Gadgets 1287

Published on November 16th, 2010 | by Greg


Saving the World, Virtually, With Plantronics’ X95 Headset

We have been spending a little too much time killing Nazi zombies lately. Our task to save the world has expended all of our energy and frankly, those around us are tired of listening to gunfire and warfare. For those of you wondering what in the world zombies have to do with gaming, the answer is: everything. We wanted to see if the Plantronics GameCom X95 Wireless Gaming Headphones were indeed worth wearing for our “Call of Duty: Black Ops” marathons.

The X95 headphones look like your average matte black headphones, except for the controls that include a dial and a switch behind each earpad. Each side is responsible for a different function; the left controls the in-game chat volume while the switch mutes the microphone. The right side is the headphone volume and a power switch. The concealed mic-boom hides in the headband and pulls the microphone out of our way when not needed. Controls are easy to use and even easier to remember.

After plugging in our headset adapter to our Xbox 360 console, we were impressed by the comfort of this set. We’ve tried many, many other before- some that offer multi-system gaming and a bit more comfort but at a higher price and others that offer more flexible microphones. But these are an extremely solid value, not least because of the pricetag. They fit snugly and though we wish the cable that connects the headphones to our controller was longer in order to move about a bit more freely, audio quality is good enough- though it won’t impress those looking for 5.1.

More impressively, the audio was well-balanced. Though the X95 headphones do not have surround sound, the 40mm stereo speakers can nonetheless push out fair volumes, and decent bass. Music is a bit muddy, and the pads don’t quite seal out other sounds well enough to consider them very noise-canceling. Those in the vicinity of our virtual playgrounds also seemed to be able to hear even with the closed-ear design.

If you are looking for sound quality to share for Rock Band or Guitar Hero, look no further than the Polk Audios Hitmaster. This won’t replace any real 2.1 audio set and certainly is not the right audience for movies but for those types of games, it packed lots of punch. It’s a similar price range as well.

We found a great deal on Amazon- the Plantronics GameCom X95 Wireless Gaming Headphones usually retail for around $100 but we found them for under $60 on Amazon.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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