Published on March 8th, 2011 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Hardware Review: GameCom X95
While many headsets on the market provide for a thorough experience in sound, others do not necessarily get noticed when a new product hits the market. The GameCom X95’s from Plantronics might be considered one of those products. This headset for the Xbox360 is light, stylish, and has some competition fighting for solid ground.
One of the things that you will notice first and foremost about the X95’s-is the cushion surrounding the inside of the ear speakers and the top of the bridge. While most companies use various materials in order to draw in on some comfort or market their quality in material, Plantronics fitted these with a soft, yet durable surface. The comfort in these is almost like a fleece blanket feeling/velour material. They are soft, durable, and do not get uncomfortable for long periods of play.
There was a day where I literally wore the headset ALL day. The great thing was that, not only do they work as a headset for the Xbox360, but their easy swapping capabilities will have you utilizing their comfort and sound for all of your other devices. In one day they were used for music on my PC, some online matches, and then again on the PS3 for Bayonetta. This was also after using them the previous day for movies on Netflix and finally some TV use.
The total life would be estimated around 5-7 hours. This is also with the use of the generic AAA batteries that were included with the set. Changing the batteries is also a breeze as the right ear drum. The cushion twists to unlock and locks into place with four hinges.
There were a few times that the headset was used for specifically music. While my style in music is very eclectic, the headset was very responsive in all departments. Deep bass for hip-hop and reggae, while double bass pedals were strongly represented during triplet rolled on top of fret taps. There were clear voices and the quality was, to be honest, surprising. Music in general on these headphones was heard in great quality.
With the material on the bridge and ear portions being covered with cushioning, they do seem like over time they might fall victim to wear and tear. Taking good care of them and even the most extensive use should not weigh in too heavily with them. If you are a little rough on headsets, do not worry. Plantronics, like any other company, offers a 1 Year Warranty and has a site specifically for additional pieces.
Although many companies boast their 5.1/7.1 surround sound, these 40mm speakers offer a fine quality production piece. The 1 year warranty offers some of the best back up that you can expect through an advanced head set.
In-game sound was clean and clear, as I could hear footsteps in Crysis 2 Multiplayer on either side of me.
The roll bar that is on the right speaker is easy to use and precise. This is extremely important to not have huge jumps in sound when you are making adjustments with the left piece which monitors in game chat.
The connect button is located on the upper right ear base. This button allows for connectivity with the USB hub, which syncs, and plugs into a left and right channel on your TV’s out or with a headphone adapter. While others might block off any additional plugins that you may have, the open end to the L/R cord allowed for my 5.1 system to still be plugged in when not in use.
Alongside the in game chat, players have the ability to turn the mic volume off and stow away the hidden mic on the upper left portion of the set. The mic is hidden so well that it was one thing that was troubling to find upon the first use. The mic being moved comes in very useful during standard headphone use, but also showcases its durability in its design. The arm itself is of very sturdy plastic and swivels with ease back into the upright position. Although the mic is encased in hard plastic, it does not suffer from a downgrade in quality.
Plantronics made the efforts to produce a nicely fitted set of headphones. They are comfortable, easy to use, and the sound quality is great. Although they might not allow for the loudest of sound, hooking them up to the right device can make use of volume control. The battery life for two AAA batteries was surprising. The range was limited, but also hindered by the space and amount of electronic devices emitting signals in my direct vicinity. Music, movies, and the all important video games were greatly showcased. The MSRP of $99.99 might drive competition to choose familiar gaming brands like Turtle Beach. Great sound quality truly shines on games that provide great sound production, but the X95’s showcase their stability.