Plugable Onyx Gaming Headset Looks to 'Shame' Surround Sound

Most know Plugable for their large assortment of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C based products, from hubs and docking stations, to storage, switches, cables and other adapters. In fact, we recently reviewed a Plugable USB-C NVMe SSD enclosure. But today, they announced availability of a new product, the Onyx Gaming Headset which comes at a budget-friendly $44.95 MSRP. The Onyx is a 2.0 stereo gaming headset designed for PC, PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Xbox One and forgoes virtual surround sound to a "well-designed" stereo implementation purported to be better than virtual or even 'true' surround sound. 

(Image credit: Plugable)

Plugable goes all in on stereo being better than virtual and true surround sound opting to go with a single driver in each ear without surround enhancing software. It is just left and right on this headset.

In its announcement, Plugable claimed "a well-designed stereo implementation puts both of these marketing ploys to shame." It also said modern games already have great implementations of stereo sound that will accurately position audio queues in the game. 

(Image credit: Plugable)

The Onyx uses wide over-ear ear cups that are lightweight, 408 grams, using memory foam padding for comfort. Its "sound signature" is supposed to avoid fatigue and allow the headset to be used for long gaming sessions without becoming cumbersome. It has a fully adjustable padded metal headband for proper fitment on small or large craniums. Plugable said the ear cups are designed with enough depth for most ears (Dumbo need not apply) to fit without touching the grill protecting the driver.

The microphone is on the left side and can be moved around for placement. You can also retract it into the frame of the ear cup. 

(Image credit: Plugable)

The Onyx includes a single 53 mm driver per ear with impedance rated at 32Ω (±15 percent). Frequency response is rated at 20 Hz to 20 KHz with 101±3dB (1 KHz) sensitivity. Power handling is 15 mW minimum to 100 mW maximum. The input/microphone is dynamic with unidirectional polarization rated at -56±dB using 3V (standard) to 10V (max) at 0.3±mA.

Connection to your PC, Xbox or PS4 is through 3.5mm TRSS audio jacks. The cans  include an optional cable with inline volume control and microphone mute switch that also acts as an extension cable. Also included is a 250-cm long 3.5 mm TRSS to 2x 3.5 TRS Y-cable for connecting to PCs.

We can't be sure how these sound, but the price is undoubtedly low for a headset. They are already on Amazon for $44.95

Plugable Onyx Headset Specs

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Connection Type3.5mm TRRS Combo plug or dual 3.5mm TRS
Dimensions185 x 102 x 207mm
Cable LengthHeadset: 80cmIn-line remote: 30cmTRRS-to-TRS Y-Cable: 250cm
Speaker Driver53mm @ 32Ω20Hz - 20KHz101±3db Sensitivity
MicrophoneDynamic, Unidirectional-56±3dB
Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.