Armaggeddon had been making many different kinds of headphones in the past. I can personally say that throughout the years I’ve been reviewing their products, they’ve improved a lot. However, the Armaggeddon Molotov-5 is their best portable on-ear headphone to this date.
Let’s start off with the packaging, as usual. The packaging is very different from other types of packaging, but quite difficult to get to. At least with such packaging style, the Molotov-5 can give a size estimate of the ear cups. In case you missed out on our triple unboxing of Armaggeddon products sent to us, you can check it out below.
The Molotov-5 has a surprisingly nice build quality too. Firstly, the cable is fully braided, and it has nice length to it. Also, check it out right here – a right angle 3.5mm jack! Surely this is a personal preference, but for me, I personally prefer the angled jack.
The cable build quality continues throughout the included audio splitter too. Just in case you’re wondering what’s this for, the Molotov-5 has a combo jack. This combo jack brings both input and output audio into the same jack, which doesn’t work for all devices. A great example of the usage of combo jacks are laptops, especially when contrasting ultra-slim devices with conventional ones. You can save some space by combining both audio and microphone jacks into a single combo jack, but there will be some compatibility issues.
Other than that, the packaging doesn’t contain any paperwork – just the “box” alone, a plastic shell, and the audio splitter. That said, I really like how the packaging is laid out. It’s simple and most importantly, just plain straight forward. Print all the necessary information on the packaging itself where people can read before purchasing while saving cost. This is the only downfall the Molotov-5 has in terms of its comfort, as it will just slip sometimes because there’s no grip on the rails.
Speaking of falling off, the clamping force of this headphone is adequate and sufficiently strong enough to hold itself in place, while not causing any discomfort. You’ll have to take my word on this one, but so far there aren’t any sort of headphone that causes discomfort simply by wearing it, other than the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum. That said, it’s really comfortable to wear even for an extended period of time.
[nextpage title=”Listening test”]It’s the one thing that I’m most curious about. Armaggeddon seem to have ironed out all the other aspects on how to make a great on-ear headphone, but did they nail the sound quality?
In short, the answer is a resounding yes. On the packaging itself, the headphone audio is powered by two 40mm drivers with a frequency response of 20-20kHz with 32Ω impedance. That means one thing – the drivers are easily powered by a mobile device, but it doesn’t dictate the audio quality.
Enter my usual test of songs. First off, Adventure Time by Rogue. The bass is exceptionally bassy, as each beat is punched with controlled strength and without distortion. The mids are great, yet the highs can sparkle to some degree too. The more obscure notes were heard clearly on the Molotov-5. Overall, the listening experience was great!
Moving on to Cherokee by the BBC Big Band Orchestra. The first thing I realized was the soundstage. It sounded surprisingly well, and blown my expectations away at an instant. It sounds absolutely fantastic. Listening to Cherokee on the Molotov-5 gave me goosebumps, then I forgot that I was doing a sound test. Then, my phone played 1973 by James Blunt. The initial bass hits really strongly, and I was instantly jolted awake.
Oh hey – there isn’t any distortion in audio quality when listening at uncomfortably high volume levels too. Another side note – noise isolation on the Molotov-5 is decent, but definitely not the best for an on-ear headphone. However if you’ve tried the SonicGear Studio 2 which we reviewed here, the Molotov-5 is the clear winner here.
The microphone on the other hand sounded okay – it can record audio at a decent quality. The recording sounds like it’s been muffled a little and shifted to the bassier side by a little bit. Actually I’d say a little above average too, compared to other headphones with built-in microphones at this price range. In most cases, that’s all you need anyway.
[nextpage title=”Wrap up”]So what heck did Armaggeddon really achieved with the Molotov-5? I’d say the near-perfect pair of on-ear headphones at this price range. Surely there are certain things to be improved, like the size adjustment mechanism, and maybe shift the cable to give it an angle instead. Headphone sound quality is exceptional, whereas the microphone is decent.
The main reason why I kept highlighting the word “on-ear headphones” is because they tend to leak sound in and out of the ear cup, since it doesn’t have a nice seal around the ear. That means noise isolation is definitely sacrificed for the sake of mainly smaller overall size. This is no exception the Molotov-5, although that the isolation is quite well done.
Which finally leads us to the one final point on deciding factor on whether or not the Molotov-5 is a great on-ear headphone – price. The Armaggeddon is available in 3 colours – blue/silver, yellow/black (my favourite), and red/black – and each of them are priced at RM99.90 on Lazada!
For that price, I think it’s a pretty good investment. Armaggeddon, there are a few minute things to be improved, and you guys would have the best budget mobile gaming on-ear headphone.