Product Type: Microsoft headsets
Newest Review: ... really do hate it when there is waste. There were two rubbery ear pieces, one for smaller and one for larger ears, that came with the head... more
You Have A Voice - So Use It
Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Headset
Member Name: DocDan3
Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Headset
Advantages: Design, Ease Of Use, Wireless
Disadvantages: Reliability, Quality, Endurance
- The Design -
The microphone comes in a plastic box like all other Xbox 360 accessories. It's tricky to open and will need cutting with scissors. Inside are the microphone as well as a charging cable and plug, which is black. The microphone fits over one ear and balances with the microphone at the other end closer to your mouth. The microphone is mainly white to match the Xbox 360 and default controller. The earpiece that fits over your ear is semi-circle shaped and is dark grey, which combines with the white to give a modern look. The actual audio will come through an earpiece, which is coated in a thin layer of foam. The good thing here is that the foam doesn't come off and simply rests on your ear so you can easily hear others.
The main part of the microphone on the inner part displays the Microsoft logo as well as bits and bobs such as the European Safety logo. The microphone is made in China. Just to the back of this main part is a small circular hole where the charging cable enters. On the outer main body are three buttons - two for volume control either side of a centre chrome power button. The chrome has started to wear away on mine, revealing plastic underneath - which delineates a bad quality product. Another dark grey bridge goes down to the extended microphone end. It isn't very long or it would be pulling your ear off, but is long enough so that you can be heard. On the inner part are 4 lights, which go green to signify what player you are. Above this is the wireless connect button similar to the one on the wireless controller and your console - used to connect wireless equipment. On the outer part of this is the Xbox 360 logo, nicely displayed on view, and there is a small hole for the microphone at the bottom end.
The design is good as the microphone is very compact and looks like a real next generation gadget. Considering it's wire free too, the microphone is very attractive and despite the price, this is what will attract you as a potential buyer. It doesn't look cheap - it looks like a quality electronic product, but I have since realised that it cannot be judged by its looks.
- General Use -
The microphone is really easy to use but I sometimes have problems getting it wirelessly connected. The chrome power button is held down to switch the microphone on. It can also be pressed once to mute and unmute your voice - for example if you pick up a phone call whilst playing a game, you can mute yourself so others don't have to listen to your call with your mother. The volume buttons either side are shown with plus and minus signs - not great as you can't see them when it's on your ear, however you get a feel for which button is which. Firstly, you must wirelessly connect the microphone. You do this by holding down the button on your Xbox 360 and on the microphone. It is recognised almost immediately, which is great.
The only problems I have had using the microphone is when it just stops working and I don't know why. If you go out of range (supposedly 30 feet but I think it's less in practice), the microphone switches off and the 4 lights flash to tell you this. Once you step back in range, it sometimes seems to connect again but your voice is not detected. Despite switching it off and back on again, muting and unmuting your voice, I have found no way (apart from waiting) to fix this. It's really annoying and happens all the time.
You are meant to get 8 hours of wireless use too, but this is a joke. In reality, I get a few hours out of mine, and always have since day one. To prolong the battery in the microphone, you should only really charge it when the battery is low. They also claim that the sound quality is 'superior'. I beg to differ. The maximum volume of other players' voices is pretty bad compared to the wired microphone. Sometimes, you can barely hear people and it's annoying. I don't want screaming kids in my ear, but I would like to be able to hear people well - that is the whole idea of the microphone. Your voice is picked up but once again, it doesn't come across as loud as you may like. The only good thing about the not so perfect sensitivity of the microphone is that it won't pick up background noises from the television or anything else.
- My Experience -
I have found this microphone quite good to use. It's great with the freedom of no wires, as you don't have to worry about ripping out your microphone accidentally or having wires resting on your hands whilst playing a game. Apart from the annoying times when the microphone disconnects and won't reconnect, it occasionally makes a loud fuzzy noise to other players when it comes back on. It does this randomly too, and it's really annoying to other players - they usually mute you and complain. I don't know why it does this but it's just not right for such an expensive product.
Through quite a bit of use, the chrome on the power button has started to wear away. You may think this is fair, but considering you press the button just once to switch it on and once more to switch it off when you play, it hasn't lasted very long. The foam of the earpiece has started to decolourise too and it looks a bit nasty. This isn't because of dirty ears - it's because of dirt that collects on it, and is impossible to clean off. The loudness of the microphone isn't great, even though you can slightly adjust the microphone extension up and down. Initially, the microphone was good when I first bought it, but then it got in my bad books after a bit of use.
In the end, my microphone half stopped working. My voice is no longer detected and I can only hear other players. This is terrible and makes it pretty useless, apart from saving peoples voices coming through your TV. It's no longer in use as I bought a standard one again for half the price. Recently, that seemed to play up on me too, so in all honesty, there is no way round getting a reliable microphone! You may as well get the wired one as it's cheaper.
- Price & Availability -
Currently, the microphone is available on Amazon.co.uk for £29.95, which is cheaper than buying it offline. In places like Game, you will find it for around £34.99 so it's better to buy online. However, I wouldn't recommend paying such a high price considering the quality of the product. You would be better off with the standard one as the quality is the same and it's a lot cheaper, just with a wire added on.
- Conclusion -
Overall, I wouldn't recommend buying this microphone. The quality isn't what it seems and you'd be better off to buy the standard wired microphone economically speaking. The wireless one does have a good design and looks great, but after a while, you will begin to doubt the quality of the microphone. It's pretty easy to use and without any wires, you feel a lot freer whilst gaming. It fits on your ear well and doesn't hurt or damage your ear in any way. It's compact and efficient, but not at all reliable from my experience.
Thanks for reading,
Summary: A poor quality microphone, which is only attractive in terms of its design and wireless feature
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