If you know your Wizard of Oz lore, you’ll recall that Ozma was the young princess and rightful heir to the throne of Oz. Exactly what this has to do with audio and aliens is anyone’s guess, but these headphones did take us over the rainbow.
Miami-based Alienware has developed a strong reputation for building balls-out PCs, and now the company has expanded into co-branded accessories. Partnering with Ultrasone for these headphones was smart: Ultrasone’s $400 Proline 750 headphones impressed the heck out of us in our May 2005 issue, but we couldn’t give them a Kick Ass award because the reference model isn’t great for gaming. We have no such reservations about the $200 Ozma 7.
The Ozma 7 isn’t quite as luxurious as the Proline 750: Its earcups and headband are well-padded, but the cups are covered in non-breathing pleather; the higher-end phones are outfitted with much larger earcups upholstered in ultra-soft velour. But where those reference-quality headphones delivered absolutely flat frequency response, the Ozma 7 headphones feature pleasantly boosted bass that’s terrific for playing games, watching movies, and listening to music.
The Ozma 7 features Ultrasone’s S-Logic technology, which delivers pseudo surround sound without electronically manipulating the audio. It’s accomplished by offsetting the transducers inside the earcups, so the sound waves bounce and reflect off the folds in your outer ear. This, in turn, delays some frequencies from reaching your eardrums, which fools your brain into perceiving the sound as originating all around your head, instead of on polar-opposite sides.
S-Logic did amazing things for Eddie Kramer’s brilliant engineering work on Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love. With conventional headphones, stereo pans seem to go through your head; with the Ozma 7 phones, Jimi’s guitar sounds like its orbiting the interior of your skull.
Equally as important as their sound, these well-constructed phones remained comfortable during long gaming sessions. And they come with an extraordinarily long cable—nearly 10 feet—so you don’t need an extension cable to reach from your hi-fi to your Barcalounger.
Month Reviewed: March 2006