So far really liking my Schiit Hel 2, only tested the headphone out (PC38x, Audioquest nightowl, Sivga SV006). Tested it for about 5 hours of music and 5 hours of gaming (warzone). This is not a full review, but since it is a pretty new device, I thought some user experiences might be usefull
- Sound is very smooth yet refined.
- Volume pot is very nice.
- The switches feel very nice too, very analogue if that makes sense.
- In general it looks really good, I personally am a stickler for red and black. The red is pretty subtle though.
- Nice packaging, everything was sealed. Nice USB-C cables.
- Works perfectly fine with laptop via USB hub (inside monitor).
- Works perfectly fine with PS5, my friends didn’t notice anything different in how my mic sounded (which is fine, it was pretty good with mixamp).
- Channel imbalance travel on volume is pretty short. 8 o clock and it is already gone. Haven’t noticed any issues, because all headphones wanted more volume than that. (haven’t tested IEMs, can try if someone would like to)
- 10 o clock is the most I have used so far, on low gain, on PC38x / nightowl / Sivga SV006
- Sound while gaming was very crisp. No chat audio mix knob is a small drawback to mixamp, but I think that would be impossible with only 1 input (USB). The PS5 chat/game audio mix slider is not hard to reach and is sufficient imho.
- Surprised how well Schiit/FedEx handled shipping to EU, heard a lot of horror stories about FedEx but it was here in 6 days, with a completely intact box (FedEx International Priority)
Some small quirks:
- When starting the unit, the red light comes up for a second, then dimms for a second and then stays on. I assume this is normal
- The case, including volume knob is pretty sensitive for static energy. I shocked it twice yesterday. One time the device stopped, one time only the left channel stopped… Had me worried but a power cycle fixed it. Is this something to worry about? I guess I need to stop wearing shoos with rubber soles.
- The USB-C ports are a little big. Some cables will fall out really easy. Some others are fine though. The supplied USB-C fit fine also but a little short for my wall power. These fit very well https://www.amazon.nl/USB-Oplaadkabel-1M-snellaadkabel-C-apparaten/dp/B08GR8SG56/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&qid=1618389527&refinements=p_4:Cabepow&s=electronics&sr=1-8
Comparison to Soundblaster G6 (bought B-stock when Hel was delayed):
- Sound of the hell seemed a little bit more relaxed and refined. But after trying to A/B a few songs for an hour, I am honestly not sure if there is a difference. There might be, but it is small.
- G6 volume knob is horrible if you have sensitive headphones (I was at windows volume 2% sometimes… no room for finetuning volume). Constant fear of blowing up my headphones/ears if I accidentally would put it at full volume. Also really hard to make the volume exactly what you want, since the only playroom was between 2 and 12 or so. I am old-school, I like to keep my windows volume at 100 and do volume control in the analogue domain (even though I don’t think that matters anymore nowadays)
- Hell looks 10x as good, dare I say sexy.
- Hell has more power for sure, but I personally don’t need it.
- The Hell was 3 times as expensive as the G6 (B-stock), but still decided to keep it and return the G6, I guess looks and usability are more important than I thought!
- Overal the G6 is an insane value buy on B-Stock.
If anyone has anything specific to test etc please let me know !
p.s. just got KPH30i today, and holy hell they sound really good for that price. I am going to try these for gaming tonight, I think they might actually be decent, especially in warm weather