The Tecware Q5 Gaming Headset is Tecware’s first take in a budget-oriented gaming headset. The Tecware Q5, alongside with an upcoming mechanical keyboard, was first shown at Computex 2019. Tecware started as a PC Case provider for OEMs and has made its mark to enthusiasts with their budget Gaming PC Cases. Since then, they have been the go-to alternative, especially for starters in building a PC as they offered a trifecta of aesthetics, functionality, and price. Their success in the industry paved the way for the brand to enter the peripheral market. The Phantom and torque were stellar products considering its entry-level price point. The Tecware Q5 completes Tecware’s peripheral lineup. But does it share the same success with other Tecware products? Let’s find out
Tecware Q5 Headset Specs
Type: Stereo Headset
Connector: USB 2.0 (Virtual 7.1)
Weight(w/o cable: 320 grams
Software: EQ, Effect, 7.1, Mic, LED
Speaker Diameter: 40mm
Impedance: 32 Ω
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 98 dB ± 4 dB @ 1khz
Max Power: 100mW
Volume Control: Via inline Controller
Mic Impedance: 2.2 kΩ
Mic Sensitivity: -40 ± 4dBV
The packaging of the Tecware Q5 is not something we’ve seen in a while. This type of packaging was commonly found on Razer’s Kraken headsets. The half-transparent design allows you to see half of the headset. The front shows a glamour shot of the Q5 headset with its RGB lighting. The back reveals the full specifications of the Q5 gaming headset.
The Tecware Q5 headset takes a similar aesthetic to that of the HyperX cloud series. The critical difference is the Q5 doesn’t have the metal bracket holding the drivers. Tecware’s new wraith logo is shown on each side of the earcups albeit, positioned off-center.
The headband of the Q5 headset shows an embossed Tecware logo. It sports a similar cushioning and edge-stitching design to the HyperX Cloud headsets, albeit a slightly stiffer cushion.
The length of the headset extends or retracts up to Six steps thanks to the brushed metal bracket. The steps are not as pronounced compared to other headsets. You won’t quickly notice which level of adjustment you are unless you extend or retract the headset slowly to hear and feel the switch of each step level.
Tecware includes an in-line soundcard with the Tecware Q5 headset. The left side features a volume scroll wheel while the other side has a dedicated mic on and off switch. Making the sound card not-detachable is one of the cost-saving measures made by Tecware. The omission of a 3.5mm cable sacrifices the ability of the Tecware Q5 to be used on mobile phones nor be plugged into a DAC-AMP.
While the soundcard is unfortunately undetachable, the microphone, on the other hand, is detachable. Albeit, it only fits in one angle due to the crescent cutout of the 3.5mm jack. This makes the microphone secure from unnecessary twists — props to Tecware for having a sturdy microphone stem for the Tecware Q5.
Aesthetics wise, the most striking and distinct feature of the Tecware Q5 is its off-center wraith logo paired with the larger detachable microphone. The windshield foam is definitely bigger than the usual foams found on similar-looking gaming headsets.
Tecware managed to include software for the Tecware Q5 Gaming Headset. It’s awe-inspiring for a small company to include such, let alone the fact that the Tecware Q5 is the company’s first-ever gaming headset. However, there are no indications nor mention in the packaging that there is a software for the Tecware Q5. Tecware themselves only informed me regarding the software. You can download Tecware Q5 Headset software here.
Upon opening the application, we are greeted with an EQ setting for the Tecware Q5 headset. There are three presets available and one custom EQ tab. There’s no instant profile switch support and on the fly custom switch since you have to save or load .ini files locally.
Aside from the Equalizer customization, there are also four effects available. These effects simulate specific environments. Frankly, this is the most gimmicky part of the software and offers no benefit in performance at all.
The microphone tab shows the least customization available. The Gain slider is just the microphone level adjustment and does not amplify voice input. Without the software, the microphone volume can be adjusted in the sounds option under the recording tab. AGC or Automatic Gain Control can also be turned on or off. This basically tunes the volume up or down automatically depending on the decibel level the microphone picks up.
