BitFenix Flo Headset Review
Managing to blend the capabilities of a gaming headset with the needs of a hip and trendy headset for public exposure is a difficult balance, but BitFenix have come right out of the gate with a winner in our opinion.
The needs are so disparate that it would be easy to assume some compromise has to be made. Either the need for lightness and sleek design means that it's not great as a gaming headset, or the microphone and frequency tuning necessary for PC gaming ends up costing you in audio fidelity. With the BitFenix Flo though, all the boxes are ticked and there aren't any obvious weaknesses.
It's hard to start anywhere but the looks. Obviously the black model is more subtle, but the red option we have for review is loud and proud. A gorgeous matte finish thanks to the SofTouch plastic which feels as good as it looks and doesn't require the endless fingerprint removal of glossier offerings. The decision to use the BitFenix logo alone also helps it both stand out and blend in. Normally we have a screen-printed manufacturer name, so the decision to use a logo makes it stand out. However, because it's not a brandname, and therefore few people will easily recognise it, you can blend in when taking them out in public.
We know how important kudos is on the street, and the Flo has it in spades. Some careful design work with the positioning of the cable and microphone inputs means that there isn't obviously a bit missing when you're using them without the microphone, unlike some detachable microphone models we've seen. This is only enhanced by the included cables which mean you're not stuck with an inline remote when outside, but neither are you compromised without an 'easily to hand' microphone mute when fragging online.
Of course all this design flair would be meaningless if the sound quality wasn't up to snuff. Thankfully it's not only a very well balanced audio response, but it punches well above the meagre £50 price point too. In products at this end of the, if you'll pardon the pun, spectrum there is a tendency to pile on the bass in the hopes that people will be convinced of the quality. It's a hangover from the early days where tinny sound was the norm, but it's been at least a decade since that was the case so we really wish manufacturers would stop it. Thankfully the Flo bass response is tight and pounding, without ever dominating. It's beautifully balanced and regardless of what genre we pumped through it the Flo responded with a clarity and fidelity that constantly surprised.
In fact we'd go so far as to say these are the best headset in the fiercely competitive £50 bracket. They're light, comfortable, suit both gaming and music pursuits, and have some very neat design touches. Bundle that up with a low price-tag and sound quality that belies the low price, and there are an unhesitating winner of our OC3D Gold Award.