Like bass? We'll give you bass.
Introducing the Elysium Signature HyperBass 2 headphones. If you haven't heard of the brand before, you might be familiar with the Elysium Dot Bluetooth mechanical keyboards that were trending a couple years ago:
Anyway, apart from Bluetooth keyboards, the company also makes a variety of Bluetooth audio products, including portable speakers and headsets. The product we have on hand today is a wireless Bluetooth headset and the successor to last year's Signature HyperBass.
Unboxing the HyperBass 2 was an easy affair. The main box slides out of the sleeve easily, and opens up to reveal the headset resting on a plastic tray within. In the centre, you'll find a small packet containing a detachable 3.5mm cable and a USB charging cable.
The headset itself is extremely lightweight, which bodes well for long-term comfort. Coupled with earcups that swivel 90° and a detachable 3.5mm cable, the HyperBass 2 is extremely travel friendly.
PU and fabric exterior
The outside of the earcups is made of fabric, which has its pros and cons - on one hand, it will be pretty scratch-resistant, but on the other hand, it can pick up stains which might be a pain in the ass to clean. It IS black though, so it might not be very visible anyway.
Apart from the fabric earcup exterior and plastic body, the rest of the headset is covered in PU leather - both the top and bottom of the headband as well as the earcup padding.
The soft padding of the headband along with the lightweight build makes it extremely comfortable to perch on top of your head. One minor complaint I have is that the headband is a little bit too narrow for my (admittedly rather large) head.
It squeezes ever so slightly at the sides - no uncomfortably so, but people with larger heads should take note of this anyway. On the bright side, the clamping force almost guarantees that the HyperBass 2 won't fall off your head even with the most vigorous headbanging.
The headband can extend rather far, which is a pleasant surprise compared to most headphones that just fit my head at their maximum length. The sliders are notched as well, giving it a very solid feeling.
Audio and user experience
Like we mentioned in our preamble, the HyperBass 2 lives up to its name indeed. Powered by 50mm drivers, the bass is astonishingly heavy, even rumbly at times, and will definitely live up to most bassheads' expectations. It's almost like the stereo system of an Ah Beng car crammed into a tiny package, which is both intimidating and impressive at the same time.
Vocal clarity is decent, but midtones take a backseat. It's certain a very bassy headset designed for club bangers, so do take your musical preferences into consideration before purchasing this headset.
From then on, you can use the multipurpose button to toggle pause / play, while the '+' and '-' buttons are used to control the volume (single tap) and go to the next / previous track (long hold).
My complaint is that these buttons only seem to work while paired in Bluetooth mode. I plugged 'em in with the 3.5mm cable and they did nothing when pressed. Whether this was overlooked in the design process or I'm just an idiot sandwich who apparently can't read a manual properly, I still don't know (I'm seriously hoping it's not the latter though).
Also, the multipurpose button can be used to pick up calls, but only from phone lines - it does not work on Facebook or Whatsapp calls. Speaking of calls, the mic did a decent job in terms of clarity, but it is quite sensitive to environmental sounds.
In terms of battery life, the HyperBass 2 boasts 25 hours of playtime at 60% volume, with a total charging time of 2.5 hours. It also charges via Micro-USB instead of USB-C, which we will hopefully see in the next iteration of the Elysium HyperBass series.
Buy or no buy?
I'm on the fence about this one. On one hand, the Bluetooth connectivity is amazing in terms of range and quality. The mic is also a huge plus, along with the great range of built-in controls as well as its extremely lightweight and portable form factor. On the other hand, the buttons don't seem to work in wired mode, and it's still using a Micro-USB connection, which I would like to see updated in the next model.
Sound-wise, it is pretty subjective - as mentioned earlier, it definitely caters towards bass heads, so it's not a one fits all solution. However, if you're a huge fan of the boom boom wubb, this headset certainly delivers that in spades.