Zowie EC2-B - Review
The Zowie EC2-A (and EC1-A) has been lauded for many years now as one of the best gaming mice on the planet. You can read why that is in our full review here.
Is this new version really an upgrade over the A series or is it a swing and a miss? Find out in our review below.
Zowie EC2-B - Initial Impression
This is nothing new for most experienced gamers, but Zowie products are all about performance. RGB lighting and other shenanigans will not help you click heads ingame so Zowie doesn’t care about that stuff.
The EC2-B might look unassuming, but there's plenty going on under the hood.
The EC2-B will not look out of place in class or in an office environment, since it doesn't sport any LED strips or aggressive logos. It's finished with a small (red) Zowie logo towards the back and a very small BenQ logo on the side.
The shape and feel of a mouse is one of the most important aspects of a gaming mouse. The EC2-B is a medium sized mouse (the EC1-B is the larger model) and weighs in at around 90 grams (3.2 ounces), which makes it a pretty light mouse.
It’s ergonomically shaped and features two side buttons on the left hand side. The shape has been designed to accommodate a wide variety of grip styles.
All Zowie mice come in a sleekly designed matte black package and obviously the EC2-B is no exception to that. A huge plus in my opinion with Zowie mice is that, included in the package, you get a pair of replacement mouse feet for your mouse.
The EC2-B features no less than 16 replacement feet, meaning you can change all the feet on your mouse four times. Big ups to Zowie for that.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
Undoubtedly one of the major advantages of the EC series is the shape. Zowie made no changes to the widely lauded shape of the A series (at least no changes that I could personally notice) and that is by no means a bad thing. The shape of the EC series is simply one of the best on the market, so there is no reason whatsoever to be changing that around.
The EC2-B features an ergonomic design with a relatively safe shape. There are no awkward humps or features on the mouse which take time to get used to, nor are there any design choices where you’d be inclined to think ‘why would they do that?’ It’s not that easy to explain, but the EC2-B really has been expertly designed and you feel that once you hold the mouse. I try not to be too hyperbolical when describing features that I like, but the shape of the EC series really does deserve some love.
Let’s just say that there is a reason that so many people absolutely love the design of the EC series.
The side buttons are placed very conveniently, so they do not get in the way or are hard to reach. The mouse coating is not the best though, to put it rather kindly. It’s a kind of mixture of glossy and matte black, and though it does its job I personally didn't like the feeling of it very much. I’ve seen people reporting that they found the coating to be pretty slippery, but that was not the case on my model, even with my hands getting pretty sweaty when I’m gaming for long periods of time.
What I did notice was that the mouse tends to pick up on oils and sweat pretty easily and quickly, which can make the surface of the mouse feel a bit icky, so to speak. I’m pretty sensitive to that stuff (which is why I never use glossy mice) and it's solved relatively quickly by cleaning the mouse, but it's still a bit of a downside.
The mouse feet on the B series have been changed, with Zowie going for four small mouse feet as opposed to the two large feet featured on the A series. This makes the B series glide a bit faster and more aggressively than the A in my opinion, but whether you like that or not is obviously a matter of preference. I tend to prefer larger mouse feet, but I can’t say that I had any real issues using these.
The DPI button is located on the bottom of the mouse, which has been done to eliminate the possibility of accidentally clicking it while ingame. I don’t have an issue with that since I don’t change DPI on the fly during gaming, but gamers who like to do so should take note of this.
Buttons and scroll wheel
The left and right clicks provide a rather heavy, though crisp and uniform clicking experience. There are definitely mice out there with a lighter click, though that doesn’t have to be a problem, as some people (including myself) prefer their clicks to be a bit sturdier. When the EC2-B initially came out there were complaints about the clicks feeling mushy, but I can’t say that I have experienced that on this copy.
The side buttons seem to be improved in comparison to the A series. They feature a little less travel time and a more uniform click. They’re still not the very best out there (the side button towards the back felt a tad mushy to me) but they do the job just fine.
