FIFINE Ampligame H9 Headset Reviewby Adam Dileva
Features and Specifications
Output Connection: 3.5mm & USB (through the included USB audio box)
Headset Weight: 260g (without dongle) / 325g (with dongle)
Headset Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Headset Driver: 50mm dynamic
Headset Impedance: 32Ω
Headset Sensitivity: 95dB
Power Consumption: USB 5V/50mA power
Bit Depth/Sample Rate: 16-bit/48kHz
Microphone Type: Condenser Boom Mic
Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
Microphone Sensitivity: -42±3dB
Shipping Weight: 0.6 kg
3.5mm Gaming Headset
USB in-line control
When you buy or receive a new product and finally get to unbox it, most may not think much of the actual unboxing experience, but when you’ve had a special or high end product and you can tell care went into how it was packaged and how the customer feels when they are taking the item out, it makes it feel that much more special. I don’t weigh in the unboxing experience into my scores at all, but will certainly make a special note if it’s done in a memorable way.
I can’t say this for the FIFINE Ampligame H9 gaming headset, as the outer packaging looks slick from the blue and magenta colors, showcasing the headset, but opening the box my initial reaction was that I somehow got a returned item, only because the innards of the box appeared to simply be tossed in. Yeah the cable and detachable microphone was in a separate thin black box, but it wasn’t placed well and just loose in the box when I opened the lid. Again, nothing I hold against the headset or the brand, but don’t expect more than the product simply being placed in the box.
Before we talk about how the FIFINE Ampligame H9headset sounds, let’s first delve into its design and aesthetics. From afar it simply looks like any other basic black over ear headset, but looking at either ear cup you’ll notice an adorable and simple smiley face. Yup, your new headphones are constantly smiling with the print being medium grey in shade, just enough contrast to the matte black ear cups to be noticeable, but not overtly stand out if you want to wear these out in public. There’s no RGB, no fancy colors, just a simple hardwired 3.5mm connector coming from the left cup, so no need to worry about being self-conscious about an eccentric looking headset in public or have people knowing you're a 'gamer'.
The matte cups have a smooth texture to them, which I actually prefer, as glossy materials are fingerprint magnets, so that won’t be much of a worry here. I even tried to deliberately scratch the cups and smiley face with my fingernail to see how resistant it would be in normal everyday use, and I’m happy to report that unless I was really trying to gouge my nail in, there really wasn’t any markings left. Great news for the clumsy or rough handling owners out there.
The cups themselves are plush and rest over your ears with its large 50mm drivers. The material is that faux leather which is comfortable and give just enough noise cancelling from outside disturbances. Once again, testing the material by scratching cups, I did notice that the black material was being damaged, leaving white stretch-like marks. Generally no one is going to purposely abuse their headphones this way, but people also simply grab them roughly and toss them when done, so I could probably see the leather-like material start to discolor and fray over time. Looking at the inner ear cups they each have a large “L” and “R” so you know which ear they should be resting on.
Given that the FIFINE Ampligame H9 is a budget headset, I honestly expected some cheap plastic and materials that probably wouldn’t hold up well over time. Well the cups surprised me, so my next inspection was the arms and band. The arms that hold the cups are actually made of metal, and for review purposes, I actually did try to bend them to see how sturdy they are. Again, impressive, as I wasn’t able to even make a dent in them, so unless you accidentally step on or crush them, they should hold up to average use just fine.
The headset band itself has flex to it, allowing to conform to any size of head, though I could tell that if I twisted too hard it may cause some damage. The top of the headset has a faux leather feel with “fifine” etched into the top middle. The under part that rests of your head is squishy and plush to give comfort to the top of your head when in use for hours. I will say though, there seems to be barely any memory foam or similar material, as even the lightest squeeze with my fingers causes it to completely compress.
Even with the metal arm brackets, the headset is incredibly lightweight, weighting in at just 260 grams, roughly half a pound. Even after many hours of constant use, it never started to fatigue or feel heavy like how other headsets can. You can easily adjust the cup placement by pulling each side in or out, adjusting the length, and even though there are some slight notches to keep your preferred sizing in place, I did notice it ‘slip’ now and then if I was being a little more animated than usual or bending over to get something with them on.
FIFINE AMPLIGAME H9
So I feel I should start this off with what makes the FIFINE Ampligame H9 headset stand out; it’s price. With a current sale MSRP of $32.99 USD, it’s the most inexpensive headset I’ve ever reviewed. Having quite a handful of headset reviews under my belt, all the way up to the hundreds of dollars in quality, I’ll be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting very much from the FIFINE Ampligame H9 before I used it. I don’t like to judge a book by its cover or make preconceived assumptions, but in my many years of reviewing hardware, the general rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for.
That said, this budget gaming headset isn’t meant to compete with a number of other brands. It’s not going to have half as many features of a $100 headset, and won’t sound even remotely close to my high end headphones either, but that’s not what it’s trying to be. I tend to generally avoid budget priced products, not because I’m above it or better than it in any way, but I’d generally like to spend a little more on something that will be better quality or last longer instead of being replaced. That’s why I initially expected the FIFINE Ampligame H9 to be made from cheap materials, but as I opened with above, you can see that’s not generally the case. Bonus points so far.
