PerformanceThe Ozone Rage ST was hooked up to our Creative Sound Blaster Z (SBZ) sound card for the tests. The headset was allowed to burn in for well over 100 hours. One of the things that you have to remember with the new generation of headsets is that they are very sensitive in terms of power, and the SBZ's gain was too high for many applications, and we had to turn down the volume through the podded controller on the headphones.
First off, the sound was quite good—definitely better than you would expect given the feel of the headset. The midrange is a bit dull and the treble is pretty withdrawn, but its overall sound quality is great considering the headset's low price. The bass is surprisingly taught and extends pretty well. Compared to the Rosewill RHTS-11004 headphones, the bass is better, but the midrange is slightly less detailed.
Treble performance seems out of fashion and mimics the CM Storm Sonuz's immensely dulled down treble. The Rage ST does however have some resonances in the upper midrange that the Sonuz does not have, which introduces a few sound artifacts. These are not overly horrible and far from as intrusive as those you can experience on a set of unmodded Fostex T50RPs, but they are still somewhat annoying.
Music listening with the Rage ST is pleasant and, perhaps, overly forgiving because of its dialed back treble response. You do notice the resonance on some tracks, but it is, generally, a minor issue. The sound stage is very pushed back on the Rage ST, which adds a bit of oddness to the sound—it is like hearing orchestra music from the furthest possible position. The linearity of the headset is surprisingly good from the upper bass to the midrange; the upper midrange is where the tonal oddities begin to show. This is alright for gaming, since the sound's coherence while gaming is slightly less critical than for music listening.
Positional audio effects are a bit clearer on the Sonuz because the midrange is more detailed, but the two headsets perform quite similarly under many circumstances, with the Rage ST being more comfortable due to its lower weight and very low clamping force. The clamping force is really low on even my size 58 skull, which means that people with small heads could get into some serious fitting issues. Since the headband is an all plastic affair, there is no way to adjust the clamping force, which could also produce some fitting issues because this design's ear cups cannot swivel.