What happens when you let folks from Audio companies like Schiit design their first gaming accessory? You get the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp. In our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review, let’s take a look at what this cool and brand new DAC/Amp can do.
With the advent of high definition audio in entertainment media, the demand for superb DAC/Amps/audio processors is at an all-time high. Will Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp hit the mark? Let’s see by starting with its packaging.
Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp – Packaging
Here’s a brief description of what we initially see before we get our hands into the Amp itself in our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review.
First and foremost, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp takes centre stage, with it being prominently displayed in the front side of the box.
In terms of packaging, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp went for a relatively low-profile design. A simple yet robust, single-wall cardboard construction. Just flip the front face up, and you get access to its contents.
Inside the box, we find the unit itself, a quarter of an inch adapter, a generic wire splitter, a USB wall plug head, and two USB-A to micro USB chords.
We can also find a manual detailing how to set up the DAC/Amp and has information regarding the warranty. It’s also supported in different languages.
Now let’s go to the design and functionality section of our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review.
Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp Review – Design and Functionality
Moving on to the next section of our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review, let’s talk about the bigger picture. Let’s talk about the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp’s design and how it functions overall.
Design-wise, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp possesses a low-profile, quiet design. It has a black metallic finish with red sides and red light. It’s perfect for a non-intrusive device meant to enhance your immersion.
The red and black combination also looks great, especially in a dark room. The colours blend well together and achieve that overall “gamer” look that the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is mostly targeted for.
The positioning of the 6.3mm headphone jack is intuitive as well, allowing for a convenient plug-and-play setup.
As for the functionality, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp enhances audio. How? A brief explanation would be that the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) that converts a digital signal (composing of 1s and 0s) into an analog signal/wave.
This enables more clarity in the audio, especially when connected to headphones.
This results in two things. One, it gives a more immersive experience to your game as you hear all of the sounds in detail. And two, it enables better surround sound implementation.
Moreover, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is also designed to be your I/O connected through your PC with its 6.3mm headphone jack.
The most popular DAC connection method is via USB from a computer. The Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp provides that straightforward configuration with a USB connection and a microphone jack. Thus, you won’t need external software, custom EQs, and the like. It is bare-bones in its plug-and-play convenience.
Additionally, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp also features both gain control and volume control for easy access during a game, preventing any interruptions or closing of software. Not only that, but it also has a microphone level knob to control the volume of your voice.
With all of these features combined, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp allows you to adjust on the fly and be in full control of your gaming audio experience.
The Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp has all of the necessary knobs to cater to your taste and allows you to easily obtain your perfect mix.
Now, let’s move on to the exciting key features of our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review!
Key Features of the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp
Let us now take a look at all the defining features that make the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp such a great addition to any gaming PC setup.
Easy, Plug-and-Play Setup
All it takes to use the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is to plug it into a wall socket, plug the USB in your computer, and plug the headphone into the jack and you are ready to go. No external software installation is required.
Dedicated Control Knobs
Not to mention, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp has three dedicated control knobs. One for volume, one for signal gain, and one for your microphone volume. This ensures that you are in full control anytime and get the perfect mix at the greatest convenience, without taking the immersion off your game.
Thanks to this feature, there’s no need to minimise your gaming software when making adjustments.
Excellent Audio Processing
Most of all, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp features top-of-the-line signal processing, with uncompressed levels of clarity. Get the most pristine sound and cleanest signal. Thanks in part to the gain control knob.
You’ll get a clear and audible improvement across all frequency fields and with all gaming headsets when using the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp.
Superb Microphone Quality
Moreover, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp features a convenient 6.3mm jack that makes all gaming headsets clearer, not only in sound but also in mic quality. This is very useful for communication in team games, podcasts, and streaming your favourite games.
A Mobile-Friendly Powerhouse
As a bonus, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is a 0mA device, which means it can be used with phones and tablets alike. Combined with its relatively low-profile design, this marks for a perfect for a quick portable solution.
Make high-quality vlogs and video recordings on the go.
