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:
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
you don’t need to use the volume knob… its controlled through its software and needs its software to properly power 600 ohm headphones and other demanding units. All of its controls are primarily inside of that software which you need to download separately and make sure the unit is updated
its got power and sound quality but for the price in my opinion… its only good for console gamers… its not worth it for pc gamers since you can get an entry level off used markets in mint condition for around $140
schiit hel is in a weird spot… the g6 can compete with it… yet its like $80 or more cheaper at the same time at $200 you can get a dedicated stack that bests the hel. So in reality your mainly paying for new gen console compatibility and a mic port but getting less sound quality and power its more of a side convenience.
I do need to use the volume knob when I game. Additionally, I do like to use a volume knob.
My biggest complaint with the G6 volume though is that I was stuck at 10% windows volume, 12 was already too much, but 10 was just a bit too soft. Yes I can get it to 11 with my mouse, but that makes it even more of a hassle, and even that was a pretty big step. Also the feeling that you could blast your eardrump every second with just one touch of a button didn’t feel good to me.
So while yes, the volume knob might not be an issue for you, it is for me. Can you limit the output volume to 20% in the creative command software? So that 100% windows volume = 20% of the G6 power (and 90% would be 18% etc)? Because that is what I would need at the minimum to make it somewhat usable.
I partially agree with you that this device is mostly for console gamers, but I think you could add gamers who regularly use voice chat to that. On board mic inputs can be noisy and can additionally introduce ground loops if you have a headset. Routing cables everywhere is a drawback too.
Now I don’t disagree with you, that if you want the absolute biggest bang for your buck, other options might be better for some people. But I do think the hel is worth its money. I like a clean desk setup, and this gives it to me. Having additional power, is nice to know if I get some heavier headphones in the future.
For a big part, audio is about the overal experience. And fact is, the G6 feels and looks like a cheap piece of plastic that sounds really really good, but it still feels a cheap piece of plastic. The premium feel and user experience is worth it for me. I never said the Schiit Hel 2 is the best product for everyone, I just stated my experience with the device (and comparison to the G6), and for me, it is worth it. Others might value other things than you do If I had to advice a 300 dollar gaming setup for someone, I would surely advice them to get the G6 with a more expensive headphone. But that doesn’t mean it is the better choice for me.
I personally don’t really understand the gatekeeping mindset…
Other than the obvious output power differences (200mW at 300ohms for the hel, 85mW at the same impedance for the G6).
I will doubt anyone that claims there is an audible difference between the two.
In terms of value for a gamer, it’s a no brainer.
Here are some measurements of the G6 that might be useful.
Question, would the Hel 2 power beyer dt990 600 ohm ok? I wanna use this with the PS5.
I am honestly not sure. I think they are probably on the edge, I would try and look for more power, or check with someone who has that combination and can try it.
hel 2 should be stronger than g6 considering the statistics between the two, so it should be able to run the 600 ohm beyers… the g6 over there can run 600 ohm beyers with the knob around 85%-90% which is a bit much but that is with it being loud.
Thanks for the little review. There’s not many reviews out there for the Hel 2. I want to clean up my gaming set up a bit and the Schiit Hel 2 is starting to catch my eye. I wonder how it compares to the Mayflower arc 2
I have not heard the mayflower myself, but I think the broad concensus is that it is an significant upgrade. Hel 2 is going to take a while before that is available again though (Schiit had some QC issues with their first USB C implementation they are figuring out before they are shipping out more Hel / Fulla)
ahh they are having trouble with the USB-C, huh? I haven’t read about that yet. How’s yours holding up?
Check their subreddit. I had to send mine back too (great service though, zero complaints)
Absolutely loved my Hel 2, when it was working. It lost USB connectivity after 2-3 months of use. Sent it in for repair; came back good as new with a replaced PCB. But after another 2 months, the same USB trouble again.
To their credit, Schiit offered a full refund. I responded that I’d really rather have a working device. They said that they don’t have the parts for repair right now, so refund was really the only option.
Sadly, it’s on its way back to Schiit. Mayflower ARC Mk 2 is on the way to replace it.
So how is the mayflower compared to the hel 2? I ordered a hel 2 a couple of weeks ago waiting on it to be completed and shipped out going to plug it into a PS 5 I am hoping all the bugs are worked out of it by now.
I really like it. The headphone amp is quite good, but maybe not quite as good as the Hel 2. Plenty of power for all my headphones. A couple of standout features:
- Four pole 3.5mm jack for headphones or headphone/mic combo. Just plug my BoomPro cable right in without the need for a splitter.
- A button to select between the headphone output and the pre out RCA’s on the back. No need to unplug the headphones or headset.
Hope they have fixed the Hel 2 issues in the version you get. Save your shipping box just in case.