Universal Afterglow Wireless Headset (Video) Review
With so many different gaming headsets on the market, it can be a bit difficult when it comes to deciding which one to spend your cold hard cash on.
Good quality gaming headsets compatible with only one console usually average anywhere from $100 to $150.
With an $89.99 price tag, PDP’s Universal Wireless Headset aims to negate expensive prices by creating a headset wirelessly compatible with most gaming consoles and music devices.
The headset has quite the spiffy design. Everything from the volume adjustments to the charging port is conveniently located on the left headphone.
The headphones are see-through so you can view all of the wiring and circuitry inside the headset, giving it a neat technological scheme. It even illuminates a bright blue when turned on.
The flexible padding that touches your head is attatched with wiring that might seem cheap, but it is actually tough-to-break and will adjust itself depending on how far down you prefer the headset to go.
Above the flexible padding is an extra supportive plastic arc that keeps the headphones from caving in on your head.
The cushioning on the headphones cancels some sound to prevent distraction from outside noises.
Even for the hardcore gamer who has gaming sessions lasting several hours long, this headset will satisfy comfort preferences. The headphones are ovally shaped like ears to fit snug. There is extra padding toward the back of each headphone to add an extra level of cushioning behind the ears.
I primarily played “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” on the Xbox 360 when using the headset for three to four hours at a time. I never once felt needed to take off the headset from discomfort.
With a fully charged battery, the headset can last up to 10 hours wirelessly with a maximum three hour charging time. The charging cable packed with the headset should be long enough if you want to charge and continue gaming.
The USB transmittor is what lets you connect the headset to consoles wirelessly and has two different options for sound output.
The first option is using the AV cables that likely came with your system. Exempting the Wii U, if you use an HDMI cable, you can still it plugged in for high definition display. The AV cables simply provide the sound. If you do not use AV cables, then you will have to purchase the proper cables depending on your console.
The second option is plugging the wireless transmitor’s headphone jack into a television. Overall, this is an easy option, but irritating since the transmittor’s cable is merely four feet long.
With the name “Universal ‘Wireless’ Headset,” it is not as cordless as you may think. If you do not have the proper cables, you may have to spend extra money to get the correct ones. Even then, you could be dealing with some hefty wiring getting tangled alongside the possible hassle of switching the wires between multiple consoles.
There are three different sound settings to choose from: pure audio, bass boost and immersive. Each setting has their own colors shown at the end of the retractable mic to determine the current sound setting.
Pure audio lets you hear the sounds from a game in its purest form. Bass boost gives an extra kick to bass sounds. Finally, immersive enhances the sound to give a game a sense of reality, making it feel like you are in the aciton.
Except for immersive, I could not distinct which sound setting was which. In the manual, it says blue is bass boost and red is pure audio, but the box of the headset is vice versa. This did not matter too much though as immersive is the superior sound setting anyway.
Testing the headset on nine different systems, I can happily report that the sound worked equally well across all platforms. Even though the headset does not advertise it, it is even compatible with the Playstation 2.
If you are playing online while simultaneously chatting with other players, there is a game/chat volume dial that lets you adjust how much you can hear people speaking versus what you want to hear from a game.
If you want to chat with other players over Xbox Live, you have to use a green double-ended headphone jack that inserts into the headset and an Xbox 360 controller, which somewhat defeats the purpose of a “wireless” headset.
There were only a couple of occassions out of many when I could barely hear the sound no matter what volume setting I had, but I simply turned the headset off and on to clear the issue.
If you want to listen to music on an electronic device, the headset comes with a double-ended heaphone jack where one end goes into the headset and the other in the elctronic device of your choice. The headset does not need to be turned on for sound to be heard. This defaultingly sets the headset to pure audio settings, which still sounds great.
The Universal Wireless Headset truly is universal. Despite the hassles of all the possible wiring for a “wireless” headset, with great comfort, stability, sound and compatibility priced at $89.99 ($97.41 with sales tax), it is a steal for gamers and even non-gamers who just want to listen to their music.
+ Works with all current gen consoles (and PS2)
+ Quite comfortable
+ Lets you listen to anything with a typical headphone jack
+ Game/chat volume dial is great for online chatting
+ Cancels some outside noises
- Not as wireless as the name suggests
Robbie Key is a “Reviews and News Editor” for Analog Addiction, Entertainment Editor for the Pine Log newspaper at Stephen F. Austin State University, and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates and watch his awesomtacular YouTube videos.