The simple options we’ve seen on the software so far is compensated by the sophisticated virtual 7.1 surround setting. You can adjust the virtual positioning of the seven channels as well as the subwoofer. The surround sound can also be manipulated clockwise or counter-clockwise, as represented by the CCW and CW tab next to the Virtual 7.1 tab.
There’s not much customization available in terms of RGB Lighting. The Wraith Logo of the Tecware Q5 doesn’t have individually addressable LEDs like a Strix gaming headset, so you’re only limited to one color at a time. Moreover, there are only four color modes available, including static and the ability to adjust the speed of each effect. There’s also an option to turn the LED lighting off completely.
One of the selling points of the Tecware Q5 based on its product page is its microphone. We’ve noted that it’s slightly larger than what you would find on similarly designed gaming headsets. But does it offer better microphone quality? Below are some recordings using the Tecware Q5 Gaming Headset as well as recordings from my BM800 condenser microphone and my Xanova Juturna-U gaming headset.
Recordings are taken using the pre-installed Voice Recorder app on windows and are on .m4a format. The sound quality on the Tecware Q5 mic stomps both the Php 800 BM800 condenser microphone and the Php 4,000 Juturna-U microphone. It’s very impressive microphone quality for a headset this priced at Php 1,600 never mind the fact that this is Tecware’s first gaming headset.
USER EXPERIENCE AND CONCLUSION
Audio Quality. Out of the box, the sound signature of the Tecware Q5 is flat. The bass is not as punchy as expected from a sub-Php 2,000 headset. Explosions, footsteps, and gunshots are not that pronounced in Call of Duty Modern Warfare. But what’s good about this is I could still properly hear discord voice chats from my teammates. That said, character speeches from games like Apex Legends and DOTA 2 are clear enough to be understood. This issue can also be addressed by tinkering with the Equalizer on the Tecware audio app. This allows you to adjust the Tecware Q5 to have more extra bass or a V-shaped sound signature. Moreover, the 7.1 surround sound helps to better distinguish and separate sound sources. Playing music and movies, on the other hand, is a better experience than gaming and requires no EQ tinkering to my liking especially when listening to K-POP and OPM.
Microphone Quality. It’s without a doubt that the Tecware Q5 headset one of the best, if not, the best microphone in the Php 2,000 bracket. It even outperforms dedicated microphones and Php 4,000 gaming headsets as we’ve seen with the BM800 and Juturna-U headset. The stem is also sturdy to keep the microphone in place without losing posture during long gaming sessions. That said, don’t expect the microphone to be a miracle worker when it comes to blocking out keyboard chatter. In my test earlier, I was only using a Zowie Celeritas, which has linear Optical Switches that are somehow similar to red switches.
Comfort. The ear cushions padding is thick enough for your ear not to touch the drivers. But are also too thick that there’s little room to breath in for people with big ears like me. This is not a problem for gamers with air-conditioning, but this is something you should test and try it out first, especially if you have bigger ears. Height and clamping force are not an issue as the headset will rest naturally upon wearing it. Despite the bulky design and metal frame, weight is not something you should worry about thanks to the equal weight distribution.
Price. There really is not headset that stands out in the sub-Php 3,000 range. Up until now, I’d have to convince my friends and readers to save up more to afford at least a HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset or even suggesting the route in buying a second-hand cloud headset. The Php 1,600 price of the Tecware Q5 sets the bar for the value for money gaming headset.
All in all, the Tecware Q5 doesn’t pack anything out of the ordinary in its arsenal. It just simply ticks the right boxes and offers compromises in the right departments that disrupt the gaming headset market. The flat sound signature is easily solved by tinkering with the EQ settings and the omission of the 3.5mm jack is something we could live with. There are also aftermarket earcups available and compatibility is not an issue because of Cloud/Takstar-like design. It’s a no-brainer choice for a starting gaming headset for those on a budget, especially if they can’t afford the average $100 price-point. Unless of course, you’re after for more RGB, which other similarly priced headsets excel at and nothing else. This goes to show how other gaming headset companies have been slacking off in the market and most of them want to take a piece of the $100+ pie. While starting and small companies such as Tecware offer as many features as they can with fewer gimmicks and carefully formulated compromises. I’d recommend the Tecware Q5 Headset over anything else for its price point, mainly because of its build quality, software, and microphone.
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