By – John Williamson


Consumers have a staggering amount of choice when it comes to headsets these days with virtually every major manufacturer offering their own unique take which fits within a unified brand identity.  The FLO headset is Bitfenix’s first foray into the audio market which targets good audio quality at an affordable price. Competition within this field is extremely tough so how does the Flo stack up against behemoths of the industry such as Logitech and Corsair?   The headset is bundled using frustration-free packaging and easily opens using a loose flap.  There are no awkward tabs to pry open or hard plastic to cut which makes the unboxing process effortless.  The box art is impeccably designed and shows splashes of paint which signifies the various colour options within the FLO range.  The rear outlines the key specifications and bundled accessories in a clear and concise manner.

Included in the package is the headset itself, detachable microphone, 1m audio cable for portable devices, 1m headset cable with inline remote and 2m extension cable.  The leads are constructed from a fairly thick, durable rubber and should provide adequate protection against pulling.  The phono jacks are made of brushed aluminum and have gold-plated connections to enhance audio quality and reduce interference.  The lead isn’t soldered into the unit and can be removed without any hassle.  This is a fantastic addition because I’ve used various headsets which end up having a broken 3.55m cable.  Being able to simply buy a replacement cable means you can use the headset without worrying about irreparable damage.  This level of quality and adaptability is quite surprisingly given the low price point of $60/£50.

There are two cables in the box that are designed for various usages.  The shorter lead is perfect for mobile phones or tablets which require a small space between the device and headset.  You can also remove the microphone which makes this a versatile unit and suitable as a set of portable headphones.  The longer cable is a great length for PC usage and those feeding the cable to a machine positioned away from the user’s seating position.  The primary audio cable features a remote control which allows you to mute the microphone or adjust the overall volume.  Unfortunately, this remote feels a bit cheap in your hands but nevertheless it does the job.

Bitfenix FLO Headset Review

The detachable Microphone is manufactured from hardened rubber and is remarkably sturdy. However, it is not possible to bend the mic to shape because of this stiff construction.  The audio quality during conference calls, streaming and online gaming is surprisingly crisp and clear.  There isn’t any kind of noise isolation but there is virtually no hissing or popping which is fairly impressive for the price.  The mic is also pretty good at amplifying your voice from low volumes and detects differentiation in audio levels without any problems whatsoever.

Comfort is always something difficult to critique as it is a subjective matter.  In my case, I thought the headset was extremely comfortable to wear but could do with having slightly thicker ear cups and better padding.  The pads are quite thin and may cause discomfort to consumers with larger ears.  Additional support would allow for a more snug fit and reduce earache during prolonged periods.  The headset is exceptionally light weighing in at only 200g without the mic.  The lightweight nature of this device makes it feel like an extension of your own head and not like you are wearing a cumbersome headset.  As a result, this greatly adds to the overall comfort level. The grooved headband is proficient at supporting your head but feels particularly cheap and overly thin.

From an aesthetics standpoint, the FLO headset is a beautiful piece of technology.  The lush, lavish colours and aluminum accents around the cups look stunning.  You can choose between black, white, red and blue options to suit the colour scheme of various PC builds.  Perhaps a green headset would be a good move to try and get the Nvidia customer on board and take away from Razer’s dominance in this field.  Another improvement could be the use of braided cables to either match your headset colour or choose another option which would compliment the existing model you own.  Obviously, the main issue with this is price so I understand why this hasn’t been implemented.  I am hoping Bitfenix can offer premium braided cables as an optional extra in the future.

Bitfenix FLO Headset Review

The headset contains a solid, balanced sound and consistently impressed me during the course of gaming, music listening, guitar playing and movie watching.  There is a clear, pronounced mid-range with comes from the 40mm drivers and has a warm, natural tone.  The bass sounds are deep and rich which makes you feel every sudden gunshot or explosion during games.  Despite this, the bass isn’t extraordinary and feels a little flat in the overall mix.  Using software EQ to enhance the bass and bringing it to the forefront dramatically improves the audio clarity and exhilarating feel during games and heavier music.

The lower range tones are crystal clear and surprisingly allows you to hear the nuances of multi-layered tracks and subtle sounds in the background of games.  The headset is also extremely loud on full volume despite having a fairly high impedance rating of 68 Ω. As with any 3.55m headset, the sound is only as good as the source being used so an aftermarket sound card is recommended.  I tested the headset with a Creative Sound Blaster Z and onboard audio on a Gigabyte Z87-XOC and the difference was night and day.

Bitfenix FLO Headset Review

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

The Bitfenix FLO headset offers exceptional value for money and finds a suitable balance between performance and affordability.  This fantastic bundle features a headset which can become a portable set of headphones, good sound quality, replaceable cables, excellent mic, incredible aesthetics and great build quality.  There are a few areas which were scaled back to reduce costs such as the headband but these minor reservations don’t detract from the overall comfort and impeccably balanced sound on offer.

Bitfenix FLO Summary:

  • Time Used – 6 Days
  • Games Tested – Metro 2033, Battlefield 4
  • Music Tested – Pink Floyd: Pulse Concert 5.1 Mix
  • Movies Tested – Spirited Away, The Aviator, Man of Steel
  • System Specs – Intel i7 4770K. 16GB RAM, Sapphire 290 4GB OC
  • Acquisition Method – Review Unit
  • Availability – Official Site, Newegg
468 ad
  • stika

    Whoa! Now that is an amazing headset. I actually tought it would be more expensive.

    • John Williamson

      Yep, it’s an excellent value-for-money headset with a great range of features for the price point. Thoroughly recommended!

  • trincetto

    I need a new headset and this one looks like a good choice, it’s not
    even too expensive! Very good review, I especially like the inclusion of
    the information about the packaging — I hate those thick plastic
    packages that are nightmare to open! The only problem that I have with
    headsets is when they feel uncomfortable to wear with glasses, but this
    model seems light enough from the description.

    How’s Pulse? I
    don’t know much about the Pink Floyd after Waters left, I stopped at The
    Final Cut (I know that’s quite off-topic…)

    • John Williamson

      Thank you very much for your kind words! Yeah, when you have to open those horrible thick plastic wrapped packages and then cut into the plastic and it still doesn’t open really can become infuriating. I see your point, I have large ears, so I tend to use my speakers for most of the time. These are easy to just quickly put on and wear for a few hours without feeling too obtrusive.

      Ah, Pink Floyd after Water’s departure is a contentious issue. Some see this as a different era of Floyd whilst others think it is the “David Gilmour Band”. Personally, I think it is Pink Floyd, like Floyd were when Syd was in the band before David Gilmour took his place. The Momentary Lapse of Reason Album which led to the 88 tour is a bit average whilst the Division Bell album and 1994 tour is fantastic. Check out High Hopes, Coming Back To Life and A Great Day for Freedom. All fantastic songs. I would recommend trying out the PULSE DVD or Gilmour 2006 gig at the Royal Albert Hall as it’s brilliant.

      If you aren’t aware, Waters and Gilmour played together briefly at the Hoping charity event, and Gilmour did one performance of comfortably numb during Roger’s recent Wall tour. Should be able to find videos on Youtube.

      • trincetto

        I was a big Pink Floyd fan a few years ago, but the few tracks I listened of A Momentary Lapse of Reason didn’t enthuse me, so I stayed with the older albums and forgot about it. I didn’t even like The Final Cut that much, but the albums before usually range from good to excellent. I will give the Division Bell a go, I just listened High Hopes and — while different in style — is good!

        I didn’t know about the brief reunion of Waters and Gilmour, that’s nice to hear, even if just for a concert!

        Thank you for the suggestions!