Because the Oxid uses a USB connector, that also means it uses its own audio controller. You can see this in the screenshot of the device manager above. This doesn't seem like a huge deal at first until you factor in that there is no software for the Oxid. Again, one might think this is a good thing and to some degree it is, but on the other hand this really limits the control you have over audio output.
Starting with audio quality, the Oxid performed just fine while gaming. Although I didn't get an opportunity to test the microphone out in-game, I did give it a try using Skype which probably is a better test as you are engaging in one-on-one conversation with someone you actually know. During my Skype test, the person on the other end of the line reported that I sounded very clear, almost as if we were chatting on the phone. I switched over to my netbook's internal microphone and she noted that the quality of my voice dropped considerably and that static was present.
The microphone was easy to adjust and stayed put wherever I positioned it. The white ring on the microphone lights up red during use.
Moving on to music which is a key category for me, the out-of-the-box Oxid left a bit to be desired. Since there is no software, you can only adjust equalizer settings inside of your music player. This wasn't an issue while I was listening to MP3s via Winamp, but when I fired up Pandora One, I was unable to fine-tune the output and overall quality suffered a bit. But if you have access to an equalizer, you can fine tune the output and end up with some really good quality audio.
Moving on to comfort, I am happy to report that the Oxid headset feels much better on the head than the Strato. I was a bit concerned that the lack of adjustment on the ear cups would lead to some discomfort but that isn't the case. The ear cups are very comfortable, allowing me to wear the headset for hours at a time without discomfort. I also found that the unit isn't nearly as top-heavy as the Strato.
That said, the Oxid isn't perfect in this category. I noted two issues with the fit of the Oxid. The first is that they feel a little loose when in use. If there was a bit more tension to push the two cups toward your ear more, sound quality would certainly be improved. This theory is proven by simply pressing the cups more firmly against your ears with your hands. My other complaint is with the size of each ear cup. They are very large and both myself and the photo model above noted that the ear cups created an open gap around the jaw line when on. She has a smaller head and mine is larger and we both experienced the same thing, but of course your results may vary.
Moving on, the control module is much better than the one found on the Strato. Although there aren't as many adjustments (due to the lack of individual speakers in each ear cup), the buttons are well labeled and easy to read on the Oxid. I also like that all of the main buttons are on the front face of the module and not lined on the edges of the controller. While there is a power LED on the module, it doesn't flash and annoy you like the one on the Strato does.
The subwoofer button on the control module seems like a nice feature for adding some extra bass, but it's pretty much useless as it adds way too much bass and ultimately ruins the audio quality. I would certainly leave this turned off.
As was discussed earlier, the Oxid uses a USB connector so you won't be able to use it with your MP3 player or other audio device.
Unlike the higher-end Strato headset, the Oxid is a mid range stereo headset with a microphone which I suppose classifies it as a gaming headset. It generally works pretty well and is very comfortable but the lack of software is a bit of a disappointment. The lack of physical adjustment to the ear cups may bother some but it really wasn't as big of a deal as I was anticipating.
As of writing, the Ozone Oxid Gaming Headset can be had for under $43 which is almost half the price of the Strato headphones. If you are on a budget and like over-the-ear style ear cups, the Oxid offers a good bit of value for the money.
OCIA.net has awarded the Ozone Oxid Gaming Headset our Silver Seal of Approval.