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Mad Catz E.S. PRO+ Gaming Earbuds (Hardware) – Review

Mad Catz is one of the leading brands specialising in hardware for PCs and game consoles. Their E.S. Pro+ Gaming Earbuds aim to provide an alternative to gaming headsets. It has all the important pieces of a gaming headset but on a much smaller and more portable scale. It is compatible with anything that has a headphone jack including PCs, consoles, smartphones, tablets, and more.

The E.S. Pro+ Gaming Earbuds are available in either black or white. It comes neatly packaged along with a detachable microphone, extra silicone ear tips in different sizes, a carry pouch, and a dual headphone jack. The earphones are wired meaning no charging is required. The outer shells have a smooth and sleek polygonal design and of course, the Mad Catz triple claw marks logo. The bright red silicone earbud tips fit directly into the ear just like any other earbuds, but just above them are small rubber hooks designed to fit under the ear’s antihelix fold to help keep the earbuds secure. It may feel odd at first trying to fit the hooks in properly, but once in you’ll barely notice they’re even there.

The hooks are a handy feature and work well to keep them in place and prevent them from falling out. Unlike the silicone ear tips, the hooks only come in one size, even though they’re removable and won’t fit every person’s ear since not every ear is the same size and shape. They may not be a one-size-fits-all all, but they will fit most. Different-sized hooks might be something to consider for future designs.

The E.S. Pro+ Gaming Earbuds can be used as regular earphones to enjoy music, podcasts, movies, gaming etc. For those who want to chat with their friends while gaming, the left earbud has a jack to plug in the microphone. It is flexible making it very easy to adjust. While chatting with others via Discord, console, or a regular phone call, they all said my voice sounded very clear and had no issue understanding me.

This was not surprising with the dual microphone feature, with a standard microphone off the earpiece and the additional microphone near the volume slider. It can also be used to record voiceovers and even for streaming, although it doesn’t compare to a proper microphone, but it is a fantastic alternative if you’re going for something small and portable.

On the wire to the left earbud is a small control panel to adjust the volume and switch the microphone on or off. It’s handy to have easy access to the volume and microphone switch, even though it can be easy to move the wrong slider by mistake. The dual headphone jack helps separate the earphone and microphone, improving the quality of both.

The sound quality is excellent whether listening to music, movies, podcasts, and of course gaming. Like other gaming headsets, it helps immerse players into the game world and works best for games that focus on stealth or even first-person shooters (this also depends on the game’s design and quality of course). When playing an FPS game, hearing the footsteps of nearby enemies and which direction they’re coming from can really give you an edge over the opposition. As good as the sound is, it also seems to vary depending on possibly the frequency, but not to the point it ruins the experience. Proper quality gaming headsets do of course sound better, but again the E.S. Pro+ Gaming Earbuds are still a great alternative for those who are uncomfortable with big earmuffs on their heads.

The Mad Catz E.S. Pro+ Gaming Earbuds aim for convenience and portability, while also providing great quality with sound and speaking, and they deliver everything incredibly well. Gaming headsets offer better quality with everything, but these earbuds offer a different style of comfort while still providing almost as good quality sound, speaking, and immersive game experience. For those who prefer the comfort and freedom feeling of earbuds ideal for gaming, the Mad Catz E.S. Pro+ Gaming Earbuds are for you.

The Good

  • Fantastic smaller alternative to gaming headsets
  • Comfortable to wear
  • The hooks help keep them secure in the ears
  • Great sound and microphone quality
  • Provides immersive gaming experience

The Bad

  • Hooks only come in one size

Written by: Sammy Hanson


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