When you think of gaming peripherals, the likes of Razer, Corsair, and Logitech G always come to mind. Others, like Turtle Beach, Roccat, and Mad Catz also have their place among the countless gamers out there. Every now and then, however, another competitor enters the fray. While not exactly new, Rapoo is very new to me. Its game enthusiast lineup, Rapoo V, even more so. The Rapoo V brand aims to bring affordable peripherals to gamers by cutting costs wherever possible, without actually affecting the peripherals in question. The result is a barebones unboxing experience with little to no actual packaging to talk about, and a peripheral that Rapoo hopes will more than makeup for it. We were fortunate enough to be sent the Rapoo VH510, a leading headset in the company’s enthusiast lineup. Fortunately for Rapoo, it largely seems to be cut out for the job — I am just not too certain about that whole “not affecting the peripheral” aspect.
The Rapoo VH510 has been designed to be a lightweight and no-fuss pair of headphones. Instead of burdening you with unnecessary software, various cables, connectors, and mics that can detach at will, everything found in the box comes down to one single item: the headset, and its attached mic and 2-metre-long cable.
The headset features a sturdy frame that helps to alleviate the weight from your head. It also has a faux leather headband that rests on top of your head, while its massive earcups wrap around your ears. I could see the frame and headband design working well, in the event that I could try it to its fullest potential. Alas, the headband seems to be a “one size fits all” affair, which should not be a bad thing by any account. The issue I came across, however, is that the headband’s “tightest” setting seems to be too large for my head. Now I do not have a small head by any means, but the whole idea about a stretching headband is for it to fit all heads. This is the first time I have come across this issue in a headset.
Due to the headband not fitting all that well, the tip of my ears brushed against the top of the earcups. Thankfully, their massive cylindrical design ensured I never felt like they were resting on my ears. The cushions are also made of a soft material. I am unsure whether it is some form of memory foam, or just sponge covered in artificial leather. Either way, I do appreciate how soft to the touch they are. While this means the seal around your ears may not be strong, anyone who gets hot really quickly will benefit from the added breathability.
I must also mention how the headset features a single volume rocker on the back of the left earcup, and an atrocious amount of RGB throughout both (more on that later). Its design is decent, but certainly will not win any awards. The unit has a nice grey finish, which compliments the dark faux leather bits. Where it fails to impress, however, is in terms of how it feels and the overall build quality. The Rapoo VH510 looks and feels cheaply made thanks to massive plastic seems and a gaudy grid-like design on the earcups, which feature cycling RGB… that cannot be switched off.
To take full advantage of the Rapoo VH510, all you need to do is plug it into a free USB 2.0 or newer port. That is it. I find this both a blessing and a curse. Plugging it in, waiting for the plug-and-play drivers to get to work, and getting on with gaming is nice and simple. However, I would have preferred some kind of software to allow me to switch off the RGB, or toggle the headset’s virtual surround sound.
As it stands, the Rapoo VH510 works solely in surround sound. You plug it in, you wait a few seconds, and you play. Windows 10 automatically picks it up as a device with 7.1 capability, which means you have nothing more to do. Even so, I still went ahead and enabled Windows Sonic for the headset. While most outputs like music streaming and system sounds hardly changed, I noticed a vast improvement in video gaming. Somehow Windows Sonic still sounds better than most third-party virtualisation gaming headsets come with. Who knew? Regardless, the headset does have a fairly decent output. It is loud when it needs to be, and soft when it matters. It does sound fairly Bassey, however, which I am certain is a special tweak implemented from the Rapoo V sound team.
On the other side of the spectrum, I do not think the Rapoo VH510 features a mic that is all that good. The hardwired microphone is a tiny thing that sticks out like a sore thumb in front of the headset. It is lengthy and seems like it has little to no pop-filters installed in it. Surprisingly, that is something Rapoo thought of. During testing, I noticed that pops have indeed been filtered fairly well. What I do not get at all, however, is where you mute and unmute the mic. The toggle sits squarely on the very tip of the microphone – you know, where you have to speak into. This baffles me! I tested muting the mic a couple of times during recording, and I noticed ear-bleeding “knocks” the majority of the time. If you are planning to use the mic during gaming, maybe wait until you sign off before you fiddle with that toggle.
Overall I think the Rapoo VH510 acts like the affordable gaming headset it sets out to be. However, I do feel it has too many unnecessary features meant to make it look more enticing for gamers on a budget. At its suggested retail price of R799, I think there are many alternatives out there that would benefit gamers more in the long run. The Turtle Beach Recon 70, for instance, costs just R699 and has an auxiliary port for multiplatform gaming. It also fits all head sizes, so there is that. In any event, I will mention that the Rapoo VH510 caters for PC gamers and it does so amicably. Gaudy RGB and terrible mute toggle notwithstanding, it does sound good and sits neatly around your ears. I am sure this no-fuss lightweight design is exactly what some gamers on a budget are looking for.
|Compatibility||Microsoft Windows 10 & MacOS|
|Acquisition||Review product courtesy of Brandhubb South Africa|