[Review] Earphones with a Boom Mic: The Armaggeddon Wasp 7 Pro 3D
Whether it's due to the black and yellow colour scheme or the detachable mic looking remarkably like a huge stinger, Armaggeddon's Wasp series earphones are a tiny force to be reckoned with - just like its namesake.
The Wasp 7 Pro 3D is the successor to the Wasp 5, which was a minor hit with mobile gamers looking for a decent audio + mic solution to scream at teammates on the go.
A very familiar unboxing experience
The Wasp 7 Pro 3D is identical to the Wasp 5 in nearly every respect - from the packaging to the materials to the aesthetics. The most significant change is the driver upgrade - instead of the dual driver setup found on the Wasp 5, the Wasp 7 now has "triple neodymium drivers for a deeper soundscape."
Anyway, for those unfamiliar with the Wasp product family, let's go through the unboxing process again.
On the front of the box is a little flap which opens to reveal a window that provides a glimpse of the product you're about to get. Key features are highlighted on the inside of the flap.
The Wasp 7 is removed from the box by sliding out a plastic tray, which contains the earphones in question, its signature detachable mic, 2 spare sets of ear tips, and a Y-cable.
Interestingly enough, the back of the earphones are emblazoned with an eagle and not a wasp, which is rather jarring, but ties back in to the design found on some of their other products, like the Ultro Spyder 3 casing and Nuke 9 headset.
An unusual but effective gimmick
What sets the Wasp series earphones apart from its peers is undoubtedly their detachable boom microphone that unwittingly makes users look like a call centre operative. But hey, if it works, it ain't stupid right?
Now, the Wasp 7 does have a built-in mic on its inline controls, so why provide an additional one to sit on your face? (Quite literally, I might add - it naturally rests on your cheek unless you forcibly bend it away from your face).
The simple answer is: sound quality. The inline mic quality is on par with the detachable boom mic's - but if you have your hands full with Mobile Legends or PUBG Mobile, the inline mic will be resting on your chest, far away from your mouth. The boom mic negates this issue, and places the mic within close speaking range for better clarity and volume.
So, if you want to go completely hands-free while gaming or driving, the boom mic is a simple yet effective solution to provide the best possible audio pickup on the go. Either way, having both as an option is great - if you don't feel like packing along the detachable mic, you can still default to the inline mic.
A subtle yet significant change
Now, the Wasp 5 was known for providing exceptional audio quality for its price - it packs a great punch for music while providing great positional audio for games like PUBGM. The Wasp 7 has improved upon this by adding 1 more driver in each side, which purportedly enhances the soundscape.
However, this is where they stumbled. By adding the extra driver, the Wasp 7 also had to increase in size to accommodate the additional hardware. Unfortunately, this was - in my opinion - not very well executed. Unlike the Wasp 5, the Wasp 7 was simply unable to fit into my ears properly, no matter the ear tip size.
The improper fit resulted in the bass leaking terribly - there was no way for me to hear any bass whatsoever without using my fingers to force the earphones deep into my ears. This resulted in tinny-sounding audio that was simply not enjoyable.
Do note however, that this may be due to my unusual ear shape or size - I asked a couple of friends to test it out, and some reported the same issue while others said they had no problems at all.
It is a pity, because otherwise, the Wasp 7 would definitely have been an upgrade to its already excellent predecessor.
The inline controls on the Wasp 7 are the same as the Wasp 5's. It has a volume slider, microphone switch, and multi-purpose button. The volume slider works well, as does the microphone switch - though it could probably benefit from an indicator or some sort of marking to show which side is mute.
The multi-purpose button allows you to perform multiple functions:
Press once: Pick up calls / pause music
Press twice: Skip to next track
Long hold: Activate voice assistant
However, do note that the 'pick up calls' function only works on regular phone calls, and not Facebook or Whatsapp calls. Also, for some reason, it only works to pause music and not resume, which is pretty strange.
Buy or no buy?
Conceptually, the Wasp 7 is a great product - great audio for its price point, with a set of features targeted towards gamers on the go. However, the earphones' subtle yet significant change in shape makes me hesitant to promote this as a product that will suit everyone.
If you have particularly large ear canals, then the Wasp 7 will be a great buy for you, otherwise I'd recommend sticking to the Wasp 5 until Armaggeddon improves upon the shape and comfort in their next iteration of the Wasp series earphones.