Armaggeddon Avatar Pro ZX500
When it comes to surround sound headphones, we're spoiled for choice because there are so many headphones from so many manufacturers that offer either digital or analog surround sound. Joining their ranks is something new from Armaggeddon, the Avatar Pro ZX500.
Aesthetically, the ZX500 looks good. It has a black and yellow color scheme, making it a great accessory to accompany the Harimau Malaya jersey. Jokes aside, the ZX500 is distinguishable from miles away, thanks to pulsing yellow LEDs and bright yellow lines. When sitting on your head, the ZX500 can get a little tight, because of the not-so-elastic headband. This is good in that it helps ensure minimal sound leakage and insulates from ambient noise, but it can get a little tight for some, particularly those with spectacles.
The ZX500 has two 40mm drivers that can reproduce sound akin to a 7.1 speaker configuration, thanks to the use of proprietary software. The software is user-friendly and offers the ability to manually set the position of the virtual speakers, as well as disable/enable the 7.1 speaker mode. When we tried to play around with these settings, we found that the positional element could have been better, as audio from different directions could still be heard, even after we put all the virtual speakers on just one side.
In addition to supporting a 7.1 configuration, the ZX500 has another interesting feature, which is a bass boost button. This button, found on the in-line remote controller, supposedly adds more bass by increasing the amount of vibration coming from the drivers. During our time with these headphones, we found that the button does add more bass, though the effect is rather subtle.
As usual, we began testing the ZX500 by first playing a number of our audio test tracks from various genres. After a couple of days with these headphones, we have to admit that we were actually rather impressed by the amount of clarity and definition that the ZX500 is able to reproduce. In Bon Jovi's 'It's My Life', the electric guitars and vocals were clearly audible, without being muddled at all! As for tracks with more acoustic music and vocals, again, the ZX500 impressed us by having a good balance of lows, mids and highs. Even the backup singers in Joanna Wang's 'The Best Mistake I've Ever Made' were clearly audible.
Because the ZX500 are headphones that are optimized for gaming and movies, we also tested it with a couple of games like Left 4 Dead 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In both games, directional sound was good and overall audio quality was great. The same can be said for when these headphones were used when watching movies with 5.1 channel audio.
In a nutshell, the Armaggeddon Avatar Pro ZX500 is a great pair of headphones that provides good directional sound and has above average audio quality. We really like the ZX500 and would recommend it to anyone looking for a pair of virtual surround sound headphones.
With 40mm drivers, the ZX500 sure is loud!