Hello High Grounders and digital wanderers. Thanks for stopping by and checking out this review on Genius’ HS-G680 Gaming Headset. Ignacio from Genius hooked us up with the headset making this review possible.
The Genius HS-G680 Gaming Headset with 7.1 Surround Sound offers a truly immersive experience at an incredible price. I had the opportunity to try this headset over the course of a week, and my experience was wonderful. I knew from the moment I opened the box that I was in for some fun. With its sci-fi looks and quality components, this headset rivals much more expensive hardware at a fraction of the price. It is super simple to use and an all-around great piece of gear for the everyday gamer. Want to know more?
Let’s dive in.
Zoom In: Specs
- Driver unit: 50 mm
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20KHz
- Sensitivity: 105 dB ± 3 dB @ 1K Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω ± 15%
- Connection: USB
- In-line control: Volume up / down
- Weight: Approx. 380 g
- Dimensions: (W x H x D)205 x 220 x 96 mm (8.07 x 8.66 x 3.78 inches)
- Color: Black
- Cable length: 2.2 m
- Genius HS-G680 Headset
- 1-page instruction manual
- Technical information sheet
The first thing I notice? This thing is sexy. With a black and red color palette, it sports your typical gamer colors. It has a hefty feel, but it’s still light enough to be comfortable for prolonged use. The outer shell wraps around the leather ear cups and adjustable headband, offering lots of durability. I had trouble finding the microphone until I caught a glimpse of it peeking out of the ear cup. It’s fully retractable and extends a good 3 inches or so. Nice.
The connector cord itself is wrapped in a thick casing, resembling high grade paracord. About a foot down from the end of the headset I spot the in-line control. It features a volume toggle, mute option, and LED button. Moving along, the cord extends several more feet in length and ends in a USB plug for what appears to be super simple connectivity.
I plug it into my computer.
The required driver installs on my computer in about a minute. The headset whirs into life. With the click of a button, the red LEDs in the outer noise cups blink on and the tip of the microphone follows suit. I slip them over my ear.
The first thing I notice is that the adjustable leather headband pulls up on my glasses. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but some adjusting brings them to a more suitable position. The leather cups themselves are super cushiony and cozy. My ears give them a thumbs up. I slide out the microphone from its slot in the outer shell. It glides out and sits to rest just above my mouth. Ready for action.
Schooled by the Genius HS-G680
I decided to fire up Fortnite on my computer to put this baby to the test. As you probably know, in Fortnite it’s imperative that you hear everything around you at all times… or you’re at a huge disadvantage. You will die. Plain and simple. As the opening animation segway into the main screen music plays, I can tell I’m in for a treat.
Once I’m launched into Battle Royale, crisp audio comes through and I hear everything. The sound is crystal clear. Gunfire off in the distance? I can tell exactly what direction it came from. Footsteps approaching? Not a problem. I turn around just in time to deliver the death blow. The headset boasts a 7.1 multichannel virtual surround sound system, and it does not disappoint.
I jump over to squad mode, and my teammates hear me loud and clear. We expertly navigate the tricky terrain and take out our enemies, communicating constantly. The mic offers 360 degree sound capability and noise isolation. The verdict? This mic delivers. I think it’s definitely safe to say that this headset will help you level up your game.
I was a little frightened at first by the minor tugging feeling that comes from the adjustable headband. It wasn’t that bad, but it was irritating. I kept having to adjust and readjust. Then I realized the major source of the discomfort was the positioning of the top headband. There is a sweet spot for me where it simply rests atop my ahead with little frustration, and it no longer pulls at my glasses. I’m confident everyone could find the sweet spot with a little trial and error. But still something to note.
The soft leather ear cups and headband are both very nice to the touch. The leather is so soft and cozy on my ears and head, and it never gets too hot or cold. I’ve used the HS-G680 for hours upon hours with little fatigue or desire to take it off. I’d even reckon it gets more comfortable over time as it’s broken in. Genius uses quality materials for this headset, and it shows.
