What I Like:
- Overall acceptable audio quality with strong bass and clear high tones
- Very strong bass (but not muddy)
- Light weight and easy to forget about when wearing
- Comfortable to wear
- Clear microphone
- Strong USB cables
- Line-in buttons adjust volume and mute mic
What I Don’t Like:
- Shiny plastic parts feel very cheap
- Ear cups are just a little bit small
- Software profiles for ‘surround sound’ simulation don’t sound very good
Conclusion: The Sades SA901 gaming is an inexpensive gaming headset that provides overall good audio quality and a comfortable fit. When compared to more expensive headphones, its cheapness shows in the build quality, with the shiny black plastic parts feeling thin and not very durable. Of particular concern is the headband, which just feels brittle. Because the plastic is shiny too, it tends to pick up fingerprints. Thankfully Sades did not cheap out on the cable: it is thick, woven and handsome looking, colorized in a way that matches the headset.
In terms of audio quality, this headset performs pretty well, especially with Sades’ software installed. Of particular note is how strong the bass is. Users who enjoy dubstep, electronic and other bass heavy music will particularly like these headphones as the audible tone range is pretty wide, from deep rich lows to punchy highs. Even with strong bass the headset is able to maintain decent separation between tones, and even in bassy music the sound stays clear, with a strong punch to the bass. Those who like their sound to be more balanced will likely find the bass too heavy but it’s worth noting that this sound profile stands out as particularly good in games and movies. The sound is more akin to a speaker system with a heavy subwoofer installed versus a pair of headphones. The microphone itself has similar performance, and any recordings I made were loud and clear. The mic isn’t adjustable though, so you’re stuck with where it sits in front of your face. It’ll work better for some users than others.
Because these headphones sit on my ears instead of wrapping around them, they let in a bit more background noise than I’d like. They are comfortable, as they’re pretty light weight, but I wish the ear cups were just a little bit bigger – that way they’d wrap around my ears. They’d likely be better for a kid or someone with a smaller head.
The software is very straightforward and necessary to install for the best audio quality. It includes levels control for the mic and headphones and some profiles to simulate surround sound but I think they’re useless. The best audio quality is on the default profile. The headphones will work when plugged into windows / android without the software, but the sound profile is more muddy.
Overall, these headphones fit comfortably on my head and have a decent audio profile, with strong bass and clear treble. They’ll especially be loved by those who like heavy bass. They look good and the cable feels solid. My only concern is that they feel cheap – but at their MSRP it’s hard to expect anything else.