With schools, and businesses re-opening around the UK thanks to the ending of the national lockdown restriction, we are now faced with new local lockdowns instead. Due to this, and many students studying from home and even workers working from home I thought I would check out a headset that is for education purposes.
In this review, we shall take a look at the Edifier USB K815 USB Headset. This headset has two variants the USB version which is compatible for laptops and PC’s and the 3.5 mm version which is compatible for mobile, tablet, laptop and PC. The USB version comes in at around £39.99 while the 3.5 mm version comes in at around £24.99, you might be able to find it cheaper. Why the difference in price? Sometimes a USB connection can offer better support for a microphone and sound drivers, by allowing more power to be transferred to the headset.
So let us look at the headset first and how Edifier sell this headset to us consumers.
So on the front of the box, Edifier promotes this headset as a USB Computer Headset, just to make that clear ‘COMPUTER HEADSET‘, not GAMING, or MULTIMEDIA headset. You also know straight away that the connection type is USB from the picture on the front and the wording on one of the sides.
The features they choose to showcase are the following;
- Online Educational Headset
- Hearing Protection
- Noise Cancellation Microphone
- Quality Construction
- DSP Chip
- Adjustable Microphone
- Adjustable Headband
- High-Quality ear pads
Wondering what some of these features mean, let me elaborate a little.
Well for DSP these guys do a great job https://www.soundguys.com/what-is-dsp-28013/ at explaining everything in detail. Noise Cancellation Microphone simply means blocks out external noises and focuses on your voice.
Everything is well packaged and the instructions are simple yet basic.
So that’s how Edifier sell this headset, and to make it clear again this is NOT a Gaming Headset or a Music Headset it is a pure Educational Headset.
So what does it look like? Feel Like and then finally how does it perform?
So first off, how well did Edifier do when it came to the headsets Design and Construction? Well, it is plastic throughout, making the headset really light, and it is actually one of the lightest headsets I have ever owned which is around 219 Grams. Edifier uses a high gloss finish around the ears and microphone while opting for a matt finish around the headband with a nice amount of padding. On top of the headband, there is some text, ‘A Passion for Sound‘. The headband has plenty of flex and can be altered to fit many head sizes.
The microphone is easy to use, as it folds up when not in use and folds down when you want to use it. Now many headsets normally place L and R within the ear cups, this headset misses this off and adds L & R on the plastic about the ear cups. The microphone and some flex, however, I would not flex it that much as it might break off, I feel Edifier should have used a rubberized plastic around the attachment joint, this would give the microphone a lot more flex. They could have even made the microphone detectable or have the whole microphone rubberized for even more flexibility.
Now for the microphone test, listen below;
I almost forget this bit the text specs, so sorry here they are
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Back to the headset now, and it’s super long cable length 2.8 m, which is long enough for anyone, but there is an odd, Edifier panel on the cable, which does nothing apart from show off a blue light when the microphone is live and a red light when muted, see below;
I have no idea what this is used for, or why this is here, maybe Edifier at one point were going to add controls like volume, and mic mute, just having lights is just odd. This is also where the headset fails, as there is NO way to control the sound or mute the microphone unless you use your PC’s owner software. Why Edifier opted to do this is beyond me, and upsetting as I have reviewed loads of the products and this is the first one, which makes me wonder WHY??? You might think the mic mutes when you push the microphone UP, like other headsets, you would be wrong, the microphone is always on, none stop, unless you mute through your window’s software.
There is a positive to all this, the headset is Plug’n’Play so works right out of the box, just plug into a USB and off you go. Even my son loves this headset, and he is only 1 and a half years old, he loves to use them and listen to Bing on my laptop, which is great news as this frees up our main TV.
Now comes the biggest test, sound, as we buy a headset for sound but would a consumer, just a buy a headset for education, what would they get? Well, a headset that is excellent for listening to their teachers and it emphasises voices, it is good for educational videos and also kids programs. But listening to Music or Gaming, this headset truly lacks the soundstage you would expect. The Microphone is good enough but picks up everything, so noise isolation is not that great.
The headset is really comfortable, plenty of padding around your ears and plenty of padding to rest upon your head. That saying the headset does have its issue, where does this headset stand within the world of headsets? Why? Because any headset can be used for education from the most expensive to the cheapest, even earbuds. So why would you purchase a headset just for education, it’s cheap, it’s light, it’s good-looking and it does the job well, it even isolates you within its world so you don’t hear the outside world.
So you, the consumer, needs to question, do you want a headset for pure education and nothing else, or do you want to purchase a headset that does everything. For me, this is a hard choice, I even find it hard to recommend this headset, as I personally feel there is no need for it. However, schools and educational institutions, even at-home tutors, might prefer this headset, I even asked a few teachers, and they all preferred this headset. They said it was light, has a good microphone, looks high quality even with its low price point.
So here we go the score,
- Build Quality – 8 – needs a better microphone connection
- Microphone – 7 Picks up external sounds very easy, but offers a crisp and clean experience when picking up your voice
- Easy of use – 7 No inline controls, everything has to be controlled through your own PC which is odd.
- Sound – 4 Great and clear for voices but lacks in every other aspect
- Comfort – 9 Its lights and very comfortable
Other headsets can and will do the exact same thing though so you don’t need to buy a special pair for “Work from home” when others can get the job done perfectly, but of coarse the price always matters.
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