Manufacturer Sharkoon expands its range of gaming headsets with a new model that convinces with strong inner values on paper. The 50 mm drivers are supposed to provide hi-res audio quality, and the frequency range of 10 Hz – 40,000 Hz is particularly high. In our Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 test, the new gaming headset turns out to be a real price-performance tip.
|Frequency range (headphones)||10 – 40,000 Hz|
|Impedance||55 Ohm @ 1kHz|
|Sensitivity (headphones)||112 dB ± 3 dB|
|Frequency Range (Microphone)||100Hz – 10,000Hz|
|Sensitivity (Microphone)||-38 dB ± 3 dB @ 2.2 ohms|
|Compatibility||PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Mac, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Smartphone, Tablet|
|Price||€ 59.24 *|
Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 review: scope of delivery
Already the huge “Hi-Res Audio” imprint on the black cardboard box of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 makes you want to test the new gaming headset. When opening the box, the headset immediately catches the eye and is centrally held in place by two cardboard slipcases.
In addition to some black and white stickers and a quick-start guide in various languages, the manufacturer Sharkoon includes a number of cables as well as the detachable microphone. A 110 cm long 3.5 mm jack cable (TRRS) with inline remote control, a 3.5 mm jack cable extension (length: 150 cm) and a double jack adapter are included with the headset, ensuring extensive compatibility.
Design and finish
In terms of design, the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 gaming headset goes for an unexciting and classy look. The headset is completely kept in matte black color, where only silver metal rings on the outer sides of the ear cups, as well as the silver stitching on the headband and the ear cups stand out as special accents. The SGH50 consistently does without RGB lighting.
The simple design is also found throughout the entire headset. Especially the lush ear cups and pads, including the generous, soft leatherette cover, catch the eye at first glance. These pads are round and have a diameter of 55 mm in height and width. The padding has a thickness of 25 millimeters.
A metal headband runs from the ear cups over the head, with fine adjustment being made with the help of a flexible ski strap – similar to what the manufacturer Steelseries uses for its Arctis series. The only difference is that the same cannot be adjusted in the case of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50.
On the bottom of the left ear cup, the manufacturer positions the 3.5mm jack input for connecting the cable, which has to be plugged in and then twisted in. This ensures that the cable is not accidentally pulled out in the heat of the moment. Below that sits a small plastic cover where the detachable microphone can be plugged in.
With its bulky earcups, the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 looks quite chunky and downright huge, and visually reminds us strongly of a classic studio headphone. The design is okay, but the headset will not win a beauty award.
The workmanship of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50
The build quality of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 is okay. However, you have to accept some compromises in this area compared to a premium headset at a price above the 100 euro mark.
However, compared to other gaming headsets in the same price range, the SGH50 is a heavyweight compared to the relatively low price of only around 60 Euros. The headband and ear cups are made of sturdy aluminum, and the leatherette cover and soft, high-quality memory foam inside make other gaming headsets tremble and can easily keep up with much more expensive peripherals.
Points are deducted, however, for the overall rigidity of the construction, which feels a bit wobbly. In addition, the ear cups can only be tilted by a few degrees – unfortunately, they cannot be rotated or tilted. The screws that hold the headband to the ear cups also don’t seem quite as high-quality and stable as they do on premium headsets.
But that’s complaining on a high level, because the build quality can also convince for the called price. Only those who are normally used to a much more expensive headset, such as the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense (our review), will notice this fact.
Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 Comfort
There’s nothing to complain about in terms of wearing comfort, and that’s despite the fact that the SGH50 does weigh quite a bit at 342 grams (without cable). This is mainly due to the soft and generously sized ear pads, which perfectly adapt to the user’s ear shape with their sheer size and the velvety synthetic leather. They are also so flexible that even large ears are comfortably enclosed.
We also like the ski strap that allows the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 to sit on the head. This has the advantage that the gaming headset adapts almost perfectly to one’s own head shape, and much more flexibly than is the case with models with an adjustable ratchet. The fact that the synthetic leather and memory foam cover on the headband, with a maximum thickness of one centimeter, is not as large as on other headsets was not noticed at any point during our test.
Even during longer gaming sessions or while listening to music, the SGH50 rested comfortably on the head without pressing. Despite the closed design, there is also no excessive heat development under the ear cups – that pleases.
Practical test and handling
Once we’ve plugged and twisted the jack cable into the port and connected the headset to the PC, or audio source, it is also immediately recognized thanks to plug-and-play connectivity and is ready to use. The initial setup is very easy and is done in no time at all.
