It’s been a while since QPad have come across our desk. I last spoke to the team at Gamescom 2019, and checked out all their new product line for 2020. And now we’re nearly half way through this odd year, we’re starting to see the new QPad gear come out. So this is our review of the QPad QH-95 gaming headset.
QPad have always retained a decent build with their peripherals, and it’s no different with the QH-95. The frame itself is made from aluminium, which feels very tough. I’ve stretched them around a decent amount, and sure, there was a couple of creaks, but I never felt like these headphones were going to break on me physically. The brackets that hold the earcups are also very sturdy. The earcups have around 30-degrees of movement, and the headset has a whole is very light.
The headband is covered in a soft leather, and the underside is very padded, which made it very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The earcups are also covered in soft leather and made from memory foam, so the tension on the skull is kept to a bare minimum. They didn’t feel tight at all yet the memory foam hugged my head for some decent noise isolation. The earcups are also closed off – with massive QPad branding on them – which helps with sound leakage, although the soundstage isn’t as wide as open-backed gaming headsets, but more on the tech in a moment. To be honest, everywhere you look you’re going to be greeted with a QPad logo or symbol. They’re very heavily branded, which is a shame. A plainer set of black gaming headphones would have been a lot sleeker.
There are exposed cables that run between the earcups and headband which I’ve never been a real fan of on other gaming headsets we’ve seen in the past. If there was a chance these would break, the exposed cable is where it’ll happen. Overall though, I’m very happy with the physical quality and design of the QPad QH-95 headset.
Now, I mentioned tech, and this is where the QPad QH-95s really shine. And I’m confident with that statement, as this is one of the better implimentations of digital 7.1 I’ve heard. For this, the headset relies on an external sound card that’s supplied in the box. The soundcard doubles up as a remote and has buttons for volume, muting your headset or microphone and also the 7.1 activation. Now, sound separation in the standard stereo mode is pretty decent, and I had a couple of really nice games of Valorant with them, but as soon as that 7.1 sound kicks in, you can place certain noises far better in the game. Footsteps for example are an important cue for Valorant players, and I can safely say that if someone’s running up behind you, you’re going to hear it.
The external sound card relies on USB power, where as the standard in-line remote, which is also supplied, plugs straight into your audio and mic jack in the back of your PC. There are no drivers that need installing either which is just a bonus for me. Plug and play all day. Makes things nice and simple.
Sound quality wise, the headset definitely favours the mids and highs, and gun sounds and grenade explosions really suffer from a lack of punch bass. But that’s not what these headphones are for. If you’re after game changing sound, this won’t suffice. But, if you’re wanting to listen to your enemies footsteps, or if they’re reloading round a corner before popping back out to start shooting at you, then you could consider the QPad QH-95s for sure. After all, the box does say they’re suitable for pro gamers.
This is far from the worst sounding headset, and when in games, you’re concentrating on those pin-point sounds that you forget about quality, as getting those clutch kills are so much more important in that moment. When listening to music however, or if you’re playing a casual single-player narrative title like Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s pretty much the same thing. The headphones favour the mids and highs, which makes vocals in music sound decent and clear, and snare hits and higher frequency digital instruments shine through, but with that lack of bass, it feels a little empty. I mean, sure the bass is present, it’s just not punchy enough to really immerse you into a game or a piece of music. This is both with the 7.1 external sound card and the in-line remote by the way, which if I didn’t say before, both have exactly the same controls bar the button to turn on 7.1 audio.
The cable length in total can reach up to 5.4 meters long, which is perfect for gamers who keep their desktops away from their monitors, or even console gamers who like to lounge back on the sofa while their PS4 or Xbox One is on a TV unit. There is an adapter which can turn the standard in-line remote into a single jack to go into controllers., but the 7.1 sound card needs USB power, so a cable to the console is required.
I tested the microphone quality by recording some audio into Adobe Audition, as I can’t hear myself when talking to my friends on Discord, and I must say, this microphone absolutely rocks. It sounds so good for a microphone that sticks out the side of a gaming headset. Of course it’s not going to be a match for your Blue Yeti sitting on the desk, but if you’re lounging back on the couch playing some games, your friends aren’t going to complain about listening to you with this mic. It produces a very clear tone, and also very well rounded with a bit of bass to make your voice sound a lot more full in games. One downfall is that because of that closed back design, and the fact the memory foam pads do a great job of isolating outside noise, it’s a little difficult to hear yourself speak to know how loud you are being. I would have liked to have had some kind of audio passthrough so I could monitor my vocal level in my headset, but this is an ultimate nit-pick at best.
The microphone itself is on an an articulating boom arm so it can be bent into a position most suited to your mouth, and it actually does a terrific job of keeping background noise down. My phone went off several times during my test, and each notification was very quiet compared to my speaking voice. The microphone can be removed if it’s not needed, and on the end of a 3.5mm aux jack which just plugs right into the side of the left earcup. As I said before, there’s a mute switch on the side of the in-line remote or soundcard, depending on which one you’re using for your setup, so you can mute yourself if you needed to speak to someone outside of your game.
The Qpad QH-95 gaming headset has got some glowing features, and to be quite frank, if you’re into your competitive FPS games, there’s not much better if you don’t want to mess around with condenser microphones and audio interface setups. Also if you’re a console gamer, you can’t really go wrong. The 7.1 virtual surround sound is a bit like love it or hate it, but at least here you’ve got the best of both worlds, on a decent length cable. The headset is also very comfortable to wear for long periods of time, which means if you’re like me, and you’re finding yourself playing Valorant more and more, it’s definitely a decent way to go. For more information, please head over to the QPad website.