Edifier G20 7.1 gaming headphones review
+ Comfortable padding with minimal clamping force
+ Light weight adds to comfort
+ Decent sound for budget gaming headphones
+ Inline remote offers convenient controls
+ Lots of features to play with in Edifier Audio Center
+ Really affordable!
- Non-detachable cables
- Glossy plastic with gaudy carbon fiber finish
- Leaky sound isolation
- Needs some playing around with the EQ for good sound
- No folding mechanism makes for poor portability
The Edifier G20 was launched along with the Edifier G4 some time back as part of Edifier’s latest gaming line up. Edifier’s gaming headphones naming convention is somewhat similar to DSLR manufacturers’; the fewer the digits the better. So we know the Edifier G20 is slotting in below the Edifier G4 in the hierarchy, but is it actually worse than the Edifier G4? Let’s find out.
The first thing that comes to mind is that these headphones look a lot cheaper than the Edifier G4. While the Edifier G4 at least tried to make it a little more attractive with some metal mesh and red lighting, you get none of that here. There is glossy (ew) plastic with a carbon fiber-like finish and some red trim. Concentric circles run inside the red ring, with the Edifier logo emblazoned on yet more glossy plastic. It’s all plastic here.
At the top of the headband we find Edifier’s tagline “A Passion for Sound”. Edifier is really passionate about good sound, and I do respect a meaningful motto when I see one. It’s also plastic here with sufficient flexibility to allow the headphone to stretch over larger heads.
The controller here is the same one as on the Edifier G4, but luckily this time it is wired a lot more logically. The mute button actually works as a mute button, as does the microphone switch which toggles the microphone instead of the vibration feature on the Edifier G4. There is a tiny red activity LED right above the mute button.
The USB connector also lacks gold plating just as it did on the Edifier G4. It would have been preferable to have braided sleeving over the cable too, but we only get the basic rubber coat here. We do get a ferrite core to reduce any interference the cable might pick up though.
|Drivers:||40mm Neodymium drivers|
|Frequency response:||20 Hz – 20 KHz|
|Microphone:||Rotatable boom microphone|
|Features:||Virtual 7.1 surround sound|
|Cable:||2.5m non-detachable USB cable|
The Edifier G20 works via USB, which means you won’t have to worry about whether you need a combo 3.5mm jack or separate jacks for microphone input and stereo output. It delivers consistent audio with any device featuring a USB port, which is an innate advantage of USB audio devices. I also did not face any of the driver issues I faced with my early sample of the Edifier G4 here.
Edifier Audio Center
The Edifier G20 uses the same driver software as the Edifier G4, which means we get the same features offered by the G4. Also we get the ugly UI that looks like an unwelcome throwback to the early days of gaming peripherals.
While the UI may not look the best, the driver software is actually very feature rich. Despite being priced less than the Edifier G4, the Edifier G20 packs all the features of the Edifier G4, down to the 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter and Xear Surround Max for enhanced surround sound.
The headphones extend quite a bit to accommodate larger heads, but it doesn’t have any folding mechanism to make it easier for you to bring it to the next LAN party. The extending arm is also plastic, which does raise concerns of its durability.
Comfort is decent, courtesy of the generous padding on the headband and earpads. This is also one of the few headphones that I found to have too little clamping force. It actually allows a bit too much outside noise for my liking to reach my ears. While some may prefer to have a certain level of awareness of their surroundings, I prefer the immersion of a good seal around my ears. It would help to have some swiveling cups to ensure a better fit with any head size.
The Edifier G20 sounds good, and especially so if we are comparing in the gaming headphones category. The headphones do not offer a huge soundstage, but it is decent enough to get spatial cues for a good gaming experience. Turn on the virtual 7.1 surround to get better surround sound, but I find that it does not add much to my experience in Overwatch. One thing that I really liked about the Edifier G20 was that it seemed more tuned to a balanced sound than the Edifier G4 was. It performs well in pretty much everything from music to gaming, and is a pretty fun headphone to listen to. Mind you, this is no audiophile’s dream gaming headphone though.
The Edifier G20 definitely doesn’t feature the bass-anemic sound of the Edifier G4 with its vibration mode off. It sports somewhat boomy bass by default, but that can easily be rectified with the equalizer feature in the Edifier Audio Center. The bass is punchy, and I enjoyed my fair share of trap music with the Edifier G20 on my head. The Edifier G20 could do with better detail in the bass frequencies though, with it coming through as flabby in tracks that have fast bass thumps.
The mids could do with a little tweak around the 1 kHz and 2 kHz range to improve clarity. Boosting the mids also gives the headphones a better perceived soundstage. Vocals sound clear but can feel a little overwhelmed in bass-heavy tracks. Turning down the lower frequencies gives better results, but not by much. Sia’s raspy voice which is somewhat of a benchmark for me when evaluating the mids, sounds glossed over with the Edifier G20.
These aren’t the headphones to go for if you need sparkly highs. The highs sound a bit veiled and lack the sparkle and definition you will enjoy in pricier headphones. Of course, this is a gaming headphone, and you won’t be focusing much on the higher frequencies when gaming.
You can easily go deaf if you listen to these headphones on full blast. The sensitivity of 98 dB/mW is a little lower than the Edifier G4’s 103 dB/mW but trust me these are plenty loud for all practical purposes. There is an analog dial on the control module, but the Edifier G20 is more easily controlled via Window’s volume controls.
Is the microphone any good? While I would prefer a more flexible boom, the one here works just fine. It picks up my voice quite well, with the other person hearing me loud and clear over the in-game voice communication.
Usually when we have tried a higher end offering from a certain brand, the lower range can no longer satisfy us. However, that is definitely not the case here. I find the Edifier G20 actually offering me a really satisfactory audio experience. Gaming with the Edifier G4 was more immersive with the vibration motor actuating every time there is an explosion, but at RM129.90 on Lazada, I find the Edifier G20 offering better value. You pay less, but get better sound. A trade off is the lesser build materials that might be less resilient to sudden outbursts of rage by angsty gamers. Overall, I recommend it with our Silver Pokdeward.