Recently, Astros Gaming and Skullcandy partnered up to create a whole new line of gaming headsets. Designed for gamers that want a quality headset without completely breaking the bank. They came up with the SLYR, PLYR 1, and PLYR 2 headsets.
The presentation is slick and cool, with florecent colors and the wicked Skullcandy logos. These things are cool to look at and have some pretty awesome packaging to boot. It’s not all about the cover though. With any product, the brand names behind a product doesn’t make it a great product.
With the SLYR gaming headset, you are getting a wired headset. Which means cords everywhere and a good 30 minutes of your time trying to ensure that you are plugging it in correctly and that you aren’t messing it all up.
The number one issue that most of you will find with this headset is that you can not use it with your HDMI hook up cables on PS3 or Xbox360 unless you purchase a special dongle to do so. This is strike one. To enable using this product you have to dig out your old AV cables that came with your system. This makes downgrades your whole gaming experience. The picture isn’t as clear and you have to readjust to the way your games look.
Once hooked up, I noticed the GMX In-Line Mixer. This is a small controller built into your cords to control volume for both game sounds and chat. There is also a switch on the side that you can select the type of sound you want to enhance, this is something I have noticed other reviewers complaining on stating they can’t hear any difference. They may need to look into hearing aids. There is definitely a distinct difference of each of the settings. Particularly in game. The really neat part of the GMX Mixer is the backlight, which is blue when your mic is on and red when muted. It really enhances the look of the product. There is a small square button that you can use to control volume on this mixer that does feel flimsy and of poor quality. I am concerned that, upon long term use, this will break and will be useless.
One of my favorite features of this headset is the “EZ Stash Mic”, which is the mic that clicks into the ear cuff when not in use. This doesn’t mute the headset, but it does get it out of your way. Plus, it is protection against damage if your headset gets messed with or bumped around. I would like to see more innovation like this in all gaming headsets. Great idea right there.
Into the sound quality, the whole reason we sit with a headset on in the first place. Unfortunately, this gaming headset has inherited the biggest fault of the partnering company. Astros gaming headsets are horrible when it comes to finding the right blend of voice chat and game volume. When one or the other is on fully you have a great sounding product, but you can’t hear the one that you aren’t using at all. If your game volume is up loud enough to hear the things going on around you, then you cannot hear the people on your team talking to you and vice versa. There is no happy medium. Both Skullcandy and Astros need to separate the chat and game volume controls, because this is not working out well for them.
Also, this is not a surround sound unit. You cannot easily decipher the direction of sounds. This put me at a huge disadvantage in my gameplay. Particularly when I am spinning in circles trying to figure out which direction my opponent is coming from.
A solid positive feature is the functionality of this headset. It can work for every platform, something that is more common in the headset industry. You can utilize it on PS3, Xbox 360, and on the PC. It comes with the cords to connect to any of them. I like this feature, simply due to the fact that you don’t need a different headset for every platform.
Comfort wise, this headset is good. It doesn’t have the level of comfort of a Astros headset by a long shot, but it didn’t make my ears ache and sat comfortably on my head. I don’t know if it would be the same with someone whom has a larger cranium though. It is a snug fit so that it doesn’t fall off. I like that. To me, a tight fitting headset is a happy headset. It is well cushioned on the headband and the ear cuffs I didn’t feel the need to constantly adjust it back after prolonged gameplay.
The overall product has both pluses and minuses. The big negatives are in the most important aspect of the product, however. A gaming headset cannot make it difficult to hear the game or the people you are playing with. The sound quality is lacking. I see this as a valuable product for a younger gamer. One that could use the stash away headset and a well built product that will be difficult to lose. The price tag of $79.95 is fairly reasonable for a headset, but could be less to be considered a good value.
All in all, this isn’t a product I would recommend running out to purchase. It needs to be reevaluated by the company to strengthen the weaknesses it has. I would save my money and wait for a better product. This one looks cool and fits well, but just isn’t a headset for a hardcore gamer.
To find out more about Skullcandy and the products they have to offer, visit their website. The Slyr headset comes in 3 colors; Black, White and Blue. Check them out along with the rest of the line of headsets they partnered with Astros to create. If you get there before Cyber Monday, you may save some money on your purchase.