Maingear hardware review 2019

For all the fantastic games we’ve played throughout 2019, none of it would have been possible without the proper gear. For the past year, PC Invasion has reviewed some of the best (and, honestly, not quite the best) PC gaming hardware, all for the goal of helping you get the right equipment for your rig. We’ve reviewed just about everything, from gaming mice, to prebuilts, to even a desk with RGB lighting. Wait… what? Anyway, here is all the hardware we have reviewed throughout 2019, starting from the earliest to the latest.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless gaming headset

Hyperx Cloud Stinger Wireless Gaming Headset Extended Pc

Review date: June 24, 2019
Score: 7/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

HyperX has been a go-to manufacturer for those who are looking for headsets with great sound but are easy on the wallet. For years, the company has produced some fairly good (and damn comfortable) wired headsets such as the Cloud and Cloud II. With the Cloud Stinger, HyperX wanted to take finagling with wires out of the question. But even though the company desired to finally cut the cord, its aim was to do so while maintaining the audio quality and comfort that brought the brand to prominence.

The Cloud Stinger mostly managed to do all three, but unfortunately also brought along the same issues as its predecessors. Namely, while the audio quality was good, it wasn’t fantastic. The microphone also left a lot to be desired. Steven wrote that his voice through the microphone sounded “similarly muddied and perhaps over-processed.” He concluded, saying that while the Cloud Stinger wasn’t “a terrible experience, just not a particularly standout one.”

Turtle Beach Recon Spark headset

Turtle Beach Recon Spark Review – A Stylish Little Gaming Headset
Review date: August 5, 2019
Score: 7/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

This year, Turtle Beach unleashed the stylish Recon Spark headset for the gaming masses. But did did the quality match the sleek, new look? In short, no. In long, no, mostly because of several reasons, beginning with comfort. Reviewer Steven Wong, like yours truly, has a comically large head. While the Recon Spark looks nice on a stand, it doesn’t if you have it strapped to a pumpkin-sized dome. Steven wrote that the headset hugged him so tightly, even his ears grew hot from the lack of air flow. “I wouldn’t say these headphones were outrageously uncomfortable, but they’re just tight enough to make me want to avoid wearing them for too long,” he explained.

Audio quality, however, was a nice step up. But it wasn’t a massive step. Gunshots rang flat, according to Steven, and turning on the Windows Sonic software didn’t help matters much. Subtle noise, such as footsteps, were far more distinct and clear, however. The final issue was with the microphone, which softened Steven’s voice — according to his teammates. There was not much noise cancellation, either, as the mic picked up everything from fans to taps of the keyboard.

LucidSound LS41 wireless gaming headset

Lucidsound Ls41 Surround Sound Wireless Headset

Review date: September 6, 2019
Score: 8/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

Despite the unusually complicated setup, the LucidSound LS41 screams quality. Sporting leather cups with gel-cooled memory foam padding, as well as enough space to wear it comfortably around your neck, this wireless headset is super cozy. The audio matches its lavish build, providing a full 7.1 surround sound experience. According to reviewer Steven Wong, even leisurely watching movies or listening to music felt like a new experience. “In some cases, it was almost like I was hearing some of these songs and movies for the first time,” he wrote.

The same could almost be said about when he tried the headset with games. As he played control, Wong was able to ” make out every creepy groan and nonstop chanting as I made my way through the giant building full of interdimensional invaders.”

Another benefit for the headset is the long battery life. Naturally, for anything wireless, being able to use it for extended periods of time is immensely critical when making a purchasing decision. The LucidSound LS41 brought around 20 ours of battery life, which could translate to two or more days of gaming before requiring a recharge. And the microphone worked great as well, which is a nice change of pace considering the above headsets.

Plantronics RIG 700HD

Plantronics Rig 700hd Feature

Review date: September 12, 2019
Score: 9/10
Reviewer: Greg Bargas
Link to review

While the Plantronics RIG 700HD wasn’t the last gaming headset we reviewed this year, it did receive the highest marks. And for good reason. The latest in Plantronics’ RIG 700 line, the 700HD is quite comfortable, and includes plenty of options for adjustment. Its audio quality is also also on par with some of the best headsets around, even as an entry level device. Reviewer Greg Bargas used the headset along with Windows Sonic, which allowed him to pick up even the most subtle of noises in games like Apex Legends and Blair Witch. The latter of which champions binaural sound to keep things extra spooky. “I was utterly surprised to hear the clarity and cleanliness of the snaps of twig breaks, not to mention the ominous sounds that floated around me,” he wrote.

