Scuf H1 Review
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The Scuf H1 Review
Scuf Gaming’s H1 headset was released at the perfect time for many people who were probably in the market for a change. With the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles due out in November and countless games on the way, why not invest in a new headset too? The H1 offers both comfort and impressive sound to make it a strong candidate for such a change, and while the wired setup may be too restrictive for some, it’s also a handy measure to ensure it’s compatible with anything you are currently playing.
I’ve mostly stuck with a single wireless headset for most of the previous console generation, although I often ended up up use it with a wired connection anyway to avoid hassle with battery levels and connectivity issues. While a wireless option with the H1 would have been welcome for Scuf’s headset debut, previous headset experiences suggested that wired was the best choice in person anyway, so not having that wireless option wasn’t as much of an issue as it was for others. The starting price of $129.99 for a wired device raised some eyebrows at first, but the headset’s appeal only grew after weeks of use.
Before you even hear anything coming through the speakers, the H1 manages to be as unobtrusive as possible. The bulkiest parts are the exceptionally comfortable ear pads, and they’re not even that bulky to begin with. A compact frame around the earphones puts an end to the oversized and sometimes garish designs that other headsets have and excels at making you forget you’re even wearing a headset.
Just as there were no complaints about comfort, the headset’s sound offered a similar level of quality. After testing it on a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC in games like Cyberpunk 2077, Apex Legends, and others, it offered high-quality sound regardless of game or platform. It quickly became a go-to option for staying ahead of the competition in online games, and even single-player experiences that didn’t require the use of a headset became more immersive with the H1.
You don’t have to go far to compare the Scuf H1 to another popular pair of headphones. Now part of the Corsair family, Scuf has based the H1 on the Corsair Virtuoso, a modestly styled wireless headset that gets good marks for sound quality. Scuf has taken the overall Virtuoso aesthetic, changed it to a wired connection and applied a good dose of customization. The result is a gaming headset that is absolutely unique.
Like the Corsair this headset is based on, the H1 has large, comfortable ear cushions and a nicely cushioned headband. The headband should accommodate a wide range of head shapes and sizes; it extends nearly 1-3/8-inches on each side with 11 catches to lock into position. And the earcups rotate a full 90 degrees in either direction.
The frame puts surprisingly little pressure on your noggin – if your head is anything like mine, you’ll never feel like you’re wearing a vise on your head, making it comfortable to wear all day. In fact, I wore the H1 for 4-5 hours at a time on multiple occasions, and it didn’t bother me at all. My ears didn’t even overheat despite being wrapped in memory foam. On the other hand, the light touch of the H1 makes them a bit “sloppy” – if you turn your head quickly, they won’t stay in place, which you might not care too much about. Personally, I preferred that over more clamping pressure.
At the bottom of the left cup you’ll find a 3.5mm audio jack (making it universally compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch and more) and the detachable microphone port. The left/right legend is almost invisible on the inner shoulder of the headband – good luck reading in the dark – but with the mic on the left, it’s hard to put it on backwards.
You get a 6-foot audio cable with inline controls located 12 inches from the end of the headphones. The volume control is easy to turn by feel alone, and there’s a mic mute slider that you can manipulate without peeping too.
The most intriguing aspect of the H1’s design, however, is the customization, which is surprisingly extensive. When you order the H1 from Scuf’s website, you can configure the headset as if you were building a custom PC. You choose the base color (black or white), speaker label (more on that later) and which of the six ring colors accentuates the ear cup. From there you also choose the material of the ear cushions – the standard synthetic leather or a more comfortable hybrid of synthetic leather and fabric. You can choose between a unidirectional or omnidirectional microphone, and even whether you want the audio cable (and inline controls) black or gray.
