates with the bass–a nice style addition.
 

Looks are very deceiving.

Looks are very deceiving.

The set comes with a detachable microphone that produces decent sound quality, as well as connectors for the Xbox 360 communications port and analog audio. The in-line audio controls have deeply recessed volume knobs, making them hard to adjust quickly between gameplay matches. It also has a deceptive lack of a clip for those looking to ease the weight the control bricks have on cables. In its place is another LED accent, only this changes from green to red to indicate microphone muting. The cables are a good thickness, but the entirety is wrapped in a soft silicone. This material picks up every ounce of lint and dust, and is difficult to clean and easy to tangle.

Performance

40mm drivers in each ear feel small and distant, and produce a much lower maximum volume than other headsets utilizing the same size drivers. This makes it less practical for online shooters, as a high volume, bass and treble adjustments are all keys to gaining the advantage over the competition. There is no distortion detected with the volume at max, but that should be a given at the level at which the headset’s volume tops out. Bass levels are poor, but can be adjusted on the PC with some basic tweaking.
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No clip here. Just more lights.

No clip here. Just more lights.

In terms of functionality, the headset works with everything it claims to be compatible with. Setup is quick and straightforward, with only a few plugs to connect and no additional software necessary for PC playback.

Value

At $99.99, the Zabius gaming headset is asking a high price and puts itself among very stiff competition. Even as a more comfortable headset, offerings from the likes of Tritton and Turtle Beach put the Zabius’ performance to shame on consoles. PC sets from SteelSeries and Logitech blow it away in comfort, sound and design. With some online retailers offering the headset for around $80, it is still difficult to recommend the Zabius headset over the competition.

Overall

The Zabius gaming headset is a missed opportunity. For a sub-$100 headset with multi-platform functionality, it feels like Genius was far too preoccupied with looks to consider how the headset feels. In the crowded gaming headset market, the Zabius is buried by the competition in terms of comfort and performance, with others matching or surpassing its compatibility. Genius is capable of making great products if devices such as the Gila Gaming Mouse are any indication. There are just too many poor choices made when building the Zabius headset to make it stand out from its competition.

 

Chance Asue

Chance Asue

Associate Editor & Multimedia Specialist at Gaming Illustrated
Chance Asue is a self-taught computer builder and hardware junkie. His favorite game franchises include Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. He is Gaming Illustrated's Multimedia Specialist and reviews the latest hardware tech.
Chance Asue

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GENIUS ZABIUS MULTI-PLATFORM GAMING HEADSET REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall50%

VALUE3

Blown away by its competition, which are mostly less expensive. Even with an online discount, the Zabius asks too high a price to recommend over its contemporaries.

PERFORMANCE6

With a low maximum volume and poor bass levels, the Zabius is impractical as a console headset for online shooters and detracts from the experience.

BUILD QUALITY6

Poor choices in material and design choices make this a headset that feels like a punishment to wear after only a few minutes.

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