The Plantronics RIG 700HD has a long battery life as a wireless headset, though it doesn’t match the impressive longevity of the LS41 (above). Regardless, it’s marketed to pump out the noise four about 12 hours. According to Greg, the headset nearly matched the advertised battery length. During his time with the headset for review, he only had to charge it a few times. But in the end, he loved the 700HD, and found it highly recommendable. “If you’re considering something without the tethers and aren’t ready to invest the big bucks for your audio experience, the 700HD is an easy recommendation, especially at the US$129.99 price point,” he wrote.

Maingear VYBE gaming PC

Maingear VYBE gaming PC review: High performance without breaking your wallet

Review date: September 26, 2019
Score: 8/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

To prove we didn’t just review headsets this year, I offer for your consideration: the Maingear VYBE gaming PC. A prebuilt rig rocking an AMD CPU and an Nvidia GPU, this machine comes in three flavors. Maingear released three different models with competitive pricing, ranging from $699 USD to $2,500. We reviewed the median model, which costed $1,339 USD. However, despite being the middle child, the VYBE could boast up to 1440p gaming with its AMD Ryzen 5 3600X and Geforce RTX 2060.

Despite the price, which is friendly to PC gamers with only so much cash to burn, the VYBE didn’t feel like a budget machine. The minimalist design is clean, featuring the Maingear logo on the front. It sported liquid cooling, LED lighting, and more. Indeed, it looked great, and played even better. Its 250 GB SSD got games up and running fast. Plus, it performed well with the games we played, offering plenty of frames for tip games including Control and Metro Exodus. The rig only stumbled when activating RTX, showing significant drops to FPS.

Maingear Forma GT gaming chair

Maingear Forma Gaming Chairs

Review date: October 24, 2019
Score: 9/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

Comfort when gaming for extended periods is a must. That’s why we highlight how a peripheral feels during reviews, especially for product you wear, such as headsets. However, your back and butt also need some love when shooting for the top in Apex Legends, or whatever your choice of game may be. While Maingear mostly provides prebuilt gaming PCs, like the one shown above, the company also dabbles in gaming chairs. The Forma GT is one of its offerings.

The Maingear Forma GT looks like your typical racing-style gaming chair. And as we know, not all racing chairs can match comfort to their sporty design. However, we loved the Forma GT. A heavy-duty chair capable of up to 350 lbs., the Forma GT includes a memory foam headrest and a lumbar support pillow. Both of which, reviewer Steven Wong states, are “soft enough to nap on.”

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero wireless PC gaming headset

Elite Atlas Aero Headset Front

Review date: November 20, 2019
Score: 8/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

Back to headsets! Wow, we reviewed a lot of headsets this year, right? This is the last one we have to cover for this article, however. Promise. The Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero, despite the goofy name, is a great headset. Built specifically for PC gaming in mind, the wireless EAA (which it will be called) sports memory foam ear cups and enough adjustment room for the most massive of melons. And, despite having a metal headband, the EAA is surprisingly light, which is great for when gaming for long hours.

According to the reviewer, the headset offered “exceptional comfort and quality,” but did have some issues. For one, Steven did not like the location of the audio controls. Namely, the volume dials for headset and microphone, which are seated right next to one another. This made things tricky when trying to find out which is which while in the middle of a game.

However, on the plus, the headset comes with Turtle Beach Control Studio. The software allows you to adjust the volume and tune the equalizer to your heart’s content. You don’t necessarily need to futz with the headset’s audio, but having options is divine. Steven liked it, saying “the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero is an exceptional and impressive PC gaming headset.

Glorious PC Gaming Race Model O mouse

Glorious PC Gaming Race Model O review - A superior mouse

Review date: November 20, 2019
Score: 9/10
Reviewer: Jacob Roach
Link to review

I’m not one for PC gaming elitism seen from more irritating corners of the internet. Luckily, though the manufacturer Glorious PC Gaming Race may have adopted the embarrassing moniker, its goals are more align with providing superior peripherals, rather than ideals. So far, the company has lived up to its creed, releasing the fantastic Model O mouse.

