Alienware AW720H review: experience immersive hi-res gaming through sound

Hi-res sound, immersive soundstage

Alienware AW720H on a desk
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

The Alienware AW720H delivers detailed, hi-res audio and an immersive Dolby Atmos-expanded soundstage. Its headband is not ideal for those with smaller heads, but its comfort is undeniable. And the luxurious extras are a nice touch, elevating your gaming experience.

Pros

  • +

    Immersive soundstage with Dolby Atmos

  • +

    Crisp and detailed audio

  • +

    Comfortable fit

  • +

    Voice prompts are helpful

Cons

  • -

    Mid-range has a little bit of a boost

  • -

    Mic no background rejection

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Alienware AW720H: Two-minute review

The Alienware AW720H is finally putting Alienware on the peripherals map. The gaming brand might not be a newbie in the gaming headset world, but while it's already established itself a major player in the gaming PC and gaming laptop game, it has always kind of sat on the side lines of the peripherals market. 

Its new wireless gaming headset is changing that, coming in strong with hi-res audio that instantly elevates your listening experience, whether it's a new PC game you're immersing yourself in or the latest blockbuster to come out on streaming. And, while that crisp and detailed audio is enough to convince me, the addition of Dolby Audio support rounds it out beautifully, making it among the best that have ever pumped audio into my ears.

Naturally, it comes with that coveted-but-never-replicated Alienware design stamp. If you've ever owned or seen an Alienware laptop or PC, then you'll know immediately what I mean when I say that the Alienware AW720H fits right in. Putting it next to my own Alienware laptop makes it look like its offspring, which is cool if you're as big of a fan as I am of the brand.

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

It's got that same sleek and rounded space-age vibe, the same RGB-lit alien logo, the same Lunar Light colorway (though it also comes in Dark Side of the Moon as well). The ear cups have a unique shape to them, which I do appreciate and look like if K-2SO from Rogue One and one of the battle droids from The Phantom Menace had babies, and the memory foam ear pads with a breathable fabric cover keeps things cool and comfortable during intense game sessions. 

If you tend to sweat while playing, you'll appreciate that fabric cover, even if you're missing out on the luxuriously plush leatherette finish that many high-end gaming headsets come with.

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

That comfort extends to the headband that comes with its own adjustable suspension band, which I find effective at keeping the pressure off your head and keeps things nice and airy. 

I do, however, wish that the design suited those with smaller heads like mine better. In an effort to make the Alienware AW720H fit most gamers, Alienware has also inadvertently made it a little too big. Because there's plenty of space where my head should be, I find that I have to drag the suspension band lower, which then puts a lot more space between my head and the headband, which in turn makes it look weird on me.

Still, there's lot here to make me love the headset enough to risk me looking like I'm cosplaying as Princess Leia. I love the voice prompts that tell you things like when your mic is on or when the headset is powering down. And I appreciate the albeit minimal app support that let's you (1) customize the RGB lighting on the alien logo, and (2) customize the audio and toggle surround sound.

The surround sound customizations are done on the Dolby Access app, which you do have to enable and access on the Alienware Command Center. It gives you five surround sound presets for different types of media, each with its own finetuning such as the EQ preset options (i.e. you can choose the game preset then pick between "detailed," "balanced," "warm," or "off" EQ). There are also three customizable options where you can enable surround sound, volume leveling, and adjust a 10-band EQ.

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

The preset EQ options in the app are subtle enough that some listeners may have trouble distinguishing between them. But, they are still very useful if you prefer your audio to have a little more clarity or a little more mid-range.

The Dolby Atmos surround sound is nicely implemented. When on, I can feel everything expanding, sounding wider and more three dimensional. While the sound quality isn't as sharp or detailed, the good news is that it doesn't sound hazy like most virtual surround sounds.

At default, however, the Alienware AW720H already sounds fantastic. In Hogwarts: Legacy, I get a great sense of space because of its nice wide soundstage even without Dolby Atmos enabled. There's also very accurate imaging; I can feel the different elements in the environment and where they are in relation to my own movements.

In Kena: Bridge of Spirits, there's a lot of bass and I can hear all the small elements - each of the rot spirits, for example - individually. The audio is very detailed and very crisp, adding to my immersion.

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

There is something weird going on with the bass. When watching Wakanda Forever: Wakanda Forever and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, I find that anything that's deep sub-bass is just not there and anything that's not true bass isn't artificially pumping up the low end. However, those that are in the low frequencies above the sub-bass are pretty prominent. This means that your experience with the bass will vary depending not just on the media itself but also the different frequencies used in individual titles.

The mid range does have a little bit of a boost, making it a little richer-sounding. Some might prefer it to be a little less full, but the way it is on the AW720H is already pretty good. The volume is well-controlled. There's plenty of volume for use, but you’ll probably have to turn it up all the way.