Truth is, people choose their headsets for a variety of reasons. I’d wager most choose based on brand preference and of course audio quality, especially on the higher end, but some people choose their headsets for different reasons, like aesthetics, microphone quality, comfort, weight, or price. Truth is, not everyone can afford a high end $400 headset, and that’s fine, that’s why there’s countless options regardless of your reasons. At $32.99 USD, it’s probably one of the cheaper options out there that isn’t dollar store quality.
With a 3.5mm and USB connection options, you can use the FIFINE Ampligame H9 with virtually any device. While I of course focused on using it with my Xbox Series X via 3.5mm connection in the controller, you could easily use it on phones, tablets, PC, laptops and more devices. There’s also a dongle that the 3.5mm connector plugs into making it USB-A compatible which also allows for Switch, Playstation, PC and more. More than just a 3.5mm to USB adapter, there’s a little more under the hood with the dongle, but more on that shortly. Being able to connect to virtually any device (minus wireless Bluetooth), you certainly have plenty of options, not something you generally see at this entry price point on many headsets.
CAN YOU HEAR ME?
Again, I feel like I need to be honest and say that I didn’t have much hope for the detachable microphone to sound very good, but I can tell that was just my judgement based on its price. Looking into the Fifine line of products, they’ve done a number of different microphones, so they certainly have experience in the field. While not top of the line for quality compared to high end microphones, again, they aim to give a quality you don’t usually find at these lower prices, which is what we find here.
Able to take off the microphone when not in use or in public, it easily snaps into the left ear cup, though it’s got an odd shape to it, so it’s proprietary, something to keep in mind if you lose attachments easily. It’s a boom style microphone with a goose neck, so you can easily maneuver it however you like, testing out the right distance from your mouth and it will stay there. After doing a few recording tests, I’ll admit, I was actually quite surprised at the microphone quality, again, at this price.
My voice sounded natural and warm, something I honestly wasn’t expecting. In cheap microphones you usually sound a bit ‘tinny’ or like there’s some static in the line somewhere. I didn’t hear any of that. Now it didn’t do a perfect job at cutting out the background noise, but that’s not that this was designed for. My discord friends all said I sounded just like normal and could recognize my voice from the other microphone I generally use on PC before telling them I was trying a new headset and mic. Honestly, the microphone quality took me by surprise, as I was not expecting that from a budget priced headset. Kudos to Fifine.
Now the big question; how does it sound? Again, keep in mind this is a headset under $40, so you need to temper your expectations. This isn’t going to sound like a high end name brand, and that’s alright, as long as it sounds decent. Decent is basically the one word I’d describe its soundstage as. It’s certainly lacking in some places, like almost having zero bass, and I can instantly tell a difference in some of my favorite music compared to my regular go-to headphones, but again, for a sub $40 headset, it sounds ‘decent’.
While you can simply plug in the headset into any 3.5mm headphone jack, the FIFINE Ampligame H9 shines when you use the included USB audio dongle. Plug the headset into the 3.5mm jack on one end, and the USB-A connection to your device on the other, and it will unlock a better sounding audio profile. This 7.1 switch gives a fuller sound and can be toggled on and off on a whim should you wish with a simple press of a button on the dongle. The dongle also houses the volume controls for headphones and microphone, as well as a mute slider for the mic as well.
The emulated 7.1 sound is, again, decent, but nothing extroridnary. There’s clearly a difference when you toggle it on and off though. The best way I can describe it is that with the 7.1 toggled off, it sounds as though it’s a little muffled, like listening to someone’s music in their car, but from the outside and windows closed. Toggle on the 7.1 and it’s much more pronounced and clear, like having that car window open. A design feature I question though is that when 7.1 is enabled, the round button on the dongle is circled in red, to indicate it’s on, and if no light, it’s off. This is confusing, as red usually means off or mute, but it’s the opposite here. One bonus is that the cable is actually quite lengthy, so plugging it into your console and reaching your chair or couch shouldn’t be an issue.
Again, audio is ‘okay’. Music certainly has a different texture than I’m used to, not bad, but the headphones lack virtually any bass. Listening to music I know well, the mid to highs seem to be a little more highlighted, but that could be due to the lack of bass. With 50mm drivers the audio can get quite loud, and even topping out doesn’t seem to crackle or distort. Again, you have to factor in the inexpensive price, which almost gives it a pass. Watching movies and shows is passible, as dialogue and mids sound decent, though with the lack of bass, action scenes certainly lack. Keep the Schwarzenegger action flicks for another headset.
For gaming it’s very similar. As long as there’s not a lot of action that requires bass, it will sound decent, but anything with a lot of bass and explosions, again, it falls a little flat and disappoints. Again, I generally love having a bass heavy soundscape, but these don’t deliver that at all. RPG’s and racing games like Forza certainly sounded fine, though I could tell there was certainly a lack of finer details. Probably not the headset I'd be using for competative Call of Duty, but for all my smaller indie games, absolutely.
While being inexpensive doesn’t give the FIFINE Ampligame H9 a free pass for all of its shortcomings, it’s also hard to hold it against it when you’re only paying $32.99USD. I honestly wasn’t expecting very much before testing out the headset, as I judged the product simply on its price alone. I can admit I was wrong, as the FIFINE Ampligame H9 is certainly decent quality for the price, which is what you need to remember when comparing to other headphones of higher tiers. If you're looking for a budget priced headset for one reason or another, Fifine should be on your list to compare with.
**FIFINE Ampligame H9 was provided and reviewed alongside an Xbox Series X, PC, Phone, Tablet and other devices**
Overall: 7.5/ 10