There are a lot of great gaming headsets out there. Some are designed for more cinematic experiences, while others are designed to give players a competitive edge. Products made by Fnatic tend to follow the latter philosophy. Now, the renowned eSports brand has just released a new wired gaming headset called the Fnatic React. One of these was sent to us for a fair and unbiased review. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Wired connection: 3.5mm
- 53mm drivers (calibrated for esports)
- Protein leather earcups with memory foam padding
- Detachable cardioid microphone
- Included 3.5mm splitter for PC
- Price: $79.99
Unboxing and Build Quality
Inside the box, you will find the headset itself, the detachable cardioid microphone, a 3.5mm splitter, and the instructions. It has a primarily black design with the white Fnatic symbol on either side.
Let’s start by talking about the headset’s construction. It has a rubber cable running from the left earcup that has a small controller with a mute switch and a volume dial attached to it. The headband is adjustable and has little dots on the inner band that make it easy to ensure that any adjustments are even. It’s padded in memory foam, which itself is coated in a mesh fabric. This isn’t quite as smooth as leatherette, but it offers more breathability.
The earcups, on the other hand, are upholstered with protein leather. This is incredibly soft. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable materials I’ve ever tested, though there is some heat build-up when the headset is used over long periods, since it doesn’t really breathe.
The React is light and generally comfortable, although it felt like it gripped a little too tightly for my taste when used over prolonged sessions. Still, it feels like a quality piece of audio equipment that was constructed from sturdy materials.
The audio from the Fnatic React is solid. Sure, it may not have the bass levels that you might expect in a headset designed for a more cinematic gaming experience, but it’s crystal clear. The high, mid, and low tones all feel perfectly balanced. This makes it a great choice for those who consider audio accuracy to be the gold standard.
There is no virtual surround sound with this headset. It does offer a surprisingly decent sense of directionality for a stereo headset, but headsets that do have virtual surround sound, like the HyperX Cloud 2 or Cloud Core, might have the advantage for PC users. Having good directional audio is important for people who like games like Valorant or Apex Legends, since you need to know what direction those footsteps are coming from at a split-second’s notice.
It’s also worth noting that the protein leather earcups give this headset some pretty decent noise dampening. Players who use these are unlikely to be distracted by outside noises.
The microphone feels just as well built as the rest of the headset. It’s detachable, which is great for those times when you don’t need it. It’s also a cardioid mic, meaning it picks up audio from a single direction. This is nice, since it helps to eliminate ambient noise like computer fans and the sounds of typing.
The audio quality recorded by the mic is surprisingly good as well. Most headset microphones tend to sound a little bit tinny. The React’s microphone can get a little distorted when the user gets too loud, but it has a nice, clear sound to it when the user speaks at a normal volume. It won’t be competing with a good USB mic for content creation anytime soon, but it’s definitely good enough that you can be certain your teammates will be able to easily understand you.
Is the React Worth the Money?
The Fnatic React MSRPs at $79.99, but you can already find it on sale for around $60 at the time of writing. That’s good, because that’s a much more competitive price against headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis 3 and the Razer Kraken.
Competitive PC users may prefer to choose a headset that offers virtual surround sound for a higher degree of directional audio, but the React is a reasonably priced headset for those who favor comfort and build quality — especially if they’re gaming on a console and wouldn’t be able to make use of virtual surround sound anyway.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The Fnatic React is a comfortable headset with great audio and above-average microphone quality. It doesn’t offer virtual surround sound, but has good directional audio for a stereo headset. This makes it a great choice for console gamers in particular, but it’s a valid option for any gamer who favors comfort and build quality.
- Protein leather is incredibly comfortable
- Audio is balanced and clear
- Good mic quality for a headset
- The headband grips a little too tightly
- No virtual surround sound
- Some heat build-up