The scroll wheel has fewer steps than most mice and also feels rather rigid. This will please some people and annoy others. The reasoning behind having fewer and more defined steps means that it’s harder to accidentally skip a step when you’re switching weapons using the scroll wheel, for example. This is fine for gaming but it’s not ideal for browsing because of the fewer steps. Additionally, the scroll wheel is also quite loud when compared with most other gaming mice.
Quality and cable
I put every mouse that I review through a phase of rigorous scientific testing, which includes slamming the mouse on the desk for a few times and squeezing it as hard as I can to see if there’s nothing rattling or making noise when it shouldn’t be. The EC2-B did fine in all of those tests.
When I do a quick long flick or fast sudden movements I can hear a bit of a ‘tick’ sound when I stop the mouse or change directions, but it’s not loud enough to annoy me and I also can't feel anything moving.
Previous iterations of the EC2-B had an issue with coil whine, where the micro vibrations of the sensor produced a rather high pitched beeping tone, which could get quite noticeable on some units. Zowie has since released a statement saying that they were working on fixing that, and on my unit I had no issues with coil whine, despite using the mouse (and leaving it plugged in) for days. Mine is from the 3/18 batch, for reference.
I obviously can’t say with confidence that the issue has been fixed for all units, but my mouse was quiet throughout the entire review process. When I put my ear up right next to the mouse in a completely silent environment I was able to make out a very quiet buzzing sound, but that’s not something you’ll be able to hear during normal usage (even if you listen for it) so that’s a non issue for me.
As per usual the cable on the EC2-B is great. It’s a thin and flexible rubber cable, which will not get in the way of your gameplay, even if you’re not using a mouse bungee, so as per Zowie tradition the cable is an absolute plus.
Performance and sensor
The main reason for the existence of the EC2-B is the 3360 sensor which is now included in the mouse. The 3360 is a flawless sensor which will not spin out under any conditions, not even when tilt-slamming it (which is the only way you can make the 3310, which is another popular sensor, spin out) so as expected the performance is absolutely flawless.
I test the sensors of mice in Paint (to check for smoothing and other cardinal gaming mice sins) and a variety of games, including FPS Aim Trainer, Overwatch and less aim intensive games, and the performance of the EC2-B has been stellar all throughout. We all know how good the 3360 is, so no surprises on that front.
The EC2-B (as with all Zowie mice) is plug and play, meaning that you just have to plug it in and it works. No messing around with drivers or software; connect it, set your DPI and polling rate (which is done through buttons on the bottom of the mouse) and get to clicking heads.
One of the most important aspects (arguably the most important aspect, depending on the genre) of a gaming mouse is the ‘fit’. If you don’t feel comfortable holding a mouse then it doesn’t matter if it has all of the best components.
Shape and comfort is one of Zowie's major focus points with their mice and the EC2-B is another worthy addition to their lineup in that regard.
This is where the EC2-B really shines. The mouse will fit nearly all grip types (depending on the size of your hands, of course) and is shaped in a way that requires virtually no break in time. Most gamers will find little to no issue getting used to this one. If you are having doubts on whether or not you'll like this one and want to try out the shape you can grab an EC2-A, since the shape has (luckily) not been changed.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The EC series has been a staple of the gaming world (and mainly the CS:GO world, where it’s by far the most commonly used mouse) for some time now and with the B series Zowie has managed to, after a few QC hiccups with the first couple of batches, improve upon that tried and true design by adding the 3360 sensor.
The major changes in my opinion are the mouse feet and the inclusion of a 3360 sensor, but you can check out the differences between their. The side buttons have had some improvements and the coating has changed (and not for the better), but those changes are rather minor in my opinion.
It’ll be up to the consumer to decide whether or not the changes that Zowie has made are enough to justify the purchase of an EC2-B if they have a perfectly functioning EC2-A, but the EC2-B series is, despite a few flaws, definitely a top tier mouse and a logical successor to the immensely popular EC2-A.