Review: Ozone Strato

Our score: 3/5
Reviewed: May 16, 2011 11:00 PM
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Published: May 16, 2011 11:00 PM
By Tristan François
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
Today we're testing another product from the Spanish gaming peripherals brand Ozone. Although some of Ozone's products are re-branded generics, the firm is usually careful to ensure its products have a better design, materials and finish than other brands' versions. The Strato is another good example of Ozone going the extra mile to tart up a generic.

Design: good finish, poor remote

The Strato has been treated to Ozone's sleek, trademark matte black finish, as well as some excellent-quality leatherette. We've therefore got no complaints about the product's design and finish. However, since there are several speakers in each headphone—positioned around each ear—the Strato headset is quite heavy and bulky, especially considering it has supra-aural headphones.

With its nice design and effective joints, the Strato isn't uncomfortable to wear, even if it does feel a bit heavy after a while.

The on-cable remote can be used to adjust the general volume (digital) and the volume of each different virtual source (front speakers, central speaker, Surround speakers and subwoofer). There's a button that switches the microphone on and off, but it's a shame there's no control for switching between stereo and multi-channel sound.

Audio Quality: audio positioning could be more accurate

Unlike most headphones and headsets that claim to be '5.1/7.1', the Strato really does have several speakers for each ear, which is why the headphone cups are so big. This makes it easier to recreate the effect of a multi-channel system (see inset).

The sound output is good, even if there's a lack of sub-bass that's clearly compensated for by powerful bass and, above all, low-medium sounds. Higher up the spectrum things are less convincing, as high frequencies are really rather feeble.

Unfortunately, although the general audio quality is fine, the sound is still a little woolly and vague, and although the spatial effect is audible, it's not especially accurate. The central speaker doesn't come through strongly enough (it is a simulated sound after all) and the Surround speakers are vague and hard to place. In fact, the stereo effect comes through the best, with a much wider spatialisation than in most headphones and headsets (the relatively large distance between the speakers and the user's ears no doubt has something to do with that).

In the end, the Strato isn't a bad headset, but it feels like it's capable of more. If the manufacturer had taken things just a bit further, made just a little more effort, paid greater attention to detail, or gone Ozone's 'extra mile', the Strato could be an even better headset!

3/5 Ozone Strato DigitalVersus 2011-05-17 00:00:00

Pros

  • Easy to install and use
  • Heavy but comfortable to wear
  • Decent spatial effect

Cons

  • Lacks precision
  • Lack of sub-bass and general balance
  • Feels heavy when you wear it for a while

Conclusion

The Ozone Strato is a surprising headset. It's one of very few (almost) genuinely multi-channel headsets. The resulting audio quality is clean and pleasant but we still feel like this headset could do more. The Strato is a four-star headset ... but only by the skin of its teeth.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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