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Okay, I’m going to admit it. I am a bit of a headset snob. When gaming, I need to make sure I’m getting an all around, excellent experience and a huge part of that experience lies in the quality of the audio.
With the Alienware AW510H Gaming Headset, am I getting everything I’m paying for? Am I immersing myself in that sweet surround sound audio? Can my teammates clearly understand what I’m saying? Is my head throbbing after just an hour of playing? That shouldn’t be asking a lot of a brand built for gaming excellence, so let’s see if the Alienware AW510H stood up to the task.
Let’s get right into the most important question. What is the sound quality like?
With the AW510H, you’ve got custom-tuned 50mm 20Hz-40KHz drivers for high-resolution audio with custom-designed acoustic chambers that should provide you with really rich sound quality no matter the game. Did they? In my opinion, absolutely.
This resolution comes with excellent 7.1 virtual surround sound, so I could hear my enemies approaching a mile away in any direction. As someone who plays first person shooters, I need this aspect to stay one step ahead and without it, I’m pretty limited in my speed and reaction time. In short, I was impressed from the get go.
Adding to that feature is their noise isolation, because when you’re gaming, you really don’t want to be distracted by the goings-on of real life. If it sounds like I’m singing the AW510H’s praises… it’s because I am. Bear with me as there’s more great stuff to praise about this headset.
While they are not wireless, you are given both a USB and AUX port option with volume and mic mute control and a 3.5mm jack. This also allows you to quickly dabble in cross-platform gaming by simply plugging into your Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch or even mobile device (except any new iPhones that lack a cable jack of course – you’ll need an adapter).
Keep in mind though that the 7.1 virtual surround sound is only available if you’re plugged in using the USB. The set also comes with a splitter which is really convenient when gaming with friends.
In terms of vocal quality, I’m always looking for a headset that doesn’t make me sound like I’m in the process of swallowing a bucket of gravel or being buried under 38 weighted blankets. I don’t think I’m alone in my quest for this.
The AW510H’s mic is pretty top notch. It is both Discord and TIA-920 certified and from my friend’s comments – I sound clear. So performance-wise, I’m definitely pleased with the mic. With the addition of the Alienware Command Center application (ACC), you can further customize the audio you’re getting which is always a plus.
Unfortunately, the ACC leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its interface, but other than that, for the price tag, the performance of this headset was absolutely solid.
Related Reading: Alienware AW510K Gaming Keyboard Review
Design & Features
The AW510H has a great look to it. It came in very nice packaging, up to the Alienware brand standard. The headset itself is not necessarily killing it with a sleek or sexy look per say, but it is nicely designed nonetheless.
It comes in two colors – Lunar Light (white) or Dark Side of the Moon (black). I had to go with Dark Side of the Moon, because there really is never a question for me between choosing white or black for my gaming aesthetic preferences. Always go black.
Lookwise, I’m definitely satisfied. From its size though, it does seem like it would sit too heavily on the head. And while some may say the set is just too big, I actually quite liked that they were on the heftier side. With most headsets, after about an hour or so of wearing, my head starts getting that familiar ache… But with the AW510H, I found myself forgetting how long I’d been playing.
No longer was I getting that 1 hour alarm bell of a headache. Definitely a plus. The size is also adjustable to fit most head shapes and sizes. The quality of the foam on the headband and earpieces feels nice against my ears, but note that while I do not wear glasses when gaming, I did wear them for the sake of the review, and the comfort was still consistent.
The earpiece foam itself is made of a hybrid of plush memory foam, sports fabric and leatherette so the feel is very soft, cool and comfortable. And despite its appearance, the headset is also not very heavy and did not move around much while gaming.
On the inside of the headset are a large L and R and the earpieces themselves rotate so you can wear them around your neck or store them pretty easily. One of the major differences between the AW510H and its competitors (including its higher priced predecessor) is that the mic pulls out rather than flips to mute. This aspect is just a matter of preference.