If the H1 has a signature feature, it’s probably the speaker tags. These magnetic plates easily pop on and off the ear cups for jazz up your mostly white or mostly black headphones. There are about 30 tags to choose from – half a dozen solid colors, a few camouflage patterns and then a rich assortment of cool, colorful designs that range from star patterns to splatter art to other hip designs. You get to choose one tag when you build your headphones and buy others a la carte if you want to trade later within a collection of tags.
All these adjustments add up up, Although. The basic H1 costs $130, but most options cost extra. There are three “free” tags — black, white, or red — and the rest range from $10 to $30, depending on the design. The upgraded earpads and omnidirectional microphone cost an additional $10 each. If you equip your H1 with every premium option, final the price rises to $172, and adding extra tags later can become an expensive pastime, so I suspect most people will stick to owning just one or two. That said, I’ve been mistaken before about how much money people are willing to spend on accessories, so if tag collecting is your problem, good luck to you.
I’ve put the headset to the test in music, movies and games. The earcups are built around large 50mm neodymium speaker drivers which delivered a solid audio experience overall, especially for gaming. I’m not sure if the Scuf H1 has the same guts as the Virtuoso it’s based on, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the two headphones were essentially the same. I enjoyed the Virtuoso, save for its hellish clamping pressure, and these headphones seem to have a very similar sound profile, minus the skull pain.
While these headphones don’t have much bass power, the low end was still well represented – explosions were visceral and while playing GTA5 I enjoyed the music in my car. Still, the headphones are clearly tuned for the midrange, and that paid off in games like Call of Duty: Warzone, where footsteps, ambient sounds and weapon handling were crisp and clear – and while there’s clearly no virtual surround sound (these are analog, without any digital processing software), the stereo separation was fantastic, making it easy to determine the direction.
I also really enjoyed wearing these headphones to watch movies in private; when i turned up Netflix found that the dialogue was clear and understandable, the sound effects were visceral, and the soundtrack was well rendered. And as with gaming, there was excellent stereo separation throughout.
Chances are you’ll sometimes want to use the H1 for music too, and here I was a little less impressed. In short sessions the headphones were fine, but for longer listening I found them less than ideal. They certainly didn’t sound bad per se, but I noticed they weren’t really tuned to music. As an example, I found 50 Foot Wave’s grungy psychedelic opus Power + Light to be the perfect storm of things I didn’t care about in the H1: droning and too bright at the same time, which had the overall effect of sounding slightly harsh.
On the other hand, I loved the H1’s detachable microphone – both the fact that it came off easily when you don’t need it, and how well it performed. The microphone is mounted on the end of a flexible boom that (usually) stays where you put it. You have two choices when customizing the headphones: the standard unidirectional or an omnidirectional one for an extra $10.
This H1 came with the omnidirectional, and it performed excellently – 5 by 5, as they say in the military, and delivered excellent clarity during chat sessions without dialing up background noises like typing on my keyboard or the buzz of my 3D printer. It was certainly prone to popping from plosives, but that won’t be a problem for routine chats; just don’t record a podcast with this headset, you’ll be fine. Another thing to keep in mind: there’s no microphone monitoring here, so it’s hard to hear yourself if there’s a lot going on in the earcups when you talk.
Starting at $130 comes the SCUF H1 up against some stiff competition like the Razer Blackshark V2 X, which will set you back just $60. But if you’re a fan of customizing your headset, there’s not much like the SCUF H1. Like their controllers, you can really build it out to fit any design you want and set it apart from many of the darkened headsets we’re used to seeing.
As a wired 3.5mm headset, it works with almost any platform, and the tuned drivers provide better sound EQ for picking up crucial in-game sounds, even at the cost of a more natural, smooth EQ profile. The SCUF H1 wired headset has enough under the hood to do everything a headset should. At the same time, the H1 doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. However, the cloudy feel over the ears and lack of head tension is a huge selling point for people like me. This is a casual headset with intriguing aesthetic options that will work wherever you need it, but you can get more advanced headsets for a lot less money.
Wrap up Scuf H1 Review
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