Genius, a PC peripherals manufacturer from Taiwan is well known for its wide range of products usually available at an affordable price. The latest product we received from them, the Genius HS-03N is also a stereo headset that offers convenient design at a budget price.
Features and Design
The Genius HS-03N is a wired headset that you can use for VoIP, voice chatting or as a headphones f your PC. The headset has a microphone and built-in volume control. The headset has a rated frequency response of 20Hz to 20 KHz, 24 Ohms impedance, 100dB sensitivity and maximum output of 30mW. All these ratings looked pretty good at first but we still had to find out if the headset lived up to its claims.
The Genius HS-03N has a foldable rear-band design with a soft rubber ear hook on both the earphones for comfortable fitting. The headset has a two-fold design, one at the rear-band and one each on both the ear hooks - this design makes the headset easily portable without taking too much space. The earphones have over-the-ear design and each cup has a soft-foam for comfortable wearing. The microphone is fitted on the left earphone and it is just around 2-inches in length and can be rotated 360 degrees for better voice-pick-up.
The headset has all of its parts made up plastic and the build quality is just average. The soft rubber ear hook despite offering comfortable fit is loosely attached to the band and feels like it could fall off anytime soon.
The headset looks average and its build quality is not reassuring. In terms of fitting and comfort, the Genius HS-03N headset's rear-band secures the earphones tight and the lightweight design also makes prolonged usage comfortable.
The headset has a convenient asymmetrical cable design with just one cable coming out from the left earphone and it has a well-located in-line volume control. The cable terminates with two stereo 3.5mm jack plugs ( for mic and headphones). The cable is 1.8 meters long which removes the need of an extension even if you have to plug in the headset to the rear-audio port on your PC cabinet.
The microphone picked up vocals clearly but we had to increase the microphone volume on our Windows Volume Mixer to at least 90 percent for people at the other end to hear us clearly. I tested the Genius HS-03N on an Acer Aspire One 751h netbook and a desktop equipped with Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic soundcard. The microphone picked up background noise too as there is no noise cancellation system and this means you have to either speak louder for the other users to hear you or you can use 20dB boost on the Volume Mixer. The latter option will boost the overall sound which will result in your chat partners not only hearing your voice but also the background noise. Even without turning on the 20dB mic boost option; there is always audible noise in the background. The overall sound quality with or without the 20db mic-boost feature activated is quite average with voices sounding sharp and slightly muffled which is just good enough for normal home use.
Sound Quality (Music, Movies etc)
The Genius HS-03N is mainly for voice chatting but users who would go for it will definitely use it also for listening to music, movies, games etc. For music, the headset offers bright highs with clear mids and relatively less bass. For casual listening to online radios or music, the headset is just average. For movies and gaming, the headset despite reproducing clear dialogues sounded unpleasant due to distortions and shrill highs. All in all, the Genius HS-03N is just an average sounding headset for PC users.
At Rs.450, the Genius HS-03N with its stylish and convenient foldable design is a good option if you need just a basic stereo headset for your PC. However, if you expect impressive sound with lasting build quality, we suggest you look elsewhere.