Many of you are aware that Skullcandy bought out Astro. Thus, it is no surprise when, shortly afterwards, Skullcandy announced their newest line of gaming headsets. We had previously featured our review of the first of the product line, the wired SLYR headset. Now we would like to give a little input into the newest addition to the product line, the PLYR 2 Wireless Gaming Headset.
In our previous review, I expressed some frustration at the SLYR headsets’ hookups and how it did not work with a HDMI set up. Luckily, I found that I could get the PLYR 2 headset to work fine with a HDMI cable on my Sony Bravia. It is A/V cables, but my own TV has A/V sound outputs for that very purpose. There are some TVs that do not have this feature, so be aware of this before purchasing this headset. It is NOT equipped with a digital optical sound output.
That being said, I was very impressed with this headset. Skullcandy did get rid of my favorite feature, the EZ Stash mic, from the SLYR model and opted for the full mic. The best feature on this mic is that you can flip it up and it will mute for you. This is awesome! I love that I can just flip-up the mic and not have to fidget with switches whenever I am wanting to talk to my son or on the phone. It even has a distinct click when in the “mute” position. The mic is also one piece, much like the Astro headsets have been. it is not overly movable, but also cannot crimp or be otherwise easily damaged.
The headphones on this has quite a bit of cushion to it. Which isn’t as breathable as I’d like. It is comfortable, but warm. It is also very thick, so it feels snug on your head. I don’t find them AS comfortable as the Astro line of headsets, simply because those sit over your ears and not on them, but they are cushioned enough that they do not cause your earlobes to ache after extended play time.
The sound quality of the GMX stereo transmitter on this headset is a huge step up from the SLYR headset model. The controls for game and voice chat are still combined, which I think should be discarded from every design scheme. However, I was very impressed over how well the sound is separated for the two. I actually felt that I could hear the game and the chat much better on this headset then I could on my A40s. Very impressive step up, that I would prefer these over my Astros. That said, this headset still is not surround sound. The quality of sound was fantastic, but it is difficult to distinguish the direction of which the sounds are coming from. Voice chat is so clear, it is phenomenal on this headset. Possibly one of my favorite models.
Another advantage of this headset is that you can charge the Lithium-ion batteries by simply connecting them to the wireless transmitter. Plus, said transmitter is the simplest I have ever synced to. Simply press down and hold the Skullcandy logo on the transmitter and the power button on the headset and within 2 seconds you are connected and ready to go. It did take a few minutes for me to figure this out though, simply because I was unaware that the logo was the sync button and the directions aren’t very specific.
Also, keep in mind that this headset is compatible with every platform. Whether you use them with PC, PS3, or Xbox 360. It connects with all of them. No extra adapter or cables necessary. They are packaged so that you can hook right up and play.
One of the most noticeable things about the entire Skullcandy gaming headset line is how they look. These headsets are small and lightweight. They have very modern lines to their design and have very cool color schemes. They come in Black/Yellow, White, and Teal/ Navy blue. You don’t feel as if you are wearing an oversized geeky headset while using a pair of these.
While nearly the perfect gaming headset, this item does have its flaws. My biggest complaint is the chat cable. The slightest bump or movement to the connection from your headset to the controller causes absolute chaos. Static and echoing for all the unfortunate bystanders in the lobby. That, along with the lack of surround sound, takes this headset down a notch. The combined controls are a little difficult to get the hang of, but once you find the right setting, you will probably not be messing with it much beyond that. Also, I hope to see them incorporate the pivoting ear cuffs in future models. I like to lay them flat on my shoulders when not in use. This isn’t a necessary feature, just a personal preference. There is also no jack to plug-in your iPod, so that you can listen to music through the transmitter, however you can always just use the music library on the system to do the same thing.
Lastly, I do not understand the lack of instruction manuals with headsets these days. All of the top companies are telling you next to nothing in their manuals. It would be nice to be able to read that the reason I cannot hear people in the lobby on their mics, yet I can still hear game sound, is due to my not being synced. Or that the Skullcandy logo on the transmitter is the sync button. There is a lack of communication going on here that I don’t approve of.
Altogether, I honestly loved this headset. The PLYR 2 Wireless Gaming Headset would make the perfect headset for anyone. If you aren’t ready to commit to a pair of $250.00 Astros, this is the one to get. The MSRP of $129.95 for a pair of PLYR 2 gaming headsets is far more affordable and will definitely bring you a much better gaming experience than most any other brand out there. Especially with the rechargeable batteries, which will save you a lot of money.
Plus you can give the rest of the house a break with the late night gaming noises, so long as you can resist screaming at your TV in rage mid-game. Definitely keep these in consideration the next time you go shopping for a gaming headset for yourself, or even for a gift. They are worth it.
Great product Skullcandy! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us in the future!