Tech Yeah! Hacate GM5 Earbuds
Hecate is a sub-brand of Edifier focused on gaming. The new Hecate GM-5 earbuds are designed for gaming. First of all, they come with a lanyard and rubber sheath which holds the case of the earbuds, and it just feels like something you'd wear at a gaming convention. Second, when you open the case, RGB stripes light up either side of the case and it's a neat effect.
These are true wireless earbuds that charge with USB Type C - no wireless charging I'm afraid. The case is a grey Riverstone kind of feel that's encased in a clear polycarbonate bubble. The case opens at a round Hecate seal on the front and the earbuds slide out. They look a lot like most true wireless earbuds with the stems that serve as antennas and touch triggers. The buds sit in the case magnetically.
Hecate claims the buds will last around 8 hours on a single charge. That seems consistent with my testing. There are another 32 hours in the charging case meaning you've got a full workweek in these buds. That's impressive. I confess I never wore them for a full eight hours to test, but in the three weeks I've had these buds, I've never had to charge the case. These things last.
The sounds stage is pretty good. I won't say great, but pretty solidly in the good category. The only area I noticed a drop-off in audio was in deep bass that you get in a dubstep song. These buds don't do that. I used the buds mostly to listen to podcasts, so I didn't really miss that too much. I could imagine that being less than ideal for some games, but for the most part, if you're using these to communicate between yourself and other gamers, these are just fine. If you're looking for music listening, look elsewhere.
The earbuds sit in your earlobes but do not go into the ear canal. You get at best a partial seal which means you get basically no isolation. That can be a problem depending on your needs. I wear earbuds often when I'm driving or biking, so in that way, these are good since I need to be aware of my surroundings. If you're looking for isolation so you can get lost in your tunes, that's not a great thing. For gamers, I guess it's just ok. There's nothing really in games that require a ton of isolation or getting lost in the sound of the game. While I can see why a gamer might want to do that, I' ma father of a 14-year-old who I constantly have to call to the dinner table, so I'm ok if he's not immersed.
The latency on these buds is really good. Many true wireless earbuds see a lot of latency when watching videos. I don't see that here. Or at least I don't see it enough to bother me. The stems on the earbuds are touchpads as well. You can skip tracks and play and pause music with taps and double taps. I found the touch areas to be just ok. They're better than most earbuds I've tested in terms of registering touches, but you have to be very precise when tapping them. There's a learning curve for sure.
One minor annoyance I found was in that circular seal I mentioned at the top of the review. Well, the seal opens with the top of the case of the earbuds and that seal kinda gets in the way of trying to remove and replace the buds. Maybe it won't be a problem for you but for my sausage fingers, that presented a bit of a problem. Really it's just a poor design choice and it shouldn't have been made. But honestly, that just shouldn't have happened. So where does that leave us?
Well, if you're a gamer, these are decent buds. I'm not positive they earn the 80 dollar price tag they command on Amazon, but they're close. I mean 40 hours of battery life is damn impressive, so that alone might be worth the price of admission for you. The seal getting in the way of the buds bothers me. The lack of super low-end bass doesn't bother me as much but it still bothers me. I think for $80 I'd want one of those two problems solved, but maybe neither will bother you.
There are a lot of bad true wireless earbuds out there. These are not one of them. These are good and even very good in many ways. They're not the best out there, but for this price, they're definitely decent and I can respect that. There's a link below if you want to check them out, and as always if you pick some up, I might get a small commission at no extra cost to you, so you'll have my thanks.