The sound quality of the Genius HS-G680’s is superb for the price point. The surround sound is clear and concise. I was able to accurately judge enemy locations during my gameplay, and listening to music on the headset is a true pleasure.
Marks are high for the large 50mm sound drivers as well. The HS-G680 can get LOUD if that’s your thing. Combined with the snug ear cups and crystal clear volume, you can adjust the headset to match your style for any purpose.
The mic is a solid player as well. Throughout my time testing this gadget there were never any issues on the receiving end. That is unusual, even among higher priced headsets. The mic delivers clear communication and the noise isolating technology from Genius scored high marks no matter if the sound was being received or sent.
This thing looks sweet. It almost has a Darth Vader-esque feel about it with the honeycomb mesh LED shell and dark colored design. I totally feel ready to obliterate the rebel base. And that’s half the battle, right? Going into the game with confidence and style makes a total difference. Feel the part? Much easier to act the part.
I’ve mentioned the color palette, soft leather features, and retractable components. The cord that snakes its way to the USB port on the computer even shouts style. However, the in-line control panel leaves something to be desired. It’s functional, but it doesn’t have the wow factor the other parts have. The plastic molding feels a bit cheap here, and the design doesn’t compare to the rest of the headset. Just because the part isn’t worn, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look cool too.
Overall, well done by Genius on the design. I would feel comfortable gaming in these anywhere, and it looks like a much more expensive headset than the actual price point.
Sounds Like a Winner
The HS-G680 is ready to go out of the box. You don’t get a whole lot of extra goodies with this headset due to the entry level price.
That being said, Genius does offer a sound driver download that pairs with the G680. I had to check it out.
At first I wasn’t very impressed. The GUI resembles an early 2000’s piece of software, and the navigation panel doesn’t impress. However, if you right-click on the speaker and mic controls, a drop-down menu appears with lots of options.
The speakers toggle includes:
- Volume Control
- Sample Rate
- Environment Effects (awesome feature)
- Virtual Speaker Shifter
- Xear SingFX
- Xear Surround Max (specifically crafted for gaming)
The mic toggle includes:
- Volume Control
- Sample Rate
- Xear SIngFX
- Microphone Boost
After discovering these options I launched back into a game to test them out. The result? Actually pretty awesome! Out of the box the headset is very well-suited for gaming. But the software offers a ton of sound options that can be customized down to a micro level, with fully customizable surround sound a real possibility. Pretty neat.
My personal favorite feature was the environment effect. You can adjust the headset to emanate sound as though you were in a variety of environments, such as a concert hall, forest, or even a bathroom! While not really practical for competitive play, there are lots of fun and unique things you can do with the software.
Overall the headset functions well on its own. The box doesn’t contain much in the way of goodies, but the driver download is a nice addon. I’d recommend that Genius make the navigation panel more intuitive and understandable. But a great free addition to the already value-packed headset.
This HS-G680 by Genius scores near-perfect marks in the value category. I am so impressed by what you get for the money. The headset rivals much more expensive gear, and it’s a fraction of the cost. It’s so easy to get set up and running, and you’ll be playing in style once you are.
The quality of the materials is excellent for the price point. Combining some higher end components with your standard baseline materials was a smart move by Genius. It gives the HS-G680 the edge to stand up against more expensive sets, while providing exactly what the average gamer needs.
The tech specifications for this headset are phenomenal as well. Overall, an ultra-affordable headset that delivers superior performance.
If you’re interested in purchasing this headset you can support High Ground Gaming by buying through this link.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Comfort - 7/10
Sound - 9/10
Look - 8/10
Software & Extras - 7.5/10
Value - 9.5/10
The Genius HS-G680 is truly a plug-and-play device. It features an awesome design while delivering solid performance at an incredible price. You don’t need to pay $80 or more for decent virtual surround sound anymore. Recommended for any gamer looking for that extra edge without breaking the bank.
- Durable craftsmanship
- Convenient in-line controls
- 7.2 surround sound at a great price
- Mic isn’t great
- Sometimes pulls up on glasses