Sandberg Street Blaster 125-70 Headset Review
Today we take a look at headset from a lesser known brand, we’ll be looking at a product from Sandberg. Now I must confess the name is not one I was familiar with until now. First let’s glance over the company statement.
Sandberg stands for quality and user-friendliness. If it is important for you that accessories are high quality and easy to figure out how to use, then choose Sandberg. Our ideology “IT is for everybody” is part of everything we do. Since its inception in 1985, private consumers, institutions and companies have benefited from this simple philosophy. Distributors and dealers appreciate the availability, range, simple procedures and the exceptionally low failure rate. Every year over half a million Sandberg products find their way to users in more than 30 countries.
The company offer a vast range of product from PC accessories, Audio. Mobility, and cables. From their Audio range we’ll be examining the StreetBlaster headset. The Street Blaster is multipurpose product ideal for gaming, voice chat or even just listening to your favourite MP3’s. Above all the product has a crazy low suggested price tag of just £21.99! Often a sign of a product with flaws and cutbacks, is the StreetBlaser any different?
Specifications and Features
Sandberg StreetBlaster combines a cool look with great sound. StreetBlaster gives you an impressive sound experience whether you are gaming, watching a film or listening to music.
The headband automatically adjusts itself to the size of your head. Wearing StreetBlaster is guaranteed to be comfortable. The pack includes two cables. The short cable is for your MP3 player, so you don’t have to fold the cable up. The long cable has an integrated microphone and volume control. Which is perfect when you’re gaming.
- Cable lengths: 1.2 metres + 2.5 metres
- Connectors: 3.5 mm MiniJack plug
- Driver unit: 57 mm
- Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Sensitivity: 110 dB
- Type: 6mm dia. electret condenser microphone
- Direction: Omni-directional
- Impedance: Low
- Sensitivity: -58 ± 3dB
- Frequency Response: 30 Hz – 16 kHz
First look and impressions
Packaging of the Street blaster is a nice blend of black, orange and textured grey. We have an asymmetrical cut out window allowing us to see the product. Product name is found at the top left, emphasize below is on the King Size Diamond 57mm drivers. Also we find a claim of Automatic head size adjustment, How this works we’ll see soon. Also worth pointing out is the 5 year warranty. Which we found to be remarkable for a product of this nature.
The back is reserved for the main product description and specifications listed earlier.
The left side of the box focuses on the removable and interchangeable dual cable system
Inside the box we find warranty certificate, which I will mention again is 5 years. Next we have the dual cable system, the first one is 1.2m in length which is used for devices such as MP3 players, but also included is a larger adaptor for devices such as Amps.
The second cable is much larger at 2.5m and is intended to be used for PC gaming, voice calls and such. The large cable has an inline built with mute functionality. One side plugs direct into the headset and is slightly smaller than a generic 3.5mm fitting, it’s also bevelled which helps to aid the cable fitting more securely, avoiding any potential pull out. The inline mic has volume control via a dial switch, the mute button is press and hold to engage type of system, which isn’t ideal but does the job.
Looking now at the actual headset, I’m a huge fan of black and white so I conclude a gold award…end of review! In all seriousness the combo of black and white has a proven track record for being well received and neutral for a large market, however some brands get it wrong. Sandberg have nailed the balance here as neither colour overpowers the other. Material used are mostly plastic, however the glossy finish doesn’t appear cheap and tacky, the opposite actually as the finish looks and feels premium.
The black sections are finished in matte black, this is accented with two silver pieces which blends between the overall black and white look. Overall I’m left very impressed with quality and finish more so when you consider the very low price these retail for. When a product with such a low price tag comes in for review, while we always give them a fair chance, it’s just natural to look for the flaws and cutbacks, we found none…
The actual ear cups are lined with a very soft and pliable soft leather material, the amount of padding underneath is fair with a spread of more at the front than back. This creates a nice wrap around effect when placed over your ears.
We did however have trouble with the top band, as the product felt very tight and to be honest painful when I wore it. It’s not strictly the top headband that is to blame. Which again is made up in a very soft leather and lined with small amount of padding.
We know from past experiences due to the packaging method this can be the case with new and out of the box overhead products. The mechanism did a fine job of automatically sliding up and down on our heads, The stretchy materials between the headband and main frame was extremely rigid, even after a few hours I found the set to be slightly uncomfortable. Thankfully this was resolved with some gentle persuasion, pulling the band up and down frequently, after a day or two this was no longer an issue.
Usage & Final Thoughts
We’ve just covered the main issue I had in terms of out of the box comfort, we don’t feel it fair to condemn a product for an issue like this. It is though, worth noting that for some the product will have a break in period. I have what I assume is average size head, would I say any different? We can only assume those with larger heads would find this break in period tough. For teens or children out of the box this is very unlikely to be a problem at all. While on the subject of niggles we can tackle the only other small one. The inline mic is placed at logical point, the volume control is easy to work with and the added mute button is a nice, I’ve no preference but feel a single press alternative would be welcome. General quality from the mic was a touch hollow and recipients from my Skype calls picked up on this. We have to come back to the suggested retail priced though for £20 or so there’s no grounds for complaints in all honesty.
The small niggles become relevant when we look at the positive’s. The overall look is great, the Streetblaster has a nice blend of class and functionally. Not only does it fit the part as a gaming peripheral, its design is low key enough to be used elsewhere with an MP3 player or smart phone. We tested the device with a range of appliances from music on our phones, gaming sessions and even movies. The ear cups do a fair job of isolating noise from the environment, they don’t cup and cover your ears as well as some others we have tested though. The asymmetrical amount of padding means they are comfortable, but they do not cover and wrap well to drown out enough noise.
We began our testing with some audio files ranging from live performances to studio recordings, and found the Streetblaster did well for the most part, Sound quality was consistent and clear, the area which it seemed to lack was in bass. Personally I’d rather have clarity over bass any day, so for me I didn’t mind at all. Moving onto gaming I don’t generally wear earphones and we tend to forget how much they can improve the overall experience. Sound plays a crucial part in many games and can add dramatically to the atmosphere. We opted to plays some FPS games first and the product did very well at producing clear and impacting quality sound, moving onto to tension based games the lack of depth was notable. Finishing up with a movie again the clarity of the 57mm drivers were evident.
We would like to thank Sandberg for providing the sample and look forward to seeing more in the future.