MSI DS502 Gaming Headset ReviewManufacturer: MSI
UK price (as reviewed):
RRP £49.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $64.99
MSI is somewhat behind the likes of Asus in terms of dishing out gaming peripherals, but it will soon have two headsets to its name with the DS502, which connects to your PC via USB, due to hit shop shelves any day now in the UK while in the US it's already out in the wild. Priced at £50 (RRP) and $65 respectively, it's in prime gaming territory and enters a very crowded market.
It doesn't appear that MSI has gone totally alone in developing the headset either - we spotted a couple of shots from a company called Etekcity with its H7PX+ headset looking pretty much identical to the DS502. It doesn't really matter who makes it, though - if the price, comfort and audio are top notch, we don't care, as Kingston did something even more obvious with the superb HyperX Cloud.
Starting with the basic specifications, the DS502 uses 40mm drivers, as opposed to larger 50mm models in many of the competition's headsets. That said, MSI claims similar performance to the likes of Corsair's similar Void Surround
, with a frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz, yet a lower price tag (the Void Surround can still be found at its launch price of £59.99 - still £10 more than the DS502, but is likely going to to move north of this at some point.)
The design is familiar and reminds us a lot of Qpad and SteelSeries products, with a headband that automatically extends to fit your head and a twin support bar stretching over this. It's also very similar to HyperX's Cloud Revolver
, except the DS502 doesn't suffer from the latter's excessive vibration caused by its metal frame. So far so good then.
The earcups don't rotate for easy storage, which is one reason why headsets such as the Void Surround cost a bit more, but they do adjust to meet your ears so you're pretty much guaranteed to get a decent fit and this extends to the large and small-headed too. The headband has an adequate amount of padding, although we'd have liked to see a little more. The ear cushions are much more substantially-padded and generally quite comfortable, but the padding itself is a little firm for us to call the comfort epic, like we would for something like the HyperX Cloud. There weren't any hints of head ache after long periods, which can often happen with overly harsh ear cushions or too much pressure, but they don't have that floaty feeling we've seen with better headsets.
The cushions are circumaural and have large recesses for your ears so there are no issues there.The earcups appear to be open back despite large red illuminated MSI dragon logos sitting in the centre of each - there are also mech sections surrounding these too.