Tesoro is a relatively new company to gaming peripherals, but they’re off to a good start. We took a look at their Sagitta Spectrum mouse and Gram Spectrum mechanical keyboard and came away impressed — both had terrific build quality, sleek design, and reliable performance. They’ve established that they have some expertise in those two markets, but audio is a whole other ballgame. Gaming headsets can be tough sells, especially when extremely good headphones can be purchased with serviceable in-line microphones. That might not be good enough if you’re a streamer, but for the everyday gamer, it’s enough for your teammates to understand what you’re saying.
That might be why the Tesoro Olivant Pro is priced relatively cheaply — at $60, it’s on the lower to mid range for both Tesoro and the market in general. At that price, expectations can be safely lowered, although with so much competition (dozens and dozens of gaming headsets exist, to say nothing of headphones in general), just getting over the bar often isn’t good enough. The Tesoro Olivant Pro does the job, but there are some problems and concerns that make it much tougher to recommend than the company’s mice and keyboards.
Gaming headsets (assuming they’re only used for gaming), don’t need to be as proficient in audio playback — the sound effects of a game aren’t as complex as a well-composed piece of music. Instead, the most important aspect of a gaming headset is comfort. Gaming sessions can last for hours, and if a headset starts pinching in a handful of minutes, that’s going to make for a miserable experience. The Olivant Pro headset is a self-adjusting headset that uses two headbands — one with two metallic bands running across the top, and a lightweight band attached to elastic strings coming out of the earcups. There’s not much in the way of padding here, but after wearing the Olivant Pro for a while, most of the pressure seems to end up on the ears instead of the top of the head.
The earcups have memory foam cushions wrapped in protein leather. They’re without a doubt the most premium parts of the entire headset, and they do make the headset very comfortable to wear. But, after a half hour to an hour of wearing them, I could feel the hard speaker grilles inside the earcups start to press against my ears, which got to be pretty uncomfortable after a couple hours. The padding does do a great job of passive noise isolation, blocking most background noise during use.
The outside of the earcups are made of cheap-feeling plastic. They don’t feel particularly durable, and while I don’t think the earcups are necessarily in danger of taking a lot of damage, the flexible headband seems like it could wear out over the course of a couple years or less. I think that’s still not too bad for a $60 headset, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Like with the rest of their products, Tesoro has put braided cables on the headset and the adapters that come with it, although this one is not detachable. The cable is 1.6 meters long, and the mic/headphone splitter or the USB adapter both add 1.4 meters of cable length. 3.0 meters of total cable length is pretty great, so if you like playing video games from the comfort of your couch, the Olivant Pro is worth checking out.
The detachable boom mic is plasticky, but the adjustable neck is flexible and made of metal, and feels much more durable than the microphone itself.
We appreciate that Tesoro makes gaming peripherals that aren’t ostentatious — while they do have some of that in their entire product catalog, most of their products look sleek and don’t aggressively stand out. The Olivant Pro are completely black, with the company’s name faintly visible on the outside of the earcups and the top of the flexible part of the headband. The plastic on the earcups looks a little shabby, but for a $60 headset, it looks aesthetically pleasing enough.
Performance depends on how you use the Olivant Pro. If you plug the 3.5 mm jack straight in or use the mic/headphone splitter extension, audio is pretty dull. There’s not too much in the way of directionality, but sound effects are distinct enough and (provided they have good enough mics) other players can be heard clearly. Performance gets a bump when you use the USB adapter included with the headset. There’s a little audio processor in the in-line unit, which also includes mic and volume controls. That unit helps produce virtual 7.1-channel surround sound. The biggest benefit to using this adapter is directionality — with virtual 7.1-channel, you get a much better sense of where attacks are coming from in any given game. The bummer is that to get the most out of the Olivant Pro, they need to be used with that USB adapter, and USB ports aren’t always open or easily accessible.
The boom mic works pretty well. We only did real-world testing — using it in-game during many hours of Overwatch with both friends and random players — and never heard any complaints about coming in fuzzy or unintelligible.
They’re not meant for music, so I won’t go too far into detail about performance in this respect. Suffice it to say that if you’re concerned about how good music will sound, it’d be best to look elsewhere. Bass response is OK, but there’s not much in the way of clarity at any part of the frequency range. Like before, this gets a little better when the USB adapter is used to activate virtual 7.1-channel sound, but it can only help so much. The 50 mm drivers in use sound like they’re from the lower end of mid-range, and while volume isn’t a problem, music from any genre will come out muddled more often than not.
There’s one last concern we have — while the USB adapter works pretty well, it tended to get pretty hot during use. I didn’t notice any performance dips, but I’m a little worried about what the heat means for durability down the road.
Read on for the verdict…
This story was originally published at Tesoro Olivant Pro Gaming Headset Review