As headphone usage continues to increase, so does the number of people who suffer hearing loss from misuse. It’s a problem few are talking about, but one that is present. I know my friend mentioned she suffered hearing loss due to excessive headphone volume, with another being concerned about this happening to her kids. Several companies have addressed this by creating headsets that can’t exceed safe levels. Among them is Puro Sound Labs, who makes the “world’s first volume limited gaming headphone.” Given we’ve tried a wide range of gaming headsets, is this a fantastic choice for concerned parents, or does it fail to reach acceptable levels of quality?
Unlike a lot of gaming headsets, PuroGamer 2.0’s packing is rather clean. The front shows the headset, name, plus confirms it’s a volume limiting headset. One side includes the aforementioned world’s first quote, with the other confirming it works on PC, PS4, Xbox, plus mobile devices. The back includes a small explanation of their mission, key features like ambient noise isolation, 85 dB volume cap, and Puro balanced response.
Simply and Clean
After opening the box, I was surprised to find foam instead of the usual plastic holder. This is something typically found on headsets that cost four to five times more than PuroGamer 2.0. It’s much closer to how EPOS presents their products, and left me extremely impressed by this $20 headset.
Always Nice to See a More Premium Experience
In addition to nice packaging, PuroGamer 2.0 feels like a much higher quality product. The headband is plump, and covered by a smooth vegan leather. The same material is used on the ear pads, with a fair amount of cushion. Similar to most nicer headsets, the slider is metal instead of plastic. It’s admittedly a thin metal, though more durable than most plastics. One disappointing choice is having the wire affixed to the headset. This means if anything happens to this wire, you must replace the whole headset. Not a huge loss at this price point, though it’s always unfortunate to see. Thankfully, it is a braided TRRS cable, with a fairly cheap plastic controller. This can be used to mute/unmute, along with increase/decrease headsets volume. While presentation is impressive for a headset at this level, it doesn’t matter if the product falls short.
Despite framing this as a children’s headset, I am not entirely sure who the target demographic is. Both the Amazon listing and official website show kids under 10, though there are also images of adults. Their Amazon listing also notes both kids and adults, so it should be a general use headset. Normally this wouldn’t matter, except I found the fit to be extremely poor.
Even at the max size PuroGamer 2.0 goes, I can’t comfortably wear them. They crush my head, there is not a tight seal on the bottom, with my glasses are pressed so tightly against my head I can barely move them. It makes for an awful experience, one that I can’t say is typical for me. Compared to my HyperX’s Cloud Stinger 2, I can achieve a more comfortable fit by moving the slider five notches forward. These cap at 12 notches, so it isn’t like my head is particularly large, they just seem to be made for much smaller individuals.
As for performance, it depends on the source. When I used it with my PlayStation 5, I found it lackluster and underwhelming. At the max possible volume it simply could not deliver a satisfying experience. I imagine this would be better for someone where the headset fit correctly, but in my case it was nearly unplayable. Take my time in Destiny 2.
About Where my Cloud Stinger 2 Matched PuroGamer 2.0 on PlayStation 5
Be it a shotgun, or Drifter telling me how the match is going, it all sounded distant. I didn’t get that satisfying booming sound when my shotgun went off, it sounded more like my buddy got the kill 10 feet away from me. Even basic things like jumping sounded lifeless. It simply was not the experience I knew and loved, which is unfortunate to say the least.
Surprisingly, on Nintendo Switch the sound had a lot more impact. With Monster Hunter Rise, many of the little details shined through. Even a less sound intensive game like Pokemon Scarlet sounded fine with PuroGamer 2.0.
Since I had two extremely different experiences, I tried listening to some music on my iMac. The experience was okay. It was loud enough to be enjoyable, though I had to max everything to get there. With my Xbox Series S the experience was better than PlayStation 5, about where my iMac was, though not quite on the same level as Switch. Since every device delivered a different experience, it’s hard to comment on how PuroGamer 2.0 will interact with your devices.
As for the microphone, the capture is lackluster. Despite having higher gain than my Cloud Stinger 2, the capture came out fairly muffled. It probably won’t make a huge difference in practice, though it’s a headset that absolutely needs to be calibrated before playing with others.
PuroGamer 2.0 Review Verdict
As much as I like the concept of PuroGamer 2.0, it simply isn’t a product that works in practice. Not only is head size a concern, a choice that vastly limits the number of potential customers, the experience is underwhelming. This is a shame, as presentation is quite nice. As a result, unless you’re looking for a headset that works with a young child, or want to stay at that price point, I would look into other options.
[Editor’s Note: PuroGamer 2.0 was provided to us for review purposes.]