ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jan 15, 2021 at 09:01 am
ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless Picture
6.2
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
5.6
Commute/Travel
5.8
Sports/Fitness
6.1
Office
7.6
Wireless Gaming
5.9
Wired Gaming
7.0
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless are wireless gaming headphones with customizable RGB lighting. They're well-built, decently comfortable, and have a fairly well-balanced sound profile that can be customized through their feature-packed companion software. They also have a detachable mic that offers very good recording quality and does a great job of blocking out background noise. Unfortunately, they let in a lot of ambient noise, are very bulky, and don't have an especially stable fit.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are passable for mixed usage. They don't support Bluetooth, so you need an adapter to use them with your smartphone, making them inconvenient for commutes or workouts. Their poor noise isolation performance means that you're likely to hear the rumble of bus engines as well as ambient chatter. That said, they have a reasonably well-balanced sound profile that can be customized via an EQ in their companion software, so they're not a bad option for neutral sound. Meanwhile, their low wireless latency and great boom mic make them a solid option for gaming.

Pros
  • Variety of sound customization features.
  • Great battery life.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Poor noise isolation capability.
  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
7.2 Neutral Sound

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are decent for neutral sound. They have a reasonably well-balanced out-of-the-box sound profile, though some users may find it to be a little boomy. Thankfully, their companion software features audio presets as well as a graphic EQ that lets you customize their sound profile to your liking. Unfortunately, they don't deliver audio very consistently and have a closed-off soundstage.

Pros
  • Variety of sound customization features.
Cons
  • Struggle to deliver audio consistently.
5.6 Commute/Travel

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are middling for commuting and traveling. They're very bulky, don't come with a carrying case, and can only function with the use of their USB dongle, so you need an adapter to connect them to your phone. They also really struggle to filter out ambient noise like the rumble of bus engines. That said, they offer roughly 16 hours of battery life and are quite well-built.

Pros
  • Great battery life.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Poor noise isolation capability.
  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
5.8 Sports/Fitness

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are inadequate for sports and fitness, though this is some way from their intended use. They're big and relatively heavy, with a somewhat unstable fit that's likely to cause them to fall from your head during only moderately intense workouts. They also need an adapter to connect their USB-A dongle to your phone since they aren't Bluetooth compatible.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
6.1 Office

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are mediocre for office use. They do very little to block out any ambient chatter from nearby coworkers and leak a fair amount of audio. You also need to plug their USB dongle into your work computer since they aren't Bluetooth-compatible. However, their 16-hour battery life should get you through a couple of workdays, and they're decently comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Pros
  • Low wireless latency with USB dongle.
  • Great battery life.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation capability.
  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
7.6 Wireless Gaming

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are a good option for wireless gaming. Their USB dongle allows for low latency transmission of audio, and they're equipped with a detachable boom mic that should ensure that your teammates hear you clearly, even in noisy environments. Their companion software is feature-packed and should allow you to customize most essential aspects of your gaming experience.

Pros
  • Variety of sound customization features.
  • Low wireless latency with USB dongle.
  • Very good microphone recording quality and noise handling capability.
Cons
  • Struggle to deliver audio consistently.
5.9 Wired Gaming

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are wireless-only headphones and can't be used on a wired connection.

7.0 Phone Calls

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are satisfactory for phone calls. Their boom mic makes your voice sound full-bodied, natural, and mostly free of background noise, so people on the other end of the line should understand you with little difficulty. However, due to their poor noise isolation capability, you may have trouble following what's being said if you're calling from a loud environment.

Pros
  • Very good microphone recording quality and noise handling capability.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation capability.
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 5.6 Commute/Travel
  • 5.8 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.1 Office
  • 7.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.9 Wired Gaming
  • 7.0 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Apr 13, 2021: We've updated the PC/PS4 Compatibility test with additional information regarding controls.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have a somewhat bulky, gaming-oriented appearance. While their all-black color scheme isn't especially flashy, their two-piece ski-band headband and RGB logo on their ear cups ensure that they stand out in most settings. Unlike the Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless, they have an RGB lighting feature that can be customized through their companion software.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.77 lbs
Clamping Force
1.3 lbs

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are decently comfortable. They should feel relatively light on your head, and their ear cups do an effective job of distributing their somewhat high clamping force. However, their headband can become loose fairly easily, and achieving a comfortable position with its ski-band headband can be tricky.

6.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
PC/PS4
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
Yes
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The headphones' controls are passable. There are dedicated scroll wheels for volume control and channel mixing as well as power and microphone muting buttons. The buttons yield good, clicky feedback, but the channel and volume wheels can be hard to tell apart and they scroll infinitely, so there's no way of knowing once you've reached a maximum setting. If you're connected to a PS4 or PS5 console, the volume control wheel also doesn't work, so you need to adjust the volume directly from the console.

