Molotov-5: Big on sound, easy on the wallet

The price of Armaggeddon's Molotov-5 puts it on a par with entry-level products from brands such as Creative and Turtle Beach.
The price of Armaggeddon's Molotov-5 puts it on a par with entry-level products from brands such as Creative and Turtle Beach. PHOTO: ARMAGGEDDON

Armaggeddon's Molotov-5 mobile gaming headset is a sturdy, no-frills device that delivers powerful sound at a low price point.

Since it was founded five years ago, the home-grown company has made a name for itself with its range of competitively priced gaming peripherals.

While a gaming headset from Steelseries or Razer may run into hundreds of dollars, the Molotov-5 is just $39.90. This puts it on a par with entry-level products from brands such as Creative and Turtle Beach.

The construction of the headset is sound. Both the ear cups and headband are padded leatherette, and the fit is adjustable by sliding the cups up and down a painted metal frame.

The headset's non-removable cable, which houses an in-line microphone, is braided nylon - a lot more durable than the usual rubber-coated wires.

Such toughness is a must, as the Molotov-5 was designed to be carried around as a mobile headset. It is certainly portable, as both ear cups fold up and inwards towards the headband, making it an easy fit in any bag.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $39.90

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz to 20,000Hz

    DRIVERS: 40mm

    IMPEDANCE: 320hmn

    CABLE LENGTH: 1.5m


    RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The headset also comes with a splitter for machines with separate audio and microphone jacks - a nice touch for the price.

Sound-wise, the headphones are competent enough. The 40mm drivers are robust and have a distinctly bass-heavy profile, as do most gaming headphones.

But with so much focus on the lower range, details tend to get lost. Explosions and gunfire are overwhelming, drowning out the sound of leaves crunching underfoot or clothes rustling.

The Molotov-5 also suffers from the same issues that many other on-ear headsets do. As the cups are balanced on the ears instead of fully surrounding them, it can be difficult to find a comfortable, stable fit.

Also, because the cups do not completely cover the ears, the headset has issues with sound isolation and sound leakage. When using the Molotov-5, I can hear clearly what is going on around me, which detracts from an immersive gaming experience.

The microphone is also in-line instead of a boom, probably designed thus to keep the headset portable.

However, this means that the mic hovers near my collar instead of at my mouth, and sometimes ends up rustling against clothing or hair.

• Verdict: A sturdy, value-for-money portable gaming headset that delivers reasonably powerful audio.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2016, with the headline 'Molotov-5: Big on sound, easy on the wallet'. Print Edition | Subscribe