The Roccat Renga Boost is a relaunch and somewhat redesigned version of 2016’s Renga headset. Positioned on the budget end of the headset market, it comes with a standout feature that makes it worth a look in our opinion. Here’s our review.
We never checked out the original Renga, which is kind of surprising since it has a design feature that I’ve always adored in headphones and headsets – earcups with an open back. In regular headphones, this is a feature rarely seen in cheaper products, and it’s equally rare when looking at gaming headsets – I still enjoy my Sennheiser HD 360 for that exact reason, even though it’s over eight years old already.
Roccat’s Renga Boost comes in at a fraction of the price of the HD 360 though, as Sennheiser’s headset was close to 200 Euros/Dollars at launch and Roccat’s revision of the Renga can be found for 50 to 60. Obviously, this means that certain sacrifices were made, but the Renga Boost is still a solid choice for a certain target audience.
That last part of the previous paragraph is crucial, as open-backed earcups aren’t for everyone. I love them because I do most of my gaming in the comfort of my home, with a relatively low amount of background noise. If you’re often in noisy environments then you’ll likely want to look elsewhere. Open-backed designs allow for plenty of outside noise to leak into your headset due to their design, but the upside is that you gain a ton in terms of wearing comfort – the ventilation allows air to circulate and keeps that overheated red ear sensation at bay.
Having an open air design, at least in headphones (I use a Philips L2), also often gives you a benefit in sound quality, as it seemingly allows for a wider soundscape compared to the sound you get from an earcup in which sound can ‘bounce around’. This is mainly noticeable in higher end equipment though, as the open air decision becomes a tricky one in budget headsets where cheaper drivers are used. The Renga Boost is a good example of this, as it lacks a bit of “oomph” in the bass department that some gamers might start to miss – especially when playing explosive shooters.
Other than a lack of bass, the Renga Boost sounds excellent and doubles as an all-purpose headset as well if you enjoy listening to music. The same limitation applies if you’re into bass-heavy stuff, but the headset’s neutral sound works well for nearly all other styles.
The headset has an excellent build quality for its price range, and it’s quite comfortable as well. This doesn’t just apply to the long term comfort of the open-backed earcups, but also to the headband system that dynamically adjusts to your head size and shape without having to manually adjust it yourself. There’s less of a clamping feeling than with other headsets, and the fact that the Renga Boost is extremely lightweight also helps.
Differences with the previous Renga are marginal, but include a redesigned cable – Roccat went for a more neutral black this time, instead of the blue cable of the original. I prefer the black, as it’s a better fit for the design of the headset itself – which unlike other gaming headsets isn’t loud in terms of its color scheme. The cable splits into audio and mic jacks, but the package comes with an adapter to help connect it to consoles. I wasn’t a big fan of the non-removable mic and its hard plastic look and feel, but it does its job.
Having an open earcup system means that Roccat Renga Boost isn’t for everyone – you’ll want a quiet gaming environment to make sure you’re not swamped with outside sound and don’t bother those around you. However – for me it’s a big plus that the Renga Boost offers good quality audio with excellent levels of comfort. In its price range and for the right audience, it’s certainly a pleasant surprise.