It’s worth mentioning straight out of the gate that this headset isn’t going to change the way you appreciate explosive moments in games or help you find hidden depth in the composition of your favourite songs. However, for the price it’s currently retailing at, Venom’s Marauder 7.1 headset could be the perfect stocking filler for this Christmas.
Boasting virtual surround technology that is supposed to be immersive, the Marauder 7.1 doesn’t quite transport you to different worlds, especially when compared with some of its more expensive and well-known peers. You aren’t right there, moreso on the outside looking (or listening) in. Still, the sound quality it provides is more than good enough to complement most games, which is what I used the headset the most for with my PS4.
As a standard headset, i.e. one that you plug straight into your phone, it’s good enough and delivers clear but not exceptional sound. It’s when you try to use the headset and its surround sound to the fullest, however, that it starts to be a bit cumbersome.
There are a lot of cables needed to find the “proper” sound with the Marauder 7.1. When you unbox the headset, it’s not quite as simple as plugging it in and getting on with it. Instead, you will have to try to find the right configuration amongst all the cables to connect it to the USB mini-box which then needs to plug into your system of choice. This is finicky and not helped by there being no instructions inside the box as you’re directed to the website and a PDF instead. Not ideal, but it’s understandable to cut costs on what is a very affordable headset.
As for wearing the Marauder 7.1, the cups are a little rigid when trying to find a pull them in or out to find the right fit for your head; it kind of feels like they might break. There also isn’t anything particularly flashy about the headset’s style, a basic black finish with some red trimmings, but I have absolutely no delusions of looking like a style queen so it never bothered me. The biggest positive for the headset, in my eyes, is how damn nice they felt over the ears. I have been using some smaller headphones from Lucidsound that are great but don’t always feel comfortable over the ears, but the Marauder 7.1 feels like getting small hugs on either side of my head.
If you want the Marauder 7.1 for party chat with games, there’s a small mic that can pulled out of the headset itself or withdrawn when not needed. As you might have guessed, it isn’t the clearest and can peak quite easily when you raise your voice, but according to the person I trialled them with, it was always good enough to chat easily.
What you have with the Marauder 7.1 headset is a decent enough bit of kit that is going to serve those on a budget well; judging from the overall build of the headset, that’s the market Venom are looking at. In that regard, they have succeeded in making a headset that won’t break the bank while also doing the basics and a bit of flair well. If you know someone who’s dying for a new headset, you could do far worse.