Audiosure recently acquired the amazing HP headphone brand and let me check out two pairs of the new DHE Gaming line. Let’s take a dive into the DHE-8005 Stereo Headphones from HP.
As one would expect of a product carrying the HP logo you are always assured of a quality experience, and the 8005’s are certainly that. Not to be confused with the Omen range from HP which is solely focused on the professional gaming sector, the DHE range delivers really good quality headphones at a great price and the 8005’s are the top offering in a 3.5mm cable option for the current gaming range.
The HP DHE-8005’s are a super-solid pair of headphones that feature large 50mm dynamic drivers in an over-the-ear design with a very balanced frequency response. A removable gooseneck mic with a windshield is attached to the left ear cup for talkback. The ear cushions on the cup make use of a soft, breathable, black leatherette material which sits very comfortably on the skin. The cups are framed in black plastic with the outside covered by a smooth grey-blue metal plate. The same metal and finish is once again used for the mounting arms which fix to the headphone cups at two points, and also for the extendable headband arms to allow for an adjustable fit in two planes of motion. These also give the headphone a good deal of strength.
The headband is made of a soft textured plastic with a similar black leatherette covering over a foam brace for comfort. The drivers are each fed by a thin black lace-type cable which is a narrower version of the same type of cable used for the main connection. The main cable is 2M long and has a Volume Control and Mic Mute functions on the single side cable. The termination is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Attached to that jack is a removable splitter cable to divide the output into two separate 3.5mm jacks for microphone in and audio out where the computer or audio interfaces allow.
But enough of the nitty gritty technical spec. How do they sound? Well in the interests of science and discovery I booted up Call of Duty Warzone on my PS4 and ran extensive testing throughout the evening. And night. Then started on another phase of testing on FIFA20, Fortnite and GTA V. Also jumped over to an Xbox and checked them out on there.
I’ve owned a couple pairs of gaming headphones over my years of gaming, and I have to say this is one of my favourite pairs. They sat lightly and comfortably on my head, which I was concerned about when you see the prodigious use of metal. The leatherette pads feel very airy and comfortable on the skin and were great for extended sessions. The tangle proof lace cable is two metres long with an ambidextrous control wheel for volume control and a slide-able mic mute switch so you can operate it with either hand.
The audio experience is phenomenal for a headphone in the price range of R1000. At this bracket you tend to find a boosted bottom end to compensate for inadequacies in the mid range but the DHE 8005’s buck this trend with a very balanced bottom end and detailed mid and upper range. The tuning leans towards relating the gaming experience and voicing with hi definition audio so music playback is detailed when listening to solid audio formats such WAV, AIFF and Flac but the harshness of low res streaming and MP3 formats can be picked up pretty easily. I don’t consider this a slight but a badge of respect in my opinion, and the DHE 8005’s would make interesting references for some studio work.
The stereo imaging was fantastic. You can really take in the audio environment of the game and was sensitive enough to accurately hear stealthy footprints or loud shots, and gauge their distance away. Very handy when someone comes to collect an in-game bounty task on you. There aren’t any specs available as to the wattage but they can go pretty loud before they distort and become uncomfortable to listen to. The closed cup design also shuts out the world so you might need to ask your partner to text you to come to bed rather than the traditional vocal summoning. I joke. I go to bed when I want to 🙂
The display box uses a nice and clean design that is easily visible with a see through panel to inspect the driver and microphone. The colour scheme uses the white, grey and blue HP elements. The DHE-8005’s also feature a 2 year warranty which puts it among the guaranties offered by the upper end of other headphone brands.
So to sum up. Would I spend my hard earned money on a pair of DHE-8005? You bet I would. They tick all the boxes I look at when assessing a pair of headphones.
Do they sound good? Yes.
Are they comfortable and could I wear them for a long time? Check.
Do they look like they can take a beating? Most definitely.
The headphone mount, headband and driver cups themselves are the most stressed part of any operational headphone. They will get put on and off and adjusted regularly. They will get dropped or fall off a table when the dog rushes past entangling himself in the tangle proof cable…the irony! Or in my favourite scenario, have the cable ridden over by the gaming chair and dragged around over the floor while attempting to extricate the cable from the roly wheels.
I only had two small gripes. One was with positioning of the mic which I don’t like in my eye line when I game. Yes, even if it’s not obstructing the screen. The gooseneck was pretty stiff out the box so you need to loosen it a bit by bending it, so it doesn’t unplug from the connector when you are adjusting it. It can just be clipped back in, but its tricky to reattach without removing them off your head first. Second is the fit. The 8005’s are comfortable, light and block out sound well but they just don’t quite wrap themselves around like some other pairs. But these a really trivial. Make no mistake the DHE-800s’s are fantastic.
Overall I was super impressed by the audio quality and in particular the stereo imaging. The cable is hardy and the headphones fit well. It is a pleasure to game with the DHE-8005’s, they come highly recommended.