Patriot and its gaming arm Viper, are well known and staple brands when it comes to the memory and storage department. The brand is relatively new when it comes to gaming peripherals from keyboards, mice, and headsets. On our review slate is the Patriot Viper V380 Gaming Headset, the successor to the V370. It supposedly addresses its predecessor’s quirks and offers more features for the same price.
• Cable length: 2.2M
• Approximate weight: 385 g/ Net Weight
• Connector: USB
• Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
• Impedance: 32 ohms at 1kHz max
• SensitivityL 110dB +/- 3dB at 1 kHz max
• Input power: 10mW
• Main Drivers: 40mm Neodymium magnet
• Sub-Drivers: 30mm
• Frequency Response: 100Hz-10KHz
• Signal-to-noise ratio: 60dB
• Sensitivity: -46dB +/- 3 dB
• Pick-up Pattern: Omnidirectional
Unboxing and First Impression
The Viper V380 retains the brand’s signature packaging with the red box outline. The Viper V380’s top features are highlighted in the upper left quadrant of the box. Meanwhile, the back shows the Viper V380’s spec list in different languages.
Packaging contents are as follows:
- Patriot Viper V380 Headset
- Product Manual
- Viper logo stickers
- 3.5mm boom mic
Like its predecessor, the Patriot Viper V380 headset has a rectangular housing but is noticeably larger than the V370. Overall it has a more aggressive-looking aesthetic compared to its predecessor.
There seems to be an improvement with regards to the V380 headset as it looks thicker. However, the same can’t be said when it comes to feeling as you can immediately feel the frame upon pressing the headband cushion. Nonetheless, it’s still a lot comfier over the V370.
The Viper V380’smetal brackets holding the earcups and drivers are similar to other brands such as HyperX and ASUS TUF headsets. The V380 headset bracket is adjustable up to six steps.
The Viper V380 looks like a bulky yet small headset thanks to the combination of the large driver shroud and thin metal brackets.
Patriot managed to include a physical volume wheel behind the left side of the headset. There’s also an LED button that toggles the Viper V380’s lighting modes and a mute button underneath the left driver.
One of the most noticeable and welcomed improvements with the V380 is its detachable microphone. The 3.5mm slot can be covered if you don’t want to use the microphone. The mic is also retractable to maintain a similar level of flexibility the V370’s foldable mic had.
Size-wise, the Viper V380 is undoubtedly one of the bigger sized gaming headsets in the market. The Viper V380’s large rectangular driver enclosure results in a rectangular-shaped leatherette earcup. The inner shape where the ear rests is still oval, and you get more padding thanks to the rectangular design.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trendy, modern headset with its RGB lighting. Patriot applied the RGB treatment to the mesh outline of the V380 and the Viper logo. It’s one of the cleanest and appealing RGB implementation in a headset.
Viper V380 Software
Another area of improvement where the V380 shines is its software. While the UI is still not clean, it offers more features and customization. One rare feature that the V380 has is the ability to control the left and right driver volumes separately.
You can adjust the V380’s sound profile via the software’s equalizer. Xear Voice Clarity, on the other hand, lets the software emphasize voices and reduce background noise. Xear 3D is Viper’s 7.1 surround sound equivalent, which I frankly recommend turning off.
On the microphone side of things, the Patriot Viper V380 software supports environmental noise cancellation and the infamous “magic voice” setting – we’ll test these features in the latter part of the review.
RGB lighting has limited customizability than what we’re used to with RGB peripherals. It gets the job done but doesn’t offer fancy features such as particle-like effects or an audio visualizer.
We tested the Patriot Viper V380’s microphone at 100% recording volume. Recordings are taken using the pre-installed Voice Recorder app on windows on .m4a format and uploaded to our Sound Cloud channel. Aside from testing the microphone quality in a normal environment, we also tested its ENC feature. We opted for a clicky mechanical keyboard background noise as our benchmark. We also included recordings from our previous Tecware Q5 review for comparison.
Audio Quality. Hands down, the Patriot Viper Gaming Headset is one of the better-sounding headsets not just for gaming but for entertainment as well. Its default equalizer settings shouldn’t be messed with as it already offers a good balance between highs, mids, and lows. Voice clarity isn’t an issue with the headset, and the bass level is punchy but not over-powering.
Microphone Quality. Frankly, turning on any microphone related features on the Viper V380 does more harm than good. While the mic itself is above average in terms of sound quality, activating ENC will make you sound like you’re speaking on a $10 tin-can headset. Yes, it gets the job done in removing background noise, but at an extreme cost of microphone quality. Getting a wind foam for the V380’s microphone is definitely a must if you’re only looking to block out light noise.
Comfort. Despite its bulky appeal, the Viper V380 is easily one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve used, especially for its price point. The large, rectangular shape design and earcups contribute a huge factor in both ear size compatibility and noise isolation. The flexible microphone retains its angle and never gets in the way.
Price. To my surprise, the Patriot Viper V380 only retails at Php 2,500 ($50), meaning that it’s a budget-oriented headset. With the improvements Patriot made from the V370 to the Viper 380, I would’ve easily pegged this headset to cost around Php 4,000. The Viper V380’s specs and feature-set are at the level of the HyperX Cloud series, Logitech’s G Pro lineup, and the Razer Krakens.
The disappointing software experience ironically highlights the V380’s strength of having a clean sound profile paired with an above-average microphone. It has excellent audio for gaming, movies, and music. The microphone is decent as long as you don’t have much background noise. It has one of the cleanest RGB implementations. It is simply an excellent option for gamers looking for a budget all-rounder headset. Overall, the Patriot Viper V380 gaming headset is easily one of the best headsets available for its price range. It could’ve been the best headset under Php 3,000($60) if its software was adequately tuned and optimized.