Not everyone can afford the latest Audeze or Sennheiser. Even some of the best gaming headsets from companies like Razer and Logitech are expensive when you add in features like wireless connectivity and premium surround sound. Every now and then you just want a good, cheap gaming headset that works.
That’s where Redragon comes in. The current Redragon H510 Zeus, a follow-up to the 2019 original from the same namesake, lacks wireless connectivity and has questionable virtual 7.1 surround sound. But the sound quality is generally decent, and it has a comfortable design with USB and 3.5mm cables that allows it to work with just about anything. And at the end of the day, you can’t argue with that $50 MSRP.
Redragon H510 Zeus Specifications
|Driver type:||53mm neodymium|
|Impedance||64 Ohms ±15%|
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Connectivity Options||USB Type-A, 3.5mm|
|Cables||6.8 feet 3.5mm to USB-A cable|
|4.25 feet 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable|
|Weight||0.58 lb (261.5 g)|
|Software||Redragon Audio Center|
The Redragon H510 Zeus resembles a number of modern gaming headsets. It’s mostly cast in stark, simplistic black with a bit of red to add some contrast. The ear cups are made of black plastic with a metal plate with the Redragon logo on either side. Faux leather over memory foam covers the inside of each earcup and provides some passive noise isolation. We are now entering the summer, so the synthetic leather material can be a problem for the sweaty players among us, and there is no substitute mesh fabric. Still, I had no problem with the covers, which mostly stayed cool and dry during testing.
The ear cups are attached to the headband by two extendable aluminum forks, which allow the cups to rotate slightly in and out. The headband itself is black leatherette on the top and the same material is red on the bottom, covering more memory foam. The headband flexes slightly to cover different head sizes, and I had no problem with it fitting over my bulky noggin. There’s not a lot of clamping force and coupled with the fairly light weight (0.58 pounds), the cans always felt comfortable on my head.
There are exposed wires running from the headband to the ear cups, which makes me concerned about durability. However, the cables didn’t get in the way during testing and seemed sturdy enough. I admit I’ve come to terms with exposed wiring. For what it’s worth, Redragon backs the headset with a 2-year warranty.
The Redragon H510 Zeus 2 is light on additional external controls or functions and lacks RGB lighting. There is a 3.5mm slot for the detachable microphone and a sturdy 3.5mm slot for the main cables to attach the headset to your device of choice. The package comes with a 6.8-foot 3.5mm to USB-A cable, a 4.25-foot 3.5mm cable, and a short 3.5mm Y adapter for older PCs. With these cables you can connect the H510 Zeus to almost any device: PC, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, tablets and smartphones.
During testing, I was able to get the Switch and PS5 to recognize the headset via the USB cable. On the PS5, the headset emerged as a standard USB headset with no surround sound options. The Series X would not recognize the headset with the USB cable. However, using the 3.5mm cable, the H510 Zeus worked as a headset on any device.
The 3.5mm to USB-A cable has a range of audio controls: volume up and down, audio mute, and microphone mute. — about 2 feet in the length of the cable. A single LED lets you know what state your microphone is in: red for active and light purple for mute. One advantage of the lack of audio controls on the headset is that there is no click or boom in your recordings when you try to mute your mic, so I prefer that.
Audio performance of the Redragon H510 Zeus
Given the price tag, I wasn’t expecting much from the H510 Zeus in terms of audio quality, but the sound coming out of these cans is surprisingly good. The highs and mids are quite clear, just stuttering when it comes to the bass. The deeper thumps and thumps whether you’re gaming or listening to music just aren’t quite there. This can be remedied by Redragon’s software (more on that in the next section), but only to a limited extent.
When it came to it Assassin’s Creed Valhallathe H510 Zeus did an amazing job with every crackle of Eivor’s footsteps, the general noise of civilization in big cities like Jorvik, and the game’s subdued, immersive soundtrack.
I also tested the virtual 7.1 surround sound here, which brought us into ‘just okay’ territory. I could roughly tell which direction the sound was coming from, but there was some mud in the front left/right and rear left/right channels. Better headsets with premium surround sound, such as Dolby Atmos or THX Spatial, generally have noticeably more directionality compared to the H510 Zeus. Of course, they also cost several times the Zeus price tag.
In Horizon Zero Dawn, virtual surround sound directionality was slightly better, but the bass problem resurfaced. I could sit in one place and listen to the grass waving around Aloy and the errant sounds of grazing machines. Overall, I was fine here with the H510 Zeus.
