If you’re an Xbox 360 owner that wants an upgrade from the $5 headphones that came with your system or your Xbox Live subscription, then you have a couple choices out there. Unfortunately, those choices would eliminate the truly wireless freedom you have with the cheapy headset because most 360 headsets require some sort of power supply via the USB plug on the 360. In comes the Plantronics x95 wireless headset that provides a quality wireless headset.
Wireless Works - One big concern when you try out a new wireless device is if it’ll actually work, meaning if the device will be on par with your current wired setup. The x95 takes care of that concern in terms of audio quality, mic quality and wireless range. Game audio comes in clear and loud, and other players on Xbox Live come in just as clear. While talking, I was told that my voice came in loud and clear as well. From the wireless receiver, it took 20-25 feet before the wireless signal went out which should be adequate for any home console setup, unless you have your own theater. 2 AAA batteries are needed to power the headset itself. Although I don’t have an estimate on how much life you can get from 2 batteries, I can say that cheap AAA batteries lasted me several hours.
Not Just For the 360 - On a whim, I tried out the x95 on my PC. With the addition of a 3.5 mm to RCA adapter, I had the x95 blasting my PC game audio. Same thing for my TV audio, after a little moving around my consoles to give the receiver the USB power it needed. You may not ever use these headsets to listen to your audio wirelessly, but I’m always a fan of accessories that have additional uses outside of gaming.
A HEAD CASE
What a Pain in the Ear - Headphones these days usually have vinyl or plastic to cover for the ear pieces, but the x95 has fabric covering the ear pieces. There is something about the fabric that I simply didn’t care for. It made the headset a pain to wear after a couple of hours, and then you have that slightly moist feeling on the headset as the fabric absorbs sweat. While it’s definitely not the most unpleasant experience I’ve had with a headset, it was just enough to make note of, and as always, it could be simply due to me having a big head.
What the Pop is Going On - I can’t really tell what causes it, but at certain times, the audio had a pop to it. It sounds almost the same as your ears popping. I checked my batteries and they were fine, and it wasn’t the signal; all the connections were secure as well as in reach. The next day, I’d use the headset again, and no more popping. It’s hard to put my finger on what causes it, but it wasn’t consistent enough to be a major problem, yet I felt that it should be noted.
I can highly recommend the Plantronics Gamecom x95 headset to anyone looking for a wireless headset that provides quality sound for their Xbox 360. What I can’t do, however, is state that this is a must-have for any gamer. As good as it is, the x95 will not be the headset to make you throw away your wired headsets. It’s a very good headset, but really doesn’t have that extra value to it that makes the $89.99 - $99.99 price tag easy to overlook.
Like the title card? Check out Shadow's comic, Three Dollar Bill.
What is the Game of the Year for 2011?
The Meaningless Lives of Mario
Question of the Month: What is your Game of the Year?