There's also a lot of battery on tap - 30 hours, more specifically. And, fast-charging is on hand should you forget to charge, giving you about six hours of gameplay after 15 minutes of charging. In fact, I haven't charged my test unit once during my time with it after that initial full charge.

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

And, finally, the mic... This boom mic that cleverly retracts into the left ear cup when not in use sounds loud and clear, though a little compressed and mid-range heavy, which is typical for many boom mics. While there's little bit of sibilance, it's pretty good at minimizing plosives.

Unfortunately, it has no background noise rejection so louder sounds around you will be heard clearly by folks on the other side of that call. Though background noise do get slightly quieter when user is speaking, it’s still prominent enough to be distracting. 

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Alienware AW720H: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $159.99 (about £160 / AU$235)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

At $159.99 (about £160 / AU$235), the Alienware AW720H wireless gaming headset may not be cheap, but it is competitively priced, sitting in the same price range as other top-quality wireless gaming headsets and is cheaper than some of the higher-end ones.

Its price is comparable to the highly-rated SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless, which boasts solid neutral sound quality and plenty of customizations via the Sonar app, while slightly pricier than the Corsair HS65 Wireless, which has an incredibly immersive soundstage and long-range connectivity.

Alienware AW720H: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Interface: 2.4GHz wireless, 3.5mm wired
Platforms: Windows OS
Mic: Unidirectional retractable mic
Surround sound:Dolby Atmos
Weight: 12.3oz (348g)

Should you buy the Alienware AW720H?

Alienware AW720H on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueThe Alienware AW720H is reasonably priced for its hi-res audio and immersive Dolby Atmos support.4.5 / 5
DesignIt sports that stunning Alienware design, a retractable mic, and a comfortable fit.4.5 / 5
PerformanceIts immersive soundstage and detailed, hi-res audio elevates your gaming and multimedia experience.4.5 / 5
Avarage ratingThe Alienware AW720H is a comfortable, terrific-sounding gaming headset that's worth every cent.4.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want an affordable hi-res gaming headset
The Alienware AW720H delivers impressive, highly detailed audio and an immersive soundstage for less than you'd expect.

You need both style and substance
It boasts that Alienware stamp, which means it looks just as good as it sounds.

Don't buy it if...

You're penny-pinching
It's affordable, but it's not what I would consider budget. If you're on a tight budget, there are cheaper options.

You need a mic with background noise rejection
While its mic sounds clear and crisp, it doesn't do a good job of rejecting background noise.

Alienware AW720H: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Alienware AW720HSteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 WirelessCorsair HS65 Wireless
Price:$159.99 (about £160 / AU$235)$179 / £174 (about AU$310)$119.99 / £119.99 / $229
Interface: 2.4GHz wireless, 3.5mm wired2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, 3.5mm2.4Ghz wireless, Bluetooth
Platforms: WindowsWindows, Mac, PS4/5, Meta Quest 2, mobile devicesPlayStation, PC/Mac
Mic: Unidirectional retractable micBidirectional noise-cancellingOmnidirectional boom mic
Surround sound:Dolby AtmosMicrosoft Spatial Sound / Tempest 3D audio for PS5Dolby Audio 7.1
Weight: 12.3oz (348g)11.45oz (325g)9.7oz (275g)
Image

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless sounds very good, has the kind of battery life that should last you through many gaming sessions, and comes with a number of great gaming-centric features. 

Read our full SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 review

Image

Corsair HS65 Wireless
The Corsair HS65 Wireless delivers an incredibly immersive soundstage, long-range connectivity, and a 10-band EQ.

Read our full Corsair HS65 Wireless review

How I tested the Alienware AW720H

  • One-week testing
  • Tested for PC gaming and streaming

I put the Alienware AW720H through rigorous testing of playing PC games and streaming blockbusters to really what its surround sound and hi-res audio are made of. I chose, for example, Kena: Bridge of Spirits to see just how detailed the headset's high frequencies are since the game has a lot of environmental noises that typically shine with hi-res audio devices, and Hogwarts: Legacy to check just how wide its soundstage and how accurate its imaging is, especially with Dolby Atmos enabled. I also put on Wakanda Forever and Glass Onion to test its bass frequencies.

I also played around with the Alienware Command Center and the Dolby Atmos app to gauge the level of customizations available to users and the differences among the sound profiles and modes on hand. Naturally, since they're just as important as sound quality, I also gave special attention to its fit, comfort, and battery life.

I've been testing gaming headsets, headphones, and other audio devices for years, writing reviews for several tech publications, including TechRadar, before I joined the team as a TechRadar Editor.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2023

Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.