Func HS-260 Review

With CES having just finished, it's time for some new product reviews! Func has just released their first gaming headset, the HS-260 and I've had the opportunity to try it out for a couple of weeks. I am now ready to unleash my thoughts to the internet!

What's in the box

The HS-260's box follows the no nonsense packaging I've come to expect from Func. It's cleanly designed, and more importantly easy to open. The headset comes with a removable microphone, removable cable, and a pair of leather pads as an alternative to the per-installed velour pads.

First Impressions

if(workingAtComputer()){
    playMusic("shuffle");
}
else{
    fallAsleep(8); //get your sleep gamers
}  

I listen to a lot of music so instinctively the first thing I tried was listening to an album I was familiar with on the HS-260 to see how it stacked up to my other headphones.

Volatile Memory
The first album I tried was Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. I chose this album in particular because the mastering on it is fantastic. This album delivers a well balanced and full sound on both my DT990 600 Ohms and my ATH-M50s. When I listened to this album on the HS-260 it sounded as if a low pass filter was being applied to the vocals, the bass was fatiguing, and the highs seemed very harsh.

Vinyl Rips
I listen to a lot of jazz; consequentially most of the albums in my Jazz playlist are vinyl rips. I can hear heavy background noise whenever I try to listen to any jazz on the HS-260. On all my other headphones the noise mostly slips away into the background and doesn't bother me too much.

Uncovering the mystery
I was able to obtain a frequency response chart which can confirm my findings with music playback. As you can see the mids and highs are much louder than the bass frequencies which shows why I was experiencing heavy noise levels in vinyl rips. What about vocals? Well it seems these headphones were optimized for VoIP which is typically attributed to tinny vocals. Perhaps Func has tuned the mid range to make your team mates sound less tinny?

Frequency Response

First Impressions Part 2: Gaming

Disappointed with the HS-260s lackluster music performance I decided to use them for what Func had originally intended, gaming. I fired up Battlefield 4, a game filled with explosions, gunshots, and vehicles moving all around you in 3D space. This is where I realized listening to music was most definitely a bad idea. These are gaming headphones, not audiophile headphones.

Once I fired up Battlefield 4 it became apparent why these are in fact gaming headphones. The HS-260 provides a pretty reasonable experience when gaming. While the sound signature seems weird for music, the low end clipping sounds pretty normal when you hear an explosion. I played with these for a few hours, and at no point did I experience any sort of discomfort. They do get a little warm, but it is negligible if you use the velour pads.

For VoIP I found the incoming audio to be pleasing from my friends who had tinny microphones, but I still experienced that low passed sound whenever someone had a high end condenser/dynamic microphone.

Overall, this headset excels in games that feature lots of heavy rumbling and offer an accurate binaural experience thanks to the massive 50mm drivers.

Interchangeable Cable & Microphone

As I mentioned earlier the HS-260 includes a 3m removable cable and removable microphone. On the bottom of the headset you'll find two inputs for them, but the interesting thing is that they are interchangeable. This makes it easy to put the cable in a comfortable position depending on where your computer/amp is located. An other interesting thing to note about the cable is that it isn't proprietary. It follows a standard TRRS (Tip Ring Ring Sleeve) phone connector, and the volume control is actually on the headset itself. This means you won't ever lose the volume control in the dark because it's always in the same position.

In terms of the HS-260s included microphone, I was fairly impressed. I found it delivered a mostly clean sound, and offers a good amount of low end considering it's small size. That being said, the last time I've used a headset microphone was about 6 years ago, so perhaps the sound from this mic is common nowadays.

Sample

Comfort

The HS-260s stock velour pads are pretty comfortable. They're a little stiffer than the velour pads on my DT990, but still offer a pleasing experience during long gaming sessions. The leather pads are equally comfortable, but get warm faster since they can't breath as much as the velour pads can. Both earcups are ginormous which means they will fit almost any ear comfortably.

The headband flexes quite a bit, but still clamps down on my head more than I'd like. It has a thick foam pad on top, but it's a little to stiff and takes a while before it starts getting comfortable. When the headband is stretched out to fit my head, this pad is basically flat. Compare this to both my DT990s and ATH-M50s which offer a round padding that is comfortable the second you put them on.

Design & Build Quality

These headphones look slick. They're covered in Func's typical soft touch plastic, and the headband has a pleasing brushed look to it. The headset is made of plastic, so it inherently feels cheap. The HS-260 creeks, squeaks, and has a crazy amount of friction on the headband adjustment. The earpieces don't have a lot of range of motion, and the headset doesn't include any sort of mechanism that would make it easier to travel with them. That being said, this headset isn't going to hurt your wallet, so it's build quality is to be expected at this price point.

TL;DR

At an MSRP of $79.95, the HS-260 offers a pleasing gaming experience but has a lackluster sound signature for music listening. At this price price point, a headset can only be so good. This one in particular is decent enough to get you by, but if you're more serious about audio you aren't buying headsets anyways.

Pros

  • sleek design
  • Interchangeable cable and microphone
  • Ear pads are comfortable
  • Built in volume control
  • Decent microphone

Cons

  • lackluster music performance
  • cheap build quality

Bonus: Anthony's Headset Solution

Personally, I prefer to use regular headphones and a desktop microphone for gaming because I have a lot more choice in terms of the sound I want to hear and the sound I provide to others.

My Current Setup

Headphone

  • Beyerdynamic DT990 600Ohm
  • Aune T1 DAC/AMP

Mic

  • Electro-Voice RE27N/D
  • DBX 286s for processing
  • Presonus 44VSL
  • Assorted audio devices for annoying teammates :P

The Steps:

  • Step 1: Set a budget
  • Step 2: Buy headphones
  • Step 3A: Buy a removable headset mic
  • Step 3B: Buy a desktop microphone

Disclosures

I received the product free of charge from Func. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, no one reviewed the content before it was posted, and I am not being compensated for my review.