Sharkoon does not use any accompanying software for its gaming headset, partly due to the analog design. A fine adjustment of the acoustics in the form of an equalizer is accordingly not offered.
The rudimentary operation is also done via the inline remote, which is placed in the upper third of the jack cable. On the left side is a small rotary wheel that can be used to increase or decrease the volume. The top is dominated by a switch that serves to mute the microphone.
That’s all there is to it, especially since the remote control marks the SGH50’s weak point in terms of workmanship – the mute switch in particular has a bit too much play, often covering the red mark that signals mute.
Sound and playback quality
The acoustic specifications of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 sound extremely promising on paper. Dynamic drivers with a diameter of 50 mm are supposed to realize a rich sound, while the covered frequency band of 10 Hz to 40,000 Hz sounds like absolute premium sound. The impedance turns out comparatively high at 55 ohms, but the maximum volume is still fully convincing.
Sharkoon itself promises full-bodied “certified Hi-Res audio quality and a balanced sound”, which we cannot fully confirm in the test, though. It quickly becomes apparent that the SGH50 – similar to the manufacturer’s SGH2 model – is primarily designed for listening fun.
Accordingly, the gaming headset relies on rich, powerful bass, which is surprisingly precise and dynamic. Especially bass-heavy music or explosions and firefights in games are well accentuated by the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50.
However, the bass often overpowers the mids and trebles, which results in a somewhat unbalanced sound image. Especially the midrange frequencies and thus, for example, the vocals when listening to music or dialogs are sometimes in the background and drowned out by the booming bass. Smaller details are often lost, so the SGH50 is only suitable for listening to music to a limited extent.
Although the mix is much better than in the case of the SGH2. The highs, which were too tinny in the past, are also a thing of the past with the new headset. They are reproduced clearly and stand on a wide stage.
But don’t get us wrong: Once again, you have to keep an eye on the price. For less than 100 Euros, there is hardly a gaming headset that can compete with the Sharkoon in terms of sound quality. Only those who are used to much more expensive representatives will recognize the difference in terms of sound quality.
The microphone of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50
The detachable microphone comes with a pop shield and relies on an omnidirectional polar pattern, which means that the arm does not necessarily have to be positioned directly in front of the mouth. It has an impedance of 2.2 ohms and covers a frequency range of 100 Hz – 10,000 Hz. The sensitivity of -38 dB ± 3 dB also promises to be able to transmit even quiet voices.
Here, too, there are positives as well as negatives to report. For a 60 euro headset, the microphone quality of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 is consistently convincing. The user’s voice is reproduced clearly and in detail, which means we can always be understood well in team chats or online meetings.
Of course, you should not expect the quality of a higher-quality headset microphone or even a table microphone. However, the mic handles plosives and sharp S-sounds very well. These are areas where even the microphones of much more expensive gaming headsets have failed.
With the Gaming DAC Pro S to premium sound
For our review of the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50, the manufacturer also provided us with the small USB headphone amplifier Sharkoon Gaming DAC Pro S. This is a small (and inexpensive) external sound card that can be connected to any analog headset with a jack plug.
The Gaming DAC increases the frequency of the SGH50 to a full 24 bits at 96,000 Hz, which corresponds to studio quality and is so powerful that it will blow your eardrums out at maximum volume.
Although there are no software settings here, Windows itself offers various options in the sound settings – for example in the form of a bass boost or a virtual room sound (Headphone Virtualization). Thus, it is entirely up to the quality of the headset or headphones used how good it really sounds in the end.
And in combination with the SKILLER SGH50, it’s pretty damn good. The Gaming DAC completely compensates for the previously criticized mixing and creates a sound stage that does not even have to hide behind premium headsets. With the difference that the combination of SGH50 and Gaming DAC is still below the 100 euro mark. Chapeau!
Summary on the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50
With the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50, the manufacturer has delivered a real price-performance hit. From the design to the build quality, the outstanding wearing comfort to the sound, there is nothing to suggest that this is a gaming headset costing a mere 60 euros. In many respects, the headphones can keep up with much more expensive competitors and really outclass the competition in the same price segment.
Only in direct comparison with the best gaming headsets do the SGH50’s weaknesses become apparent. Here, premium peripherals simply offer an even rounder sound, an even higher-quality build and even more settings.
However, those who can’t or don’t want to spend that much money on a headset will be excellently served with the Sharkoon SKILLER SGH50 gaming headset. Especially since the sound quality can be significantly improved afterwards with the help of the affordable Gaming DAC Pro S.