Bengoo G9000 review: An affordable gaming headset with decent audio

I never thought a $25 gaming headset could sound this good.

Not everyone can afford to drop upwards of $100 on a high-quality gaming headset. We get it. That's why we love the fact that companies like Bengoo make more affordable options for those who want to graduate from their TV's built-in speaker.

But does the budget-friendly Bengoo G9000 headset have what it needs to become part of your arsenal? Let's find out.

Bengoo G9000 gaming headset What I like

I wasn't expecting much heading into my time with Bengoo's G9000 gaming headset. After all, it costs around $25 and is made by a relatively unproven brand. Surely it can't beat the likes of Astro, SteelSeries, Turtle Beach and the like, right?

Nope, it can't. But what you do get is a surprisingly solid pair of cans for your gaming needs. The Bengoo G9000 is an over-ear headset featuring inline volume control, a flip boom microphone, and non-customizable blue LED lights. It looks the part it plays for those who like something a bit flashy looking, though I personally was never a fan of the sharp, pointy edges that mainstream gaming accessories tend to sport.

But I digress. What matters is what happens when you put these things on your head, and there's a lot to like about the G9000 in that regard. It starts with the audio, which a headset has to get right at a bare minimum. I'm happy to report that Bengoo got it right. The 40mm drivers on these don't disappoint. They offer punchy bass, perhaps a bit too punchy depending on who you are. If most of your enjoyment from Michael Bay-esque explosions come from the audible rumbling that comes along with it, you'll love it.

That isn't to say the bass is overpowering, though, with highs coming in pretty decently behind it. The G9000 does well to represent the full audio spectrum on a stereo plane, so you won't have a problem hearing subtle noises like footsteps in Fortnite or whichever game you prefer where directional audio is important.

I'm also giving a shout out to the microphone here. I love the fact that it's a flip mic and not a retractable piece like some headsets have, only because retractable mics never seem to stow away quite like they should. But more than that, my voice comes in quite clear for folks on the other side. I don't have to yell into the mic to ensure my voice is being picked up as it has insane sensitivity. In fact, it's that very quality that hurts the experience overall, and we'll talk about that in a bit.

The cable on the headset is plenty long (49 inches) and gives you a good degree of freedom for moving around. That means you won't be accidentally yanking the cord out when you jump up to celebrate a big win. The braided cable looks and feels sturdy and doesn't offer much bend at either end. This should hopefully minimize the chances of developing a short. The thick material used also means it won't easily tangle, a big plus in my book. I only wish the inline volume control puck was a bit smaller, but it's not so big that you can't simply ignore it.

Bengoo G9000 stereo gaming headset What I dislike

While the microphone's high sensitivity is great for allowing you to keep your voice down and still be heard, it also makes for some uncomfortable feedback for anyone you're talking to. The audio from the headset can sometimes bleed into the microphone, causing people to hear everything that you do. The result is an unpleasant echo that'll surely annoy whoever hears it. By that same token, it doesn't do well to block out ambient noises, so people can hear that fan roaring next to you even if it isn't blowing directly into the microphone.

There are other issues with the Bengoo G9000, but not quite as damning as the one above. For one, the construction is a bit on the flimsy side, though that's to be expected for gear in this price range. You can tell the biggest goal was to create a usable headset with as little plastic as possible. And I would say the lightweight lends itself well to comfort, but the rest of the headset seems to work against that goal.

As great as it sounds, the microphone spoils this headset.

My biggest gripe in that area is with the ear cups. They're well-cushioned, but they're a little small. These fit on my head more like on-ear headphones, a style of headphones which aren't bad but require entirely different padding. This won't be an issue if you have normal-sized ears (really, mine are massive), but if you don't then expect some discomfort that'll require more frequent breaks than you may like.

I also thought the headband felt a bit weird at the top of my head despite having what appears to be a generous amount of cushion. I solved that problem by tilting the headset such that the headband is positioned a bit toward my forehead, which helped alleviate some of the pain I experienced.

One last thing I should point out: if you're buying this headset for its LED lighting, you may need to invest in extension cables. The dual-pronged cable design is convenient, but as both ends are identical in length you'll find it impossible to hook up the USB cable (required to power the LED lights) to your Xbox One and the 3.5mm headphone jack to your Xbox One controller at the same time. Oh, and the headset does not work via USB on PC, so you'll also need to use a splitter (included in my package, but older SKUs may not have it) if you want to hear audio and use the microphone at the same time.

Bengoo G9000 stereo gaming headset

There's a lot to like about Bengoo's G9000 headset. The audio quality you get is well above expectations for the $25 price tag, and the inclusion of an inline volume control puck will help those who can't shell out extra for a headset adapter.

Unfortunately, it suffers in a few other critical areas that keep it from being a no-brainer recommendation. Its overly sensitive microphone will annoy your friends, and if your head or ear sizes are above average then you'll probably need more breaks during longer gaming sessions.

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More: Best Xbox One Headsets

Quentyn Kennemer