5.2
Design
Portability
L 9.0 "
W 7.9 "
H 3.6 "
Volume 256.0 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required Yes

Like most over-ear gaming headphones, the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air aren't very portable. Even though they have ear cups that can swivel flat and a removable boom mic that slightly reduces their overall size, they're still bulkier than alternatives like the SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don't have a case or pouch.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are well-built. They're mostly made of sturdy-feeling plastic, though their outer headband is made of metal. Faux leather and cloth are used to line the ear cups and inner headband. They feel quite solid overall, though their ski-band headband does seem like a potential weak point.

6.5
Design
Stability

These over-ears have an adequately stable fit. Despite their fairly high clamping force, they're likely to loosen on your head and move around with moderate to high-intensity movements. They should have no trouble staying in place if you're wearing them while gaming, however. Their wireless design eliminates the risk of an audio cable getting snagged on something and yanking the headphones from your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless headphones
  • USB-A dongle
  • Detachable boom mic
  • USB-C charging cable
  • User manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.74 db
Treble Amount
-1.79 db

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have a somewhat boomy sound profile, which should help emphasize in-game sound effects, but without totally overpowering dialogue or music thanks to their well-balanced mid and treble ranges. If you'd like to fine-tune their sound profile to your liking, their Roccat Swarm companion software features audio presets as well as a graphic EQ.

5.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.13 dB

These headphones have middling frequency response consistency. Audio delivery can vary dramatically depending on the ear cups fit, seal, and positioning. This could be especially annoying if you have thick hair or wear glasses, as this can affect their seal and lead to a reduction of intensity in their bass delivery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
47.57 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.23 dB
Mid-Bass
0.69 dB
High-Bass
4.2 dB

These headphones have good bass accuracy. They're lacking a bit of low-end thump and rumble, but their overemphasized high-bass range should provide extra warmth to in-game sound effects, though at the expense of sounding a little boomy. That said, their bass delivery can vary drastically depending on their fit, seal, and positioning.

8.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.66 dB
Low-Mid
0.1 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.16 dB
High-Mid
-1.7 dB

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have excellent mid accuracy. The range is very flat and even, yielding full-bodied and clear vocals and lead instruments that are present in the mix.

7.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.92 dB
Low-Treble
-2.37 dB
Mid-Treble
1.73 dB
High-Treble
-7.37 dB

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have very good treble accuracy. The range is fairly flat but a little underemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments may lose a bit of clarity. Their uneven mid-treble range can give sibilants an alternatively slightly dull and harsh quality. Their treble delivery is very sensitive to their fit, seal, and positioning, so your listening experience may vary.

7.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.89 db
Dips
0.89 db

These headphones have decent peaks and dips performance. A bump in the high-bass through low-mid ranges can generate some boominess and clutter vocals and lead instruments. The dips in the low-mid and low-treble ranges can thin out vocals and lead instruments and veil them, respectively. A rise in the mid-treble range makes sibilants sound piercing.

8.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.26
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.35
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.6
Weighted Phase Mismatch
7.32

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have impressive stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Their L/R drivers are also quite well-matched in regards to amplitude and phase response, with only minor frequency mismatch being present. This means that objects like footsteps and voices should be fairly accurately placed within the stereo image. That said, these results are only valid for our model.

6.1
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.23 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.86 dB
PRTF Distance
12.41 dB
Openness
5.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.9

These headphones have an acceptable passive soundstage. It should be perceived as sounding natural and as if it's coming from out in front of you rather than from the inside of your head. However, it may also be perceived as being small and closed-off. Since they have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage isn't as spacious as open-back gaming headphones like the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

These headphones offer support for 7.1 Surround Sound through its Roccat Swarm companion software. However, we don't currently test this feature.

6.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.477
WHD @ 100
0.782

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have passable weighted harmonic distortion performance. While audio reproduction is fairly clean and pure at normal listening volumes, some audible distortion is present across the mid-range at max volumes, which could be noticeable with real-life content.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.22
Power
On
Connection
Wireless (Proprietary)
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
4.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-12.4 dB
Bass
0.25 dB
Mid
-6.98 dB
Treble
-30.92 dB

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have poor noise isolation. They do almost nothing to block out the low-pitched rumble of sounds like bus or truck engines. They don't filter out much in the way of ambient chatter either. However, they do a good job of blocking out the high-frequency hum of an AC unit.

