When gamers want to look for a pair of headphones or headsets, they have a legion to pick from. Thousands, even tens of thousands, of options is not an overestimation. What does 1MORE bring to the table with a first attempt at gaming headphones (although they have recently launched a newer model with more features)?
For a current retail price of $99.99, the Spearhead VR headphones offers a wired, USB-powered headset with mic and a customizable RGB lighting to underscore the gaming pedigree, it’s a solid entry into the crowded headset space. We’ll sort out the details for the 1MORE Spearhead VR Gaming Headphones in our review below.
The package deal
These headphones come packaged within a thick black cardboard box with an attached lid that, when folded out, reveals visually appealing red-inked illustrations of the headphones. In the box itself, the headphones were ensconced in clear plastic above and a molded black plastic underneath. In spite of how it sounds, opening it wasn’t too much of a hassle after clawing through some tape tabs. Underneath the main attraction is the accessories, drawstring carrying bag, instruction manual and other collateral in a wedged-in cardboard container.
My first take on the design and build quality of the headphones themselves? The Spearhead VR headphones are constructed of glossy and flat black metal and some plastic body pieces, apparently to lower cost and lighten the weight. I personally liked what I interpreted to be a more mature style, even with the LEDs utilized in a way that was not too over-the-top as some accessories can be. Maybe even more, I appreciated the comfortable feel of the Spearhead VR’s when wearing them for both shorter and longer durations.
A suspension-style padded headband connects the two full-sized muffs, which were large, thick and comfortable enough for me in over-the-ear type of headset. On one of the muffs, the necessary ports are covered by the 3.5mm and USB connections, for console and PC connections respectively; and the microphone off/on switch and volume control is sort of a two-for-one, because it controls the volume and when pressed in, can then controls the bass volume. Singling out the bass for its own physical volume control, for many games and many gamers, is an asset.
Set up can be as quick and painless as plug-and-plug, like most any pair of headphones. That’s where the story starts and ends for any console or mobile device usage when using the 3.5mm connector.
However, to take advantage of all the features, at least for Windows PC use, installing the software and drivers are a must. But the download is heavy at (currently) over 80MBs and thousands of files in a lengthy installation process. The software itself is simple and straightforward while offering extensive customization in the LED lighting, microphone, and headphone audio including the surround sound.
To its credit, the software offers a lot of customization options, some of which are more useful and fully-developed than others. Still, while many users will be content with the baseline software setup, customizing the sound for optimal output is the best way to go. the volume and equalizers are a great starting point to sculpting the sound, but going deeper, the “Xear” settings can use DSP capabilities to mold the sound more, albeit often with a tradeoff for natural-ness versus a processed audio sound that can be off-putting. I preferred the subtler, more incremental Xear adjustments, more with games than music-listening.
For the mic, the most noteworthy feature might be the environmental noise cancellation, which when enabled, made a subtle but noteworthy difference when keeping ambient noise from intruding on the microphone’s pick-up.
If lighting figures into one’s buying decision, then playing with the LED lighting customization options will be a distraction and a half, through the software, which adjusts the illumination on the cans, to the logo just above them, to the translucent retractable mic itself. Bonus: every sound pumped into the mic causes it to glow like a pulse, from a bright burst of illumination with light from a louder sound or a tremor when a little noise is picked up. It was one of the little touches I enjoyed in the design and functionality.
- Type: Over-Ear
- Weight: 324 g
- USB Cable Length: 1.3 m
- 3.5 mm Audio Cable Length: 1.5 m
- Plug: Type A – Micro USB (USB Cable) and 3.5 mm (Audio Cable)
- Wire Material: Enameled Copper Wire
- Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Sensitivity: 103 dB
- Max Power: 20 mW
That bass, though …
It’s a first impression — and a lasting one. The lowest end audio spectrum, around the subwoofer level, on these headphones is impressive, distinctively more powerful and defined than the mid-range and treble end of the sound spectrum as represented through the headphone’s drivers. That’s not to say the higher ranges are poor, but they are simply outpunched by the presence of the bass if the bass is amplified to at least 1/3 its max range. The best way to appreciate the Spearhead VR’s sound quality, when being pumped through their 50mm maglev graphene drivers, is to listen to them with a punchy, bass-heavy sort of game or music. And the volume doesn’t hold back either, so you’ll want to adjust your volume carefully if you plan to use these headphones for a while.
Games like Doom (2016) are a great example of an ideal game for these headphones, because of the quality of Mick Gordon’s bass-heavy soundtrack and the game’s spatially sensitive sound effects. To my ears, the speed metal and rock-infused Guilty Gear series of fighting games also sound excellent for these headphones. In short, any game which involves a little rocking out won’t be a bad match for these headphones.
Speaking of “spatial,” I was curious about the “VR” in the branding, but I didn’t see anything in the instructions or the software that suggested a direct benefit for virtual reality headset owners, although the soundstage adjustments that can be made through the software will certainly do more for spatial audio.
On the microphone side of the fence, the pick-up performance was on the thinner side but clear on vocals overall, both with and without the electronic noise cancellation activated. The mic picked up some microphonics, but nothing too disruptive for the casual user. I suspect esports and gaming streamers will look for a headset with a higher-end, clearer and more clarifying USB or condenser microphone in their headset; but casual gamers will be more than satisfied with their communications when using the Spearhead VR headset.
- Overall solid sound from one a single beastly driver per cup, but kudos for the punchy bass
- Sleek, mature design for the headphones that many gamers should find appealing
- Comfortable for longer wear (two hours or more)
- If the price stays at $100 or less, it’s a value for someone seeking all-around consistently good audio capability in gaming and music
- Nearly 100MB driver and audio package, which some might find a bit cumbersome — which only give access to full functionality to PC users anyway
- For some, the price may still be considered high, when there are some good off-brand or low-cost entries in gaming or audio headsets under $100.
- For those expecting audio specialization for VR, it’s actually more of a branding touchpoint for the audio surround sound capabilities
Ideal For: At this price point, the 1MORE Spearhead VR headphones represent a sweet spot for gamers who like their audio to thump and music-lovers who aren’t as demanding as audiophiles. Specialists in music or, say steamers or esports participants, will want to aim for a more specialized, more feature-heavy headphones that are also likely to cost a bit (or a lot) more.