A Quiet and Low-profile Aesthetic
Last but not the least, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp has a low-profile design both in design and in sound. The aesthetics of the darker colours red and black compliment each other well and helps it blend with any setup.
Next would be Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp’s specifications.
Firstly, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp has a Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.3db.
In terms of power, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp has a maximum power of the following:
For 16 Ohms, it’s 1200mW RMS
For 32 ohms, it’s 1000mW RMS
For 50 ohms, it’s 650mW RMS
For 300 ohms, it’s 200mW RMS
The Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp’s Output Impedance (headphones): 0.25 ohms, and 75 ohms (line out). And an input Impedance (rear 1/8″ jack) of 10k ohms.
Additionally, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp gain range is 1 (0dB) or 5 (14dB).
When it comes to bit depths and sampling rates, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp has a playback of 24/192 to 16/44.1. It’s supported without drivers on, Mac, Windows 10, Android (UAC 2 device) and Linux. On the other hand, its input is 48kHz.
Additionally, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp’s power consumption amounts to 2.5W given the wall power needed.
Last but not the least, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp measures 5 inches in length, 3.5 in width, and 1.375 inches in height (including knob). And weighs 13oz.
Hands-on with the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp
Let’s now talk about our experience in this part of our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review.
First of all, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp looks wonderful, with its red and black colours.
All sounds in the audible frequency ranges, from the crispiest highs to the deepest bass, are processed clearly and excellently. And we can’t help but feel like we are hearing the full, uncompressed sound of the game as they were intended.
In shooters sound and spatial awareness are crucial. We found that the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp’s excellent sound enhanced the surround sound of our headset.
Moreover, it gave us an extra edge on determining where the shot and potential enemy came from. This gives even more value to the gaming headsets we’ve already invested in.
It is great that can simply plug in a gaming headset you already own and immediately notice an audible improvement.
Even with all the different gaming headsets we tried, all of it had some sort of improvement, some more significant than others.
Moreover, with the addition of the three control knobs, we found adjusting the sound mix to our liking to be a breeze. Is your microphone too loud? Simply turn the microphone volume control. It’s great that this can be done even amidst a game.
Are your speakers too loud? Easy. Just adjust the volume knob on top. And the neat little bonus we like the most is the gain knob. Although not the most intuitive as we found it slightly harder to turn, the longer length of the knob allows it to be serviceable.
Nevertheless, having control of the signal gain in case distortion happens is a huge plus. Being able to amp the signal up too is a great trade-off.
Ease of Set up
In terms of setting up, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp was also quite simple to set up. It requires wall power. But given how powerful the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is, we found this to be a fair trade-off.
We also loved how you can do all of these aforementioned features without having to install any software. Some gaming DACs out in the market today subtly require its packaged software for it to perform at its full potential, but not the Hel.
Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp performs well on the get-go. And thanks to its three adjustment knobs, no software adjustment is required.
For some audiophiles or enthusiasts, having a software EQ is great. But for casual users or beginners who are not too tech-savvy, this is another thing that lowers the barrier entry for the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp. Perhaps, this is what is making it even more popular.
All you have to do is plug the DAC/Amp, then plug the gaming headset of your choice, and you’re ready to go. All in all, this makes for a more intuitive, convenient and seamless experience. We love the simplicity of this plug-and-play setup.
Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp Review Summary
With the features discussed above, we can confidently say that the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is a must-have accessory for any gamer looking to enhance their audio and communication experience. You can enhance virtually any gaming headset with this simple device.
If you’re planning to go streaming or start a podcast, then the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is also a must-have. With its ease of use and all of its quality-of-life features, it surely will make for a more pleasant experience.
Overall, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp is a great addition to any PC setup out there. Whether it’s for casual users, gaming enthusiasts or audiophiles alike, the Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp will do its job in improving your audio. It will comfortably find its way home to you.
Thank you for reading through our Schiit Hel Gaming DAC/Amp review. If you are interested in purchasing one, you may find it through their website.