Schiit Audio decided to name their tone control after Loki because it’s a tricky product. In so many ways that is an appropriate choice. Many have moved past the need for physical equalization, either due to software offering it or headsets designed in a way to bring out certain soundscapes. In the world of gaming, it’s an extremely important function, as there are all kinds of different experiences players want to capture. Going heavy on certain ranges will do a lot of things, commonly referred to things like footsteps, audible cues, dialogue and so much more. With this in mind, we wanted to give Schiit Audio’s Loki Mini+ ago, but will it offer a worthwhile experience?
A big selling point for all of Schiit Audio’s products is a bang for your buck. This is perfectly represented in their basic packaging. With little more than a cardboard box with a basic sticker, there isn’t much to see, but plenty to experience.
After taking Loki Mini+ out of its holder and protective packaging, we get our first look at the product. Given Schiit Audio makes most of these components fit together, it has a similar appearance to the previously reviewed Magnius and Modius, just in a smaller form factor. The build quality remains stellar, with a bit more attention to detail on Loki Mini+. These include coated dials, switches, and a much-needed light.
Set up is relatively straightforward. Loki Mini+ Only has one in and another out, both of which are standard red and white RCA connections. As Schiit Audio notes, Loki Mini+ is meant to go in-between sources, meaning you’ll need a single source pre-amp like the K5Pro we previously reviewed or in the case of this review, Magnius and Modius. The easiest way to set this up being digital optical into Modius, RCA to Loki Mini+, and then RCA to Magnius, though obviously other configurations work.
A nice design touch of Loki Mini+ is the form factor itself. Even if it was designed to pair with Magni and Modi, it fits perfectly on top of Modius and Magnius. When placed in the bottom left corner, Loki Mini+ has about half an inch between the ventilation holes found on Magnius. This attention to detail stands out and is welcome as someone concerned about design, proper usage, and potential issues.
Once set up, it’s strongly advised to use it as part of your system going forward, something that Schiit Audio makes super simple with the controls. The left-most knob is bass, followed by midbass, midrange, treble, and the switch decides what the Loki Mini+ actually does. When the switch is down, Loki Mini+ is a simple bypass, and moving it up allows it to control tones. A small, but welcome, touch is how seamless control is. Instead of aligning to a predetermined mark or point, there is a distinct spot that has a bit of resistance so it’s clean when you’re raising, decreasing, or setting that tone to neutral.
Given that Schiit Audio showcases Loki Mini+ with the LCD-X, I made sure to pair my stack with Audeze’s top-tier gaming headset, LCD-GX. Even without tone adjustment, this is a wonderful experience, but Loki Mini+ helps take that to the next level.
Unlike PC gaming, where controls, stats, and countless programs can be run concurrently to achieve ideal sound, console gamers need to settle for the tools given to them. Something like Astro Gaming’s A50 has a couple presets, Audeze’s Penrose can be altered via a phone app, LucidSound allow for a few and most headsets allow for at least one profile, but this is often trial and error, going off what others say is the ideal or giving up. This is what makes Loki Mini+ such a welcome addition to my world.
Like a lot of gamers, there are not two or three pre-sets that make up my experience. In the time I’ve had Loki Mini+ I experienced Balan Wonderworld, DOOM Eternal, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Disco Elysium, Monster Hunter Rise, Godfall, UnderMine, Poison Control, the highs and lows of Outriders and mainstays like Destiny 2. These are a diverse range of experiences, one that I could fully appreciate on my console of choice.
Instead of balancing to a specific action, like footsteps in Destiny or the intense music in Doom Eternal, I could take a moment to find a way to fully enjoy the rain, feel like I am actually hunting some fearsome creature, or give the voices the gravitas they deserve in Disco Elysium. Not only was this extremely simple, just turn the knob, but the effects were also instantly heard. I could calibrate each stage, world, or experience by just taking a moment to find the desired effect. Or, if I didn’t want to bother, simply bypass and enjoy as intended.
While a quick question might be why to go through a physical device oversimplifying the process by using a program, which is rather simple. Not only is Loki Mini+ extremely easy to integrate and offers instant changes, but there are also fewer things to rely on. There doesn’t need to be multiple applications open, does is there any apparent loss of signal. Modius takes the sound straight from the source and each device is meant to preserve that signal for the end-user.
Even outside of gaming I used Loki Mini+ to bring about some of my favorite songs and found some settings that really brought the experience to life. Now I could really experience the bass, bring out the intended dialogue or really get the feel for some of the lesser parts without really thinking about it. Surprisingly, fiddling with the control and then bypassing often resulted in a massive difference in sound, making it clear it actually does its job and it does it well.
Schiit Audio Loki Mini+ Review – Verdict
Going into Loki Mini+ I didn’t expect much of a difference or some minor annoyances that would hold it back. Not only did Schiit Audio surprise me with their attention to detail, it really helped bring out the core experiences in a number of adventures. I don’t think it will up someone’s game, though it will absolutely add to the experience. Just being able to bring out the world around you, is the difference between playing and experiencing, making it a great addition to any audio setup.
[Editor’s Note: Schiit Audio Loki Mini+ was provided to us for review purposes.]