6.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
41.8 dB

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air's leakage performance is okay. People nearby may be able to hear what you're listening to in quiet environments if you're listening at a high volume, but leaking audio should be lost beneath the noise floor of a normal office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have a detachable flexible microphone.

7.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
130.71 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.45 dB
HFE
5915.41 Hz
Weighted THD
3.024
Gain
18.87 dB

The boom mic's recording quality is good. Recorded speech should sound full-bodied and natural, though a little muffled and distorted.

7.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
27.15 dB

The microphone's noise handling capability is very good. Teammates and people on the other end of the line should be able to understand you clearly, even in noisy environments.

Active Features
8.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
16.0 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
16.0 hrs
Charge Time
3.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance of these over-ears is great. They supply roughly 16 hours of continuous playback time with their RGB lighting turned on, which should be suitable for a couple of long gaming marathons. They're advertised as having a 24-hour battery life with their RGB lighting turned off, but this wasn't tested. They're also equipped with an adjustable auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. They take over 3 hours to charge, which is comparable to other wireless gaming headphones like the Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset, but can be used even if they're plugged in.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Roccat Swarm
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The Roccat Swarm companion software is great. It offers users a couple of sound customization features, like a graphic EQ and audio presets, as well as some mic adjustment functions, such as voice modification and voice clarity. You can also use it to set the length of the headphones' auto-off timer or adjust the RGB lighting on their ear cups.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air aren't Bluetooth-compatible.

8.7
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
98 ft
Non-BT Latency
23 ms

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air have excellent non-Bluetooth wireless capability. Their USB-A wireless dongle allows for very low latency audio transmission, which is great for gaming or streaming video.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These over-ears aren't compatible with any wired connections. They come with a USB-C cable for charging.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

Update 04/13/2021: While these headphones have full compatibility with PS4 and PS5 consoles, their volume wheel doesn't work, so you need to change the volume directly from the console.

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air offer full audio and microphone compatibility with PCs as well as PS4 and PS5 consoles when using their USB-A dongle. You won't be able to use their volume wheel on PS4 or PS5 devices though.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air aren't compatible with Xbox One consoles.

3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air come with a USB-A dongle compatible with PC, PS4, and PS5 systems.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air only come in one color variant: 'Black', and you can see their label here.

If you come across a different variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air are wireless gaming headphones. They're compatible with PC as well as PS4 and PS5 consoles, offer a wide variety of customization options, and have a detachable boom mic with very good overall performance. Unfortunately, they aren't quite as versatile as alternatives like the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless since they aren't Bluetooth compatible and have a very bulky design. If you're looking for alternatives, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best PS4 gaming headsets, the best wireless gaming headsets, and the best gaming headsets.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless are better than the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless. The SteelSeries are more comfortable, better-built, leak less audio, have superior overall microphone performance, and last significantly longer on a single charge. They can also be used on a wired connection via a 1/8" TRRS cable. Conversely, the ROCCAT have lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency.

Corsair HS70 Wireless

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless are slightly better for wireless gaming than the Corsair HS70 Wireless. The ROCCAT offer lower wireless audio latency, on-board controls for channel mixing, and have a boom mic that delivers superior recording quality and noise handling capability. Their companion software also has a broader range of customization features. Meanwhile, the Corsair have a more comfortable fit, feel better-made, and charge substantially faster while offering similar battery life.

SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless are more versatile than the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless. The SteelSeries are Bluetooth-compatible, allowing you to stream music off your phone as you game or chat with friends. They're also comfier, better-built, leak less audio, and have longer battery life. Their boom mic also has superior recording quality and noise handling capability. However, the ROCCAT take less time to charge and offer lower non-Bluetooth audio latency.

HyperX Cloud Flight S

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless are slightly better for wireless gaming than the HyperX Cloud Flight S. The ROCCAT have a marginally better control scheme, a more spacious soundstage, a far more feature-packed companion software, and significantly lower wireless latency with their USB dongle. Meanwhile, the HyperX have almost twice the continuous battery life of that of the ROCCAT, a boom mic with better overall performance, superior noise isolation capability, and a more comfortable fit.

Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset

The Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset is a superior choice for wireless gaming compared to the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air. The Logitech are more comfortable, better built, deliver audio more consistently, have a boom mic with superior recording quality and noise handling capability, and last longer on a single charge. They also have a companion software with more features. That said, the ROCCAT have lower wireless latency and better noise isolation performance.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless and Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE each have their own advantages, and one may suit you better depending on your preferences. The ROCCAT have a better control scheme, a longer battery life, and companion software with more options. The Corsair are better-built, can be used on wired connection either via USB or with a 1/8" TRRS cable, and have lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency.

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