Installing and Configuring
These are USB headphones, so just plug the USB plug into an available USB port.
Simple enough, and they will work that way, but you will get tons better audio performance downloading and installing the drivers, including 7.1. Without the drivers, you will only get Stereo.
Here you can get some information (though I will have more in my review) about the headphones as well as be able to download the drivers.
After you download and extract the 29.8Meg package, you will want to double click on the click “Setup.exe” file to start the install process.
Simple install, click “Next”, then “Install”
When it’s done, you will need to restart your computer, so save all of your work. I do recommend restarting, if you don’t, please don’t complain that something is not working right.
It will not automatically start with Windows, and this is something you will want to start up after the restart of your PC to make sure you can configure it.
The first message you will see is to activate you Windows Speaker icon, if there is no check in that box, place a check there then click “Exit”.
After you click “Exit” you will be greeted by the “Volume Control” section, and pay close attention, there are some things I will mention here that are not in the manual and by mistake figured them out. As you raise the master, they all go up, even the slider on the top right-hand corner. Left and Right Front speakers are individual. The Volume Control section also comes up if you click the “Speakers” icon on the left.
If you click on the “Microphone” icon on the left you will get the volume control for the microphone. When you first turn this on, the Mic-In will be at 0.00 for both Left and Right and it is super low. I had to raise them to 16.07 so I could hear myself properly. The monitor, allows you to hear yourself while you are recording, I don’t like to hear myself while I am recording, though it might help you record properly.
Clicking on the “Lighting” icon. As you can see, the “Enable Lights” check box is unchecked, you will want to put a check in here to start up the lights.
If you click on the drop down for “Light Effects”, you have the features above. Static, Breathe, Blink and Heart Beat. The “Speed” slider will not function in “Static” because it is just a solid color, the default color is blue.
Dragging the curser over the color scale, either of them, will allow you to change the color of the headphones LED light, but they will not change until you release the mouse button.
Breathe will cause the lights to pulsate on and off depending on the level you set the Speed slider to.
Blink, will blink through all of the possible colors shown above.
Heart Beat, is a little misleading. At first, I thought it pulsed based on your heart beat… but that’s not the case. With heartbeat, depending the audio playing through the headphones, the light will beat light a heart to the sound depending on the color you select. A nice little feature I think, if you are playing a game or listening to music, this will add a little ambiance in a dark room.
Clicking on the “i” on the top right hand will let you know the versioning of the Audio CODEC, Audio Driver, Firmware, DirectX, CPL and copyright information.
If you click on “Detail”, it will display the GFX and LFX versioning and modified date.
Clicking on the Cog/Gear on the top right-hand corner gives you this screen. From here you can have the program show in the system tray, change the UI transparency then also allows you to make the entire interface more transparent. “Don’t show start up message” keeps the message below from popping up every time you start up the program if it’s not in the system tray.
Careful with the transparency, it can make things really difficult to see
To the average person, even after reading the manual, you would think this is all of the features and you may be disappointed if that was the case but it’s not. By mistake, I found if you right click on the “Speaker”, you find an entirely new set of controls.
You get Volume Control, which we have already been using, Sample Rate, Equalizer, Viper Surround Headphone, Xear Audio Brilliant, Xear Dynamic Bass, Xear Smart Volume and Viper Surround Max. Since we have already seen “Volume Control”, let’s jump to “Sample Rate”.
Here you can select the Sample rate for the audio and then the Bit Depth.
Moving to Equalizer, the default setting is unchecked, which is the default for most settings but I checked it on so that you can see the defaults. Here you can select how you would like your audio to sound like. If you are hardcore about your music and don’t like the way it sounds by default, you can come here and browse through their settings, or create your own.
Viper Surround Headphones, disabled by default is what changed things for me on these headphones, why is this not on by default. Here is where you enable the Surround Sound feature for the headphones, without it you have a stereo headset.
Many would think there would be no difference between Music Mode and Movie Mode but there is a pretty big difference. On Music mode, the audio sounds more like it is coming from above, very tight audio. Movie mode sounds a little more like it is coming from below and more spatial, open.
The Room Size section, allows you to select what kind of a room the audio will sound like its coming from. The smaller room, sounds like you are in a phone booth, the middle room selection sounds like you are in a very large room, maybe your living room where you might have some audio equipment setup to watch movie and the largest one sounds like you are in a theater, but a really larger theater, a bit open. I feel more comfortable in the middle section, the audio sounds amazing and while the audio sounds good on the larger one, it just makes it sound like those speakers are smaller, things actually do sound further away.
Viper Audio Brilliant, as with the others comes by default disabled and must be clicked to enabled, I did say must. Without it, the audio sounds good, and you would not think anything different until you found this setting. This will help both in music and movies to get that extra emotion into audio, yes, I said emotion.
With this setting enabled, it seems to add a lot of the audio that somehow was missing. This allows audio to become music more crisp and clear. The Brilliant Level audio allows you to adjust that level of clarity, sometimes things can get too real.
Viper Dynamic Bass, a setting I had an issue with, not because there was anything wrong with it but because I am not a fan of bass too much. These settings are like Lego pieces, sometimes the model you are building might seem complete, but the model is not complete till you add those additional pieces, this is one of those.
Before this find, everything sounded great, while watching Captain America Civil war, I enabled this feature. Viper Dynamic Bass, added depth to punches, bass to Tony’s and Steve’s voices, it added intensity to the experience. The Bass Level lets you select the depth and the Cut-off Frequency, I could not find a movie or a game where this would come into effect. The cut off frequency allows the bass to slowly cut off when the bass requires too much power from the head phones.
Viper Smart Volume equalizes the sound levels of Music or Speech to reduce the need to adjust the audio during low audio points in music, games or movies.
Viper Surround Max, like the others comes disabled, but when you click “Enable Viper Surround Max” it’s the water to the sponge. Viper Surround Max adds to the surround sound experience, while not 100% needed, it does make the audio sound more full, it’s a little bonus.
These additional options are all that “Speakers” offer but “Microphone” has a little more as well.
The additional controls like with “Speakers”, come with a right click on the “Microphone” icon. The right click brings up “Volume Control”, which is the default section that comes up with a left click, but then we also have “Sample Rate” and “Vocal Effects”.
Here you can set the Sample Rate for the microphone.
Vocal Effects is off by default and it’s a good thing. It’s not that it does not work, it works very well but this is not something you want on all the time… if you are sane. Vocal Effects allows you to change your voice during recording to sound like a Monster, Cartoon, Male or a Female and it does a pretty good job too.
Talk is cool and all, but like you if I was reading this review, I would like to actually hear it. So, I recorded a video going over me using this software along with playing with this vocal effect as well. I recorded the audio using this Microphone as well.
In this next page, I will go over using the headphones and show you how everything works.