Again, playing in the headset’s software slightly improved the directional issues, but not enough to compete with THX Spatial and other premium options offered by competing gaming tins.
The problem was listening to the Tallneck walking around Aloy’s location. Once the massive beast gets close enough, there’s a deep rumble in its footsteps, and this was missing from the Redragon headset.
When I tried to listen to music, the first thing I loaded up was EXO’s new song, “Don’t Fight the Feeling”. The flowing tones of the group’s considerable vocals came through beautifully, as did the keyboards and synths that filled the track. It has a funk bassline throughout, which came across well on the H510 Zeus. But it can’t stand other looks; If you’re used to some other gaming headsets that use excessive bass to suppress other weaknesses elsewhere, the shortfall will be noticeable.
Once I got used to that apparent flaw, the H510 Zeus generally did pretty well with music. There was a great overall soundscape for Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak’s “Leave the Door Open”. The sublime sensual slow jam rolled out wonderfully, and I could hear every tickle Mars made on the ivory of the piano. Redragon puts those 53mm drivers to the test.
Overall, the Redragon H510 Zeus does quite well with some of its competition. The Razer BlackShark V2 X is a similar price and I prefer Razer’s surround sound implementation, but the standard sound of the H510 is fuller and richer to my ears. And the H510 Zeus is USB out of the box, while the Razer requires a separate USB DAC to use surround sound. Point to Redragon.
The sound insulation here is also quite good. With the H510 on my head and no audio playing, the outside noise is muffled. However, when I turned on audio, the outside noise mostly disappeared. I had my partner talk to me directly with Amazon Music on and I couldn’t hear her.
There is also very little sound leakage to others in the room so they don’t hear you enter Eternal doom or jamming to The Weeknd’s “After Hours,” well, after hours.
Microphone on the Redragon H510 Zeus 2
The Redragon H510 Zeus 2 has a detachable boom arm microphone. It is an omnidirectional model with more noise cancellation than some competitors. Redragon specifies the microphone with a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz and a sensitivity of -42dB, which is quite standard.
During testing, it picked up my voice well. The problem is in the volume, not the clarity; even with the microphone volume up and the “microphone boost” option in the headset software, the volume still sounded very low overall.
In terms of noise cancellation, the H510’s microphone does a good job. It’s an omnidirectional microphone, so it picks up everything. Given the summer heat, I have my air conditioning on. The mic picked up on the slight hum from my AC a bit, and background noise, like my fairly heavy-handed typing and breathing style, came through in the recording. This will get you through a Zoom meeting, but I wish there was a way to fix the volume issue.
Software for Redragon H510 Zeus
In terms of presentation, Redragon’s software lags far behind the software suites from Razer, Logitech, and SteelSeries. The Redragon Audio Center seems like a pretty old program and an ugly program to boot. It’s also somewhat unintuitive, as the options within “Speakers” and “Mic” can be accessed via a right-click menu, rather than just clicking them.
Despite this, the app surprises somewhat by having a large number of options. The speaker settings include volume control, full equalizer and speaker placement map for the virtual surround sound. There’s even a pitch-shifting option and some sparse ambient sound effects, like changing the size and type of your virtual room for the surround sound. The disappointing bass and poor directionality of the surround sound can also be toned down a bit in the software.
The microphone options include a volume for the microphone itself and monitoring so you can hear how you sound while recording. There’s also the aforementioned microphone gain option and a couple of useless “Magic Voice” voice-changing switches. Unfortunately, nothing I did made the mic louder.
The Redragon Audio Center falters in appearance and installation, but I was impressed to find that the software had the options it had. If Redragon cleaned things up and added some suite-wide profiles and app discovery, this could be a cool thing.
Does the Redragon H510 Zeus stumble and falter in some areas? Of course. If price isn’t an issue, look elsewhere. The microphone volume is too low, the noise cancellation is on the weaker side, the surround sound isn’t great and the bass could use a little more power.
But for $50 (and we’ve seen it’s even cheaper), you get a well-constructed headset with a pretty good overall soundscape that works on almost any device.
The H510 Zeus does not promise much. It does what it says on the tin and does quite well in the final estimate. With an improved software suite, it’s probably one of my favorite headsets in this price range. It works and feels like a Hyper Cloud II, for about $30 less. Sometimes value is key.