Fit and Comfort
The most noticeable feature of this headset is its light weight. It is listed at officially at 300 grams but that is actually with the cord. Just the headset itself clocks in at only 254 grams on my scale. This makes the Ozone Rage ST very comfortable to wear for long periods. However, the band does not hold as tightly to ones head compared to other headsets. While the ear cups themselves stay in place, the band on top can slide from time to time when moving around (maybe it did not help that I applied extra head polish). The ear cups are very firm and makes a decent seal but it is not a thorough closure that external noise is not completely isolated if the external sound source is within a few meters. You can still hold a conversation with the headset on when not listening to anything.
The voice levels are surprisingly clear even with the artificial Windows boost but understandably, the microphone is not quite as powerful at the default setting. The distortion from having Windows boost is not enough to be too distracting and the voice still sounded clear enough.
This headset has very good definition across all low frequencies. It looses detail noticeably in the mid-range specially as it moves to the high-frequencies. Treble is not particularly pointed either, but overall the sound is very surprising for a headset at this price range, especially considering that the microphone was clear (albeit low volume). Thankfully the mid-range and highs are not too held back that it compromises gaming performance but for music listening it is rather odd at times listening to string sections which sound too distant compared to other instruments. For the most part, most of its flaws are not too distracting especially if listening from practical lower bit-rate sources such as MP3s and popular music but certainly not for classical music listening. Although the bass is well-defined, it is not overpowering and it is smartly restrained unlike other bass-oriented headsets so watching movies is not a chore and dialogue is still clear over the action scenes.
Ozone has struck a good balance with the Ozone Rage ST in terms of performance and price which is not easy and rare in this price range. The liberal use of plastic and unbraided cabling are compromises that anyone can easily live without if it means a clear microphone and decent audio. The worst nitpick I would have would be the fit since the lightweight nature of the Rage ST makes it so that the top band is not completely secure when moving. But then again, the Rage ST’s lightweight nature also means that it can be worn for longer periods without strain unlike heavier units.
The only time I lament being a reviewer who constantly gets free hardware is when I come across the Ozone Rage ST because this is the kind of headset I wish was around when I had no money and did not get freebies. For those in high-school or college or simply the fund-limited, the $39 price tag with four colour options is an amazing option to have. Sure the microphone is not as powerful but it is clear and perfectly fine for in-game chat and even a little voice over recording with some post-process clean-up. The in-line microphone was a nice addition too, considering you would not think a headset that performs this good at this price range does not come with any extras.