I personally prefer pulling the boom mic in and out as needed, but you do need to make sure you’ve pushed it all the way back in before you start cussing out the other players as they WILL hear you. The mic bends and adjusts to your preference as well and is noise isolating to maximize your sound quality.
Another point that could deter from purchasing is that there is no RGB lighting on the headset itself, and the controls are on the USB cable and not built into the headset. Neither of these aspects were a dealbreaker for this humble buyer, as the lower price point made up for what they lacked.
Altogether the look, feel and sound quality is excellent and for the price range, it really is a strong contender for your next headset. The material feels strong and durable so I really can’t see myself breaking these headsets down for some time. It’s a solid headset that seems built to last, but only time will tell of course – I’m pretty brutal with my headsets. It’s not a flimsy product from the feel and at a price it comes at, that’s satisfying to know.
With a comfortable feel, sturdy earpieces and a nice design, I’m not really looking to other brands. From surround sound gives me excellent sound quality that helps my gameplay to a boom mic that doesn’t muffle my voice and is retractable are all features I’m happy to praise.
I like the fact that I can just plug these in and play with most platforms, not just PC. For the price point, a close competitor would be the Corsair Gaming VOID RGB Elite. Also coming in at a decent price, it’s a fair alternative, but not for me.
It offers a flip-up mute which can be preferred to the AW510H’s retractable mic, but the overall design and shape is lacking compared to the simple, modern look of Alienware’s model. It is also the heavier model at about 2 pounds, versus Alienware’s 0.82 pounds. Nearly double the weight. The audio quality is very similar, so it really comes down to which mic and overall aesthetic you prefer.
I wasn’t expecting to be this satisfied with the AW510H. But I honestly can’t find too many points to gripe about. Could they be wireless? Yes. Is it a deal breaker? Not for me. I don’t love being wired, but I also like not having to bother charging.
The sound quality is excellent. You really don’t know what you’re missing until you listen to a game’s soundtrack through quality surround sound and the AW510H just does it well. The bass hits just right. If you’re like me and you switch often between console and PC gaming, this headset is great.
The noise isolation also provides a deeper level of immersion into whatever you’re playing. While the retractable mic may not be as desirable as the flip-up mute mics, I do like the idea that I can easily switch these headphones for casual movie-watching or any gameplay that doesn’t need a mic. I don’t have to bother with a mic at all.
I do wish I had more points of contention with the AW510H, but Alienware made a great set for both casual and hardcore gamers. They are a bit large and slightly hefty, but they end up sitting comfortably on your head or around your neck regardless. Their design reminds me of Beats by Dr. Dre and the feel is pretty close as well, both being a huge plus for me as I’m definitely a Beats fan.
If you’re looking for a visual review of the headset, look no further than Shannon Morse’s video where she covers the headset, AW610M Mouse and AW510K Keyboard here. She demonstrates how the headset can be worn and how its mic works.
When it comes to gaming, sound quality is very important. If you’re a competitive gamer, hearing your surroundings well is simply a must. If you can’t hear enemy footsteps around the corner, then you’re not wearing a good headset and you’re probably going to respawn in 3…2…
Even if you’re a casual gamer, half of the fun is the immersion. Sure, you could stroll through an Elder Scrolls game half listening to the soundtrack in the background, but you haven’t really played until you’ve listened to that orchestra blaring with a noise isolating headset.
Can the Alienware AW510H Gaming Headset do that for you? In my opinion, yes. I’ve also been pretty used to poor mic quality in the past, so getting a pair that not only has a great input but solid output is a “game” changer for me.
The price is solid, the material is a great quality and the wear is comfortable. I would say, look no further than the AW510H, you really can’t go wrong. I will end this review on one final, negative note… I did wish the headset came with a pouch of some sort for storage, but I will try to find a way to live without one.
Related Reading: Alienware AW510M Gaming Mouse Review