Despite the budget price, the Model O is a quality mouse. The G-Skates feet allow it to glide across the mat smoothly, while its Pixart 3360 sensor is sharp. It’s a lightweight mouse, which makes snap aiming a, well, snap. It also comes with some excellent software, allowing you to adjust nearly everything on offer. The RGB color settings aren’t as impressive, however. Regardless, this is an impressive device.

Glorious GMMK

Glorious Gmmk Featured

Review date: November 26, 2019
Score: 8/10
Reviewer: Jacob Roach
Link to review

Glorious PC Gaming Race doesn’t dabble only in gaming mice, of course. That’s where the Glorious GMMK comes in. The mechanical keyboard strikes all the right notes, but isn’t necessarily as superior as the gaming mouse above.

What the GMMK does right, however, is customization. You can hotswap switches with the help of the included keycap puller, which conveniently snaps into the bottom of the keyboard for safekeeping. The keyboard also comes with software to customize the RGB effects. You can go for a premade effect, such as a pin-pong or falling colors like in The Matrix, or you can change the color of each separate key. “The GMMK hits all of the right areas at a reasonable price,” Jacob wrote. “Overall, the ability to hotswap switches is what stands out most, in addition to the build quality.”

Ewin RGB Gaming Desk

Ewin 2.0 Rgb Gaming Desk 1

Review date: December 17, 2019
Score: 8/10
Reviewer: Greg Bargas
Link to review

The RGB phase is clearly not dying down any time soon. Just ask Ewin, which launched an RGB Gaming Desk, just in case your setup isn’t blinding enough already. The heavy duty desk comes in at a whopping 55 lbs., which isn’t surprising since it’s large enough to support your entire gaming station — up to three monitors, as well.

The RGB Gaming Desk is, of course, more than just a flashy place for a mouse and keyboard. It comes with a bevy of useful features. For one, it has built-in cable management, which is great if your want to avoid having your room look as if it’s covered in plastic spaghetti (guilty). There’s also a swiveling cup holder to seat your ‘Dew!

But it is about that RGB in the end, right? The RGB Gaming Desk may be the final piece of the puzzle needed if you love splashing your station with color. This desk includes panels on the sides and strips down the legs that you can customize with a variety of glowing color. It can easily match your current setup, using one of many of its premade color schemes.

OPSEAT Grandmaster chair

Opseat Grandmaster Gaming Chair
Review date: December 18, 2019
Score: 7/10
Reviewer: Andrew Farrell
Link to review

Opseat is making a name for itself in the realm of PC gaming chairs. The Grandmaster is its heavy duty variant, providing enough sitting space for comfort. It is, however, not as comfy as it could be. While the chair ops for firmness, over memory foam padding, the optional lumbar pillow could have been a better fit. According to reviewer Andrew Farrell, the lumbar pillow has no roundness to it, making it feel a bit distracting if your sitting for long hours. Without the pillow, the chair has almost no lumbar support whatsoever.

Overall, the Opseat Grandmaster chair, while moderately comfortable, didn’t provide enough for its $250 USD price tag. Still, Andrew found he could recommend the chair, despite its caveats.

Sennheiser GSP 370 Wireless Gaming Headset

Sennheiser Gsp 370 Boom Arm Down

Review date: December 19, 2019
Score: 7/10
Reviewer: Steven Wong
Link to review

Despite the $199.95 price, the Sennheiser GSP 370 wireless gaming headset didn’t feel like a premium product, according to Steven. It’s a lightweight headset, constructed mostly of plastic. In other words, it’s expensive, but it certainly doesn’t look or feel that way. The power switch on the left earcup also felt rather cheap, and small enough that it becomes difficult to locate.

The GSP 370 is also not as comfortable to wear over long periods, which, for a gaming headset, is not a point in its favor. And we couldn’t praise its stadium-style microphone which made Steven’s voice sound flat — when it wasn’t picking up background noise.

It comes with a good feature, however: the battery life. Perhaps due to its low-cost design, the GSP 370 could boast battery life of around 100 hours. Steven mentioned in his review that he used the headset for nearly two weeks, and only had to recharge it once. The headset overall may have disappointed, but at least it could disappoint you for a long time before needing to get plugged in.

Cameron Woolsey
Cam has been shooting for high scores since his days playing on the Atari 2600. Proud member of the Blue Team during the first console war, and has more Sonic paraphernalia than he cares to admit.

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