As one half of the audio-visual experience, sound design really doesn’t get enough attention from gamers. There’s no use having a top-of-the-range 4K TV or gaming monitor if your sound is coming through a set of tinny or cheap speakers – and yes, that includes that dodgy soundbar you bought 10 years ago.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in a story-based campaign, smash the competition in an online multiplayer match, or chill out with a gentle indie title, your experience will be enhanced tenfold with a good gaming headset. To celebrate the successes of some of these fantastic audio achievements, we’re highlighting the best sound design in gaming, and to fully enjoy the top-notch sounds of these excellent PC games, we tried two new headsets from EKSA.
EKSA offers affordable audio solutions for gamers on a budget. We got the chance to try out the EKSA E7000 Fenrir Gaming Headset, a high-quality stereo headset featuring a rotatable microphone, and the EKSA E3Z Air Joy Plus Ultralight, which is a comfortable option for gaming at home or on the go. Both are great choices for enjoying the games we’ve mentioned – so take a look and see which one suits you.
Without further ado, crank up the volume and join us on a voyage into sound.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Ninja Theory’s Celtic adventure is famous for its stellar sound design, which uses binaural audio (simulated three-dimensional sound) for the voices that chide, put down, and sometimes encourage the protagonist throughout the story.
When played with the EKSA E7000 Fenrir headphones, this audio work creates a chillingly immersive experience that elevates Senua’s journey to new heights. And even if what the voice are saying can get uncomfortable, your ears stay comfy thanks to the cushioned over-ear pads of the headset.
One of the finest strings in Doom (2016)’s bow was its spectacular score by Mick Gordon. On this soundtrack, Mick’s brutal, rhythmic metal guitar work blends perfectly with thumping industrial beats for an otherworldly sound that perfectly complements the chaotic carnage of the Doom Slayer’s blood-soaked exploits.
Available on both home consoles and the Nintendo Switch, we got to try out both EKSA headsets on this fantastic game. We paired the Fenrir headset with the Xbox version of Doom Eternal to fully enjoy the game’s pumping soundtrack and crunchy sound effects, truly elevating the experience to the next level. On the go, the E3Z Air Joy Plus was the perfect pairing for the Switch version of the game, allowing us to revel in the carnage of the Doom Slayer’s adventures without disturbing the elderly lady sitting next to us on the bus, and still get the full experience thanks to its 7.1 surround sound.
Although the game has proved divisive among fans of the series, Battlefield 2042 has all of the brilliant sound design that DICE has come to be known for. With this first-person shooter series, DICE creates a realistic and immersive depiction of modern warfare, and a large part of the way this is accomplished is through audio. There are loads of meticulously designed guns for you to play with and each has its own specific firing sounds, true to its real-life counterpart.
It’s also worth noting how the high-quality sound design enhances gameplay. Jump into multiplayer and you’ll find a good headset like the E7000 Fenrir is your best ally, allowing you to suss out the location of enemies by their footsteps behind you or the location of the next gunfight by the crackle of shots fired in the distance.
When playing with the Fenrir headset we felt a new level of immersion, and when we needed to communicate with our allies, it was easy to flip down the 120-degrees rotatable microphone to give call-outs to our teammates.
Ocean sounds are often associated with calm, relaxing scenes, and to start with the ambience of Subnautica’s briny deep can indeed be pleasant and relaxing. But as you dive further, the more sinister ocean inhabitants will make themselves known. While the ever-present mechanical whirring of your diving vehicle provides some comfort, the ominous screeches and moans of the creatures lurking in the darkest depths will surely have the opposite effect.
Subnautica is another game that can be played both at home or on the go, but to truly feel immersed in the depths, plug in the E7000 Fenrir and let the sounds of Subnautica’s world wash over you. But the E3Z Air Joy Plus will also provide a great experience, and as a lightweight, mobile headset, you can easily get plugged in and have an atmospheric experience no matter where you are or how long you want to play.
After all the adventuring, demon-killing, and deep-water exploration, might we suggest chilling out with the indie masterpiece Stardew Valley? This game is known for its charming chiptune soundtrack, which is all the more impressive as it was entirely composed and recorded by the game’s sole designer Eric Barone, also known as ConcernedApe.
In addition to the fabulously gentle soundtrack, the game is also filled with adorable sound effects that harken back to the days of 16-bit gaming on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Mega Drive. Stardew Valley is the perfect candidate for the EKSA E3Z Air Joy Plus, allowing you to escape to your tranquil farm life in comfort, wherever you are. And with its built-in mic, you can even join in an online co-op session and chat with your friends as you play.
No matter your gaming habits, there’s an EKSA headset for you, and they’re sure to improve your audio experience. Whether you’re plugged in at home with the E700 Fenrir or out and about with the E3Z Air Joy Plus, you can be sure you’ll have a comfortable, sonically pleasing time with your favourite games. Check out EKSA’s range of headsets today and find the right one for you.