Heard of Snakebyte? If you scoured Amazon or Newegg for good gaming accessories on the cheap then there’s a chance you’ve come across this German company with some curiosity. In Europe they’re well known, in America not as much; but that’s ok because the Head:Set Pro makes a good introduction to the brand.
The Head:Set Pro incorporates many of the workings that make other gaming headphones so appealing. The general look is squarely focused on being as flashy as possible without completely relying on angular designs, even the typical plastering of glossy surfaces to the frame is swapped for brushed and durable matte plastics. To contrast the subdued aesthetics, the headband brace, inner earcup and USB cable is swathed in neon yellow, along with prominent LED lighting on the outer earcup grille, inline controller, and microphone which turns off when muted. Although, some may find the lighting too luminous and distracting to peripheral vision.
Ultimately, the earcup construction carries a noticeable amount of weight and is hardwired, immediately reminding me of audiophile-grade headphones. This was probably Snakebyte’s intention in an attempt to portray the Head:Set Pro as something more luxurious than its $50 tag lets on. A floating self-adjusting leatherette headband is designed to sit on your head without having to make manual adjustments is certainly a nice touch. It’s relatively comfortable and doesn’t shift too much if you’ve got a full head of hair. This isn’t to say that the Head:Set Pro isn’t accommodating to bald scalps but fitted headbands are sometimes hit-or-miss for most things that involve stability.
A lot of the criticisms I have are for some of the physical qualities of the Head:Set Pro, and I believe that the majority of people will quickly learn to live with the potential drawbacks too—which is perfectly acceptable for the money saved and the quality of sound. Snakebyte put its best foot forward in the audio department where gaming is directly concerned. With large 50mm/100dB drivers that emphasize power and broad immersion, everything hits a punch and spatial separation is accentuated by its default profile and reliance of bass boosting.
The range is good too, especially when virtual 7.1-ch surround sound is enabled to for added dimension. The effect for appropriate content is convincing enough with mid and high-range objects coming in the strongest, which I enjoyed in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and The Division 2. For reference, it appears that Snakebyte uses Windows Sonic for implementation on PC.
This headset feels right at home if your playlist primarily consists of electronica/EDM, Trap, or Hip-Hop music. It would be an understatement to say that the Head:Set Pro emphasizes anything related to bass even before turning on the bass boost button on the in-line controller. Without it you get a heavy but flat sound character that’s passable but puts it on the same level of any other cheap headphones at higher volume, push that button and things change dramatically that you can literally feel the earcups vibrate on your head as the low-end busts through. It’s stupid loud and that’s good, unless you were hoping for something more sophisticated, then not so much.
The microphone is another high point and does an competent job of isolating unwanted noise, much better than other recent headsets I’ve worn in this price bracket. Voice output is good and compares to other competitors that cost double the price, which makes sense as a USB connected headset. One tradeoff is that the mouthpiece isn’t detachable but is flexible and uni-directional so you can place it wherever you need it.
The Snakebyte Head:Set Pro is an unexpected surprise. I normally don’t find affordable gaming headphones that try to punch above their class all that decent, because they typically can’t pull it off. Does the Head:Set Pro manage the seemingly unfeasible? Well, not entirely but hits most of the right areas in audio delivery and general voice output at a reasonable price. Consider this a alternative to the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas or HyperX CloudX, it might make sense if you’re on a tight budget but want something more than basic.