Who Is The VZR Model One Headset For?

  • The VZR Model One gaming headset offers unparalleled audio quality for any device with a headphone jack
  • The Model One comes packed with features including two different microphones and an innovative approach to spatial sound
  • The VZR headset is comfortable to wear and does an amazing job at blocking outside sounds
VZR is a new name in the gaming headphone scene, and definitely one to watch out for

I've used countless gaming headsets over the years. Some of them have been very bare-bones options, while others have had so many features jammed in that none of them really work that well. What's interesting about the VZR Model One is that it looks like a bare-bones headset on the outside, but the inside is teeming with innovation. The best part: these innovative features actually work, and work well.

A Little Bit Of History

Before we dive into the VZR Model One gaming headset, I'm sure many readers are asking themselves "VZR? I've never heard of this company before." That's fair, because as the name "Model One" suggests, this is their first product release.

One of VZR's co-founders served as the principle acoustic engineer for Apple, and before that founded Red Rose music where he created high-quality speakers and amplifiers. Another has spent time working with THQ as a sound designer and supervisor and served as VP of product for VisiSonics. In other words, this is a team that not only knows audio, but knows game audio specifically.

Spatial Audio For Everyone

Most products have a big hook to get people interested, and the VZR Model One is no exception. The big feature with this headset is what VZR calls CrossWave technology. To keep it simple, this tech takes audio signals from a source, splits the signals into smaller streams and then sends those smaller streams into specific areas of the ear cup.

The VZR headset from the side

That may sound confusing, and to be fair, it is, but it works like this. When playing a game like Apex Legends, an audio stream going to a pair of headphones would include footsteps, gunshots, explosions, team chatter and more. For a standard pair of headphones, this audio would all come out at once directly into a player's ear. With the VZR Model One, the headphone actually breaks these individual sounds up and redistributes them around. Gamers instead hear the gunshots off to one side, the explosions sound like they're behind the player and the team chatter off towards wherever teammates are.

In other words, the VZR Model One does what software like DTS:Headphone X and Dolby Atmos do, but without the software. The Model One handles all that on its own, right in the headset itself. This means users can get that same great spatial audio those programs offer, but on any device. This is amazing for something like the Nintendo Switch, which doesn't offer any spatial audio software options.

Amazing Audio

So does that fancy CrossWave technology work? Oh yes, it really does. The VZR Model One headset takes stereo sound and cranks it until it really sounds like it is coming from where it should. Sounds off to the left come through the left earcup, but you can tell more than that. It's possible to pick up if the sounds were above or below, how distant, and so much more. This also extends beyond games, making everything from YouTube videos to movies sound like the listener is sitting right in the middle of the action.

I love how the VZR Model One looks

The audio quality of the VZR Model One is outstanding, in large part thanks to the near-perfectly tuned 40mm drivers inside the earcups. It's so well mixed, while still having a rocking bass, that it is honestly astonishing. The mix makes the Model One thrive in basically any environment, from the quietest ASMR video to the most bombastic Avengers movie.

To put it to the test, I brought my VZR Model One to a pro audio engineer friend of mine. He gave the headset a try, and compared it to the headphones he uses when recording audio in the field. He said the Model One headset has a more flat response than what he was using, which means the Model One doesn't alter the audio to sound more bass heavy or treble heavy. Audio comes through as cleanly as possible.

The Model One is comfortable thanks to the elastic head band

What's more impressive is what happens when pairing the VZR Model One with something like DTS:Headphone X. The Model One can take that already spatially-enhanced audio and expand it even further to really fill my ears with audio. If anyone wants to use their ears to be as competitive as possible, the VZR Model One paired with some additional software is a must.

One aspect that helps to enhance the audio on the VZR Model One gaming headset is its tight clamp on my head. This helps to create a seal that blocks out sound. The instructions actually mention to push the earcups in after putting the headset on, which does seem to slightly improve the seal and create a light suction effect. While gaming with headphones on, I can usually still sort of hear sounds around me, but with the VZR Model One I was completely immersed.

Two Microphones

Here's a weird little feature for the VZR Model One: the headset has two microphones. The first is the more traditional boom microphone that can be attached to the left earcup. This microphone is optional, and can be removed when not wanted. The second microphone is an in-line microphone on the mute control box halfway down the cable. This microphone is always on when the boom microphone isn't attached, allowing for users to make quick communications without having to dig out the boom mic.

Two microphones may seem like overkill, but at least one is removable

The boom microphone on the VZR Model One is fantastic. It allows for easy communication between teammates with its crisp audio quality. I found the in-line microphone to not quite match the quality of the boom mic, but that's somewhat to be expected. The in-line microphone isn't right by my face, meaning I sounded fairly quiet to others when talking with it. It works as a temporary fix, but shouldn't be used as a primary microphone.

Comfortable And Stylish

The VZR Model One headset has definitely taken inspiration from the Apple legacy of its co-founder when it comes to the headset's design. The Model one is sleek, sophisticated and futuristic in that 1970s way. The earcups are white with a ring of carbon fiber, while the frame of the headset is made of metal.

The earcups and headband on the Model One are wrapped in a soft leather and use memory foam for cushioning. The headband uses the "ski mask" style of fit, in that the headband itself is on elastic so that it can accommodate any head size. This style also means eliminating the more traditional earcup adjustments on the sides of the headset, which helps with the headset's overall durability.

The earcups can rotate a full 180 degrees to lay flat on either side

One of the few downsides to the VZR Model One is the headset's cable, which can't be easily swapped out for a different one. The cable splits at the end, with both a left and a right side that need to be plugged in. That's not the annoying part though. The real annoyance is the cable itself. It often gets twisted around, but is so stiff that these twists become real nuisances. Getting the cable to unwind fully often means unplugging it and standing up to get it all in line. Hopefully this softens over time.

On The Pricey Side

There is no denying that the VZR Model One is an expensive headset. It is available now for $350. However, considering the quality included in the Model One, and the fact that it is compatible with any device that has a headphone jack, that does help make that price an easier pill to swallow. Also, considering the price of other high-end gaming headsets like the Astro A50 or Beyerdynamic MMX 300, the Model One is comparable while offering CrossWave tech.

Final Thoughts

VZR has come out of nowhere and really knocked it out of the park with their first headset, the VZR Model One. This headset offers stunning audio quality, thanks both to its finely-tuned 40mm drivers and the innovative CrossWave technology that converts any audio source into something that sounds spatial. If this is where VZR is starting, it'll be very interesting to see what is next.

The Model One is expensive, but this headset will greatly improve anyone's audio experience. It may even help gamers gain an edge over the competition. It is available right now from the VZR website for $350.